A green and pleasant land

Last week we were back on Ivinghoe Beacon – one of our favourite places. The Beacon is a high point on the edge of the Chiltern Hills with the land spread out around and below us. There’s one particular field I have photographed several times before (click here for a reminder) from this vantage point but on this most recent occasion it was uninviting photographically.

_DS83249Other things caught my eye including the recently shorn sheep that featured in my last post, and a broader view of farmland that was lit by a substantial break in the clouds. During processing I deliberately softened this image using Topaz Clean to produce a result that is reminiscent of a style of illustration that was in vogue a few decades ago.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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17 Responses to A green and pleasant land

  1. Sue says:

    I think your softening has worked…there are some good lines in this, and you’ve created a gentle pastoral scene. Ivingho beacon….must be over 40 years since I was up there!

    • LensScaper says:

      Glad you like it Sue. I walked up here with my father occasionally as long as 55years ago – could well be more than that. In those days you could hear Skylarks twittering away overhead – haven’t heard one of them for years. I was born and brought up in Chorleywood. Nowadays we live a 45 minute drive northwards of the Beacon. It’s my favourite walk from the car park and after the Beacon along the ridge to Gallows Hill and then back below the ridge where all the sheep usually are.

  2. Chillbrook says:

    Green and pleasant land indeed Andy. I remember going to Ivingho beacon on a junior school trip, too many years ago to mention.. I love the acid greens in this image and the layers created by the various fields. Super image!

    • LensScaper says:

      A popular place to visit by the sound of it. It does me good to stand on the top of that and survey the landscape. I’d never really spotted this particular little slice of the landscape – it’s all down to the colours and the light. It will probably never look so good again either! Thanks Adrian

  3. shoreacres says:

    Your mention of “a style of illustration that was in vogue a few decades ago” supports my first response to this as nostalgic — not in the modern sense of a sentimental longing for an imagined past, but as an intense longing for home. Did you know that nostalgia originally was an invented medical term? I didnt until just now, when I noticed its similarity to “neuralgia,” and went looking.

    And I’ve been hanging around you Brits long enough now to notice your title: William Blake, Parry’s “Jerusalem,” and all that.

    Lovely photo and treatment!

    • LensScaper says:

      I never knew that Nostalgia was a medical ‘illness’ – I’ve been ill for quite a long time it seems! There was a superb series of posters produced on the theme ‘See Britain by rail’. I thought they were pre-WW2, but from a quick search it seems quite a lot were post war. Here’s a link to a page showing some of them – http://www.vintagerailposters.co.uk/Photos/Subject/National+Railway+Museum . They all had strong graphic lines, but the colours were often pastel, and the details were often scanty – to my mind they made powerful images, I loved the style. And it’s that style I have attempted to reproduce in this image.

      • shoreacres says:

        They are wonderful images, and I’d say you did a bang-up job of reproducing the effect. It was fun to see these earlier works. They’re very attractive.

  4. oneowner says:

    I like the almost pastel quality the softness and color give this photo. The cropping and composition are very well done, too. Did you have the crop in mind when you shot it? I always decide on the crop in post processing.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Ken. I scanned the landscape and saw this patch of colour and realized that there was a thin sliver that might make an image, but Through the viewfinder I wasn’t really sure exactly how a crop would work. I think the final decision can often only be made back home when you can move the crop around and finally see whether a satisfactory image can be made. The final image was about 80% of the width of the original frame, and with this one there was no cheating involved (meaning moving a tree or something else around).

  5. Glad you keep going back here, Andy. You find/make real treasures.

  6. poppytump says:

    Andy, I’m now imagining a steam train now traversing the scene …
    I love those vintage posters , the design ‘less is more’ worked very successfully !

    • LensScaper says:

      A train does cross that valley somewhere, on the way from Tring to Leighton Buzzard, but sadly it’s not a steam one. That era of poster creation was a special one, there was also a masterful set of posters for Shell along similar creative lines.

  7. Len says:

    Love the trees that dot that wonderful green “carpet” Andy.

  8. Meanderer says:

    Such a wonderful wide-open space. I love the processing here showing off the tapestry of the landscape beautifully.

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