Return to my Roots


Return to My Roots © Chris Maskell 2011

The title of today’s image is both literal and metaphorical. This tree is located at Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire, England. It is a massive neolithic Henge complex, constructed in about 2600BC originally comprising of 3 stone circles (2 smaller circles enclosed within a larger circle) which is surrounded by a henge (bank and ditch) some 420 meters across with the ditch being 11 meters deep.

The outer circle is  one of Europe’s largest stone circles, with a diameter of 331.6 metres (1,088 ft). There were originally 98 sarsen standing stones, some weighing in excess of 40 tons.

This tree straddles the bank or henge, near the southern entrance, it’s roots reaching deep into the ditch. The tree itself is massive and ancient but a mere sapling compared to the age of the henge.

The metaphorical allusion in the title relates to the time of my first tender steps into photography, or rather serious steps into the art. I had visited Avebury a few times  as a youth, living at the time nearby. Part of my Photography exam was to shoot a single roll of Kodachrome in a single day, the subjects stipulated were not filling me with joy, until I noticed “Man made objects in a natural environment”. This simple sentence, seemed to fly from the page together with images of sunrise over the stone circle.

That was my first real moment of connection to an image, of feeling an emotional attachment instead of a pursuit of technique. I have returned many times since, always managing to find something new. This image was from Summer 07 and has sat on the hard drive until now.

This was shot as a single JPEG, I processed in NIK HDR Effex before making minor adjustments in Photoshop.

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17 responses to “Return to my Roots

  1. Very nice capture Chris. I am always amazed that every photographer can point to “the shot” that got them really hooked in photography. Thanks for sharing yours. Mine was Tear Drop Arch in Monument Valley.

    • Thanks Len, although this is the location rather than the shot that got me really connected. I still have the Ektachrome’s, luckily the exam submission got returned later in the year.
      Really should have them scanned.

  2. Pingback: Wistful Wander « Chronicles of a Homosexual Hobbit·

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