The River Isle overflowing it’s banks onto the Somerset Levels.
You can’t live in the UK without having heard about the village of Muchelney in South Somerset which has recently become an island after the severe floods.
I live a few miles from the village and have managed until today to resist all temptations to venture out onto the Somerset Levels with my camera.
The two problems for me are firstly that the Somerset Levels are where I learnt my craft and they even after all these years are still one of my favorite places to go and shoot.
Secondly although I’m certainly no adrenalin junkie or risk taker I’m fascinated by extreme weather much to my wife’s disapproval and this means I can’t resist getting safely close as possible to explore & capture what I find.
The floods had receded just enough that some roads are now passable so today with stormy skies still overhead I ventured to a couple of places I thought might be safe and give me some great views.
This image titled “Dry Path To Muchelney” shows the severely flooded River Isle on the right and flooded fields to the left with a elevated path bank heading towards Muchelny.
The gentleman I met walking with his dog said how in 40 years he had never seen flooding this extreme in the area.His dog seemed less bothered by he water and more interested in the wildlife as there where lots of mice and other animals on the bank seeking safety from the waters.
The rains came in again giving some wonderful skies and I decided to shoot one more image before heading home.
As I mounted a gate to reach the flood line in a field I somehow lost my footing and ended up head first with my camera luckily on top of me !
It must have looked hilarious but must admit as I sit here writing this I’m pretty bruised and not getting any sympathy from the wife !
I hope for those hit hard by the floods in Muchelney and surrounding area that the water recedes soon so that the clean up can get started.
A Seat On The Todden
I’ve joked before that if I never picked up a camera again I’d still have enough images in my archives to keep me busy producing new work for the next 15 years.
Fair to say some many never see the light of day but it’s strange how things happen in life and you find yourself remembering certain places, moments & images and being inspired to dig them out.
This week a comment on a previous blog post prompted me to go back into some images I shot last summer in Cadgwith Cornwall.
The reasons behind the comments are actually incredibly sad (view A Tranquil Mooring blog post) but this inspired me to spend a few hours processing and retouching this image
The Christmas break has meant I have had time to look over some of the many personal images I have shot over the last few months but not had time to process. This one title “Casting Into The Dawn” was captured at dawn on the cliffs close to Albufeira on Portugal’s Algarve coastline.
The last few weeks have been pretty busy with a rather diverse mix of assignments both here and abroad.
Rather than wind down and take an early Christmas we are currently preparing to complete some shoots for one of our ongoing personal projects (See The Cider Orchards & Withy Centre Posts).
Personal work is and always has been a very important part of my photography. For me it’s an extension of my commercial work except I have complete creative freedom to cut loose,experiment and generally create whatever inspires me at the time.
A couple of things that do get me excited to go out and shoot are exploring new places and it’s people. Fortunately last week after completing an assignment in Rotterdam I had a few hours the following day to explore the city and I and set myself the challenge to come home with a few shots to sum up this very interesting and modern city.
The image here was captured at dawn and combines several iconic elements of Rotterdam including the huge Nieuwe Maas river, the beautiful Erasmusbrug Bridge and lighting up the horizon the very modern De Rotterdam building.
Another recent image captured in the beautiful light of the Algarve Portugal.
This one titled “The Headland Path” was captured on the cliffs close to the coastal town of Albufeira.
I have always lived on or very close to the beach and to be honest it used to concern me that the coast appeared in so many of my images.
Over the years however I have come to understand my work/vision in much more detail and what drives it and I know you can’t force or control creativity you simply just have to follow what inspires you.
It seems a distant blur since my week in Portugal probably partly due to being very busy completing a couple of commissions since returning home.
Now these jobs have been completed I finally had time to start going through a few of the images from my trip and managed to complete this one titled “Perigoso Path” (Dangerous Path).
The light in Portugal was stunning and produced some of the most colorful sunsets I’ve experienced for a very long time which of course I captured for my composite archives to be used at a later date if needed.
The cliffs in the image here where captured at dawn which is often my preferred time to shoot as it usually means less people around to spoil the view !
The coastline here provided me with several interesting locations to capture over the week and I plan to add a couple more of the images to the blog as when time permits.
This week the weather finally looked perfect and we got to shoot the old Cider Orchard I mentioned in a previous post.
I arrived on my own at the orchard just after sunrise and spent nearly two hours in the beautiful autumn light capturing all the images I would need ready for the composite.
I should explain again that the plan was to capture the orchard now while full of Apples and then photograph the guys from Richies Cider when things quieten down for them after the harvest.
The shoot was pretty simple and most the time was spent trying to create nice clean compositions as there was just so many trees full of fruit close to each other that it was a little too much !
We now have to create our backdrop from the images captured and arrange to return to Richies Cider Farm in a few weeks to capture the images of the guys to complete our vision for the final image.
Who does not love Cornwall? I even love the picturesque A30 despite the fact it can be a bastard if you get caught in a jam.
I’ve lost count how many times I have visited since a kid and I even did what most have thought of doing and lived there for a short period…great in the summer not so easy in the winter!
Needless to say, I have photographed most of the more familiar spots over the last 18 years and many charismatic fishermen most of which are no longer with us.
So it’s sometimes either not really appealing to revisit places already well photographed in favour of somewhere new or a challenge to look at places with fresh eyes and creativity.
Having said that as photographers as with most things in life we grow and our vision grows and changes so the images I shoot today will not be completely the same as those captured previously.
I captured this image “A Tranquil Mooring” at dawn at Cadgwith on the Lizard a few weeks ago, it’s a place I’m very familiar with and happy to revisit with or without my camera.
On this visit, I noticed a new bench near the spot I was photographing dedicated to a young lad called Toby who had very sadly died aged just 16 and had no doubt loved Cornwall as much as me.
Reading that inscription on the bench certainly left an impression on me and I’ll be sure to return next time and leave a few flowers.
A Tranquil Mooring.. Dedicated To Toby
I’ve been shooting and editing video for a good few years now for the purpose of presenting and illustrating Photography & Retouching training.
This year however I find myself shooting more and more creative video type work which blends stills & video.
Some of this work is nearing the end of production for a client so I’m unable to publish just yet but here is something similar we shot for our Studio based Cafe
Something else we have started to play with is Time Lapse photography which once again blends still photography with video.
Below is a short video titled “Dancing Shadows Over The Crops” we shot last week on a glorious summer afternoon in a beautiful field of crops and Butterflies.
This was our first attempt at Time Lapse and it requires a lot of images,batteries and most of all patience !..more to follow.
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