Tolkien country – from the Shire to Mount Doom

Tolkien country – from the Shire to Mount Doom

I’ve always loved the landscapes conjured up by Tolkien in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Not just the undulating,green merriness of Bilbo’s Shire, but also the bleak nastiness of Mordor and Mount Doom.

Hill in fog

Tolkien’s imagined Shire was Worcestershire (his mother came from Evesham), a green, fertile country of valleys and hills not far from where I live. I’m guessing the dark, brooding ugliness of Mordor was probably the nearby Black Country, with its Victorian coal slagheaps, and industrial Midlands. Tolkien loved the merry olde rural Shire, but hated the urban mess of the modern world.

And unlike Tolkien, I love both of them – at least, as a photographer.

I’ve written on this blog before that my first love in photography was shooting landscapes. I always get a kick out of capturing the moment when the light and shade create a unique image – either on mountains, in woodland or across heathland; that mood is always fleeting and often gone in an instant. That’s the enduring fascination I have with landscape photography. Something that’s there and suddenly not.

Farmer's shed

Skull in Tolkien country

Stag Skull

All the shots this week were within a short walk from my home, deep in Tolkien country. The skull shot, for instance, is a good example of mixing the momentary uniqueness of the light in the landscape with the broody darkness of Mordor. As if an Orc is hiding just out of shot.

When I’m not shooting commercially, I’m often tramping the land around me with my Canon and iPhone, experimenting with different ways of taking landscape shots. As image processing changes, it’s become so much easier to shoot the landscapes I love without having to spend hours with different bits of kit, or slaving over different post production processes to get the image right.

With this week’s pictures, above all, I wanted to share my piece of Tolkien country and bring it to life.

Hill in the mist

Trees in the mist

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