Early morning on the Tealham-Tadham Moors, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 28 Aug 2013.

Rhyne (rhymes with seen) is the Somerset term for water-filled ditches that help drain the land and often, as here, act as field boundaries.  This rhyne’s surface is covered in floating waterweed and, in the foreground, are the tall, pointed leaves of wild iris, which love these waterside locations.

The two prominent trees are in the fact the ends of two rows of such trees that line the undulating, single track, tarmac road just visible lower right of them.  The two, pale sheets of corrugated iron set up against the rhyne’s bank on the right of the picture are held there by stout wooden stakes, in an attempt to prevent the road collapsing down into the mud and water. 

The point here being that there is no solid rock supporting this landscape.  Below this countryside are over 60 feet of sodden clays and peat – “rocks” easily demolished by your shovel if not by your bare hands – such that everything is soft, yielding and unstable.  Stand beside this road as a tractor goes by and you are suddenly rising and falling as if on some rural trampoline, which can be quite shocking for those unused to it.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with Sigma 12-24 zoom lens at 12mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and split toning with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Pinhole preset.

UPDATE: still a very favourite photo of mine, one that – in my eyes at least – will certainly stand the test of time.  No, it by no means depicts reality, but it is about a small, out of the way area of countryside that has a permanent place deep within me and, visually, it forcefully turns me on.  Technicalities?  Well, this image owes much to Silver Efex Pro 2 processing software, it would probably not have ended up looking like this without SEP2.  Reading about the photographic world, it emerges that SEP2 is very, very widely used by those with a love for black and white imagery.  And the other thing to mention here is my (now ancient) Sigma 12-24 zoom, which has facilitated this angle of view which is far wider than the human eye can achieve.  I call this lens ancient and, in digital terms it is – I first started using it with film cameras, shooting colour transparencies that I presented in slideshows – which maybe dates me a bit!  But since those far off days, Sigma has put this lens through two major updates, which have apparently improved image quality considerably.  The only downside to that is the cost of the latest update, £1600, which is significantly more than the cost of my recently acquired Fujifilm supercamera, the X-T2!  So I think I’ll just be sticking with my ancient 12-24 and, if it doesn’t give me “perfect” image quality, well, that’s just how it is – I’m not really into that degree of perfection, I don’t peer manically at pixels on screen, I’m more interested in the content of images, be it graphic or, sometimes, narrative.


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. I never get tired of your photos from this magical place. Stunning work.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Malin, thank you – it is a magical place but, I have to say, I’ve taken so many (thousands, I’m sure!) of photos there, that I’m starting to run out of inspiration, starting to repeat myself a little, so I’ve fewer new pictures from there now. Now, I simply go birding there, and if photos appear they do, and if they don’t, they don’t – haha no pressure!, this method works well. A 🙂


  2. The Levels. Fast becoming one of my favorite spots.


  3. bluebrightly says:

    An altogether interesting post – I’m sure I’d be caught off balance by that trembling earth…the image is wonderfully atmospheric, and wow, what a price tag on some of the lenses out there. Yes, the content and feeling behind many of your images is well served by the lenses you use, no need to drop another 1600 pounds,…and thanks for the pronunciation lesson, I wouldn’t have guessed…


  4. Wide and moody; fine shot!


  5. paula graham says:

    my friend…beautiful shot of one of my favourite areas …so much so that I am considering living there as it is super for wildlife , photography, it is great for cycling. What else is there in life! More when we meet.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well, this is a surprise, you living on the Levels!!! Yes, its certainly good for wildlife, cycling and photography. Any specific areas in mind? Where I usually go is, shall we say, a very basic, working landscape, and I suspect it might be a little north of where you’re thinking of – are thinking of south of the Polden Hills? A


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