Alice Whitehouse recently graduated from the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham with a BA (Hons) in Film Production. Now a freelance photographer and videographer, with a particular interest in landscapes and wildlife, she regularly visits gardens in search of inspiration. Alice couldn’t resist bringing her camera along when she visited Winterbourne for the first time in August.
“My Mom was a medical photographer, so I have always been surrounded by cameras (old and new). I was given a toy camera at 2 years old and got my first, functional, point and shoot camera at 10. I then invested in my first DSLR (a Nikon D5000) when I was 15 and started to take my photography more seriously. When the time came to apply for university, I decided to study Film Production so that I could combine my photography skills with a form of visual storytelling.”
“Videography skills are definitely transferable to photography – both incorporate similar elements such as framing, lighting and a subject matter. I think that videography and photography draw on the same principle: being able to tell a story or convey a feeling with a visual image. For me, photography is slightly more challenging as you need to convey more with just a single or small series of images.”
“I have always been drawn to photographing landscapes. Despite this, I have tried over the last year or two to incorporate people as well to ensure that there is a point of focus. Photographing landscapes really forces you to think outside the box and work with what you are given. Living in cloudy Britain has given me a lot of practice for this, however, and I have learnt to simply incorporate the typically gloomy skies into the photographs. I also really enjoy photographing interesting architecture, whether in a city or in a church in the middle of nowhere.”
“Wherever you go in Birmingham there are always new developments occurring while the older architecture stands proudly in the background. This mixture of Birmingham’s historic past and the new, forward-thinking Birmingham is wonderful to see. Most cities will simply have older areas and newer ones, but I like that Birmingham combines the two to create one harmonious image. While visiting Birmingham Botanical Gardens back in August, I spotted an advertisement for Winterbourne and it looked like a lovely place to visit. I certainly wasn’t disappointed when I visited a week later!”
“The area with the stepping stones which lead down to the water’s edge and across to the bridge took me by surprise. It was so beautiful and certainly not something I had seen in any other garden. Regrettably I don’t have many photographs of that particular area because I was far too busy enjoying it with my own eyes! The seating by the Pergola was interesting to photograph as it was where most of the visitors were seated, enjoying the relaxing garden. It allowed me to put the visitors in the foreground of the landscapes.”
“The weather was lovely when I visited. It really brought out the colours in the garden and the flowers were so vibrant and incandescent. The warm weather also brought out the happier side of the visitors – everyone was able to enjoy a peaceful walk around the garden, something that was a joy to photograph too. I will definitely visit again! I would love to visit after a snowfall to see how Winterbourne looks with a blanket of snow and ice. Needless to say, I will certainly be bringing my camera with me.”