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Tombstone beside the Church of St Mary, West Harptree, Somerset; 10 Sept 2015.

West Harptree is at the southern end of the Chew Valley, right under the looming presence of the sombre northern slopes of the Mendip Hills.  I drive through this village en route to the Mendips and also the Somerset Levels, and many times I’ve thought of stopping off for a stroll around with a camera – but the more distant (and exciting) places always call and I’ve never done it.  However on a lovely autumn day, and fancying a look at somewhere completely new – to try and get the photographic juices flowing – I at last got around to it.

I spent most of my time in the little churchyard, humming Florence & The Machine numbers, and looking at anything and everything for a long time.  It was of course a pleasure just being there, the churchyard being something of a quiet and deserted backwater. And, as an excellent article in Black+White Photography recently instructed, I emptied my mind of all extraneous thoughts and simply gazed around – and felt good for doing that.  I also found that humming and singing the songs had a very beneficial effect too – it put me in the mood and, I think, heightened my perceptions – and  it was, quite simply, enjoyable – who wants more???

You can find out more about West Harptree here.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset and selectively restoring colour.

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. truly Zen dear Adrian!! Beautiful peaceful image and post!


  2. Sallyann says:

    I find church yards relaxing too… maybe not so on a dark, damp, blustery evening, but then I’ve never been to one in those conditions yet.
    There is definitely something to be said for the other train of thought in your comments though. With the ups and downs at home at the moment, its been quite good to have work to fall back on to keep me grounded.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m going to write a little more about the emptying of the mind – I’m gearing up for it – but don’t have to change up too many gears to empty mine ….

      Appalling things happened, quite long ago now, and – strange as it may seem – the normality of work was an anchor and life-saver. A

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meanderer says:

    That’s lovely, Adrian. Yes – emptying the mind as a prerequisite for creativity. It’s funny though – when I was very stressed with my job I found photography was a natural release. This year, going through another stressful event, the creativity has all but dried up. Maybe it’s because I am thinking TOO much about things. Food for thought.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, thinking too much – I’m going to post more about this, soon I hope. And a point is that, awful as it can be, the workplace can provide some relief and normality in times of stress that originates from elsewhere, and so that may be why you have been “de-creativised” – I’m NOT suggesting a return to the grindstone as a cure(!!!), but this effect may be something to recognise and take on board. A


  4. bluebrightly says:

    I have always loved roaming around in old cemeteries. The idea of humming to your self and emptying your mind seems lovely, as the photo is.


  5. Wonderful post, Adrian! I love the image – the vine growing up the stone is an interesting metaphor of life and death.


  6. krikitarts says:

    I love it when I can afford the luxury of–as you say–emptying my mind for a while and simply observing and appreciating what’s there. It definitely heightens sensitivity and can often help to lead to discoveries one might otherwise have easily overlooked. I really like your very subtle, almost subliminal color restoration in the stone and the ivy.


  7. paula graham says:

    Excellent article and accompanying photo. I shall try your humming for its beneficial effect on the senses. Oh..Kingfisher by my pond…now that would cheer anyone up!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Oh yes, Kingfisher will do it >>> the list of birds seen in or from our garden is a tiny relic of my birding decades. For ages, this list stood at 59 and I’d given up hope (and interest too) of reaching the magic(?) six zero – when a Kingfisher spent a single day on our neighbours’ pond. Once again, I envy your wild environs! And the humming – I’m weird, I know, but I’ve noticed this effect before – making the noise, or singing (which may be the same thing …), does excite and loosen up the mind – maybe its like the muzak that blares in shops, in an effort to make us buy more / non-essentials.


This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

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