Last week I went to Barnsdale Gardens, which consists of a set of 38 indivdual gardens and features, created by Geoff Hamilton for various TV series. Most famously, Barnsdale Gardens were used as the set of BBC Gardeners World from 1983 - 1996 while Geoff was the presenter. The indivdual gardens are all distributed around Barnsdale, making many small indivdual gardens part of one large garden, which works quite well.

I took my tripod and pano head with me, and took panos of a few of the different gardens. I also took my 450D with the 100mm/2.8 Macro and MT-24EX Macro Twin flash, though I didn't take many photos of the flowers.

Here's a pano I took of the Gentleman's Cottage garden:

Gentleman's Cottage Garden, Barnsdale Gardens

View as 360° interactive panorama

When I looked at the handheld nadir shot for the panorama of the Gentleman's Cottage garden, I quite liked the look of it:

Handheld nadir image

So when I'd finished processing the panorama, I put the proccessed panorama back into PTGUI. In PTGUI I set the output projection to fisheye, then used the interactive preview to change the crop and view until it matched the original handheld nadir shot. I then output the image, and got the same view as the handheld nadir shot, except without my feet or tripod being in the image:

Flowers in the centre of the Gentleman's Cottage Garden

As you can see in the panorama, it was quite cloudy on the day we visited Barnsdale. There was also a bit of a breeze, which blew the trees about, and this made it a difficult job processing the panoramas. If I wanted to keep detail in the sky, then the rest of the image would have been too dark, and if the rest of the image was reasonably bright, then most of the sky would be blown out. So I used my usual trick of blending multiple exposures to increase the dynamic range of the image.

However, with the trees blowing about in the wind, it was quite difficult to manage the blend between the darker image used for the sky and the brighter image used for the rest of the image, since the tree branches would move between the bracketed shots. So instead of using a luminance mask to blend the images, I tried using Topaz Remask to create the mask.

It takes quite a lot longer to make a mask using Topaz Remask than just pressing Ctrl + Alt + 2 in Photoshop, but I think it works pretty well (not perfect though). Then after making the mask, where you have some tree branches that have moved between the two images, you can just clone in grey sky over the branches on the dark image.

Elizabethan Vegetable Garden, Barnsdale Gardens

View as 360° interactive panorama

Still, if it had been a nice day with blue skies, I probably could have got away without bracketing at all, and the end panoramas would look much nicer despite being less work.

A flower that they had in a few of the gardens, and around Barnsdale Gardens in general, was Echinops ritro, the Southern Globe Thistle. It has nice spherical spiky flowers:

Southern Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

They also had quite a few daylily cultivars, I particularly liked this one, Hemerocallis 'Cynthia Mary':

Hemerocallis 'Cynthia Mary'

I think that's about enough for this post, if you'd like to see the rest of my photos from Barnsdale Gardens, you can view them here: Photos of Barnsdale Gardens, and the interactive panoramas are all here: 360° VR virtual tour of Barnsdale Gardens.

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