CORNWALL 88 – COAST AT PORTHLEVEN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

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The beach at Porthleven; 18 Oct 2016.

I tried this image in straight black and white, but the subtle colour of the beach sand and the vast shore defences adds something.  The mist and sea spray also help.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset and selectively restoring colour.
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CORNWALL 87 – ROADSIDE STEPS (MONO)

 

 

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I’m looking up the busy main street of Penzance.  The pavement is set up above the road, up to the right, and the line of stylish black bollards at upper right support railings that prevent carefree shoppers from plunging down onto the hard ground below and spoiling their consumerist frenzies.  The road is on the left, and those wishing to cross it must first descend these little flights of steps to get down to road level.

The picture looks rugged, and I’ve used SEP2 to intentionally emphasise this, darkening the image somewhat and raising contrast.  And it is rugged – the pavement, the flights of steps and all of the cobbles along the road’s edge are made of very hard and rough, local granite.  To me, this is a scene with character, far removed from our usual bland, plastic and glass high streets.

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

X-T1 with  55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2; 22 Sept 2016.

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CORNWALL 86 – GREY SEAL, ST IVES

 

 

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Grey Seal off the end of Smeatons Pier, St Ives, Cornwall; 21 Sept 2016.

We’ve just spent a few days in Hayle, down near the southwestern tip of Cornwall – and the English weather, always an uncertainty, has been good to us.  When in this part of the world, a visit to beautiful St Ives is always a treat, and especially so on a bright sunny day with the tide in – the colours and light are simply out of this world – maybe because St Ives is surrounded on two or three sides by the bright sea.

Good things about this image?  Well, it was the first time my wife had seen this creature in the wild, which was a huge plus.  We’ve never seen seals there before, and the newly erected warnings about feeding them may mean that, like gulls, crows, Foxes and many others, these denizens of wild coasts have also developed a liking for Man’s tasty titbits.  Certainly an incoming fishing boat threw him some welcome morsels, which were hastily gobbled up – but maybe a Cornish pasty might send him sinking down to the bottom!

And also, just look at the colour of that seawater – for someone brought up along the muddy shores of the Bristol Channel, these clear, emerald waters are beautiful beyond belief.

But getting a shot like this with the X-T1’s auto focus is really not that easy – I was wishing I’d listened to my better judgement and brought a Nikon along for the day.  And neither am I a fan of the X-T1’s electronic viewfinder (or of electronic viewfinders in general) for such encounters with the natural world – for many subjects, many of the things I shoot, the X-T1’s viewfinder is a real treat to use, but where the subject is moving, things aren’t so straightforward. 

However, Amateur Photographer magazine has just dropped through our letterbox – and its in depth review of the X-T2, the X-T1’s successor, praises the improvements in auto focus speed on the new model – so maybe that problem is solved.  But at the moment, for the moving natural world – and especially if I’m close in to it – I prefer the speed and accuracy of the Nikons’ autofocus, and their speed of light, optical viewfinders.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO.
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CORNWALL 85 – DECAY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

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Window frame in serious need of some tlc, Perranporth; 14 Apr 2016.

We like Perranporth.  Like Somerset’s Burnham-On-Sea, its cheap and cheerful – no frills and what you see is exactly what you get.  But this simply makes it a fresh and unpretentious little place, and relaxed wandering is the order of the day.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset and selectively restoring colour.
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CORNWALL 84 – SHOP WINDOW, TRURO

 

 

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Shop window in Truro; 12 Apr 2016.

We were on holiday in Cornwall this week and, taking advantage of what looked like being the only dry day, we visited Cornwall’s county town, Truro.  As we walked down the main street, sunlight and shadow dappled ‘sale’ signs on the other side of the road.

Truro is a very pleasant, open and not too large town, with a cathedral that rises straight up from its not over wide streets in a way reminiscent of French cities.  We stumbled upon a shop selling a good range of foreign beers, including quite a number from that Holy of Brewing Holies, Belgium.

And, always having wondered about the whys and wherefores of the world around me – a trait which is certainly increasing with age – I came upon Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens – a brief history of humankind, and am very, very deeply enthralled.  (In case you’re interested, and I can’t recommend this mind-stretcher and blaster too highly, its at ISBN 978-0-099-59008-8)

Click onto this image to see a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.
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CORNWALL 83 – LADDER, ST IVES

 

 

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Ladder on the harbour wall at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

This ladder descends the towering harbour wall, so that people can reach their boats even when the tide is out and they are far below, resting on the harbour’s sandy floor.

The rungs of the ladder are not visible, these are the handrails: you descend to the beach between them – and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hanging on to them for dear life!

The bluish tinge to the metal results from the use of CEP4’s Crossbalance filter, which mimics the effect of exposing tungsten artificial light film to daylight.  I’ve used it to better show up the metal’s corrosion.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4, including the Crossbalance filter.
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CORNWALL 82 – ROOK ON THE HIGH STREET

 

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Rook preening on a street lamp in the main street of Penzance; 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.

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

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CORNWALL 81 – YELLOW CAR

 

 

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Yellow car, Penzance; 8 Oct 2013.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.
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CORNWALL 80 – DIRTY WINDOW (MONO)

 

 

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This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to see a larger version in a separate window.

Dirty window, with reflections; Penzance; 8 Oct 2013.

The distorted stuff of nightmares, reflected in grimy panes of glass.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 230mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.
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CORNWALL 79 – FLOWING WATER, SUNLIT (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

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Sunlit water flowing in an open roadside drain; Truro, 15 Sept 2011.

We could also be looking through the thick and twisted glass of an old window at some scene beyond.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Darken Contrast Vignette preset and selectively restoring colour.
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