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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PEOPLE 367 – WRESTLING WITH THE BARS, TRYING TO ESCAPE

 

 

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Selfie – my shadow against a metal fence – with the camera, as I remember it, held in my right hand.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, desaturating colour and using the Camera Natural film simulation; south Bristol; 26 Feb 2019.
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PEOPLE 366 – GOING TO WORK 90

 

 


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Walking to work – and Modern Life too, I suppose – booze, news, smokes and headphones >>> and a wonderfully coloured frontage that is instantly alive and real, and instantly apart from the drab conformity and aching sterility of “High Street Correctness”.

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 Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Bedminster, south Bristol; 29 Jan 2019.
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PEOPLE 365 – GOING TO WORK 89 (MONO)

 

 


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GOING TO WORK: THE PROJECT

This project has been running, on and off, for sometime now – the first post (number 1, below) was in July 2016.  For those not familiar with the earlier posts, this project is now in three parts.

First there is the great bulk of posts in the earlier stages: numbers 1 to 86 below.  This really came about for two reasons.  First, having retired in 2013, I became increasingly interested in the work phenomenon, and a single photographic look at Bristol’s early morning rush hour ramped this interest up to the level of a fascination for a twice daily event – a twice daily tide –  that, until recently, I had been a part of.  And such long, early morning visits to the city centre were considerably facilitated by the excellent, lighter and smaller Fujifilm mirrorless cameras (X-T1 and X-T2) that gave me a break from my also excellent but bigger and heavier Nikon DSLR gear.  In some part I felt (and feel) that commuting and city centre working can be something of a pressurised and dehumanising experience; as I recall from two bouts of overwork and stress-related illness.

And then part 2 of this project is a single picture (number 87) taken in heavy rain with the Olympus TOUGH TG-5 camera.  I’d bought this camera with the aim of looking at the rush hour in atrocious weather conditions, but that aim has yet to be fulfilled – >>> the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak???  🙂  But the TG-5 has  instead proved itself very flexible and useful in the Outer Suburbs project, which makes up the bulk of my posts these days.

And, last week, I found myself with the TG-5 in the morning rush hour in Bristol’s Bedminster suburb, and so to a few more images, part 3 of Going to Work, starting with post 88.

But where this project will go from here – as usual – I have not the slightest idea!!!

POST 89

Alone on a cold, damp morning.  Overcast, and going to work.

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 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); 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset; St Luke’s Road, south Bristol; 29 Jan 2019.
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