Self-portrait with road chippings and dead leaves, along Swanshard Lane, north of Polsham, on the Somerset Levels; 24 Jul 2012.

Along Swanshard Lane, approaching Fenny Castle House, there is a large layby regularly used by the local council’s road maintenance department for the storage of bulk quantities of chippings and other road materials.  As I passed by yesterday the sun was slanting over the great mounds of debris, interesting shadows and textures were all around and the whole affair looked good for something wideangle.

Here my shadow falls on a mound of chippings rising up in front of me, some minor heaps produce an interesting line of shadows which my shadow intersects, and there are some richly coloured dead leaves around too.  The slopes of the mound were not vertical, but they appear so in the photo – to me they appear to be rising up almost vertically in front of me and I like this effect.

This is a prime candidate for conversion to mono, but I think the bright colours of the dead leaves add something living and organic.  I tried converting the shot to mono and then restoring the leaves’ colour, but the image looks better in straight colour.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 16mm; 320 ISO; manipulated with Capture NX2.


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. bluebrightly says:

    I like the color, too – black and white is too obvious, maybe. And I am always a bit drawn to those huge piles of stuff you see waiting to be used in one project or another, especially gravely department of transportation stuff. The piles are interesting by themselves, and you feel like playing in them, too, and messing them up…reminds me, years ago I saw a great drawing show of similar piles – dirt, I think, but they were just big, strong and loose drawings of piles of dirt, yet they had enormous presence. It was Grace Knowlton.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I know exactly what you mean about playing in piles of road gravel and messing them up, I get just the same urges! And I love the way the light plays over their shapes and contours. 🙂


  2. Malin Ellisdotter H says:

    I really like this one. It speaks to me… great work from a great friend. Hope you are well.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      My friend, thank you very much – glad this gets to you! Yes, I’m ok thanks – I have some minor surgery due, but it is minor and should be fine. Like your idea of a joint venture with Harrie! A 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nice. I think the bits of colour the leaves provide complements the whole.


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