PEOPLE 377 – MODERN LIFE (MONO)

 

 


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Reality in Modern Life: exit your front door – leaving all home comforts behind – to walk on a side street, on a wet morning, in Weston-super-Mare.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; raw file processed and cropped in-camera using the Graphite profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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PEOPLE 376 – YOUNG PEOPLE AND FALLEN LEAF (MONO)

 

 


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Young people walking – briskly, spritely, full of life – on their way to college, I think.  And a large, dead, autumn leaf, lying on a low flight of steps – its that time of year, after all.

And even as I took this picture I felt the contrast here, between the energies of youth, of people who may think they’ll always be young (if they think about such things at all), people who have scant awareness of ageing (which is a very pleasant and worthwhile mindset to be in, by the way, let’s be very clear about that!!!) >>> and I felt the contrast between these youngsters and the incontrovertible evidence of Life’s eternal cycle, lying mute and unnoticed on the steps beside them.

Can’t remember what I was on in Weston – maybe I was just running on hot coffee and enthusiasm! –  or maybe it was just an effect of being back where I grew up, prior to setting off into the outside world in 1968 – maybe all of that Life, all of the times and experiences since then, were getting to me.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 180mm; 1600 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, including use of the Graphite profile; no further processing;  High Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 8 Nov 2019.
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PEOPLE 375 – WOMAN TAKING PHOTOGRAPH

 

 


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Walking down Weston’s High Street, and being surprised at how many of the shops from the 1950s/60s are still there.

And then a woman walks towards a shop and pauses to photograph it – and I manage this single frame before she walks on into the shop: an employee photographing the window display???

Anyway, whatever, love the glove.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Capture NX2; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 8 Nov 2019.
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PEOPLE 374 – VERY OLD FRIENDS (MONO)

 

 


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Life moves on.  As Dylan Thomas so wonderfully put it, in Under Milk Wood, “Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”

And so to an Italian restaurant in a reasonably run down, seaside town, and five people around a table – already hitting the electric sauce, if only moderately, and good naturedly corralling a waiter into taking a snap of the occasion.  He was somewhat disconcerted by “Focus on the wine bottle!”.  While after “Squeeze yourself right back into that corner to get us all in!”, it had to be explained that we were not in fact all planning to try and get in the corner with him.  Ah, the youth of today …  But, anyway, here is the result.

So just who are these smiling worthies?  Well, as a landmark, something to navigate by when in distress on the sea, the lolling lout front right (magnified by proximity to the TG-5’s wide angle lens I might add) is me >>> does my tum look big in this??? 

Then the two women are the partners of the two blokes opposite me.

But the two blokes opposite me are the thing really, because we three were in the same school in the 1960s.  I’ve been friends with one nearest the camera for 60 years at least, we were in adjacent primary schools.  And the other is one of the two luminaries responsible for getting me into birdwatching in 1967, an interest that was to later take me to Kenya for 12 wonderful years – an experience from which, thank goodness, I’ve never quite recovered.

And although three of us live locally, the other very special thing about this occasion is that the other couple live on the other side of the world, so that we see them only very occasionally.

And so here we three are, back in our home town as it happens, and not a stone’s throw from the primary schools where two of us started out.  And we are all stunned by the fact that, having known each other since our childhoods, we are now all approaching our 70th birthdays.

“Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”
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PEOPLE 373 – HUMAN TRAGEDY

 

 


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Every picture tells a story, but here the two words tell the whole story.

So really, now, its just a case of whether I accept the offer of the hard-hitting assignment in social commentary photojournalism or become a lensman with Visit Bristol!

Clicking onto the image opens a larger version in a separate window, and clicking on that image enlarges it still further …

Technique:  strong stomach, almost averted gaze, and TG-5 at 25mm (equivalent); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 14 Sept 2019.
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PEOPLE 372 – SELFIE, WITH TRAINERS, CAR DOOR HANDLE AND (REDUCED!) BEER GUT

 

 


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Just getting back from one of my marathon walks around Bristol’s outer suburbs and, seeing my neighbour sitting in his car, leaned on the ledge of the open passenger door window to pass the time of day with him.  Looking down, I could see the stripes of my old shirt reflected in the car’s bodywork and door handle and, well, the TG-5 was as always in my pocket …  My neighbour considered me mad of course, but then that’s just one, evidently minority, opinion.

So, taking the image from the top, what’s here?  At the top, the fully wound down window of the car between its black rubber seals – not sure if that’s the right word, but you know what I mean.

Below which is a curved surface, reflected in which can be seen the blue Bristol sky, together with my two rather scrawny hands, between which is a dark area that is the camera, the TG-5.

Below again is this huge, rounded and striped affair which is my paunch (well I am The FATman …) – but nothing like as big as it used to be, despite having been nourished by many thousands of Belgian golden ales, and in any case thankfully covered up by an old striped shirt.  To either side of me are the reflected reds and greens of a garden.

Below that again, the car’s door handle, reflecting clouds in Bristol’s blue sky, along with more of my shirt’s stripes.

And, finally, far below, my neighbour’s driveway and the toes of my trainers.

A souvenir – perhaps eccentric, perhaps not – of passing the time of day for a few minutes with my neighbour, on a sunny Bristol afternoon.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 19 Aug 2019.
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PEOPLE 371 – GOING TO WORK 92

 

 

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Going to work but also, for the moment, going nowhere: traffic cones rule OK!!!  

The Z 6 takes a first – very brief – look at Bristol’s morning rush hour.

You can see a summary of the Going to Work series here

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 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 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: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 360mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Portrait V2 picture control; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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PEOPLE 370 – DAME JOANE YOUNG

 

 


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This picture is certainly best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

This is a picture of a tomb in Bristol Cathedral, which was founded in 1140, not long after the Norman invasion of 1066 had put an end to England’s Anglo-Saxon monarchy – in the person of King Harold, killed by an arrow in the eye at the Battle of Hastings.  I’m posting this picture – and posting it in this blog’s People category –  because, for me, it evokes various emotions.

Firstly of course, its quite picturesque – it could be a tourist postcard – and the picturesque is not what I usually photograph.  But, then again, I’m conscious of being lucky to live in England, where many such relics of former ages can still be seen.  There are, after all, many places in the world where this is not the case, or where such remains are purely prehistoric – so that although they are notable treasures, they do not give the almost intimate picture of a former life seen here >>> which is why I urge you to enlarge this image.

Joane’s history, related above her hands held devoutly in prayer, is interesting for its content – and for its spelling.  From it we learn that she was born in 1533 – King Henry VIII was on the throne, and the threat of the Spanish Armada still in the distant future.  Joane died in 1603, the same year as Queen Elizabeth I, one of Henry’s daughters.

So I look at her effigy and wonder what sort of world she lived in – what she thought, what she believed in, what she knew of the world.  Well, she was an aristocrat and thus insulated from the poverty and other privations that affected much of the population.

Google tells me that Elizabethan scientific advances were mainly in the fields of astronomy, maths, human anatomy and marine navigation.  But most people would have been in the thrall of religion and superstition, and all of the grey areas between the two.  To put her world more into context, Joane died in 1603, but it was not until nine years later that the last person was burnt at the stake for heresy – while the hunting and execution of witches in England peaked around 1645.

Joane’s  was a very different world to the England we know now –  and a world in which the people were kept very much in order by the combined attentions of monarchy, church and army – you owed loyalty and obedience to the monarch, the church had your sinner’s soul but could save it from Hell, and the army provided the muscle if muscle were needed.  The influence of two of these institutions is now in decline, while the use of the army is a huge political hot potato – indeed as I write this, British soldiers are now on trial for civilians killed in Northern Ireland in the 20th century.

And lastly, looking at the monuments and fabric of Bristol Cathedral, I cannot but think that it reflects the “have’s” in society, like Joane, rather than the great mass of the population of the time, who lived in far humbler circumstances, perhaps not that far removed from what we now call Third World Poverty.

Joane’s tomb is a wonderful artefact from another age, something certainly worth preserving, but it makes inevitably makes me think of the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister, which cost £500,000, with an additional £3.1 million for security.  I’m living in a country with increasing social inequalities, an increasing gap between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, and I’m wondering where we are headed.

And I leave you with this link, in which Raghuram Rajan, an Indian banker and former International Monetary Fund economist, looks at today’s world and says “I think capitalism is under serious threat because it’s stopped providing for the many, and when that happens, the many revolt against capitalism,“.  I urge you to look at this link, its not a long read.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; Bristol Cathedral; 12 Feb 2019.

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PEOPLE 369 – DRINKING LAGER (MONO)

 

 


Having lunch with an old and very valued friend; feeling good and drinking lager, as it happens.  And I asked her to take some shots of me with the TG-5.  Not at all an ideal camera for this, far too much of the background in focus and light conditions tricky but, anyway, here I am, sucking down the old Electric Sauce and feeling the benefits thereof.

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Critique: the TG-5 not doing too badly at 3200 ISO.  However, as my old friend was driven to admit, the whole experience left her shaken … but not stirred …   And also, you know, I’m just not sure she’s caught my best side …
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Technique: take one old and very valued friend, several glasses of lager and one TG-5 at 40mm (equiv), and shake well to mix in all the goodness and downright friendliness; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset and adding a light Coffee tone; lunching, drinking and laughing in a pub in south Bristol; 14 Mar 2019.
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PEOPLE 368 – GOING TO WORK 91

 

 


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Going to work, past Bristol’s brightly coloured (and decorated) houses.

You can see a summary of the Going to Work series here .

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 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 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: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; St Luke’s Road, south Bristol; 29 Jan 2019.
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