ARCHIVE 391 – DARK, BROODING GIANT ALONG CHASEY’S DROVE

 

 


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A misty early morning along Chasey’s Drove, Common Moor, just north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Aug 2003.

I have an ongoing love affair with the big, bold, black silhouettes of trees.  I probably find them very powerfully graphic, I don’t know, but I do know that they never cease punching me right in the eye – I can’t get enough of them – as witness some of the Mendip Hills posts.

I like this one particularly – the tree’s black bulk rises just about on the left vertical third and to the right of its vast trunk is a glimpse of misty, early morning countryside which, compared to this brooding, masterful giant, is insignificant, blurry backdrop, a pale contextual glimmer.

Technique: tripod-mounted OM-4 with 85mm-250mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: an image from what seems a long, long time ago, when I was using film – and when I was determined NEVER, EVER to change to make the change to digital.  How times change!  The appearance of Nikon’s “budget” full-frame D700 DSLR brought me over to digital at a stroke, and it is a change I have never, ever (those two words again!) regretted. Indeed, I feel incredibly fortunate, after 45+ years of film photography, including wet darkroom use, to be still photographing during the advent of the digital age: for me, the creative potential of photography has simply mushroomed. 

But now, having used optical viewfinders on Nikon’s superb D700 and D800, but then started using the really very good electronic viewfinders on Fujifilm’s X-T1 and X-T2 compact system cameras, I have a feeling that its electronic viewfinders that I want to continue with – and so to Nikon’s new Z series.  The 45MP of the Z7 are really far, far more than I need, and (with the experience of using the high MP D800) I know that using such high megapixel cameras need very careful camera technique – such cameras show ever little mistake you make!!!  So the 24MP Z6 might be far more my style – and then there’s just the “minor” problem of raising the necessary cash!!! 🙂

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ARCHIVE 390 – TAKING FLIGHT

 

 


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Another early bus ride into the city, another second breakfast at first light in Hart’s Bakery (context is here) – and as I lurched out of that warm, friendly and bustling establishment, the tints of sunrise were above and, looking up, I saw this.

The bird is a gull (aka seagull), and just about to leap off into the air to scavenge the city’s no doubt enticing refuse.  I have Hart’s Bakery, (s)he has Bristol.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; beside Temple Meads railway station; 9 Dec 2016.

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ARCHIVE 389 – RIVER REFLECTION, BRISTOL BRIDGE

 

 


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Reflection in the river at Bristol Bridge.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 290mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; rotated; Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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ARCHIVE 388 – YOUNG GULL AT ST IVES (MONO)

 

 


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Juvenile Herring Gull in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

I have a liking for photos that appear more like the products of other media and here is something certainly heading that way – perhaps more like a pencil drawing?  I’ve used a Soft Portrait preset, which includes pale vignetting, and the bird appears to be emerging from dense mist, with even its left wing nebulous and obscure.

Using this preset has also almost completely obscured details of the sea below the bird – and this all makes for an artificially isolated vignette of the creature – a sketch in a notebook perhaps.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; conversion to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Classic Portrait preset, and giving the image the look of Ilford Delta 400 mono print film.

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ARCHIVE 387 – MORNING RUSH HOUR, BROAD QUAY (MONO)

 

 


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Morning rush hour, Broad Quay, Bristol; 9 Dec 2016.

This is an early image from the Going to Work series: a recent image in this series can be found here .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO;  Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE 386 – WOMAN IN A CAFE (MONO)

 

 


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Woman in a café, in Camborne, Cornwall; 9 Oct 2013.

My wife was in the shops, and I was doing what I like to do – wandering around with a camera and an open, receptive mind, looking at anything and everything.  I was slowly meandering up Camborne’s main street when I saw this woman in a café on the other side of the road, chatting with a friend.

It took several paces to register fully what I’d seen, and then I slowly turned and doubled back on my tracks, adjusting the camera as I went, and turned to photograph her – only to find her looking straight at me, probably wondering what this strange and rather bulky old man was doing, cutting back on himself.

The autofocus locked on (boy, do I love autofocus!), two shots (and do I love automated wind-on too!), and I walked on, expecting every moment to feel the heavy hand of the Image Police on my shoulder – but that’s untrue of course, as in the UK, in a public place like Camborne’s main street, you can photograph as you please.

I’d thought about presenting this photo in vertical letterbox format, showing just the door, the woman and the OPEN sign.  But I’ve doubled the image’s width by including the net curtains and some other details, and I think this adds balance and context to the shot – but what do you think?

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

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ARCHIVE 385 – FAST FOOD OUTLET (MONO)

 

 


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Table and seats outside a fast food café in Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

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ARCHIVE 384 – SITTING IN THE BACK OF THE THREE RIVERS CAFE

 

 


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Sitting in the back of the Three Rivers Cafe, Truro, Cornwall; 26 Sept 2012.

Sitting in the back, eating food that included a really not bad steak and kidney pie, a nice piece of gammon, lots of chips and two mugs of hot tea, this view opened up in front of us and, as always, the G11 went for it!

My eyes were first caught by the rows of black seats with their backlit, horizontal tops and the intervening white-topped tables.  There’s probably potential for mono and/or re-coloured image(s) here.

But, looking at it all more generally, here are the trappings of a basic but good English cafe (definitely pronounced “caff”!) – rows of clean tables and seats (all bolted to the floor), tall menus and sugar pourers, salt and pepper couples – and backlit shakers of gloriously dark amber vinegar.

Some degree of privacy is afforded by the curtains and, above this, a hanging basket brings floral colour.  This rectangular area of window looks strange and disconnected – it could be a picture hanging on the wall.

All this and chips too?  Wonderful!!!

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 400 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 383 – THE TIDE COMING IN

 

 


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The tide coming in, seen from the end of Western Pier at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

This is a picture of the shallow wavelets of the incoming tide moving over the clean sand in St Ives Harbour – it was taken at the same time as another(!) The Tide Coming In.

I like the dark purple-blues here, the black lines of the incoming wavelets, and golden brown of the submerged sand.  The picture is starting to look more like a painting and, as always, I’m happy with that.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; manipulated in Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 382 – PEREGRINE FALCON (MONO)

 

 


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Peregrine Falcon at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset.

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