This image is best viewed enlarged – when in my blog, click onto this image to open a larger version in a separate window.

I drew the car to a halt in the little village of West Littleton and there were strange sheep on one side of the road and a backlit, blazing red telephone box on the other.

And opposite Home Farm there was also a very striking line of trees that had just been pollarded, which is to say that had just had their branches removed.  They looked just like clenched fists being raised up towards the sky.  And when I mentioned this to an amiable young man who had come over to chat, not only did he fully agree, but he also turned out to be the one who had done the pruning and who was obviously very proud of his work.  I should have done two things but didn’t – I should have asked him what sort of trees they are, and I should have asked if I could take his photograph – perhaps a portrait, and then one with the shorn trees as a backdrop.

Anyway, do please be assured that trees are not harmed by this age-old process.  By the middle of summer, the shorn crowns of these pollards will be covered in healthy new growth – new twigs, branches and leaves.  You can find more on pollarding – on the Somerset Levels, where it is very widely practised – here.

I’ve left the contrails in the lower right of the shot, as they provide some interest in the dark(ened) sky, as well as slanting in towards the tree and thus (marginally) emphasising its importance in the image.

I’m trying to do new things – to take new approaches – with these Outlands posts.  As well as the images of the sheep and the phone box referenced above, the main context for this first Outlands journey can be found here;  other images from that journey are here, herehere and here.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 84mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Business Portrait preset and adding a light coffee tone; 7 Dec 2016.

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. this is a stunning image Adrian!! amazing textures!


  2. I find the starkness of this image mysterious and therefore effective.

    Did you consider waiting a while for the contrails to dissipate and become wispy?


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m glad this gets to you, Steve – thank you! One of the things about blogging is that it facilitates continuous exposure to other people’s thoughts and ideas, which I find both stimulating and invaluable. Re your question then, no I didn’t consider waiting for the contrails to dissipate because, prior to your mentioning it, it was a course of action which, in 60 or so years of photography, has never ever occurred to me. This is not at all because what you are suggesting is in any way wrong, but simply because I’ve never thought of it. However, having said that, I usually keep on the move when out taking pictures – I read somewhere that our legs are amongst our most valuable photographic tools – and I rarely wait around so the chances are, even if I had thought of what you quite rightly suggest, I wouldn’t have had the patience to do it. Adrian


      • I usually don’t wait around, either, at least not for the specific purpose of having contrails dissipate. That said, I sometimes find myself taking pictures in a place long enough for clouds to change considerably during my stay. I have been known to keep working while I wait for clouds to drift to a position that better sets off my subject(s).


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          I’m only really conscious of clouds in terms of whether or not they are going to obscure the sun, because I very much value the sun’s light i.e. over and above ordinary daylight. As time goes on at the moment, I’m finding myself more and more looking for good (and especially directional) light falling onto things, but I don’t think I use clouds compositionally as much as you do – as always, we are all individuals, we are all different in our approaches to things – which I’m sure is a very good thing. I value your thoughts, Steve, thank you! Adrian


  3. What a fabulous capture, bud. And yes the contrails belong. For some reason, it very briefly made me think of Salvador Dali. (Why am I so weird?)



    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I can understand the Dali thing – maybe we’re both weird! Glad you agree about the contrails – photography is such a subjective thing, but then that’s one of its attractions. Thanks for your good words, ATP! ATP xxxXXXXXXX!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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: