PEOPLE 318 – GOING TO WORK 51

 

 


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What is this picture looking at?  Well, one aspect of the packed in and claustrophobic nature of Modern Humanity.  Here is the daily movement of human beings from the warm, insulated and comfortable womb of the home to the stark and absolute, exposed reality of the workplace.

Here is each day’s otherwise shadowy and tranquil awakening being polluted by congestion, engine noise, vehicle horns, exhaust fumes, emergency sirens and the glare of head and tail lights.

Does the phrase a necessary evil describe it, I wonder?

Details: the sun has yet to rise, and a main road going southeast out of the city – the road to Bath and to Wells too – is already filled with traffic.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Clicking onto this image will open a larger version in a separate window, and clicking onto that will further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Temple Gate, Bristol; 2 Feb 2018.

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PEOPLE 317 – GOING TO WORK 50 >>> PHEW! NEVER THOUGHT THIS SERIES WOULD REACH 50!!!

 

 

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Phew!!! >>> well!!! >>>  the first of these Going To Work images was posted way back on 23 July 2016, and I never thought this series would still be ongoing!  The pictures have received some favourable words along the way, and for those I’m very grateful – simple fact is, such opinions provide encouragement, they help me to keep on keeping on with photography generally >>> so >>> thank you!

Where is this series going now?  Well, as usual, I’ve no idea.  I’ll just see what comes up.  But two points to make.

First, this series has been significantly facilitated by the portability of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2 cameras – I take only one of these cameras and one lens with me on my long walks around the city, and they are eminently compact and portable.  I’ve also used the heavier Nikon DSLRs once or twice – and there’s getting away from the fact that for pinpoint focus in situations with very poor light and/or movement, these bigger DSLRs (D700 and D800) have the edge. But, camera portability is certainly a factor, and especially so for a no-longer-so-young(!) person like me.

And then second, maybe my having retired (nearly 5 years ago now) has allowed me to get outside of the “work ethic”, necessary as it is in any society, and to stand back from it a bit.  Maybe being on the outside looking in – after all those decades spent on the inside looking out –  has produced a more detached perspective.  And so to early mornings photographing the city rush hour, and the thought that five days on and two off each week – and a life outside of work to lead too –  can be quite a punishing schedule.

And so to this picture.  Just before sunrise, I was on a traffic island in the middle of the busy dual carriageway below Temple Meads railway station, leaning back against a street light to steady the camera and watching the steamy windows of the towering double-decker buses as they arrived with their cargoes of inbound workers.  Several buses would arrive at once, and so to firing off quick series of single shots (rather than motorised bursts) before waiting for the next gaggle of buses to pull ponderously in.  I looked along the windows on the upper deck of a bus, this woman’s red coat caught my eye, I took one shot, she looked at me and I fired again. 

Technique: the light was dismal – 6400 ISO, 1/45th second with the 305mm lens wide open at f4.8 – but the image stabilisation (+ leaning on the street light!) held it steady.  One thing about these mirrorless cameras is that, since they do not have a mirror, there is no vibration as the mirror moves during an exposure (mirror slap) and so they can take sharper pictures at lower shutter speeds than DSLRs.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Clicking onto this image will open a larger version in a separate window, and clicking onto that will further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Temple Gate, in Bristol City centre; 2 Feb 2018.

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PEOPLE 316 – 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, and click upon that image to further enlarge it – 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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PEOPLE 315 – GOING TO WORK 49

 

 


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The walk to work, in November: warm breath, cold air, the dazzling but icy gold of sunrise.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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PEOPLE 314 – GOING TO WORK 48

 

 


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Upstairs on an early bus: someone with buds in and phone out, someone who is essentially somewhere else.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Union Street, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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PEOPLE 313 – GOING TO WORK 47: APOCALYPSE (MONO)

 

 

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This is obviously not a representation of reality – or, if it is, then maybe you shouldn’t be thinking of Bristol for your holiday this year ….

What’s here?  Well, spot metering for the highlights has produced a low key image, and this effect has been enhanced by further darkening during toned black and white processing.  What was in reality a clear, sunny morning has been converted into something less comfortable – we are conditioned to be afraid of the dark, right?

The huge, backlit double-decker buses, their headlights on, tower above people walking passively – perhaps even hypnotically – towards them, while the Tin Type tone spreads its cold, lifeless glow through the highlights.

The more I look at this picture the more it has an apocalyptic feel.  Just what is this – the End Of Days?  Some appalling human cleansing operation?  Just where are these vast metal and glass machines carrying these people off to?  Have Bristol’s retail emporia finally emptied of merchandise in the run up to Christmas, and are these the Lemming Specials that take shoppers on cold turkey to the nearest precipitous cliffs???  >>> LOL! >>> sheer fantasy! >>> the churnings of an over active mind! >>>  but then that’s what photography – and especially black and white – can do for you.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); spot metering; 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2,  starting at the Tin Type preset; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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PEOPLE 312 – GOING TO WORK 46: CONFRONTATION (MONO)

 

 


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People in the rush hour at Broad Quay.  I cannot now remember whether there was actually any interaction between the man with his back to us and the man on the left – and also the figure whose leg shadows are up at upper right.  But the stance of the man in the foreground – legs set firmly apart, semi-clenched fist hanging loose – does not seem, to me anyway, to be that of someone completely at ease with this meeting of souls.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset and adding a selenium tone; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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PEOPLE 311- GOING TO WORK 45

 

 


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The early bus, and a single passenger, impassive, quite small within the frame, seen through a grimy bus window and surrounded by the steamy, colourful, half-seen world of the city commute.

To me there is something quite formal about this image, almost like a picture of someone in an identity parade – I think these feelings derive from the profile view, the completely conventional sitting pose (there’s something almost military here), the dark clothes, the impassive expression and the conventional haircut – almost Mr Everyman, en route (and maybe on autopilot too) for his workstation.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Union Street, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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PEOPLE 310 – GOING TO WORK 44

 

 


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Walking to work on pavements strewn with inspection covers, shadows and fallen autumn leaves.

Veering over a little towards the surreal perhaps, am I?  Starting to look a little bit alien or otherworldly?  Two thoughts come to mind.

First, that following advice I read long ago and have never forgotten, I believe in letting my (now mainly non-existent!) hair down with black and white: black and white is already one step removed from reality, and I like seeing it become even more unreal.  I’m not really into straight black and white representations of colour scenes, such as might be obtained for example simply by desaturating a colour image.  Silver Efex Pro 2 is a very welcome companion on these sometimes delirious flights of fancy.

Then second, with this Going To Work series, I’m trying to look at various approaches and techniques, with a completely open mind, ruling nothing out.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset and adding a strong cyanotype tone; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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PEOPLE 309 – GOING TO WORK 43

 

 


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Early bus, near Temple Meads railway station.

When cropping this image, I’d thought about portraying only the woman on the left, but then there is the woman on the right, the thick, black window frame between them, and those luminous turquoise greens at upper right.  The white highlight towards upper right is an open newspaper.

Taken from some distance away, at 12,800 ISO and through steamy bus widows, this image has poor definition and much grain (although Lightroom has reduced the latter somewhat).  However, it gives an impression I like – I’d far rather have it like this than pin-sharp, grain-free and crystal clear >>> this is the morning bus – crowded, overwarm, steamy – a necessary means to an end that has few pretensions about offering an overly enjoyable travel experience in the process.

This image is cropped from less than half of the original, and I’m impressed by the results that this APS-C format camera has produced working in such poor conditions –  12,800 ISO,  and a long telephoto used wide open at 1/80th second.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Temple Meads, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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