ARCHIVE 366 – POLLARD IN FLOODWATER (MONO)

 

 


.

Pollarded Willow standing in floodwater on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

With its bulky, rounded crown, this tree is top heavy and well on its way to collapse.  The usually wet, peat soils provide little in the way of support.

More about the practice of pollarding can be found in my first Somerset Levels post 

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 165mm; 200 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Yellowed 1 preset as a starting point.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 365 – “HEAR THAT, FATman? – YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL UNLESS YOU’RE SLIM!”

 

 


.

Someone of maybe my own years (and bulk?) gazes at a beauty stereotype in a slimming emporium’s window, in Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Sept 2012.

Here’s something that can get me reaching urgently for my dictionary of Anglo-Saxon profanity!  We think we’re free but we’re certainly not.  We want to fit in, we want respect and admiration – envy even – from our friends and neighbours, and so we are prey to all the latest fashions, role models, celebrity recipes, gimmicks, cars, buzzwords and facile stereotypes.

Well, OK, this lady and I would very probably be healthier if we were  slimmer – but as to fulfilling an envied role model ->>> this blog’s called FATman Photos isn’t it??? …  not SLIMman Snapshots!!!

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

UPDATE: this was first posted five years ago and, since then, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and, as a result (and also quite astonishingly) I lost a lot of weight – 50 pounds or more – to get myself out of the “danger zone”.  I certainly enjoy what I eat and drink and, now, I’ve put some of that weight back on, but I’m also completely into a routine of 5-6 mile daily walks that Sue, my wonderful doctor, is all in favour of.  I’m not aspiring to “The Body Beautiful” (which is just as well really … 🙂 ) but its a continual fight against the flab >>> that’s inescapable fact, that’s how it is!

BUT, I do, even more so, stick by my words in paragraph 2 of this post: we are certainly NOT free, and we are prey to a vast number of body image-related pressures and taboos, which we are plainly incapable of shrugging off.  In the years since I put out this post, two things have happened, two things to mention.

First that, with the luxury of retirement, I’ve had more time to sit back and look at what’s happening around me and, never having been that much of a conformer, I eschew a lot of it.  For better or worse, I am what I am, I am what I am happy with, and others’ opinions matter less.  This is partly an age thing too of course.

But then, re all the pressures etc that I touched upon in the second paragraph of this post, there is the burgeoning trend, especially amongst young people, for selfies – self-portraits in which they have become trapped into trying to show their peers and the world at large not so much how they look, but rather how they WANT TO LOOK, how they want to be seen, how wonderful they would like others to think their lives are.  I can only see this as an ultimately sad process, and one which must bring much anxiety, fear and pressure.  Here in the UK, young people are under increasing pressures from daily life, their mental health problems are rising and – not least here in Bristol – university students are committing suicide.  It is always easy to see the past through rose-coloured glasses, to think that everything was wonderful back then.  I try not to think along these lines: some things were good back then, some things were not.  But, equally, I do not think that the modern world, with its incessant emphasis on body image, fame, celebrity culture, mobile communication devices and The Great God Cash is a healthy environment for young people.  This is not a Natural (note the capital) state of affairs, and it is certainly a very sad state of affairs.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 364 – INSIDE THE FLOWER OF A DOG ROSE

 

 


.

Inside the flower of a Dog Rose.

I ought to know what the tall structures are but, as I firmly bade farewell to studying anything botanical in 1968, I’m unsure.  Stamens maybe?   ….. I’m more sure of one who will know the answer …. wonder who that can be??? …….. ?

Getting away from reality – oh, that’s better!!! …. –  the blurred dark element almost reaching the lower right corner, and a similar dark object diametrically across the flower’s centre, look like slim, beating wings.  And the blurred, slightly greenish “thing”(!) in the lower left corner might be a beak – so is this some exotic bird in flight, with bizarre and erect plumes on its back?

And if you don’t believe that such feathers exist, search Google’s images for flight shots of breeding plumage male Standard-winged Nightjars – and I have a feeling there are other examples in the Far East and South America too.  Ah, signs of a misspent youth …

The rose’s petals are pale, and serve as a diffuse backdrop.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; our back garden, Bristol; 24 June 2013.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 363 – MANNEQUIN

 

 


.Camborne, Cornwall: mannequin in a shop window; 9 Oct 2013.

I take shots of these dummies from time to time.  Here I was attracted by that loosely hanging, white hand, but now I’m also looking at the hairy red sweater with its horizontal stripes, and the plastic “water droplets” on those fashionably distressed jeans.  The black backdrop keeps it simple.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 362 – RUDE GIRL

 

 


.

Poster in the window of a beauty salon, seen through the shop’s security grill; Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

Click onto the image to open a version in a separate window, and click onto that version to enlarge it.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 240mm; 1600 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 361 – SWAN, PREENING (MONO)

 

 


.

This image is best seen at larger scale – click onto to it to see a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Mute Swan at Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

The bird is preening, busily rearranging its feathers in a flurry of activity that is sending concentric ripples out across the surrounding water.

There is another photo of this bird, in very different pose and style, here .

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; -0.3EV; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 360 – COWSLIPS

 

 


.

In amongst the Cowslips near the bottom of our garden; 24 Apr 2013.

These beautiful little flowers have been growing in our garden for many years now.  We certainly didn’t plant them, so the initial seeds were presumably brought in by birds.

I love these simple flowers very much and, every year, encourage them to spread by delaying mowing the areas they inhabit until they have fully gone over and gone to seed.  This is one of the extremely few thought out gardening plans I have  – and it works!  Every year they spread further – wonderful!

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 359 – SWANS OVER TEALHAM

 

 


.

This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

Mute Swans about to land on flooded Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 7 Feb 2014.

Much against good sense, I ventured down onto the Levels recently, to my habitual haunts on Tealham and Tadham Moors.  Not daring to take my usual cross-country route because of the many places where even small amounts of flooding might cut it, I drove down the main A38 road south from Bristol to Highbridge, and then went eastwards into the flatlands along another, relatively large road.  All was well on these main roads, but as soon as I got onto the smaller lanes, problems with water appeared.

Tealham and Tadham were mostly submerged, with just just the roads sticking up above the waters and little traffic about, but the floods in this more northerly part of the Levels are nothing like those further south, south of the Polden Hills, where whole villages are being overwhelmed, main roads have been cut for weeks, cutting edge pumping technology has been brought in from Holland, and the Army has been called in to help the local people.

The image is starting to look rather unphotographic, more like a painting maybe, and I always feel good when this happens.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO.
.
.
.

 

ARCHIVE 358 – MINIMAL COLOUR: TIN SHED, ROTATED

 

 

 

Corrugated iron shed (its roof on the right) at the former Willows Garden Centre, near Westhay, on the Somerset Levels; 15 Jul 2005.

Minimal colour, not far from monochrome.

Technique: F6 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 400 ISO; image rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 357 – MORNING DEW (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

Field gate on Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Apr 2014.

Early morning along Jack’s Drove, and a world soaked in dew.  The silver cobwebs, with the rising light behind them, are everywhere.  Here three struts in a gate provide the picture’s solid structures, and then the web is strung across the frame, and there are large drops of dew hanging from the gate at upper left.

This is a black and white image with much of its original colour restored, semi-faithfully.  One of the reasons that such colour restorations appeal to me is that, since black and white is already far from reality, I don’t feel that I must necessarily restore the original colours accurately – put another way, since I’m already way out in the realms of unreality, a little more unrealness (is that a word???) won’t matter!

The bar at the top and the diagonal one are casting slim shadows, which is why the silvery web strands fade as they come near them.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset, and selectively restoring colour.

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: