Thursday, March 05, 2009

Landscape at Deeping St James

click photo to enlarge
Last weekend I followed the course of the River Welland from the outskirts of Deeping St James to the centre of Market Deeping. The end of February is a time of year when the first real flush of spring flowers is appearing, the light is noticably brighter, I'm willing spring to get a move on, but the trees still wear their winter dress, and there's an edge to the wind cold enough to keep my hat on my head. All around the landscape has a grey/brown look, except where winter wheat is providing rectangles of fresh green.

That particular walk is an interesting one because the back gardens of houses line the river all the way. It's fun to see how some households embrace the river, setting up summer houses, paved areas with tables and seating, jetties and small boats, whilst others turn their backs on it, erecting fences and hedges to keep it out of sight and mind. Many of the buildings are a couple of hundred years old, and show the accretions of successive generations of owners, whilst others are quite new, sometimes featuring an upstairs balcony to take advantage of the view. A couple of weirs and a three-arched stone packhorse-bridge built in 1651 are also passed on the walk, as is the medieval church of St James at Deeping St James, a former Benedictine priory founded in 1139, with a west tower of 1717.

As I turned a bend on the walk the tower of this church came into view, with its reflection in the river, and a couple of well-placed trees. I took this photograph, meaning to present it in the colours characteristic of the time of year - all greys, whites, greens and browns. However, it looked like it had a composition and subject that would respond to a black and white treatment. I think it does, and even (dare I say) gives the landscape a Dutch/Flemish character - possibly "a touch of the Breughels" - as the punch line of an old joke has it!

photograph & txt (c) T.Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 43mm (86mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/160 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On