SOMERSET LEVELS 132 – TEALHAM MOOR DROVE, LOOKING EAST (MONO)

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Looking east along Tealham Moor Drove, southwest of Wedmore; 7 Feb 2014.

A track covered with chippings, and with some puddles too, and out to the left the reality of life on the Levels at this time – water and more water, and more rain forecast today and Monday.

The structure of this image has strong elements pushing in towards that large tree near top right.  There is the track, highlighted by its pale chippings and reflective puddles – and then that great silver wedge of floodwater, starting at mid to upper left, and curving and narrowing across towards upper right.  And, along with these pale items, the dark ridges of coarse grasses, and the horizon too.

The day was gusty, bleak, cold and inhospitable, with rain always a threat, but it was good to be there.  I love, and feel at home in, the simplicity and truth of this working landscape, whatever the season.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 70mm; 200 ISO; starting at Silver Efex Pro 2’s Cool Tones 1 preset.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

30 Responses to SOMERSET LEVELS 132 – TEALHAM MOOR DROVE, LOOKING EAST (MONO)

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    I like the way path works as a leading line and eye get drawn to the tree behind. It has a minimal look which appeals to me.

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  2. drawandshoot says:

    Love the mood! Beautiful.

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  3. Malin H says:

    Road of life.
    You are really good at this, my friend – you are a fantastic landscape photographer. (I’ve “said” it before, and I mean it).

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, I know you mean it, and I’m very grateful. Its very good being out in landscapes, especially these flatlands – its so good to just take the time to look at them. 🙂

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  4. Meanderer says:

    Deliciously moody. I love your words: ‘simplicity and truth’. Old fashioned concepts today.

    Since you retired have you been reading any enlightening books?

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha >>> Day 2 >>> are you getting bored yet??? 🙂 I was thinking of you on Sunday evening – I bet it was really strange to realise that the following morning was not, for once, going to herald unhappy things – did it take some time to sink in?

      Oh, incidentally, and before I forget, absolutely LOVED obfuscate!!! 🙂 I mean, wow … oh wow …

      Thanks for liking the landscape – good stuff! Yes, simplicity and truth. Well, I’m Minimalist in all but physique, aren’t I – although I would very, very truly hate to be thought of as puritan, as for me such philosophies rank right down there alongside Political Correctness.

      And truth – we live in an age of image and hype, following the realisation that style can triumph over content – and image and hype are fine, so long as they are allied with some solid content … Maybe my openly questioning image and hype at work was one of the things that prodded them into suggesting my premature retirement. Thinking about it, I think that workwise (and maybe in other wises too) I’m like you, a square peg in a round orifice.

      I’m very bad about reading books – fiction puts me to sleep at night, and I browse through photographic books and Amateur Photographer while tippling >>> and then I get ideas which I scribble down, only to read them the next morning with OMG!!! ever on my lips! 🙂

      I don’t think I’m an especially religious person, but I planned to think a bit more about my spiritual (= single malt?) side during retirement. I’m violently anti the Christian religions, and I’ve turned instead to things more Earth-centred, specifically Paganism. I’m no great worshipper, but Paganism does dovetail extremely well with my love and appreciation of natural things, and I got an excellent book from Amazon, that is a fascinating read that really lays out in simple terms what Paganism is all about, and which makes many things very clear. It is “Paganism: an introduction to earth-centred religions”, by Joyce and River Higginbotham – ISBN 13: 978-0-7387-0222-3 (the 13 may not be part of the ISBN, and may obfuscate matters). I recommend this book, if you’re looking for a think about such matters, incl life in general.

      I hope you’re fine, M – and that you’re busy relaxing, taking a break, and being! A 🙂

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      • Meanderer says:

        I rarely get bored – there’s so much to find out about! I’ve slipped into the break from work very easily and am pleased to be finding myself again. I like your version of the square peg thing – although I could never describe myself as square, which is why I invert it 😉

        I’ve never fitted into group things – I’m far too idiosyncratic. Have you ever come across the MBTI personality indicator? Do an internet search on ‘INFJ’ for some insight into how I fare. I have you down as an ‘ESTP’ but we’ll see 😉 I’m currently reading Carl Jung on the matter – extremely enlightening!

        As for spirituality, I cast my net far and wide. We have many books here in our (ever-increasing) library on such matters.

        Oh – pleased you loved ‘obfuscate’. I came across it on an OU course many years ago. It seemed just right for yesterday’s post.

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          I’m not sure I’m into finding out about things any more, although geological, and cosmological things too, can still press my button, as long as I’ve remembered to sew it back on that is.

          But yes, I’m with you on group things, not sure I’m too much of what the present day is pleased to call a team player. No, strangely enough, the MBTI indicator has been below my event horizon >>> and I’ve just googled ESTP and am not sure I wouldn’t settle for a woolly cardigan – OK, humour the INFJ, … “Concrete in speech and utilitarian in action, they are smooth operators. The ESTP knows everyone who matters and everything there is to do because they are very resourceful, always knowing where the fun and action is.” .. you think this me …???? I make a point of knowing people who matter? How can that be when, to me, nobody matters – well, not in that sense, anyway?

          OK, OK, outgoing, witty, observant, resourceful, troubleshooter (or problem solver in my words) and possibly unpredictable … but smarmy, competitive, sporty????? And you’re into Carl Jung too? OMG! Twice! With chips, haha!!!!!!!! 🙂

          I suppose I’m a lensman. After a life in science, analysis and observation, I like to see the beauty in all things and, if I can, make images from that beauty. I love the creativity, and I love using words too. And I love Nature, and good beer and cider.

          And, long ago, I worked for the embryonic Open University, doing postdoc research (or did I play more tennis and drink more single malts?) and helping supervise their doctoral students in geological fieldwork – we may have rubbed shoulders although I have a feeling you weren’t doing Earth Sciences.

          As ever, I hope you’re fine! A 🙂 🙂 🙂

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          • Meanderer says:

            Maybe not ESTP then 🙂 Just a bit of fun. Of course it is impossible to ‘know’ anyone very well from internet communication. My reasoning was that you seem more extrovert than introvert (E), you seem to communicate in a concrete, down to earth, way rather than in an abstract way (S), and you appear more analytical than emotional (T). I think perhaps the (P) is where I went wrong. Also, just because you seem outgoing here on the interweb doesn’t mean you don’t need down time from all that energy-giving.

            I do find this kind of thing very interesting, however, and am finding that Jung is the authority on the matter – although his books are quite hard-going!

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            • Adrian Lewis says:

              Yes, just a bit of fun – and of course “knowing” someone from internet communication is difficult – its like forming a physical image of someone I converse with on the phone – I have NEVER been right! They always look disconcertingly different.

              Yes, I’m more extrovert than introvert – but maybe a bit of a mixture when it comes to the concrete and abstract, and analytical and emotional, pairs. After a life in science and analysis, a friend is stunned that I can produce “arty” photos. What did she say … “If anyone had asked me who took these photos, you would have been the last person I’d have thought of” … I’ve never spoken to her again … no, that’s not true!!!!!! 🙂

              Yes, I guess I need downtime from outgoingness – haha! >>> = contemplatively tippling! 🙂 My raison d’etre … well, I’ve always liked fruit ….

              I both admire you and am appalled by the fact that you’re reading Jung – wow, that’s far too heavy for me! From your vocabulary(!!!) and from conversing with you for two years or more, I get the impression that you’re a highly intelligent, intellectual and well educated person. Am I right??? Please don’t come back with “Dunno, do I, Squire?” ….

              I hope you have a good weekend, M! High pressure is moving in, and its looks like we’re in for some better weather at last – I might get out and about more next week. A 🙂

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  5. RobynG says:

    So dramatic and mysterious!

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  6. I see what you mean. Everything being drawn to that tree. What an eye! You’re good!!
    xxx

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  7. iosatel says:

    Great work!

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  8. bananabatman says:

    This is rather good Adrian. A great composition leading towards the tree, and a really moody image from that bleak February day. Dare I say, that I can imagine the Ghost of Tealham Moor appearing somewhere along this track? 🙂

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Dave, thank you for your kind words! If you see a very pale being along this track, it will probably be me, trying to keep warm – an offer of a hip flask would be most welcome!

      But, seriously, I would like nothing more than to encounter an apparition out in these wilds, I would relish the experience. The nearest that I have been to a ghost was in a pub near West Harptree, on the northern flanks of the Mendips, when an ex-partner of mine, whom had been seeing ghosts throughout her life, suddenly stopped eating, went white as a sheet, and said “There’s something here!”.

      She could see a tall woman clad in dark clothes standing next to our table – but I could see nothing. Later that evening, a small child saw a dog in a totally empty room – it was quite a night! I roamed through the pub’s rambling reaches, hoping that something would appear, but to no avail. Adrian

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  9. I love the starkness of your b/w landscapes. I think I have said it before that they remind me of Don McCullin’s work. This one is superb

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hello James – yes, I think you have compared my pictures with Don McCullin’s before and, as then, the compliment pleases me extremely, as I’m a huge fan of his photography – thank you! – quite simply, I’m honoured.

      I’ve read his autobiography, and I love his book “Don McCullin In England” – and of course Don has retired down into deepest rural Somerset to get away from his very harrowing war years – and “In England” has some dark pictures from the Levels – in fact one of them looks very much like my main, Tealham-Tadham stamping ground. I was also lucky enough to get hold of Don’s “Open Skies” and this is full of dark, brooding landscapes.

      I have Minimalist leanings, and I don’t like photographing the picturesque. Some of my landscapes are higher key, but I do see beauty in starkness and bleakness – and this is only encouraged by having Silver Efex Pro to hand! Do you use this software? If not, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

      Thank you again for your kind words. Adrian

      Like

  10. Sue Vincent says:

    I love this one, Adrian!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, Sue, glad it hits you! Would you like me to send you a full quality jpeg of it?

      You’re like me this Sunday morning, up bright and early – you always seem to be an early bird. But I intend subsiding with some delicious Duvel beer this afternoon – I seem to be getting more of a morning person than ever now that I’ve retired – and the striking thing is that it will soon be a year since I stopped working! Time shoots by!

      How is Nick doing? Still frenetically photographing? I hope he’s fine. A 🙂

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      • Sue Vincent says:

        Hi Adrian… oh yes please! That would be wonderful!

        Yep.. another 5am start here.. reluctantly I might add, but if you are awake what else are you going to do? I can’t just lie in bed… and anyway, Ani seems to know as soon as I open my eyes, and my presence is required to open the back door 🙂

        Nick is spending a lot of time in the gym at present and so not getting out as much. x

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Right, I’ll email one in a moment – enjoy!

          Oh I know exactly what you mean – if awake and its not a truly insane hour, what else is there to do but get up? I’m just the same – but I do enjoy a siesta after lunch, that’s very luxurious >>> but it probably doesn’t help my sleep patterns – but who cares?! 🙂 A

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