Friday, 7 August 2015

Waves of Corn, Distant Minster and Pilgrimage

Waves of Corn :- I'd been down on the beach close to where i live and decided to walk back through the old Domesday part of the village and past the 11th Century Church of St Wulfran's. As I was halfway between the two I noticed the light bouncing off the undulating rows in the field that ran alongside the road. I stopped, took the shot and moved on. It wasn't until I finally got around to processing the images that I realised the sunlight had picked out all the little specks of salt that the lens had picked up from the beach trip. Rather than dumping the image altogether I continued to porcess it as I liked the effect it produced.

Distant Minster :- Here's an image that I really wasn't expecting to see or shoot. I'd spent most of the day indoors and looking around the incredible National Railway Museum ( ) in the City of York in Yorkshire. To be honest I'm not a train enthusiast and wasn't expecting too much but the entire place blew me away with it's huge collection of rare and famous steam trains and more modern locomotives. Near the end of my visit I found myself looking around the upstairs section and realised there was a balcony at the back that overlooked the tracks and trains as they travelled to and from York's train station. Several train spotters were outside watching the various trains "toing and froing" but what caught my attention was the view across the track as my eyes were drawn instantly to the mighty York Minster Cathedral that dominated the skyline. During medieval times this impressive and god fearing structure must have dominated the area for miles as there were no high rise buildings about in those times other than the Cathedral itself.

Pilgrimage :- A stange title but it all makes sense when I explain a little. When I was in my early teens I became aware of the wonderful paintings and illustrative works of both Alan Lee and Brian Froud. Quite a few of their images involved twisted trees and mossy lichen covered granite rocks. I then found out that the these beautiful scenes were in fact place inspired by a real place called Wistman's Wood which is a remote high-altitude oakwood on Dartmoor in Devon. For years I have known of this magical and mystical looking place but the chance of actually seeing it with my own eyes had never arisen ... until last year. A wonderful and very good friend of mine just happens to be Philip Reeve, the British author and illustrator of children's books ( ). I have known Philip since the age of 5 and he now lives in a village that's on Dartmoor itself. So my family and I travelled out to the moors and paid Philip and his family a visit and stayed for a couple of nights. I'm not sure that he fully realised just how much it meant to me but whilst we were there they took us out to Wistman's Wood for the afternoon and it was like a pilgrimage for me. I was overjoyed to finally see the place, walk amongst it's twisted limbs and sun dappled boulders. It did indeed look like the illustrations and paintings that I discovered all those years ago and I was so thrilled to finaly be there.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill