SOMERSET LEVELS 428 – AUTUMN MORNING, JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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The single track tarmac of Jack’s Drove, with a water-filled ditch (a rhyne – rhymes with scene) on either side, makes off southwards across Tadham Moor, in the dull light of an autumn morning.

On the horizon the low line of the Polden Hills, that run from Glastonbury and Street down towards the coast near Bridgwater.  The main road along the top of these hills runs along the route of a road built by the Romans – who prudently kept out of the vast lakes and marshes that covered these lowlands in those days.

And on the right my disreputable old car, covered in lichen, cobwebs, mud, cow dung and thin, very weathered paint.  Years ago I worked, looked at birds and photographed in often desolate and remote areas, areas where my life might depend on the reliability of my vehicle, and ever since then I have never bothered in the slightest about vehicles’ appearance, but always insisted on absolutely thorough maintenance and servicing.  Reliability, for me, is always the name of the game.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Jack’s Drove on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 15 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 423 – TOTNEY DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Morning commute in the countryside: high speeds down narrow lanes.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format at 450mm; in-camera processing of raw file, starting at the Graphite profile; further processing of the jpeg in Lightroom; Totney Drove, on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 9 Sept 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 420 – ENTRANCE TO A FIELD

 

 


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Field gate, with baler twine.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 185mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid v2 profile and selectively desaturating colour; Capture NX2; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 25 Sept 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 395 – ANIMAL 9 (MONO)

 

 


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Mother and calf; Tadham Moor.

The Animal series looks – usually fairly closely – at a variety of creatures:

Farm cats: see this link for the first image of these photos and much context; there are other images of these cats from this series here 2 3 4 5 .

Roe Deer: 6 .

Cattle:  the first image, 7, has context;  8 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset and adding a light Coffee tone; beside the Magic Carpark on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 12 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 380 – ANIMAL 7 (MONO)

 

 


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A summer’s morning down on the Levels, and after a lot of early morning photography I was relaxing with hot coffee and a sandwich in a spot on Tadham Moor that I know as the Magic Carpark.  I’ve given it this somewhat strange name because, many years ago now, being in this little, quiet place helped me through terrible times in my life, and I’ve been coming here ever since.  And, after I’ve downed the very last of my very special Belgian beers, this is where my ashes will be scattered.  A wonderful and eminently simple little place.

On this particular morning, in the field next to the rough track that leads off south from the Carpark, there was a herd of cows, largely motionless, along with their calves.  And the more I looked at these cows, and at the morning’s light washing over them, the more I was drawn to them.  And so, putting down the coffee and picking up the Z 6, I walked slowly and quietly down the rough track towards them.

Arriving next to the cows, I kept very still and quiet and just looked at them.  Most were unconcerned by my presence, but this one, who had been lying down beside her calf, stood up to look at me, and advanced a few paces – and I was very glad of the water-filled ditch – the rhyne – that lay between us.  But, keeping silent and motionless paid off and, slowly raising the camera, I carefully started making images of this very placid scene.

I started this Levels’ Animal series with portraits of farm cats: see this link for the first image in this series, and much context; there are other images of these cats from this series here 2 3 4 5 .  Then came a picture of a deer 6 .

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 330mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 1 preset; the Magic Carpark, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 12 July 2019.
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A POST FOR SOMEONE, FAR AWAY

 

Someone has encountered health problems, someone is unwell.  Someone who is a good and long-time blogging friend, originally from around here but now living on the other side of the world.

Amongst other strategies, she is turning to her camera and to blogging as means of helping her cope and, far away as I am, I want to try to do something – however little – that is supportive.  She is in any case a very perceptive photographer of the Natural World and I have urged her to further immerse herself – and her camera – in Nature.

So for you, today, my friend, two things come to mind.  First, there is this link to the first of these (very few) Thoughts posts: I hope it will be meaningful to you.

Then, second, here are some images from the low, damp gentlenesses of the Somerset Levels.  Something to remind you of here perhaps but, in any case, somethings that are quiet, uncomplicated and Natural.  (Clicking onto these images will open larger versions in separate windows)

In a world intent on detail and data, no names are needed here.  You will know who this post is for.  I hope you like these pictures.

All best wishes to you.

Adrian

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Water Lily leaves in a rhyne’s the dark, peaty waters

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Very much a favourite picture of mine: a farmer and his wife off to check on their stock at first light on a foggy morning.  A very friendly couple, my age I suppose, they always wave and smile

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Sunrise, looking over towards Glastonbury

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Rhyne; misty morning

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Mute Swans coming in to land on floods; Tadham Moor

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Freezing morning, ice on the rhyne – I was driven to putting my fingers in my mouth to try and unfreeze them – should have dunked them in my coffee!!!  Tadham Moor

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Glastonbury Tor – and finding out that pointing a 400mm lens at the sun does not do miracles for the eyeballs!

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Looking west at sunrise: Our Star rising, and its light just catching the tops of the clouds; Tealham Moor

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Misty morning

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People call me The FATman … they’re really very rude, you know …

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Tealham Moor, looking east along a rhyne

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Its just a question of avoiding the last, over curious lunge, when that big, drooling muzzle goes straight into the front of the lens ….

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SOMERSET LEVELS 330 – HIGH GROUND, EARLY MORNING

 

 


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High ground below the colours of sunrise.  Looking up, from Tadham Moor.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; high ground above Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 12 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 321 – JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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An unreal landscape.  Just a single track road, its verges and, standing up on either side, the precipitous, abrupt lines of machine-cut trees – that are either columns along the nave of some vast, natural, outdoor cathedral or, equally fancifully, sombre beings – Ents perhaps! – standing obediently aside to let us pass through. 

But pass through to where, that is the question. 

The mist is down, and beyond this road and these trees there lies only uncertainty.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 101mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate 1 preset; Jack’s Drove, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 19 Oct 2018.
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ARCHIVE 404 – EARLY MORNING, TADHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 

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Beside the single track road across Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, quite early in the day; 8 Apr 2015.

Three trees, willows I think, fade gradually into the morning mist.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 320 – SUNRISE, TADHAM MOOR

 

 


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Looking east, Tadham Moor: the day begins.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 19 Oct 2018.
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