ARCHIVE 529 – CLOUDS IN THE EARLY MORNING

 

 


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Early morning clouds over our garden; 22 Apr 2013.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; 400 ISO; all underexposed to various degrees in Capture NX2 to saturate colour and bring out detail.

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ARCHIVE 528 – TRACK OVER WANCOMBE HILL (MONO)

 

 


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Track coming up over Wancombe Hill, southwest of Up Cerne, near Cerne Abbas, Dorset; 4 Jul 2003.

This was taken soon after I’d ceased considering birdwatching as my main thing – it had been my raison d’etre since 1967, and the main reason for spending years in Kenya.   I’d been taking photos since around 1960 or before, but they had largely consisted of seeing something nice and recording it with a camera.  Now I wanted to use cameras more as creative tools and, as I mentioned in the Art Wolfe post, to start thinking about John Shaw’s “Photo-Graphics”.

I was still very much wedded to film in those days, and the Olympus OM series SLRs were really something else.  I’d used an OM-1 and an OM-2 in Kenya, but years of use in the tropics had taken their toll, and they were now full of mould.  So, to start photographing again in this new way, I bought an OM-4 second hand via the internet.  On this trip I had this camera, an Olympus (Zuiko) 85-250 telezoom lens, and this simply exquisite little 21mm wide angle; a rickety old birdwatching tripod completed my gear.  And, having heard that Fuji Velvia 50 colour transparencies were the landscape photographer’s film, several rolls of that were in my old rucksack too.

I walked up this track, looked back, and used the 21mm.  The right hand side of the track is probably a little overexposed.

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

Technique: OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; can’t recall how I converted it to black and white.

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ARCHIVE 527 – SWANS, GRAZING (MONO)

 

 


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Swans grazing on pastureland; Westhay Moor, south of Wedmore; 2 April 2015.

Some see swans purely as waterbirds, and on or beside water is where they’re usually encountered, reaching down into the water’s depths with their long necks to feed on aquatic vegetation.  But they are often seen out on the fields of the Somerset Levels, quite at home grazing on short grass.

These are Mute Swans, the UK’s common and often tame, resident bird.  But in the winter they may be joined here by a few Bewick’s and Whooper Swans that have come south to avoid the Arctic’s bitter freeze.

And the pylon?  Well, 15 miles or so west of here, and in stark contrast to the Levels’ rural reaches, there is the Hinkley Point atomic power station, which sends lines of such gaunt metal towers snaking out across the surrounding countryside.  The two reactors there are ageing now, but a third is proposed and construction is underway.

And  – hot question! – am I in favour of nuclear power and especially, in this instance, so close to my favourite haunts?  Well, the jury’s out on nuclear, I guess, my only certainty being that we need to get power from somewhere – news stories talk of our electricity supplies being only just sufficient to cover winter demands.  

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 2,000 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset.

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ARCHIVE 526 – TREE TRUNK AND LEAF (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Tree in the grounds of Chew Valley Lake, a reservoir in Somerset; 14 Sept 2009.

I’ve taken this image into SEP2, added lots of contrast and structure, and then re-introduced colour into the leaf.  Converting an image to mono and then re-introducing colour to selected elements of it is very easily done in SEP2 and, of course, most easily done where, as in this image, one part of the composition is of a very different colour to the rest.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 210mm; 6400 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, with selective restoration of colour.

 

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ARCHIVE 525 – SAVOY CABBAGE, BACKLIT

 

 


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Savoy cabbage with backlighting; 29 Mar 2009.

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

Technique: F6 with 105mm Nikkor lens; tripod; Fuji Velvia 100 colour slide film, rated at 125 ISO to further saturate the colours.
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ARCHIVE 524 – TWO TREES, IVY AND BRAMBLES (MONO)

 

 


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View between two tree trunks – two trees, ivy and brambles –  beside North Chine Drove, on the Somerset Levels southeast of Wedmore; 19 Mar 2012.

I have a thing for stark tree silhouettes, and here my larger telezoom pulled this image right in, to make it frame-filling.  Use of the long focal length also has the benefit of small depth of field, so that the landscape seen through this gap registered as sufficiently hazy and low contrast for SEP2 to block it out completely, leaving the ivy and brambles against a plain backdrop.

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

Technique: D700 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; 800 ISO; conversion to mono, and toning, with Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE 523 – LOOKING UP AT SUNRISE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking up over our garden this morning – clouds and a contrail caught by the rising sun; Bristol; 22 Apr 2013.

I was just on the point of making that greatest of luxuries, the morning’s first cup of tea, when I glanced out of the window.  And then came one of the great improbables – a FATman moving at a rate of knots – in a frantic dash out into the back garden!

I love skies and clouds but, especially when the sun is just appearing or disappearing, and when contrails are moving steadily across the sky, things happen quickly – and there’s no time to hang about!

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset.

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ARCHIVE 522 – SNOWSTORM (MONO)

 

 


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Snow falling in our back garden; Bristol; 5 Jan 2010.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; converted to mono in Alien Skin’s Exposure 2, and given the look of Fuji Neopan 1600 black and white film.

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ARCHIVE 521 – FLY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Fly on a horse’s forehead, south of Catcott Burtle, on the Somerset Levels; 3 June 2014.

My penchants for getting up close and personal, and for keeping things simple.  To me, the fly is the subject here.  I look first at the fly but then realise that something else, something far larger and potentially more menacing, is there too.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset and selectively re-introducing colour.

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ARCHIVE 520 – INSIDE CABOT CIRCUS

 

 


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Facade inside Bristol’s Cabot Circus; 24 Apr 2013.

This is Bristol’s newest shopping centre, set in the large Broadmead shopping area.  I’m not into shopping too much but my wife knows her way around (and woe betide the shop that tangles with her!), but neither of us gets too excited by Cabot Circus.

Like the Cribbs Causeway mall on the city’s northern outskirts, this “inner city mall” has too many designer shops and chains, whereas we’d rather visit lots of interesting little shops, each with their own personality and interest – I remember shopping in York as a much more enjoyable and interesting experience. 

Old Fogey?  Probably, but who really cares about the labels others bestow?  And anyway its always good to have aspirations.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equiv); 200 ISO.

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