ARCHIVE 611 – UPSTAIRS IN THE VICTORIA TEA ROOM, PENZANCE

 

 


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Upstairs in The Victoria Tea Room, Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

We returned yesterday from a few days in the far southwest of Cornwall, based between Penzance and St Ives.  And in a week of awful weather all over England we were far enough southwest to miss it all – it only rained at night, and the days were dry and even sunny!

Whenever we’re in Penzance we always visit this tearoom.  Amongst many other tasty goodies it serves up 11 item English breakfasts – which I hold a profound reverence for – and we like to sit beside the windows upstairs, looking out over Penzance’s main street.

In this cafe there are many bentwood chairs in a beautiful green, and the place has an over all low key, Minimalist, green and grey decor that I like very much.  This cup and saucer provided a good foil for its low key surroundings, and the chairbacks on the right resemble the curving stems of some exotic plant.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot; 400 ISO.

UPDATE (SOMETIME AGO): this excellent eatery has closed down – a great loss.  And while I’m talking about this image – I can say that its a great favourite of mine.  I have always loved its vast simplicity.

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ARCHIVE 610 – MAN IN A BASEBALL CAP (MONO)

 

 


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Man in a baseball cap; New Quay, west Wales; 23 Sept 2014.

He was standing on the harbour wall, lost in thought as he intently scanned the sea for dolphins.  I was doing the same.

I’ve processed this as low key, quite far from reality.  Its very much in our faces.  The intent gaze and slightly open mouth, the bitten nails and morning stubble.  What emotions, if any, does this provoke?

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

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

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ARCHIVE 609 – A DISTINCTLY CIVILISED FULL ENGLISH

 

 


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I’m quite a fan of Full English Breakfasts.  They are of course eminently unhealthy food, full of fat and calories, and they can also be very bland – the ingredients can all be there, but they’re cheap, pallid affairs, and really not worth the effort.  Sausages can be the worst culprits, cheap, bland, with not a trace of texture and with almost no taste – might as well be eating cardboard, really; probably just as nutritious too.

But in other instances Full English Breakfasts are rich explosions of taste, and one pointer that I’ve discovered to this greatness is their colour – the more colourful (but not garish) ones have better ingredients and tend to taste better.  And so it was with the distinctly classy repast pictured here.  It has been another long morning of walking and photography in the city, and so into Browns eminently civilised restaurant, and a breakfast to warm the spirit.

So, what is here?  Well, the usual suspects – taking it clockwise from the top, fried eggs hiding just right of the sourdough toast, tasty sausages, thick smoked bacon, mushrooms, tomato (real, not canned) – and then that dubious black chunk trying to hide under the toast is black pudding, a pudding made with blood – truly repulsive, unhealthy … and tasty!    And then some baked beans and those thin strips of greenery – which were tasty too!  All in all, probably 1600 calories or so …

This food was indeed delicious, but the icing on the cake for me was in the semicircle of supporting accoutrements   Butter of course, and tomato sauce not in the ubiquitous plastic bottle.  And then a teapot and  small jug of milk >>> and because actual tea leaves were used instead of the ubiquitous teabags, sitting on top of the cup is a tea strainer and a little round metal cup the strainer sits in after use, so that it doesn’t drip onto the table.  I am not any great connoisseur of food nor do I have any great eye for style, but for me that tea strainer and its little receptacle were just the icing on the cake.  In a world where money rules, quality is often forsaken and there is a general race to the bottom, this tea strainer and its little holder turned a good meal into a really quite restful, elegant and special experience.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 26mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Browns restaurant, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.  Use of a wide angle lens pointed down at the subject appears to lift the plate of food slightly so that the objects to either side appear to be tilting outwards slightly.  This effect may be correctable with software but I’m content to leave it as it is.

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ARCHIVE 608 – DRINKING GLASS IN FRONT OF VENETIAN BLINDS, ROTATED (MONO)

 

 


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Drinking glass in front of venetian blinds, Hayling Island, Hampshire; 21 Sept 2010.

During one of our cheapo caravan holidays, a drinking glass stands in front of window blinds.  Light leaking in through the blinds makes strong (now) vertical stripes.  Just below the (now) upper side of the drinking glass, the glass’s curvature distorts the blind’s straight slats. 

The light inside the caravan causes the glass to cast a thin, dark shadow on the blind, below the glass as we now see it.

I’ve added lots of grain and strong copper toning in SEP2.  Clockwise rotation has turned the glass tumbler into a more abstract object.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 180mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Film Noir 1 preset and strong copper toning; rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

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ARCHIVE 607 – YOUNG GIRL (MONO)

 

 


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One of our friends’ daughters; growing up very fast now. 

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; centre-weighted metering; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Warm Tone Paper preset and adding a moderate coffee tone.

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ARCHIVE 606 – IMMATURE GULLS (MONO)

 

 


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Immature gulls, one of the larger species, probably Herrings or Lesser Black-backeds.

This picture is a mystery and, looking at my records, its been so for a long time.  I have no idea when or where it was taken, or with which camera – but here are these beauties anyway!

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

Technique: processed in Silver Efex Pro, starting at the High Key 2 preset, and toned.
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ARCHIVE 605 – THREE FLOWERS

 

 


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Three flowers. 

One up close and personal: solid, real, in our world, in our face too maybe but, in any case, in the way we see things. 

The other two are hazy, more remote; vague, they are imperfect impressions of reality, such as might appear in our dreams, or under the influence of myopia or intoxication.  And yet these vague impressions reflect the human condition if not visual reality – one is damaged, wounded; the other marginalised and only partly seen.  

And all are pallid, desaturated; they are pale representations of how the world ought to be.

Technique: this effect has been produced in Lightroom, by setting Vibrance to -100 and reducing Contrast.  Today there’s mostly a trend towards either bright, attention-grabbing, vivacious colours or no colour at all – black and white.  But between the two lie many possibilities – possibilities that I for one frequently forget to consider.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Stanton Drew, south of Bristol; 4 May 2018.

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ARCHIVE 604 – ON THE UPPER DECK OF THE EARLY MORNING BUS

 

 


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Three travellers on the upper deck of the early morning bus to work.

The woman beside the window is engrossed in a newspaper, her expression reacting – negatively, perhaps –  to the day’s news.  But the other two people – further into the shot and less clearly seen – appear more passive and preoccupied.  And the steaminess of the bus’s window is thick, almost opaque in places, and densely textured.

Those two people at the back get to me.  First, they can only be partly seen, its almost as if they are fading into the background – which brings thoughts about the dehumanising effects of some workplaces, and of the unnaturalness of lives spent commuting and working in cities.  And second, both of these people are staring fixedly ahead.  Are they somewhere far away in daydreams, or do they see something nearer at hand, closer ahead, in either the present time or in times soon to come?

Also, this blurred image is starting to look like some sort of painting or daub (more probably the latter), and when any photo does this I feel I’m getting somewhere.

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, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended >>> come on in, the grain is lovely!

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Temple Meads, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.

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ARCHIVE 603 – THIS MAN IS PHOTOGRAPHING YOU! (MONO)

 

 


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Selfie with spiral staircase; 5 Nov 2014.  I’m photographing my reflection in the window of a shop that is empty save for a metallic spiral staircase.  The staircase is given prominence and I’m edged out to the side, such that I appear to be sneaking a shot of you around the edge of the image’s frame – sneaking a shot of you from out of the window perhaps. 

Personal ensemble?  Well a rather natty outfit, even if I do say so myself, comprising a battered old cap, which has variously been described as making me look like an engine driver or a Japanese soldier or, for all I know, a Japanese engine driver.  And then specs, a mostly untidy beard and a grubby old jacket that has definitely seen better days, much like its owner.  Oh and a penchant for trying to keep a low profile  – probably deriving from decades of birding and other wildlife observation but still useful photographically in these more modern and enlightened times.

Clicking onto the image will open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 640 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset.

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ARCHIVE 602 – DIRTY WINDOW WITH WHITE CURTAIN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Dirty window and white curtain; Penzance, Cornwall, 27 Apr 2012.

Colour has been restored to the window frame and the image cropped to have darkness on both sides.  The window frame’s shadow is convoluted by the poorly hung curtain, and this shadow has been darkened to emphasise this.  The grime on the window adds to the effect.

The blue frame reminds me somewhat of a crucifix, but this was certainly not in my mind when I photographed it.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono and with selective colour restoration via Silver Efex Pro 2.

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