ARCHIVE 577 – NEAR WEST LITTLETON (MONO)

 

 


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Early in the day: above the byway, east of West Littleton; South Gloucestershire; 12 Apr 2017.

More context on this second visit to the extreme south of the Cotswold Hills, and more images, can be found here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 206mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset.

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THOUGHTS 12 – SOME CHILDREN IN ENGLAND TODAY ARE HUNGRY

 

Mother and baby: love, compassion, kindness:  are these emotions considered relevant by England’s Conservative government?

I have spent a long time in the Third World and seen total, abject poverty.  But then – and this is a shocking thing to say – that was the Third World and such sights were not unexpected.  Those countries face enormous challenges in the modern world, and many of the amenities, commodities, values and lifestyles that we in the developed West take for granted are simply not available to millions of people towards the lower levels of the prevailing social hierarchies.  Seeing such hardship has had a lasting effect on me, it has really altered the way I look at the world in general, and I am grateful for that – albeit it is enlightenment bought at the price of witnessing the plight of others.

But when I returned to England in 1989, at the end of the Thatcher Years ( an earlier Conservative government), I had thought that I had left all of this dire poverty behind me – so that I was all the more shocked and saddened to see people begging and sleeping out on city streets here.

Because it is a simple fact that although the UK is a developed and wealthy Western nation, there are still large numbers of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people here – a fact that was further driven into me as I then worked for 20 years in Social Services Departments, collating and analysing service user data.  During this SSD work, I came into contact with the Free School Meals Service, which provides free school lunches for children from deprived social backgrounds.

And now, as well as lunches, many schools are providing breakfasts and other food for their children.  A friend of mine is a School Governor, and I have become involved in this crisis in a small way by donating funds to be used to help this school’s most needy families.  On asking what sorts of things the money would be used for, I was told that it would buy “luxuries” that these families could not usually afford – like biscuits and fresh fruit.  Well, what does one say?  This is the UK in 2020 and, to some, such really very basic items are luxuries???  I have to admit that all this has affected me deeply, and the more so since many families are now also being ravaged by both the covid pandemic and the consequent rising unemployment.


Father and baby: love, compassion, kindness: are these emotions considered relevant by England’s Conservative government?

The government in England has now voted – disgracefully voted, in my view –  not to provide needy children with Free School Meals over the imminent Half-Term Holiday – and this has prompted Marcus Rashford, a famous footballer from a deprived family background, to campaign to overturn this government vote – as he has affected these issues in the past and been awarded an MBE for doing so.  Even if the vote is overturned, that this Half-Term starts here tomorrow will mean that the U-turn, one of so many that this really incompetent English government has made, will not come in time for these children.  But of course the longer Christmas school holiday is rushing towards us, and it may well effect things then.

These events have prompted public uproar.  700,000 have signed a petition against the government’s decision, and 800,000 have signed another petition, to remove public subsidies on the cost of Members of Parliament’s food and drinks.  Many local councils, businesses, cafes and other food outlets have said they will provide free meals for children if the government fails to.  Over 2,000 top children’s doctors have signed an open letter to the government, condemning their policies.

If you would like to know more about these issues, here is Marcus Rashford’s twitter address; please have a look: @MarcusRashford .  And you can also of course simply dial marcus rashford into Google.

Thank you.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 20

 

 


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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.  Earlier 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

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.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W Blue Filter profile; south Bristol; 12 Sept 2020.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 98 – MOTHER AND BABY

 

 


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Mother and baby at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

African women’s love of gorgeous, bright colours.

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

Technique: OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko lens; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide film (I think!); Color Efex Pro 4; Lightroom.

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 283 – EARLY MORNING, APPROACHING THE MAIN ROAD

 

 


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Walking towards the main road, with streetlights, tail lights, tall trees and a bus shelter, and sunrise starting to colour the sky.

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; south Bristol; 10 Oct 2020.
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ARCHIVE KENYA 97 – HOUSE ON A FARM

 

 


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House on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

These are Luo people who live in the immensely fertile far west of Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria – a vast body of water that supplies them with vast quantities of fish, and with frequent thunder storms which keep their land totally green.

The structure consists of mud walls, above which a conical thatched roof is mounted on a great mass of wooden poles. There is quite a gap between the roof and the walls but, in this hot, equatorial area, cold weather is not an issue. This hut has at least two rooms: the doorway to a second room is to the left of the people. The mud walls have decorations drawn straight onto them, and there is an oil lamp hanging up. Notice how everything, including the chest of drawers and some of the pictures hanging on the walls, has cloth covers.

Food and water are not an issue for these people, they live in a wonderfully fecund landscape. But there are diseases – it was here that malaria first got its claws into me, despite my using mosquito nets and prophylactics.

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

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

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 19

 

 


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Scene from a suburban driveway: status symbol with sunrise and heavy dew.

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.  Earlier 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 .

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.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 5 Sept 2020.
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ARCHIVE KENYA 96 – BIRDING ON THE ROAD TO MOYALE

 

 

Birding in the Dida Galgalla (or Galgalu) Desert of northern Kenya; June 1978.

This is the main road running northwards from Mt Marsabit in northern Kenya to Ethiopia.  It carries on up through this arid wilderness to the town of Moyale, which is on the border with Ethiopia.

The whole area in this photo is volcanic, and on either side of the road can be seen the large, dark lava boulders that were bulldozed out of the way when the road was made.  Flat, dark lava flows can just be seen on the horizon.

Despite the heat and aridity of this area, faint tinges of green are visible off to the left.  This photo was taken in June, not long after the “long” rains (which are often not long at all), and this area was in the process of rapidly returning to its mixture of brown and maroon surfaces.

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I was much younger and more irresponsible in 1978 – well I suppose we all were! – and I thought this area tremendously exciting.  But it was dangerous and often lawless even then, with periods when all traffic had to be marshalled into convoys with military escort.

Oh, and that’s Bill, a birding friend from long ago >>> wow! we saw a lot of birds in those far off days!

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

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

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ARCHIVE 576 – THEATRE! (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The walls of the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, Devon; 2 Oct 2007.

This theatre in Ilfracombe is highly controversial architecturally.  Its Victorian predecessor caught fire and was demolished – only to be replaced by something bearing a strong resemblance to nothing other than power station cooling towers!  However, if you’re into modern design, photography, etc this is a real stunner.  As a photographer, I enjoy Ilfracombe’s cramped tattiness – so many interesting things to photograph, so wonderful for textural and abstract studies! – but even amidst all of these photo opportunities, this theatre stands quite apart, absolutely unique.

The backdrop here are the walls of the “cooling towers”, and in SEP2 I’ve piled on the contrast and structure, and left them as monochrome.  But I’ve re-introduced some of the green of the palm’s leaves, and vamped that up quite a bit too, so that the greens look sci-fi or artificial.  And then some dark vignetting and edge burning in SEP, to concentrate the viewer on the photo’s interior with its massive walls and patch of living greenery.

And that leaves the whole thing looking – artificial, alien, sci-fi, unworldly, other worldly, you name it!

May 2013: I’ve made a lot of use of SEP2‘s ability to selectively restore colour in black and white images – I think this was the first posted image that I tried this on.  The title means two things of course >>> this is a photo of a theatre, but the photo itself is also theatre.

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

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide film, rated at 1600 ISO; converted to mono, and re-coloured, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 18 – SUNRISE BEHIND PARKED VAN

 

 


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Walking into the sunrise, walking towards a van, walking home.  At first the glare from the sun was totally dazzling, I was in a world of blinding highlights and impenetrable silhouettes.  But as I moved into the van’s shadow, there appeared this view in through its dew-soaked windscreen.

The steering wheel is at lower left, and one of the black wiper blades at lower right.  The circular black spot attaches the faintly seen rear view mirror to the inside of the windscreen, and there are also the vague outlines of seats with headrests and the illuminated panes of its rear windows – through which the sun is shining onto the inside of the windscreen.

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.  Earlier 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

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 61mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 9 Oct 2020.
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