Rising at 0430 yesterday, I drove on quiet, early morning roads through the valley of the River Chew and up over the Mendip Hills, and fetched up a couple of hours later beside the river, near the Somerset Levels village of Upper Godney.  And, as I backed the car off the narrow road, next to a little bridge, I found myself next to a field with sheep and their lambs.

I’d reversed the car quietly and slowly and, although regarding it with curiosity, the sheep had made no attempt to move.  But, thanks to a fence and vegetation, photographs from within the car were an impossibility and I knew that, once I emerged from the car, I’d be in a very different ball park indeed – the sheep would in all probability disappear over the horizon!

So everything was done very, very quietly and in extreme slow motion.   The car door was edged open a little and then a little more.  And then, the camera set up and ready, I inched – literally – out of the door, my eyes constantly searching the animals for the slightest sign of alarm.  Luckily it was an overcast but still and humid morning, and mild enough to walk around without a coat or sweater – it was a delight just being there.

The sheep glanced at me, stirred a little, and I froze.  Moving into a shooting position, a matter of a few feet, took over 10 minutes.  And I started very carefully taking pictures – wishing that the D800’s shutter didn’t make so much noise!

And here’s a first interpretation, heavily cropped, of one of the pictures.  As always, I like getting in close for animal portraits, but my 300mm telephoto didn’t get me right in there.  So I used the D800’s facility for producing APS-C sized images from its full frame sensor, a process which magnifies the focal length of lenses by 1.5 .  Nikon calls this DX format, as opposed to FX, which is full (35mm) frame size.

Click onto this image to open an enlarged version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor used in DX format to give a focal length of 450mm; 3200 ISO; Capture NX2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Triste 2 preset, selectively restoring colour to the eye, and adding a heavy cyanotype tone; 8 July 2016.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Sallyann says:

    At 4.30 in the morning I would have just been finishing my tea-break and heading into the last two and a half hours of my shift. 😊
    I’d probably be home for breakfast not long after your sandwich and flask of tea. 😊


  2. rocioph says:

    Enhorabuena por tu blog, te dejo el mio si te animas a seguirme!


  3. paula graham says:

    ha, ha, sheep seem to be the IN thing today!! Lovely and different.


  4. I love the eyes of goats. Wonderful capture and crop!


  5. krikitarts says:

    You’ve taken your minimalist urgings to a new level here, my friend. It’s the distilled essence of sheep, and your revisiting the subtle hint of color in the eye just, um, puts the dot on it. Great stuff!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Gary, thank you very much, my friend! Eye? Puts the dot on it?? Have you been at the catnip again???!

      Plus its excellent to hear from you, I was wondering where you were – and hoping that you weren’t incapacitated by your recent surgery. I hope you’re mending well. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • krikitarts says:

        The second new knee arrived just a little over 3 months ago now, and both are doing very well indeed, thank you very much. The snorkeling for around two hours nearly every day for a week was great physical therapy!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous, I just love the way you crop and that eye. Just makes me wanna draw it! Thank you!


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