ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 38 – RUSH HOUR (MONO)

 

 


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Morning rush hour:  alone amongst a torrent of temporarily stationary metal.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset, giving the image the look of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film, and adding a strong selenium tone; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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ARCHIVE 596 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE STREET (MONO)

 

 


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Morning sunlight across a rough façade.  I’m down an alleyway in the city centre and the décor is, shall we say, functional.  Lots of rough texture, no need for the expense of glamorous, smooth surfaces here.  And off the main road a little, out of view a bit, so plain bars to deter those who, seized by an excess of entrepreneurial zeal, might not want to enter through the front door.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 145mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset; Queen Charlotte Street, central Bristol; 8 July 2017.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 113 – WATERS FROM KILIMANJARO

 

 

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Freshwater springs in Amboseli Game Reserve; late 1970s.  This water originates in the snow and ice on the top of nearby Mt Kilimanjaro, and flows underground to emerge as springs in Amboseli’s dry bush country.  It is a great draw to large animals, especially elephants.

Amboseli is an especially good place to see elephants because Cynthia Moss and other scientists have studied them there for decades.  Hence they are semi-accustomed to humans, and not disturbed by their (considerate) presence. As always, whenever I visited Amboseli, it paid to be very wary of lone bull elephants, especially when they were in musth (akin to being in heat), which was often shown by seepage from glands on the sides of their heads. 

But the big herds of females and young (led by a matriarch) were far more placid – when taking clients on safari to Amboseli, I would often stop our vehicle in the path of a long line of females and young and, completely still and silent, we would watch them passing slowly around us, like slow-moving water flowing around a small island in a stream.  Once, one took some vegetation that had become attached to our front bumper.  We never had any problem doing this – although my hand was always on the ignition key – and it was really one of Life’s great experiences.  So slow, so quiet and so massive they were, but with a deep gentleness too, that often had a perceptible effect on those in the vehicle.

Elephants are one of those animals that are far more intelligent than they seem.  Examples?  A definite attitude to death, resulting in their fondling and trying to bury dead elephants; a very low frequency communication system that works over vast distances; and the ability, apparently, to smell (and remember) each individual occupant of a vehicle.  The word “awe” is used far too frequently these days, it has become devalued.  However, quite simply, awe is an emotion that elephants never fail to evoke in me.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE 595 – WINTER SUNRISE

 

 


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Winter sunrise – sharp, hard, bright, cold, and with scant cheer or comfort –  at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol; 14 Dec 2018.

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

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation. 

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 37 – MISTY MORNING

 

 


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Misty early morning in the street, the people sleeping and the cars silent, dark and still >>> LOL! which is a very poor attempt at Dylan Thomas!!!  What about something from The Master himself then, from Under Milk Wood, very certainly one of my most favourite books in this whole world, and an endless source of both awe and inspiration:

Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.

Come closer now.

Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the slow deep and silent black, bandaged night.

Only you can hear and see, behind the eyes of the sleepers, the movements and countries and mazes and colours and dismays and rainbows and tunes and wishes and flight and fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams.

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

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 80mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 03 profile; south Bristol; 30 Nov 2020.
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ARCHIVE KENYA 112 – MAASAI (MONO)

 

 

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Maasai woman in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens;  Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO, converted to  mono in Capture NX2.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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OUTER SUBURBS 305 – SUNRISE

 

 


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As always, the Natural World, nothing beats it – and with a touch of lens flare left in just to annoy those who think such things important …  😎

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

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 03 profile; south Bristol; 11 Sept 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 304 – WALKING THE STREETS AT NIGHT’S END (MONO)

 

 


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Walking the misty, deserted streets at night’s end, listening to the silence, watching the foxes making for their daytime lairs, passing the stolid ranks of cold cars – and very much having the feeling of enjoying the very simple and uncomplicated moment, of being glad to be up and about … of seeing and savouring the world at the antisocial hours that only a few early joggers and dog walkers know.

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

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset and adding a tone; south Bristol; 22 Nov 2020.
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ARCHIVE 594 – STILL LIFE, IN FLIGHT

 

 


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Black-headed Gull, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 27 Sept 2013.

A still life?  Really?  Well, one way of looking at this is that, since the camera shutter was only open for 1/1600th of a second, it has effectively frozen this instant in the life and doings of this living being – and so it is “Life”, yes, but it is also “Still” – or, more correctly I suppose, “Stilled”!    And living things e.g. plants can of course be included in still life assemblages – if their movements are too slow to register in the resulting image.

But the real reason for my calling this a still life is that when I looked at the whole of this image and saw this powerfully down-sweeping wing, I was struck by its beauty, and so cropped the image to make it the main feature – with the bird’s head just peeping into the picture to add a little context.  So that, ok, it is a bird in flight, a moving object, but to me it has now become more of a design, or a set piece if you like. 

The fundamental difference between this image and a conventional still life is that it is not supported on anything that we can see, like a table top for example.  All support here is provided by the whirling and invisible air.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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ARCHIVE 593 – HER VERY FIRST WRITTEN WORDS (MONO)

 

 

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We were visiting friends when their elder daughter, whom we like very much, suddenly started asking her parents about how words are written.  She knew how letters and combinations of letters sound and how they look when written down, but she’d never equated the two before.

A few words of explanation from her parents and –   to the vast astonishment of everyone present – she just started phonetically pronouncing words and then writing them all over large pieces of scrap paper on the floor!

I had my camera to hand, and a unique occasion was recorded.  This is not a good picture photographically, but in this sort of instance that doesn’t worry me at all – and I love her tentative, slightly doubtful expression.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; south Bristol; 26 Apr 2009.

UPDATE: yes, photographically, in technical terms, this is not a good picture.  But it is nevertheless a very valuable picture, and especially so to the girl and her family – here is a fundamental achievement on her part, a fundamental moment in her life.  Which feeds into one of my core beliefs about photography – that by far the most important aspect of an image is its content – have interesting / striking / meaningful content, and the technicalities come a very, very long way second.

So, ok, let’s turn this on its head.  Here’s a meaningful image that is technically imperfect.  Who would rather have a meaningless image that is technically perfect? .

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