The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 16
HEATHER ANGEL – To the Manor Born by Gillian Greenwood
Gillian Greenwood explains why the Heather Angel Workshop held every year at Saint Hill Manor has been become an essential part of the photographic calendar as Glyndebourne, The Proms, Ascot or the Henley Regatta are to the English social scene.
The Heather Angel Photographic Workshop, held every summer for the last eight years at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, has become a fixed point in the photographic calendar. The weekend is organised each year by Grays of Westminster, the world-famous exclusively Nikon camera dealers. Heather Angel’s lectures and workshops are acclaimed throughout the world. Her photographic work has received many international awards and she is the author of fifty books. Her travels have taken her from the Poles to the Tropics.
The Manor, a fine country house built by Gibbs Crawfurd in 1792, is one of the most distinguished Sussex sandstone buildings in England and, situated in fifty-nine acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, woodlands and lake, is the perfect setting for the workshop. With lunch, English afternoon tea and a sumptuous dinner served on the terrace, one can momentarily glimpse an earlier world of unhurried elegance, a more measured age: polished tureens, gleaming silver cutlery, napkins and tablecloths starched and folded with origamic primness; a punctilious butler serving buttered teacakes and geometrically perfect cucumber sandwiches.
The seminars and workshops this year consisted of a presentation of Heather’s latest images taken on location in Madagascar, the Camargue, New Zealand and the Arctic, a Photoshop clinic with Giles Angel, and a still-life macro demonstration given by Heather Angel and John McDonald of Nikon Solutions. Simon Stafford, technical editor of Nikon Owner magazine, was at hand to answer technical queries, and representatives from Nikon, Hasselblad, Lowepro, Amazing Internet and the rest of the editorial team from Nikon Owner magazine were also present. Some participants had travelled from far-away places such as South Africa and Saudi Arabia, as well as from different parts of Europe and the U.K. for the event. The list of attendees included an array of photographers, both professional and enthusiast from all professions.
Saint Hill Manor’s owners and occupiers have included The Maharajah of Jaipur, Mrs. Drexel Biddle, the American Ambassador’s wife who commissioned an extraordinary 100ft monkey mural for the Manor, painted by Sir Winston Churchill’s nephew, and, for a short time, Royal Air Force Officers, patients of Sir Archibald McIndoe, a pioneer of plastic surgery during World War II. Saint Hill Manor’s final owner, L. Ron Hubbard, the award-winning photographer and best-selling author, was the subject of a major article last December in Amateur Photographer, the world’s oldest photographic publication. Guided tours of the Manor occurred throughout the weekend including a full tour of the darkroom Mr. Hubbard set up in the basement.
If you are interested in attending next year’s workshop please visit: www.graysofwestminster.co.uk and click onto Heather Angel Workshop to book your place.