HOME 8 – SHIRT, AS YET UNIRONED

 

 


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Contemplating clothes in need of ironing, clothes being washed over by window light, and somehow feeling that there must be more to Life …

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Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; at home, on the ironing pile; 9 Sept 2020.
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HOME 7 – LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW

 

 


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Looking out of the kitchen window, with a long telephoto and some good light.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Landscape v2 profile; the back garden; 26 Nov 2020.
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HOME 6 – SOFT DRINK, BACKLIT

 

 


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Bottle of mixer, waiting on the kitchen worktop for dilution by simply unconscionable amounts of gin.

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Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 08 profile; in the kitchen; 9 Sept 2020.

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HOME 5 – LOOKING OUT THROUGH LACE CURTAINS

 

 


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Looking out through lace curtains, as sunrise starts to light our back garden.  The curtain rail cuts starkly across the top of the image.  Because the curtains themselves are still in shadow at this early hour, they have taken on a blue hue, which (although it could easily be corrected) I think adds to things.

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

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; at home; 25 Nov 2020.
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HOME 4 – MY FAVOURITE TIPPLE!

 

 


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As you may be aware, The FATman is an inveterate imbiber of top quality Belgian beer.  I have tasted many Belgian brews, but for some years now have (delightedly and enthusiastically!) standardised on Duvel, which is an absolutely glorious Belgian strong blond ale – with taste, after-taste, texture and … 8.5% alcohol – so, not something you pour down your throat with gay abandon, unless you have a desire to become senseless and horizontal quite speedily.

Shown above, here is golden Duvel in its own, large, tulip-shaped glass, which has been specifically designed to contain this beer’s often towering white head.  Its can be unwise to whip the tops off bottles of Belgian beers as they will often enthusiastically come out to meet you, to say hello, and to end up all over your clothes and the floor.  And Duvel is absolutely no exception, caution is needed and, after the bottle’s top is off, then the correct pouring angle is needed –  if only to avoid my wife’s comments when I emerge from an accident with perhaps one centimetre of golden ale in the bottom of one of these huge glasses – and the rest filled with bright white foam …

Since 1871, Duvel has been made by the Moortgat Brewery in Puurs – and this town has now achieved even more fame by also containing the Pfizer lab that has started producing vast amounts of covid19 vaccine.

And if all this were not enough, Moortgat Brewery now also produces the simply sublime Duvel Tripel Hop Citra, which is stronger (9.5%) and even more delicious!

I’m being spoilt: both of these wonderful beers are available in our local supermarket >>> but whether this will continue after the current acrimonious Brexit trade talks is anyone’s guess!

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Technique: TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Natural profile; my favourite armchair; 18 Sept 2020.
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HOME 3 – THE BATHROOM WINDOW

 

 


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Looking at the inside of the bathroom window.  The handle of the window’s latch is in shadow, and is seen only as a thin pale line.  To either side, the warm light of the rising sun reflects from the wall of the house next door and lights up the bathroom window’s frosted glass.

The window frame and handle are white, but the early light has given them a blue tinge, which I’ve left uncorrected: I like this addition to the picture’s colours.

And, in these pandemic days, this is the first X-T2 image for many months, which has to be a step forward.

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

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 223mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Bristol; 26 Nov 2020.
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HOME 2 – HOUSE SPIDER

 

 


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Its that time of year again, and big House Spiders have started appearing here and there chez nous; this one was on the wall of our hallway at night.  There no sense of scale here but – particularly with that wonderfully outstretched, hairy leg – this one can’t be far short of 2 inches (5 cm) across.

A great Natural World enthusiast, I’ve had a lot of wonderful encounters with wildlife over the years, particularly – but far from exclusively – during 12 years’ residence in Kenya, where I worked as a safari leader for several years.  I suppose my most memorable encounter was being with Mountain Gorillas on the Virunga volcanoes in Rwanda: we were on foot, they looked at us, we looked at them, and that was an experience both powerful and moving.

But, on a far more local scale, memorable encounters have happened here at home too.  I’ll never forget offering my forefinger to a Red Admiral butterfly, motionless on our back lawn on a chilly autumn morning, and being enthralled as the insect climbed up onto my finger and remained there – perhaps glad of my slight warmth.  And then again, with these big House Spiders, out of devilment I sometimes get down on the floor beside them and give them the gentlest of prods, which instantly sends them off into totally chaotic retreat >>> a valued and enduring memory is actually hearing one’s hurtling footsteps as it rushed across an A4 sheet of paper lying on the floor – magic, simply magic!

There is another recent spider picture here: 1 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv), used in Microscope mode, which allows focusing down to 1cm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 21 Sept 2019.

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HOME 1 – HOUSE SPIDER

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House Spider, probably a female, on our kitchen wall; 26 Aug 2013.

Its probably the time of year, but suddenly we are seeing large House Spiders all around the house.  They don’t particularly bother us – except when we know they’re there but we can’t see them, maybe – and we just let them be.  They are a part of our home.  And we’re none too sure whether it is “they” or “it”, as we have no way of telling them apart – there could be hordes of them peering at our every moves – or simply one giant roaming through its vast domain.

Sometimes, for devilment, I get right down close to them and give them the softest of prods, which always sends them rushing off in chaotic retreat – a valued and enduring memory is actually hearing one’s hurtling footsteps as it rushed across an A4 sheet of paper lying on the floor – magic, simply magic!

The one here appeared in the kitchen awhile back and, when not hurtling around at speed, spent hours, motionless, in full view.  One day it was stationary on the kitchen wall, just above the floor, so I got a cushion down onto the floor to lie on – hard floors get harder as you get older! – and photographed it, prior to roughly measuring it.  It was about 2 inches (5cm) in full diameter, and based on this quite large size I’m surmising it to be a female.

There are two photos here.  Purists might have gone at it with a tripod but boy, am I impure!  So I used on-camera flash – not sure I like the shadows of the legs, etc. but I certainly don’t have the motivation or skill to remove them, and this image shows the details of the beast. including at least some of its glittering eyes.  I also tried handheld exposures in available light but,the wall being white, the legs still cast shadows.

So below is another take on things – a shadowless mono version, generated in SEP2.  More sinister perhaps, maybe something lurking darkly in a gothic tale?  What do you think?  As a point of interest, are you thinking or, having opened this post, are you just screaming ….. ?

Nikon D700 with 105mm Nikkor and flash; 200 ISO; mono version: Silver Efex Pro 2, Film Noir 2 preset.

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HOME AND GARDEN (7) – ORCHIDS

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My wife is a great orchid enthusiast, and here are some of these beautiful and intriguing plants beside one of our windows.  Although I can’t get enough of natural beauty in all its forms, I’m not really into house plants – more preferring the naturally seeded Cowslips, Buttercups, Dandilions, Hazels and Oaks in our garden.  However, for all that, its impossible to ignore orchids’ profoundly elegant beauty, and to me they are  intriguing because they just seem to do their own thing in their own time, bursting into and out of bloom according to schedules of their own making.

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A close up of blooms in the picture above – all photography using the Canon PowerShot G11 at 800 ISO, with two stops of over exposure added to counteract the bright light streaming in through the net curtains.

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Another version of the photograph above, this time manipulated by Silver Efex Pro to produce a very pale, subtle and misty effect, which to me is more attractive than the bright colours of the original – less is more!  This picture achieves these effects via low structure and the palest of vignettes, combined with an extremely pale blue selenium tint.
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HOME AND GARDEN (6)

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Anemones, going over and past their best, photographed in Bristol in the late 1970s. I don’t produce many pictures of flowers but, as with many animals, I like to fill the frame –  so that these are photos of parts of flowers, rather than whole flowers or the whole plant. I remember being attracted by the colours here, and the fact that these blooms were starting to deteriorate. Tripod-mounted Olympus OM-1.

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