MENDIP HILLS 24 – CATTLE ON THE SOUTHERN SLOPES OF NORTH HILL (MONO)

 

Cattle on the southern slopes of North Hill

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There is a lot of detail in this shot, and so I’ve uploaded it as a higher quality image than usual >>> click onto it and it will open at larger size in a separate window.

Cattle on the southern slopes of North Hill, east of Priddy; 7 Aug 2014.

I was up on the Mendips earlier this week, in landscapes from my youth.  I started off walking in East Water Lane, a favourite spot, and loved the open hills, the cooler than of late temperatures, and the general peace and quiet.  As I was kneeling very low in the road with a wideangle zoom, a vehicle approached and stopped – the friendly and laughing farmer said he’d thought I was a speed trap!

As you walk up this single track, dead end lane, views open out eastwards, and there were rugged limestone walls crisscrossing the landscape, with a black and white mass of Friesian cattle huddled up against one of them.  And so to something quite uncommon for me – seeing a scene and at once thinking about it in mono.

A wall cuts diagonally across the frame, with rougher and darker pasture – maybe not mown by cows for sometime – to the left.  A second wall comes horizontally across the frame, more or less on the upper compositional third and mainly obscured by the cattle – until it terminates at the first wall.   There are horizontal undulations on the hillside above the cows, together with striations that I can only imagine to be  marks left by farming machinery grass cutting maybe.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 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 MENDIP HILLS 24 – CATTLE ON THE SOUTHERN SLOPES OF NORTH HILL (MONO)

  1. Malin H says:

    Hahaha… A speed trap… Lmao! :))
    Lovely post, my friend. And a wonderful image. You already know that I love cows! Great tones and fantastic composition!

    Like

  2. Meanderer says:

    Love the angles here – and the sense of peace and openness.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Glad you do – thanks, M! Certainly an open and peaceful place, rejuvenating really – but might not be too good for me as there are really very good breakfasts in a farm restaurant not very far off!

      Leading a U3A group on images and seeing is materialising – most of the cash in Bristol is in the north, and I’m with some people who are promoting U3A in our Poor South! Table tennis also looms, tho I really don’t know if I’m physically up to that any more – playing for uni was 40 years ago, and I was shocked at how bad I was in 1990 >>> and THAT’S 24 years ago!!!!! A

      Like

  3. Sonali Dalal says:

    love the way it is composed. horizontal lines of cows and vertical line of fence make a wonderful composition.

    Like

  4. I’m sitting here watching a program on cattle herding! We are on the same wave length! Almost. 🙂
    I like the lines that come so naturally to this shot.

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  5. Very nice! I really like all of the lines, intersections and textures…and very decent of the cows to line up so neatly too! 🙂

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha!, thank you, yes, cows do what they’re told – for others maybe, but not for me. Time and again I’ve seen farmers’ young sons wielding large sticks as they herd these lumbering beasts around – they have self-confidence, with not the slightest doubt that the animals will do exactly as they’re told – but I don’t have that ability! A 🙂

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  6. krikitarts says:

    A palette of textures and shades, very nicely parceled into most-pleasing thirds. Though the fence runs from corner to opposite corner, its curve is such that the lower-left portion seems only half the size of the upper-right, creating yet another impression of thirds. It’s hard to imagine the manual labor that must go into creating a wall like that.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Good summary, Gary, and I’m pleased that you like it, thank you. Yes, Mendip dry stone walls, solid and rugged, and most probably made from the Carboniferous Limestone that makes up the bulk of these hills. A lot of work has gone into these walls, and the one in the foreground at least seems to have curtains of wire netting on each side, maybe to stop stock and/or the elements dislodging blocks. A

      Like

  7. Love the textures in this one.

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  8. paula graham says:

    Nice, large one would not open for me..probably due to storm and BT

    Like

  9. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks Adrian. A very evocative photograph. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

    Like

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