Glastonbury Tor

ImageSelf-Confessed Lifelong Glastonbury Tor Pilgrim

23 years ago a friend took me to Glastonbury Tor and we saw the New Year in on top of it.  I was instantly captivated – it became an ongoing obsession that inspires me endlessly to produce photography and works of art related to it.

I visit Glastonbury several times a year – sometimes staying for a few days or sometimes just an afternoon trip for a walk up the Tor on a summer’s day.

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Ok, I love the town itself too – it’s fascinating history and legends, events, colourful people and clothes but there’s something about The Tor that has the most prominent draw for me.

The Tor can be seen for miles around – a conical shaped hill with a church tower on top (the remains of St Michael’s Church) which is an unmistakeable site for those who have seen it.

The appearance of the hill is pleasing to the eye, changing shape and form when approached from different angles, both from a distance and close up.

‘First Glimpse’…             …and ‘Arrival’

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“There is such magic in the first glimpse of that strange hill that none who have the eye of vision can look upon it unmoved.   Each road around Glastonbury has its trysting place where the Tor first comes into view.

Whether from the train it be seen hung high in heaven, its foot among the orchards and red roofs; or whether, seen from the road, it lies far below, in the wide plain lined with willows and water cuts, never does the magic of the first glimpse fail.  What powers the ages have centred upon that strange hill who can say? The ancient Druids knew it; the earliest Christians knew it; and tradition tells us that ‘Avalon has never lacked a seer’.”

Dion Fortune – ‘Glastonbury – Avalon of the Heart’ HSC044s

I LOVE photographing the tor – it’s a life-time project for me to capture all possible perspectives of it in varying styles.

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I’m always inspired by the different shapes this hill can take on – from the surrounding roads and paths, to being on the slopes of the Tor… I never run out of new ideas for pictures!

One Subject – Many Medias…

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During my time at art college and studying photography I used the Tor as my main subject for learning and experimentation with all sorts of media and materials.   I found I could use it as a subject for dissertations too and it this was a lovely opportunity to learn more about Glastonbury Tor’s history and other people’s Tor art available in Glastonbury.

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As I walk up the winding paths normal thoughts peel away in layers, and my soul enters absolute clarity and peace.

For me it’s a place where I can reflect clearly upon the good in life, in an appreciative way, with a heart full of thanks and gratitude.

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 uncomplicated contemplation of life, truth, love, mind, soul and spirit

and just ‘being’ with our omnipresent Lord…

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Glastonbury Tor is a big part of who and what I am – it’s perpetually in my creativity, my learning and my life.

And I believe, like the spring waters that flow from within, it will continue to be an enduring source of inspiration for the rest of my existence.

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Baby Alfie Photoshoot

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I photographed Gemma & Dave’s wedding back in 2012 – they are a lovely couple and they just had their first baby, a beautiful little boy, Alfie, whom I am fortunate enough to have photographed a few weeks ago in my ‘Kitchen Studio’….

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My ‘Kitchen Studio’ set up is very simple really – I use white and black backgrounds, 2 continuous lights with large softboxes and reflectors. I usually place the two softboxes from front and sides for a nice soft portrait effect and I make good use of my Nikon Speedlight bouncing it off ceilings and walls – I enjoy trying out different angles and effects as I go along and seeing what works best.

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It’s very helpful if clients can send me some images they like the look of so I can get a full understanding of what they like prior to the shoot. Gemma had composed a very good plan with pictures detailing the type of shots they would like to end up with…

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I research, think about ideas and technicalities etc, and then peruse my posing apps over the days leading up to a portraiture shoot so I am fully prepared to get the most out of it. I write a ‘shots list’ so I can make sure we have those covered and then we can get creative and try out some spontaneous ideas of which, ‘Baby in a Basket’ was one…

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Alfie was not big enough to hold his head up on his own then so I looked for shot where it would work best and then removed Gemma & Dave’s arms!

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