18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Instagram, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Squares

January Squares: Remove the Roof

Removing the roof, that’s one way to let in more light:

ISO 500 f/11 18mm 1/1600sec

Not sure I’d recommend it for most days here in England, but on this day it worked. This photo is of Kirby Hall, a 17th-century house now under the care of English Heritage. The original photo was taken with my Canon 80D. For my square edit, using Luminar I added the documentary film look and a vignette:

ISO 500 f/11 18mm 1/1600sec

The Instagram version is here:

View this post on Instagram

Extreme Skylights. #januarylight

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Added to Day 4 of January Squares.


18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Instagram, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photography, travel

From England, With Love

Just for fun, this post is a bit different from my usual posts where I talk about photo editing. This post is about a day trip in the country where I am currently living, England. Somewhat ironically, July 4th was a day off and therefore an ideal day for a short road trip. So this is how I spent July 4th in England.

I have a lot of favorite things about England, but one of them is English Heritage, which cares for more than 400 sites of historic significance. You can visit and pay for site visits individually, but for a history nerd enthusiast, really a membership is the way to go. We have about one year before our next country move, and our English Heritage membership will run out in the Spring, so the clock is ticking…

Our first stop of the day was to the Eleanor Cross in Geddingon.

ISO 500 35mm f/11 1/1250sec

It’s in the middle of the road in the middle of town, so hard to miss, but pay attention if you are trying to take photos! This cross is a memorial to Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, who died in 1290.

Also nearby:

ISO 25 4.2mm f/2.2 1/124sec

This is a George V postbox. Not part of English Heritage, but if I am out and about and there is a postbox, I’m taking a photo.

From there we were on to Kirby Hall:

ISO 500 22mm f/11 1/800sec

Originally built during the reign of Elizabeth I, a visit here includes an interesting audio guide about the history and architecture of the house. Also on site:

ISO 500 35mm f/11 1/30sec

You won’t be able to miss these guys and girls, particularly if you are having a picnic lunch. While they would love for you to feed them, staff on site would ask that you not do that.

From there it was on to Lyddington Bede House:

ISO 32 4.2mm f/2.2 1/100sec

This shot from the interior eludes to the religious history of the site. The house has had several functions over the years, and signs around the property fill in the story for visitors. Here is a shot from the front of the house:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/320sec

The church in the background is St. Andrew’s Church and here is a shot of the graveyard:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/640sec

The church is not English Heritage, it is an operational, and very lovely, Church of England Church. Like postboxes, if there is a churchyard nearby, I am there taking a photo.

Our last stop of the day was to Rushton Triangular Lodge:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/320sec

A really interesting folly built in 1593. It has its own blog post here.

I hope you have enjoyed this little detour road trip style post. My cameras for this outing were my Canon 80D and my iPhone. All the photos have had at least minor edits feel free to leave a comment or any questions below.

Photos of my travels are likely to turn up in my Instagram feed, as that peacock did, so feel free to follow me there:


Written in response to Lens-Artists Challenge, A Country that is Special to You.

18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Luminar, Photography

It’s a Folly

Sometimes things are complicated:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/320sec

This is Rushton Triangular Lodge. The fact that it’s a folly is the simplest part of the story. A folly is generally speaking an outbuilding on the property of a large estate. Generally defined as a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose. The first one I ever saw in person was actually built as a fake ruin. I read about the one pictured above and really just wanted to go see it in person like maybe it would make more sense that way.

This lodge was built in 1593, by Sir Thomas Tresham, who interpreted three knocks he heard as God telling him to build a structure to honor the Trinity. I’ll admit that part sounded a bit nuts to me. But then, looking into it a bit more, I read that he had spent 15 years imprisoned for his Catholic faith. So then, I look at this more as something he took seriously, he was Catholic and wanted a way to express that at a time when that wasn’t really allowed. He died in 1605. In that same year, his son Francis was involved and convicted of having a roll in the Gunpowder Plot. Francis, convicted of treason, would die before his execution date, he was beheaded after death and his head was publicly displayed.

The folly itself is a virtual riot of the number 3 and Catholic theology. It’s fascinating to look at from the outside, but plain and dark inside. So interesting, but I’m still not really sure about what to think about it. I’ll chalk this one up to something I still need to think about, I was glad to get to see it in person though. Have you ever felt that way, like if you go to visit a site it will then make more sense to you? Have you ever considered building an expensive building with no practical purpose? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Letters or Numbers.