SOMERSET LEVELS 418 – THE ROAD BEHIND THE BEACH (MONO)

 

 

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A wet and windy morning, where the Somerset Levels run down to the sea at Sand Bay, just north of Weston-super-Mare.  This is the little road, scarcely wider than my little car, that runs along behind the beach.  There are puddles from the morning’s rain, bright yellow lines along the road’s edge that ban stopping – because any vehicle that stops here immediately blocks the road (its hardly rocket science!) – and there is the tree arched over the road that bears testimony to the strong westerly gales that often batter this low and very exposed coast.  The actual beach is off beyond the large bank on the right, while low, flat farmland stretches inland from the road’s left.

This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

This little road appears insignificant, but it has great significance to me.  For it was along here, probably around 1960 or so, that three of us keen amateur geologists rode on our bikes, making our first ever “geological expedition”, to collect samples of the brachiopods, corals and other fossils from Sand Point, the long promontory of Carboniferous Limestone that is behind the camera.

And later, in 1967-8, when birding had infected my very soul, it was along this road that our two highly enthusiastic biology teachers brought us out in the school minibus very early on Saturday mornings, to look at the birdlife.  I remember those two teachers – now long dead of course – with a lot of affection and admiration.  They were enthusiastic, they communicated their enthusiasm to us youngsters, and they contributed their spare time putting us in touch with – and getting us interested in  – the Natural World.  One of us (not me!!!) went on to become a Professor (in the British sense) of Biochemistry and, old as they then were, the surviving member of this biological duo, together with the Prof’s old chemistry teacher, actually attended the professorial inauguration ceremony >>> that everyone should have such dedicated and enthusiastic teachers!

And finally, also, far more recently, Sand Bay was the subject of my very first and rather uncertain post on FATman Photos, on 26 April 2011 – that post can be found here .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera raw processing and cropping; Beach Road, Sand Bay, north of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 4 Oct 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 416 – LIGHTHOUSE (MONO)

 

 


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The lighthouse on Flat Holm island in the Bristol Channel, on a stormy day.  In the background, the coast of south Wales.

The Somerset Levels run out westwards into the sea – into the Bristol Channel in fact – and on this low coast are two rather cheap and cheerful seaside towns, Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea.  The heyday of the family seaside holiday is long past, and both of these towns are rather feeling the economic pinch.  This coast is notable for having the second highest tidal range in the world – 43 feet (13 m) – and also for the fact that, since the Bristol Channel is in fact the estuary of the River Severn, in addition to some nice sandy beaches there are also vast amounts of glutinous estuarine mud – Weston-super-Mud being the rather unkind jibe.

But Weston is also notable to me for another reason: it is my home town, the place of my youth, some of it altered out of all recognition now of course, but still filled with a vast and undying store of memories.

And so to a visit there on a wet and windy day – its only 20 miles or so from Bristol.  And standing high above the sea, bracing myself against the gale, I looked out over the seascape of my youth.  There in the murk was Flat Holm island, not a part of Somerset (or even of England) at all, but rather the most southerly point of Wales.  A sudden break in the overcast, a fleeting moment of sunlight, and I managed several frames.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset; looking west from Upper Kewstoke Road, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 4 Oct 2019.

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OUTER SUBURBS 139 – EARLY MORNING 22

 

 


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Landscape – mostly vertical – with streetlights, traffic signs, trees, telegraph pole and early morning murk.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 26 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 415 – EARLY MORNING 19 (MONO)

 

 


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A stormy morning, and Westhay Moor Drove – one of the many dead straight roads in this relatively recently created, lowland landscape – makes off eastwards towards the wild sky of the sunrise.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-25 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Acros+R profile; Westhay Moor Drove, Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels southeast of Wedmore; 9 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 414 – SPIDER ON A BRIDGE

 

 


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A life spent hanging from the girders of Eastern Moor Bridge, a narrow structure crossing Cripps River on Liberty Moor.

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Click onto each image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Techniques: upper image – Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile;  lower image – X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens; 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia Soft profile; Eastern Moor Bridge on Liberty Moor, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 2 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 412 – EARLY MORNING 18 (MONO)

 

 


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Early morning light washes across the wooded slopes of Ben Knowle Hill and the flat pastures of Hay Moor.  An idea of scale is given by the field gate and solitary cow in the foreground – best seen with the image enlarged.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 260mm; 1600 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a Raw file, using the Graphite profile; minimal further processing in Lightroom;  Ben Knowle Hill, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 13 Sept 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 411 – EARLY MORNING 17

 

 


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Shott’s Farm on Ash Moor, bathed in the haze and glow of early morning.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Shott’s Farm on Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 2 August 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 406 – EARLY MORNING 15

 

 


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Early morning: mist clearing above a field of maize on Ash Moor, revealing the higher ground of Callow Hill in the backdrop.

And if I were asked what this great dense bank of tall green plants irresistibly reminds me of, it can be nothing other than the menace of the  encircling triffids in The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. 

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equivalent); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Astia/Soft profile; along Ashmoor Drove, on Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 23 Aug 2019.
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ARCHIVE 421 – EARLY MORNING 14

 

 


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Sunrise over the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, southwest Kenya; Nov 1977.

Well, a 37 year old colour transparency that resided for over a decade in the heat and humidity of the tropics.  The colours are altering slightly, a little too much purple or mauve in there now, I think.

But does this matter, is this important?

I could refrain from posting this image because it is no longer a totally accurate representation of the scene – or simply enjoy it for what it now is.

To me, the former option would be far more than a tad puritanical, somewhere along a long road to nowhere perhaps.  Somewhere I never want to be.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban areas – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 .

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 405 – EARLY MORNING 11

 

 


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There’s a lot of detail here – this picture is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Pollarded Willows beside the River Sheppey, early on a misty morning.  Being top heavy due to the pollarding, all of these trees are leaning in towards the river; ultimately they will topple over  – there is more about the ancient practice of pollarding here .

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban areas – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor at 82mm; 6400 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a Raw file, using the Charcoal profile; further processing in Lightroom, including the use of a split tone; the River Sheppey beside Swanshard Lane, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 23 Aug 2019.
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