October 2019 | Glastonbury
Published on: 4th October 2019
By David Noton
Glastonbury, a small town in Somerset with some reputation. We all know it's steeped in legend: Loud rock and hippy types rolling in the mud? Avalon? A sacred religious site? King Arthur? Or maybe it's just a church on a hill. But it's a special hill, no one would deny that, a shapely Tor capped with a Tower rising above the unique landscape of the Somerset Levels. What's more it's on my Home Patch
We can see it clearly to the north west from the ridges around us. As one of the most iconic and mythical locations in England, I have of course, photographed it many times. But that doesn't mean I've yet made the definitive picture of it. That's why was I there again this morning at 5am, and yet again the experience of standing beside the tripod watching the first light paint the mist draped landscape of legends prompted both exhilaration and reflection.
So, when I mention Glastonbury, am I talking about the Abbey, the Town, the Tor or the Festival? All contribute to Glastonbury's mystique. But it's the Tor that stands as the symbol for all the rest, in my book at least. Granted, it's hardly a Himalayan peak, but it does stand out from miles away, especially when rising above the morning mist which often collects on the Levels below. To the north lie the Mendips, to the south Walton and Collard Hills. From those crests tantalising views looking across the Levels towards the Tor can be found, with a bit of tromping about that is. You can read all about that shoot and the giant panorama I produced in this month’s What’s In A Picture?
The October 2019 edition of the f11 Photography Magazine is now Live for our f11 Members'. With autumn upon us Issue 93 takes our f11s behind the lens on shoots from Glastonbury to Vienna. I love this game... Such pictures are the product of planning and persistence, but it's not always the case, as was driven home to me last month in Vienna. I had just 12 hours, with one camera and one lens, to produce a picture story for Behind the Lens on the historic imperial capital. It was an eye opener for me to realise just what can be achieved in half a day when you put your mind to it.
This time of year really is prime time for us photographers, especially when autumn and winter combine in a region of Canada I think is one of the most beautiful in the world, as I recall in Stepping Back. I try and keep things simple in the digital darkroom, but some pictures require a bit more attention than others, as I discover in both instalments of this month's Post-Production Videos while processing a picture of Weymouth Harbour at sunrise featured in Issue 92.
As ever we have an eclectic mix of talented contributors, no less so than Marc Aspland, Chief Sports Photographer for The Times. Early this year I had the pleasure of shooting with Marc on my Jurassic Coast. You can now read Marc's take on how that session opened his eyes to the advantages of slowing down.
Ever tried focus stacking hand-held while shooting insects at super high magnifications? That's what Oliver Wright, in our Guest Feature, does to produce his incredible macro images of insects - inspirational stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. And, for added inspiration, in October we shine the Spotlight on f11 Member Phil Starkey. Although she rarely ventures further then her native South-West of England, I think you'll agree she's come a long way. Hers is a story to make all of us reflect. But with so many demands on our time, it can be hard to carve out a few hours for photography, but by separating the urgent from the important you can open the door to greater creativity, says Tracy Calder, Guest Columnst.
And then there are the images in the f11 Members' Gallery. This month water features in all our members' pictures, but with widely varying results, which I constructively appraise. But I have to observe the same names keep cropping up again and again; we’re just not seeing enough of your images. Don’t hold back; we want to see the fruits of your creativity.
So as the trees turn gold, or, if you're south of the line, as spring breaks...