ARCHIVE 456 – SWANS OVER TEALHAM

 

 


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Mute Swans about to land on flooded Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 7 Feb 2014.

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

Much against good sense, I ventured down onto the Levels recently, to my habitual haunts on Tealham and Tadham Moors.  Not daring to take my usual cross-country route because of the many places where even small amounts of flooding might cut it, I drove down the main A38 road south from Bristol to Highbridge, and then went eastwards into the flatlands along another, relatively large road.  All was well on these main roads, but as soon as I got onto the smaller lanes, problems with water appeared.

Tealham and Tadham were mostly submerged, with just just the roads sticking up above the waters and little traffic about, but the floods in this more northerly part of the Levels are nothing like those further south, south of the Polden Hills, where whole villages are being overwhelmed, main roads have been cut for weeks, cutting edge pumping technology has been brought in from Holland, and the Army has been called in to help the local people.

This image is starting to look rather unphotographic, more like a painting maybe, and I always feel good when this happens.  Henrietta Richer and Dave Battarbee have both made suggestions about this image, which I’ve incorporated.  

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO. 

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ARCHIVE 455 – CATTLE BESIDE THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


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A misty morning on the Somerset Levels, looking east along the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  A calm scene, with the softest of light breezes, and no other sounds except the soft shuffling and snorting of a small group of cattle that have come down to the water’s edge to drink.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 270mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s High Key 2 preset; 28 Aug 2013.

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ARCHIVE 451 – COAST AT PORTHLEVEN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The beach at Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

I tried this image in straight black and white, but the subtle colour of the beach sand and the vast shore defences adds something.  The mist and sea spray also help.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset and selectively restoring colour.

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ARCHIVE 445 – EARLY MORNING LIGHT ALONG TRIPPS DROVE

 

 


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Early morning light along Tripps Drove, Godney Moor, Somerset Levels; 26 Jul 2012.

I’ve been thinking about doing something more impressionist for sometime, and this early morning stroll along Tripps Drove brought wonderful light – but there were horseflies too so it wasn’t all beautiful going!  Gaussian blur provides the dreaminess.

Click upon the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 452 – GOING TO WORK, TOTNEY DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Going to work – at high speed – over pretty dreadful, single track roads in the wilds of Somerset.  Becoming temporarily airborne is a feature of these exciting rides. 

Click into the image to in a larger version in a separate window – highly recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 262mm; 200 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a raw file, using the Graphite profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 14 Feb 2020.
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ARCHIVE 444 – LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST AND WEST WASTES (MONO)

 

 


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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.

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THOUGHTS 8 – THE TIDE’S IN

 

 


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Weston-super-Mare, in Somerset, is my home town, and I often ramble on about the great heights of the tides along this coast, which are second in the world only to those in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Watching the local news this morning, my thoughts are again pushed in this direction.  This week, 13.5 metre (44.2 foot) tides have quite literally come ashore in Weston, spilling over the sea wall onto the seafront but not causing extensive damage.  Low lying parts of Bristol, around the harbour, have also been flooded.

I have no pictures of these floods, but the one above gives some idea of what Weston routinely faces at certain times of year.  Its early October, and I’m up on the hill to the north of the town, looking south across Weston Bay towards the high peninsula of Brean Down.  This is high tide, and the bay is filled with rollers being driven towards the sea defences by a westerly gale.

Am I proud of these great tides, proud of they’re being second highest in the world?  I wouldn’t say proud, but this is where I’m from and, to some extent, this is a part of my background, this is a part of me.

(Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended )
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SOMERSET LEVELS 451 – SUNRISE, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Looking east on Tealham Moor, as the sun rises.  Using a very wide angle lens, and exposing for the highlights.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a raw file, using the Acros + Red Filter film simulation; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 14 Feb 2020.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 449 – MALLARD ON THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 

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A pair of Mallard, one of our commonest ducks, on the calm waters of the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  The Drain is completely artificial, having been dug to help carry away water from this flat and frequently flooded landscape, some of which is below sea level.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a raw file, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom and Capture NX2; the North Drain, on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 14 Feb 2020.
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ARCHIVE 437 – ON HOLIDAY, TOGETHER

 

 


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A couple strolling over the rocks at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO;  this picture was produced by dragging the midpoint tab on Levels & Curves quite radically to the right, which has had the effect of darkening the image’s darker tones – in fact it has reduced them to black. The paler tones are relatively unaffected – and I’ve given them a lot of warmth in Capture NX2, to boost their colours.

Reality?  Definitely not!  But do I like it? Yes!
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