Friday 10th October 2008

Feature week - Follies

This is another of our feature weeks, this time looking at follies, but we also have articles on three other topics as well, sun compasses, sunrise-sunset and the angle of the sun in-between throughout the year,  and moving money about, maybe generally useful but also very useful in an emergency or when you are overseas. We also look at vouchers as a payment method. We also look at vouchers of various types.

A folly is a building or structure with no other purpose than to be decorative, or is a building pretending to be something that it is not. They are found in many countries but in Britain we have the majority of them. Defining which structure is and is not a folly can be tricky, and we had quite some debate about this before deciding to stick to the basic definition above.

View from McCaigs Tower, Oban, Scotland
This is a folly covered in one of the location guides today.

Image taken with Nikon D70, with Sigma 28-300mm lens at 82mm, ISO 400, 1/250th, F8
There are therefore many other buildings and structures that are decorative or have decoration beyond its need, that we have left out. The problem we had is drawing the line, if you include some, then logically others would also be included.

Most are not just eccentric people doing before what the planners would not allow today, but logically and artistically thought out parts of an engineered view or perspective on a valley or other place. Often scaled down and put within a landscape making the overall scene look much bigger.

We have an article on follies, looking into this in more detail as well as how to go about photographing them. We also have a listing of the follies we have identified so far, there are others, its just there is no overall list anywhere and therefore it is time consuming looking for them and identifying which should be included. The search goes on, and if you know of some we have missed then please let us know. We have location guides for a few of them, many others will get covered as we put together location guides on the grounds, parks and houses where they are found.

Sun compasses you can buy, or make. These are used to allow you to see where the sun will rise and set at different points through the year and in some cases where it will be at any time during the day. It is in a way linked to the follies as with a lot of architectural photography the direction of the sun is important. It is also useful in many other areas of photography. Suppose you were asked to photograph a wedding at a church you were unfamiliar with, you could, with a sun compass visit before and see where the sun would be when you would be taking the photos, and maybe consider specific photo opportunities this presented. Similarly if photographing a railway, you would be able in combination with the timetable to see when the lighting would be best before you arrived. The article we have on this, this week is an introductory article covering sun compasses and we intend to extend the coverage including providing both a sun compass that you can print out and detailed tables. We will try and get this done shortly.

The third topic being covered this week is how to move money about. There are times when you are overseas or jsut in another part of the UK where being able to get cash fast can solve many problems. In this article we look at a variety of ways to move money about. The article came about while we were researching an overseas trip and looking at how to move money from this country to another. We cover both small fast amounts, some could arrive in a short a time as 10 minutes, but we also look at how to move economically larger sums which would take a number of days. Click here for the Moving money about  article.

We also have an article on using Vouchers as payments . Looking at the most common form of voucher, money and both gift and training vouchers. We also touch on bartering, a far larger topic that we will come back to in future articles.

Summary of Articles Included this week

Follies and How to Photograph Them 

Sun compass

Moving money about 

Vouchers as payments

Lists relating to Folly Photography

List of Follies in the UK 

Locations Guides Added This Week

Broadway Tower, Broadway, Worcestershire

Druids Temple, Swinton, Yorkshire

King Alfred's Tower, Brewham, Somerset

Knill Monument, nr St Ives, Cornwall

McCaigs Tower, Oban, Argyllshire

Penshaw Monument, Sunderland, Durham  

Sturts Folly, Horton, Dorset

Wroxton Follies, nr Banbury, Oxfordshire


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