Looking towards the East and West Wastes, south of Godney, on the Somerset Levels; 29 May 2014.

I thought that they are just names on a map but, as I was pulled over in the entrance to this track and sucking down hot coffee in the rain, a farmer appeared and told me that the people around here call the flatlands out there the Wastes, the East and West Wastes.  And perhaps grateful for someone to talk to in this desolate spot on this wet and early morning, he started telling me about the big cats that roam this area – and another day I made an abortive attempt to find them.

There are several converging lines in this picture – the rough track (known as a drove hereabouts), the water-filled ditch (known as a rhyne), the horizon, and the pale wedges of pasture on either side of the rhyne and drove.  All of these linear features converge on that large and isolated tree, the nearest tree to us, which is the focal point in the composition.  For quite some time now, I have seen that rounded, dark mass not as a tree but as an explosion, as a shell or bomb landing maybe.  But how that interpretation fits in with this most tranquil of rural landscapes I cannot explain.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 18mm; 800 ISO;  Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset.



    • Thank you, Helen, thank you! Well, here are the quintessential Levels – I managed a trip down there early on Friday, it was even more deserted than it usually is! Also me wondering if that was a farewell trip: we will just have to await events. Hope you’re fine, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am self isolating because of underlying health issues but cycling or walking every day. I am very lucky to live on the edge of a village so I don’t see many people. How are you managing?


        • I’m ok, the lockdown doesn’t bother me too much really. I go out for highly restorative early morning walks around the suburbs here, always with a camera in my pocket, but my mind’s not 100% into photography at the moment, and the earlier sunrises make for less interesting light – but there will be darker mornings from Sunday so we’ll see. There are very few pedestrians about in the early morning, and most of them are right into social distancing. 🙂

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