Manmade Fascination

Ogden near to Newhey (North West England). Sony RX10 with 0.6 ND grad filter.

I’m pretty sure most of the regular readers of this blog can see that my passion is the beauty of the natural landscape. What many probably don’t realise is that I have a fascination for manmade objects that have become part of the landscape. Don’t ask me to explain why or how this developed, I just know that some objects in the landscape catch my attention.

The image above is one example. Every time I pass this group of Pylons I spend time trying to capture them with pleasing compositions. I used to think of these as being ugly and a blot on the otherwise perfect landscape. Now I see them and find the interesting. I’m not yet sure I can call these pylons beautiful but they are a challenge to photograph and create interesting shapes.

The wind turbines that now litter our moorland and coastline are similar. I used to think they are ugly but now find them almost majestic. I even included a full-length editing example in one of my books for a wind turbine image.

Does anyone else find these things interesting or is it just me?

14 thoughts on “Manmade Fascination

  1. I am sure it isn’t just you. These things are part of our world, I am sure people were horrified when the original windmill started cropping up all over the landscape as some are now when they see the wind turbines. I just wonder if landscape photographers in the future will seek out restored wind turbines as ‘quaint’ subjects.

  2. The pylons, as you call them, have been a part of the landscape since before I was born so I actually don’t even see them. When cell towers started popping up, I was terribly upset over the blight on the landscape! Now I don’t really notice them much either. But … the wind turbines are a different matter altogether. I have always found them a thing of beauty – as you said “majestic”!

  3. I have a fascination with fences. I happen to live in an area replete with stone walls but with equally intriguing wooden fences that snake through a picturesque hilly and even mountainous terrain. I hope someday to publish a book of my better photos.

    1. There are some ugly wind turbines but the large turbines today look great. I’m pleased I’m not alone in this. Having said that, there are some areas I still think they wouldn’t fit. I live in Saddleworth and I wouldn’t like to see them on Saddleworth Moore. Not because I live there but because it needs to be a featureless moor where you can lose yourself completely (quite literally in Winter when it snows).

  4. Nice shot. Thanks for sharing. Could you please share the ND filters you use with the rx10? Bought the rx10m3 because enjoyed your feedback about such equipment and I’m glad today I also decided to go “light” and leave all my heavy gear behind (canon 6d and 3 L series lenses). Kept my formatt hitech 100mm filter set (and firecrest ND) but would like to know what else is usable or eventually lighter. Thank you and keep the nice work.

    1. Thank you. The filters I use with the RX10 are Lee Seven 5. They aren’t cheap but they are small and work great. The only point I would make is that the side of the holder can just be seen in the corener if you have a filter on the camera. I just clone it out or add 2% scale adjustment when converting the RAW file.

  5. Hi Robin:

    I have been doing a series which I think is quite the opposite. I call it “The Intersection of Tree and Man” and each image must have: a tree or tree substitute (shadow of a tree; a Woodie automobile, etc) and a discernible man-made object, like a building, road, etc. It is really satisfying and I have been doing it for maybe 5 years. You can see them on my website ( in the folder entitled “The Intersection of Tree and Man” on the left side. Most were shot with Olympus m/43 or Fuji X series.



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