ARCHIVE 423 – EARLY MORNING 21

 

 


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Dawn mists rise above Lake Nakuru, central Kenya; January 1978.  The large, white birds with huge bills in the foreground are White Pelicans.  In the lake behind them are the trunks of trees that, flooded by the lake, have been killed by the high concentration of sodium bicarbonate in its waters. Cormorants (the same species as in the UK) perch on these dead trunks, and a nest of sticks is also visible.

This lake is over a mile above sea level and so, particularly after a clear night, the whole place can be pretty chilly by first light – standing around taking pictures, waiting for the sunrise, we were well wrapped up!  At altitudes a little above this – and right on the equator – frosts can occur.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 .

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

Technique: Vivitar 400mm telephoto on Olympus SLR, mounted on a tripod; colour slide film.
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ARCHIVE 422 – EARLY MORNING 20

 

 


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Sunrise over stratus cloud, seen from a London-Nairobi flight on 25 Sept 1979.

Back in those days, my (very portable) camera was often with me, and flights to and from Kenya were vast photo opportunities – here I’m flying south, and sitting on the left of the plane to catch the sunrise.

Below, the world is shrouded in a great blanket of stratus cloud, and the low angle light of the sunrise reveals the cotton wool textures on the cloudbank’s upper surface.

Stratus is the name for clouds that form a layer or stratum, whereas clouds that consist of many discrete parts – sometimes looking like lots of balls of cotton wool – are known as cumulus.  Cirrus clouds are the thin veils of vapour that form high up in the atmosphere.  These three cloud types all intergrade to give, for example, stratocumulus, a cloud that is in layers that consist of individual smaller cloudlets.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 .

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4; Dfine 2.

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ARCHIVE 421 – EARLY MORNING 14

 

 


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Sunrise over the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, southwest Kenya; Nov 1977.

Well, a 37 year old colour transparency that resided for over a decade in the heat and humidity of the tropics.  The colours are altering slightly, a little too much purple or mauve in there now, I think.

But does this matter, is this important?

I could refrain from posting this image because it is no longer a totally accurate representation of the scene – or simply enjoy it for what it now is.

To me, the former option would be far more than a tad puritanical, somewhere along a long road to nowhere perhaps.  Somewhere I never want to be.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban areas – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 .

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 420 – PARKED CAR 5

 

 


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Sports car, Wells, Somerset; 1 May 2005.

Ninety degree anticlockwise rotation moves the wheel to the bottom right of the shot, with the door handle, bodywork and shadow now forming strong features dipping steeply left.

The wonderful yellow of the car’s body produces strong contrast between the silver and black wheel and the other picture elements.

There are earlier images in this Parked Car series here: 1 2 3 4 .

Technique: F6 with 80-200 Nikkor lens.  Fuji Provia 400 colour slide film push processed to 800 ISO.

UPDATE 2015: there was a time when I photographed quite a few of these automotive abstracts – this one was done 10 years ago –  but they’ve gone somewhat off my radar these days.  But I still like this image, I still see it as I did then, as an artificial object with deep inherent beauty – and I wonder if, were I to be processing this shot now, whether I’d be tempted to try and “clean” the small amounts of dirt off the bodywork at upper right.

UPDATE 2019: one from an arty(!) period way back: push processed colour slide film – Fuji Provia 400, my go-to film, a really good all rounder, wonderful quality at 400 ISO, but pushable to 3200 and even 6400 ISO  –  and paired with the last of Nikon’s professional film SLRs, the F6.

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ARCHIVE 419 – WARBLER AMONGST ACACIA THORNS

 

 


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Small warbler – perhaps a Cisticola – amongst fearsome Acacia thorns, any one of which could so easily transfix it; probably in Nairobi National Park, in the late 1970s.

The Cisticolas are a group of small warblers that that all look very similar to each other; they are the archetypal “small brown birds”.

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

Technique: OM-1 with a Vivitar 400mm telephoto; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.  This would have been taken from the window of my car, from one of the tracks in the National Park.

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ARCHIVE 418 – GOING TO WORK 10

 

 


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Something from the Going to Work series, which seems a long time ago now:

Is this really a post in the “People” Category???  Well, if I dose myself up on artistic leeway and add a substantial shot of festive cheer (and lapse into truly dreadful puns too), there is a person here, maybe on her way to work, and she’s taking a front seat, indeed you could almost say she’s driving the image … ooohhhh …. 😉 …

But the star of the show is being driven – and giving me a rather fixed stare too.  I’m glad we weren’t sharing the ride ……..

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

Earlier photos in this series are: hereherehere, herehere, here, here, here and here.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; morning rush hour, Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 5 Aug 2016.

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ARCHIVE 417 – WOMAN WITH HER EYES CLOSED (MONO)

 

 


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Woman with her eyes closed; 21 Aug 2007.

This is part of a much larger negative – another product, I suppose, of my tendency for getting in close!

Trying to make it at least one step removed from a straight mono photograph, I’ve reduced sharpness and introduced a digital tone.

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

Technique: F6 with 24-85 Nikkor lens; Ilford Delta 3200 Professional black and white film rated at 3200 ISO;  scanned into digital and manipulated with Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE:  well, 12 years ago, and using fast, black and white film in a Nikon SLR, the F6.  That was a really excellent camera, but the appearance of Nikon’s D700 DSLR seemed to promise equal things and – having been a confirmed film fan – I changed to digital and have never looked back.  I am extremely grateful for the enhanced creative potential that digital provides, and astonished at the pace at which the technology has progressed, especially with regard to sensors.

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ARCHIVE 416 – COTTAGE IN PEASLAKE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Cottage in Peaslake, Surrey; 25 Mar 2012.

A glorious sunny morning in Peaslake, and this cottage caught my eye.  I often find rural cottages in affluent areas far too prettified and picturesque, but here the overlapping blue trellises on either side of the darker front door, and the blue window frames, all looked good and relatively uncomplicated.

I cropped in tight so as to fill the composition with (most of) the trellises and window.   Then followed conversion to mono, and restoration of the blue colouration of the trellises and window frames, in SEP2.

Apart from the dark surrounds to the front door, the image has been made pale and pastel by lightening the highlights and blues, and by the application of a thin, pale vignette.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 800 ISO; converted to mono and further manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE 415 – TABLE AND CHAIR, WITH DAFFODILS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, with daffodils, in the William Bray, a restaurant and bar in the village of Shere, Surrey; 24 Mar 2012.

This restaurant is on different levels, and I was able to get up onto one floor and look down on the one below.  The wonderful lines and forms made the by the chairs, tables and floorboards – and the colourful flowers –  caught my eye, and I took several photos, none of which were “THE ONE!”, to work on later.  With all these lines and textures, I knew that there was something there – and that it was screaming out for mono conversion, with the plant’s colours restored.

It took quite a time to find this crop, but it has what I searched for – the lines and textures, the great contrast between the wooden and metallic structures, and the great contrast between the daffodil’s leaves and flowers and everything else.

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 6400 ISO; converted to mono and manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2, and then manipulated further in Nikon’s Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 414 – THE COLOUR OF THE SEA BENEATH A SMALL BOAT

 

 


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A small, blue boat rides at anchor – a very simple image, that’s really all there is to see.

The only solid facts are the simple, elegantly curving lines of the boat.  Beyond them, the sea’s surface takes on a silvery hue where the light catches it. But in the craft’s brief shadow, this paleness disintegrates and fragments as, approaching closer to the graceful blues of that wooden hull, the emerald greens of the sea deepen and, gently but firmly, draw us further in and deeper down.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO;  St Ives, Cornwall; 21 Sept 2016.

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