ARCHIVE 400 – TEASELS 2 (MONO)

 

 


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Teasels at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; 1 Aug 2013.

For me, the diffuse darker area “anchors” the shot, helping to push the subject out towards us; and it also displays the thorns on the plant’s stem – and strands of spider’s web – to greater advantage.

You can find an earlier and differently presented Stanton Drew Teasel picture here.   There is also one from the Somerset Levels here.  Both will open in separate windows.

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

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ARCHIVE 399 – MAYHEM AND VIOLIN

 

 


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Young violinist; 9 Sept 2012.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m fortunate in having four darling little girls in my life.  Two are our granddaughters, the other two the children of friends.  Yesterday we went to visit those friends, so that my wife could measure the kids for knitware that she is giving them for Christmas.

As is usual when I get together with these little ones, who are now aged 7 and 2, mayhem and anarchy reigned!  Within minutes of arriving, I was down on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor, giving a ride to the two delighted and squealing monsters, and things just got better from there on in.  But I have no aches or pains this morning – must be tougher than I thought!

And the family have a beautiful new cat, who seems to have a very calm and friendly personality.

So, here is the elder sister with her new violin and a pensive expression.  She can’t play it yet but these are early days, and she is now playing pieces on the piano.

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 1250 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 398 – DRAIN, WITH KERB, DASHED WHITE LINE AND SKID MARKS (MONO)

 

 


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Drain, with kerb, dashed white line and skid marks; Thatcham, Berkshire; 1 June 2016.

Street scene in downtown Thatcham: shapes, textures and (mainly) curving lines.

Color Efex Pro 4 has been used to give the end result the look of black and white infrared film.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

POSTSCRIPT: to me, someone who admittedly doesn’t get out much, the curving lines are streaming out across the image from sources along its left margin.  The kerb has just missed the drain, and arrows on through the picture’s lower right corner.  The skid marks are spraying out upwards, towards the image’s upper margin.  But the white line is more accurately set, and we have caught the moment in which it first impacts on the drain’s periphery.  And if all this imagined dynamism – seen through a child’s eyes maybe –  is real, then this isn’t a still life at all, it should not have been originally posted in this blog’s Still Life category, and I have, as the phrase so happily puts it, shot myself in the foot …

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ARCHIVE 397 – SELFIE WITH ROAD SIGN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Quite early on a morning in spring, and Jack’s Drove, the road north across the Tadham and Tealham Moors, on the Somerset Levels, is blocked; 10 Apr 2014.

The jet black area that cuts horizontally through my silhouette is the water-filled ditch that separates the rough pasture of the field at the top of the frame from the road on which I’m standing.  These wet ditches do duty as fences hereabouts.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 16mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro2, starting at the Dramatic preset, and restoring the sign’s colour.

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ARCHIVE 396 – PEOPLE DRINKING TEA (MONO)

 

 

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A couple having a hot drink beside the beach in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall; 10 Oct 2013.

The man is hunched over towards the right, sipping his cuppa, while the woman is inclined towards the left, intent on screwing shut her bottle of milk.  Their two shapes tend to come together somewhat, in the shape of an arch or dome, an effect heightened by her inclined hair bun.  I’ve tried to enhance this impression of togetherness by adding a slight, pale, circular vignette.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Full Dynamic Smooth preset; mild copper toning.

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ARCHIVE 395 – CANDLESTICKS IN A FLOATING RESTAURANT

 

 

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Silhouetted candlesticks in The Three Brothers Burgers floating restaurant; Welsh Back, central Bristol; 5 August 2016.

A second early morning foray into Bristol city centre, on another day that promised a lot of sunshine.  The 0608 bus got me down there earlier than more sensible souls, the sun kept promising to rise above a low cloud bank, and I went walkabout, looking at anything and everything – while hoping for blazing, low angle, early morning sunlight.  Years ago I read that our legs are amongst our most useful photographic tools – always keep moving, keep looking with an aware, open and receptive mind, keep altering viewpoint – this simple plan of action has very often worked for me.

So later I found myself meandering along the side of the Floating Harbour, heading up towards Bristol Bridge.  To my right was the water, with three floating restaurants that were broadside on to the now blazing sun.

I drew abreast the middle boat, The Three Brothers Burgers restaurant, and the sun was pouring into its dining room, throwing two large candlesticks into sharp silhouette.  The atmosphere in that dining room looked dusty and hazy, the whole place reminded me of a painting, and the camera caught the feel of the place exactly.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 168mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.

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ARCHIVE 394 – CARRION CROW (MONO)

 

 


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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn; 27 Nov 2011.

This has been converted into mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’ve used the one of the Film Noire presets to instil drama – the powerful, jet black crow diving through a patch of clear sky in an angry, boiling cloudscape.

Technique: D700 with 70mm-300 Nikkor lens at 200mm; 800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 393 – RECTANGLES WITHIN RECTANGLES

 

 


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Caravans, Newquay, Cornwall; 10 Sept 2013.

A series of pale boxes, apparently floating in blackness.  The one on the right displays a slightly curved roof, and is leaning gently away from the vertical.  Otherwise, these are a series of rectangular shapes containing many other rectangular shapes.

There is an earlier photo in this style, including a tree, here .  It will open in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Pinhole preset.

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ARCHIVE 392 – ROOK ON THE HIGH STREET

 

 


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Rook preening on a street lamp in the main street of Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

We were sitting at a table on the upper floor of a café, enjoying the interesting and lively view over Penzance’s main street.

Two Rooks came and perched on street lamp brackets immediately outside the window.  I had a feeling they wouldn’t stay there long, and so rather than reaching for the Nikon, I used the little G11 which was already in my hand.  One of the Rooks left almost immediately but I managed to train the Canon’s telephoto onto the other bird which, despite all of the hustle and bustle in the street below, started preening.

Rooks are crows, and more usually birds of the open countryside.  I like crows anyway, but noisy colonies of these birds – rookeries – in the tops of tall, rural trees are for me one of the great joys of spring.  So seeing them here above this busy shopping street was a surprise, albeit that Penzance is not that large a town.  And having the bird set against the window display of the shop on the other side of the road added to that.

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

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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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