I recently did a publicity shoot for Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving community funding programme. The group involved was the Friends of Denzell Gardens and Devisdale, who are concerned with the maintenance of the grounds of Denzell House in Atrincham and of the nearby Devisdale.
The brief was to capture the ‘essence’ of the group. Given that they deal with what is essentially a formal garden, and this was the middle of December, I was struggling to think of how to capture the ‘essence’. I decided that the essence of any community group must be the people who give up their spare time to do all this work for the benefit of others. So I chose to photograph the group’s chairman and his wife (and their dog) around their most notable achievement: the restoration of the sunken garden, which they have taken from an overgrown depression in the ground to a lovely formal sitting area. In photographing them with their dog, I was also trying to capture the spirit of their work, which is to preserve the area for the use and enjoyment of everyone.
Because I was shooting in December, when the garden is not exactly looking its best, I chose to present the images in black and white. Had it been summer, then colour would have been the obvious choice, and everything would have been much simpler. But we have to work with what we’re given…
I also decided to tint the images to resemble platinum prints as a nod to the antiquated style of the house and gardens.
For those who like to know these things, these were shot on a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens and processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.