Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor, seen from Westhay Moor; 30 Oct 2014.

An iconic landmark, of worldwide renown perhaps, on the Somerset Levels.  Glastonbury is actually on the edge of the Levels, where these flatlands give way inland to higher and more solid ground, but its unique outline – a low, conical hill topped by the tower of a ruined church – can be seen from many miles around, and especially so from the flatlands that lie between it and the sea.

And no matter how far it is away it is in the distance, whenever I see this unique landmark, I experience a never failing feeling of belonging, of being at home.


I’ve talked about the subject of this image, what this image portrays.  But what about the image itself, irrespective of its subject matter?  It is slightly unconventional – a muddy, dark brown foreground with pale streaks that merges upwards with a thin band of silhouetted trees, and then with a very bluish landscape above.  Well, the muddy foreground is just that, a muddy field of stubble – the pale, cut stalks of maize, shorn, tired, reclining, in dark Levels mud.

And this image’s processing is crude – I’ve merely quite severely underexposed it using Levels and Curves.  I am not of course saying that there is anything wrong with such “crude” manipulation – those of you who know me know that, for me, anything visual goes, there are no rights or wrongs – this is an article of faith with me – we are all different and we all have differing visual tastes and opinions.

But I can’t say that I like this image a lot – except in that its a slightly different take on things >>> and that it is different – an experiment perhaps – is the reason why it is displayed here.  What do you think of it?

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO; underexposure post-capture.

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.


  1. Meanderer says:

    I really like the strong foreground of brown stubbled land. It places the Tor in a somewhat earthly composition rather than its usual mystical space up in the clouds. The image pulls all the Natural landscape together, but one is in no doubt of the importance of the Tor even if it is away in the distance here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      That’s a good point about making the Tor more earthly, M, I see just what you mean – and, yes, as you say, the Tor is important, but its also “grounded” as it were – that’s an interesting insight, my friend – thank you! A 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. paula graham says:

    For me, but what do I know, there is too much ‘mud’ , how about only half of it and ending up with a wide angled view of the lovely Tor?


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hello, Paula! Looking at things one way, as Alan Frost did below, you’re quite right, there is too much mud, and cropping it out would turn the image into something more palatable. But, Devil’s Advocate maybe, I’m not sure that that’s my aim here. After all, there are myriads of eminently presentable pictures of the Tor, but this is a different look, manufactured with little aforethought and by a dubious process – is this the photographic equivalent of grunge??? Adrian


  3. alan frost says:

    I always enjoy a bit of experimentation and why not?! From my point of view there is too much of the dark foreground with little or no detail, so a crop of the bottom third might work better. Having said that, this would be a rather ‘conformist’ approach and perhaps its better to be different and ‘non conformist’! After all photography is about being creative and not adhering to a set of rules, hence the reason I like to follow your blog. Many thanks for all your entries which I very much enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Alan, that’s very good to hear, thank you very much indeed! To be honest, I hadn’t thought about cropping this at all, I just obtained the effect and went with the full frame. But you’re right on both counts, taking off the bottom third might enhance it aesthetically, but it is sort of “the right / done thing to do”.

      I very much like your words “After all photography is about being creative and not adhering to a set of rules,”, that’s exactly what I believe in – and these blogs are an excellent place to experiment in, and to place the results of the experimentations before a large audience.

      I’m extremely happy to hear that you enjoy such experimentation and “rule-breaking”, and that this is the reason you’re following my blog – thank you, its very good to hear from you! Adrian

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One morning in the seventies I came in via the East, made a bend around a mountain (hill) slope and saw one of the most amazing vistas I ever experienced. In the centre was the Tor in the valley surrounded by mist. That combined with the early morning (sunrise) colours ….. That picture is the one I always carry with me. (I forgot my photo-equipment….).

    Herman 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sallyann says:

    I guess the hill to me looks a little like a beacon, something to strive towards, a direction to aim for to find the way out of the dark foreboding foreground.
    However, if like Brer Rabbit, you’ve grown up in the briar patch then it’s very easy to see why it would be a welcome symbol of comfort and home.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Something to strive towards – that’s a very apt description for the Tor. Not that I believe the Glastonbury legends, tho I would very much like to, but rather, to my tiny mind at least, the Tor symbolises something good and worthwhile – as you say, worth striving towards. The Somerset Levels are a magical place to me, a wonderful, unpretentious and simple place to be – and I suppose that Glastonbury is the icing on the cake.

      And oh yes, its a dark foreboding foreground, but that darkness hides a wealth of little beings who are happy not to be seen too easily, and who are doing very nicely thank you.

      As always, I value your views and interpretations. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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