During my career as a West Country based photographer I’ve had the pleasure of visiting numerous cider orchards. Acting in my professional capacity I’ve been lucky enough to work for cider producers both big and small. This has led to a personal fascination with the craft (and believe me, it is a craft) of cider making and all that goes with it.
I have also worked with a number of European wine producers. I’ve walked and photographed their vineyards, been enthused by their vintners and, of course, sampled their produce. However, resplendent as they are, it’s my contention that Britain ’s apple orchards, ancient and serene, have their own unique beauty and atmosphere surpassing anything on the continent. And they are right on your doorstep just waiting to be discovered!
In my experience the cider maker is almost invariably a passionate artisan expertly blending his apples prior to transfer into Oak vats where his precious liquid will ferment to perfection. The French use the term ‘terrior’, roughly translated as “a sense of place”, to denote specialist wine producing regions. I’m yet to meet a cider maker unwilling to recognize and attribute the importance of the soil, climate and trees in his specific local to the creation of his nectar, and with this in mind I feel Britain and specifically Somerset are equally worthy of the accolade.
Like the Trees themselves, my interest has blossomed over the years and these days I make frequent unpaid visits to photograph my favourite orchards, fill my lungs with the clean air and refresh my soul.
This website is my homage to the beauty that is the cider orchard. Through my photographs I’ve tried to capture the essence and inherent beauty in all stages of the cider making process.
It’s a fact; there is no greater pleasure in life than crunching through a carpet of apples in an orchard in the autumn. And providing you ask the Farmer beforehand the chances of being shot at in the act are greatly reduced!
the poem below explains things pretty well…
as strong as
harvest and decay
makes me join
the finite pageant,
dance the last dance
faster than any before,
a mad nymph
in the temple
wraps me in
its unyielding arms
kisses me to