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Shakespeare’s Birthplace and a Treasure we should Delve into

William Shakespeare’s enduring legacy only seems to grow stronger every year. He trends on Twitter every Sunday (#ShakespeareSunday), his plays are an ever-growing source of entertainment for television and Hollywood, and his famous Globe Theatre has been rebuilt and delivers to sell out crowds for every performance. I could go on all day about Shakespeare’s ever-increasing popularity 400 years after his death, but one of the best ways to see this first hand is to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and then try to think of other towns in the world that are so completely built around the legacy of one person.

I am by no means an expert on Shakespeare and kind of hate myself for that. I am of course familiar with plays such as Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Midsummer Night’s Dream we learned at school but over the course of the last couple of years I have also read the Henriad (Richard II, Henry IV Parts one and two and Henry V), Twelfth Night, Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. I still have a bookshelf full of Shakespeare’s plays to read and look forward to every play I study.

What I do know within the limited number of plays I have read (significant ones though they are) is that Shakespeare’s works are indeed a treasure we are lucky to have in life. They are not easy to read but they are pillars of wisdom, beauty and philosophy, that has arguably never been matched in the literary world. They are more valuable than the greatest material riches you could acquire on this Earth. Yes I mean that. Even Stephen King admitted that divine beings like Shakespeare are the rarest thing on Earth. What they give to us is beyond all measure. They are riches that can be achieved easily (a few quid/dollars etc.), and studied and enjoyed for a lifetime.

I say this myself as a lifelong learner who is keen to learn a lot more about Shakespeare – but we should all delve into his works. As I said, they are not easy at first glance, and there are many references to Ovid and other works that people may not largely be familiar with, but I have found that the best way to find Shakespeare easier and more enjoyable to read is to just keep reading Shakespeare. It’s very difficult (from experience) to just dip into his plays every now and then. If you read a few back to back, you start to understand the language and meaning a lot better. His popularity is growing every year, but I still find it hard to find people who are very familiar with his plays, and are able to discuss them. That’s what I want to do. Anyone who wants to set up a Shakespeare book club, hook me up.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

I mentioned in my last blog about the trouble this picture has given me. But I have put all the struggle to rest and now it’s done. I have included the before image at the bottom of this post, so you can see what it looked like before all the work was done. I am excited to share this online, but I am glad it is done and I can move on to other things now. Compositing and reimagining images is great fun, but I want to focus on more real photography based projects now.

Let me cover some bullet points on the work done to this picture:

  1. Removed the front black fence, with advertising banner (took me hours)
  2. Removed the people and added in a new (historical) road that I took from another photo of mine
  3. Added a new scruffier hedge on the left hand side
  4. Fixed the building after all the removal of the fence. This meant recreating doors and adding in new sections of the building (this also took hours)
  5. Removing all the guttering and pipes
  6. Adding in a lavender bush next to the far side of the house
  7. Adding a new Tudor building to the far side of the image, that I ended up largely cropping out
  8. Adjusted colour and contrast and numerous other photo editing applications using, Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro 4

I took other pictures of Stratford-Upon-Avon during my visit of course, but this is the picture that I knew on the day I really wanted to get. 

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Christopher Troke January 31, 2018, 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the before and after pictures. Also the explanation of your process. All your hours of work certainly paid off.

    • petehalewood February 2, 2018, 7:55 am

      Thanks for the comment Christopher, much appreciated!

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