Its best to see this image full-size: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

I’m A Creature Of The South.  Born and brought up in Somerset, I lived in various places before putting down roots – for longer than I have ever stayed anywhere else in my life – in Bristol.  And whenever I go outside of Bristol – for holidays, photography, birding, whatever – I almost always go south, down into Somerset, Dorset (ahhh, Dorset …), Devon or Cornwall.  Why is this?  Well, somehow I just don’t feel at home going northwards, its not my country, I just don’t feel that I belong there – and so to the south, towards the sun and the soft accents, perhaps.

But en route to the M4 motorway, usually on family business, I pass through the southern end of the Cotswolds, a low line of limestone hills, and there I see attractive open, rolling farmland with freestone walls.  I’ve long thought about gently exploring this quiet and rural area with a camera – and thinking about it, as with many things, is as far as I’ve got.

But, last week,  2.5 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map firmly in hand, I at long last drove up into this countryside – and promptly found myself on a little road bordered by the counties of Wiltshire on my right and South Gloucestershire on my left.  I had a good day.  The place is simple and beautiful, always good attributes to my mind.  Whether I will venture there or indeed anywhere else outside my usual haunts again is another matter altogether, but who knows?  And so, a new Category for my blog – Outlands; new places, seeing what I can find.

And the image above?  Well, I’d planned where to go.  I left Bristol after the morning rush hour but still encountered appalling amounts of traffic speeding up towards the motorway.  There was nothing else to do but stay amongst all these hurtling vehicles but, just before hitting the motorway itself, I saw the Tolldown Farm crossroads in the distance, felt eternally grateful for a right filter lane, turned right from that filter lane – and was instantly on a little, more or less single track road making off eastwards through open farmland.

This was the sort of quiet country road I like, with plenty of places –  albeit quite muddy places – to pull the car over and get out and walk around.  So, pulling on the Wellington boots that are a fixture in my car, I did just that – while trying to keep a completely open mind about what I might photograph.  Winter landscapes came to mind, but how best to portray them?  I had the Fujifilm X-T1 camera with me, along with my two lenses (wide angle and telephoto zooms) and a spare battery, and so many things were possible – but what to do?

I looked right, into Wiltshire, and immediately recoiled from a great line of pylons marching along beside the road, with the knee-jerk thought that these metal monstrosities must at all costs be excluded from the rural idylls(!) that I had in mind to portray – but then why exclude them, why not make them a part of things?  Their skeletal forms are of course hard and stark, which fit in the winter landscape, which in a way personify Winter, so why not?

And so to the first image of the day – a bare winter landscape seen in black and white, with a faintly blue selenium tone to enhance Winter’s feel.  Bare fields, bare trees, a barely seen dark wall cutting the scene just below the skyline – all as this scene might have looked a century or more ago – apart from the four, gaunt metal legs of the vast metal tower with its undeniable proclamation of intrusive and overriding – but now essential –  modernity.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Floral preset and adding a selenium tone.

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. LensScaper says:

    Curiosity is a vital attribute of a photographer. That thinking that says: ‘I wonder what I will find if I go down that lane, or get round the back of that building’. Exploring new areas will always turn up new images and inspire us. I enjoyed reading this Adrian. And there is beauty to be found even in the objects that we love to hate, like Pylons. The contrast between the natural form of a stunted tree ad the angular forms of a pylon create a fine image.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Andy, thank you very much. I read somewhere ages ago that our legs are amongst our most powerful photographic tools and that’s never left me. Being out taking photos is of course about looking and seeing but, for me at least, its also about keeping moving, which is exactly the curiosity you’re talking about – sometimes I’m actually audibly telling myself “Move! … keep moving!” – which can be embarrassing if others are within earshot >>> but who cares??? I’m glad you like the picture – thank you! Adrian


  2. bluebrightly says:

    One has to work extra hard sometimes to find inspiration, and one has to be ever vigilant about those knee jerk reactions. I appreciate that you do both. (Oh, I love the word “Outlands”).


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Very glad “Outlands” hits you, I try to be creative with such nomenclature. Yes, we have to work extra hard – I read somewhere recently, the words of a great artist, that the one thing that art school had really taught him was never to be complacent – that’s so true. Thanks for your thoughts, it always good hearing from you. A 🙂


  3. Meanderer says:

    Love it, Adrian. I always enjoy seeing these giants striding the countryside. Good for you searching for fertile photographic pastures! Looking forward to seeing more.


  4. Very effective shot. I enjoyed the route you took to get it.


  5. What a wonderful way to make those ‘skeletal monstrosities’ take on an artist’s tone. And the narration, bud. How vivid is that? Reads like an old novel – maybe because those places you speak of are so foreign and distant to me or maybe because you words suggest poetry. You killed it, kiddo! This new chapter in your book is going to be fun to follow.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Love kiddo, and bud too – and I emailed you (as a “freak out first, ask questions later” attachment of course) today but you probably already know about that. And I’m so pleased that you enjoy my writing; I enjoy writing very much and its good to know its appreciated.

      Yes, this new chapter, two things really – I want it to be diverse and creative – but I don’t yet know how many other “outlands” I’m going to be visiting, although having said that I did really enjoy this first little tootle around quiet Cotswold lanes. Thanks again, bud!!! ATP xxxxxxxxXXXXXXX

      Liked by 1 person

  6. paula graham says:

    Sits well with me, very well!


  7. this is superb- the composition and light etc!!


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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: