SOMERSET LEVELS 435 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 4

 

 

Wet morning

.
Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 3 .

A short history of Weston is here.

.

Lion, drainpipe and CCTV

.
Wet morning: drenched leaf on drenched pavement

.

708018

.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 434 – ANOTHER WORLD (MONO)

 

 


.

Walking in The Boulevard, one of Weston’s main streets.  It was a wet morning, rain forever around, and there was a lot of surface water.  In my path, a large puddle spread across the pavement and, well before I reached it, I could see reflections in it – and so to ramping the telezoom up to 300mm and, standing quite some distance back from it, looking at and into this puddle.

I was looking into another world.  There was the reflection of a tall street lamp and, nearer, a street sign too, and the patterns of paving stones were also visible.  I’d taken several frames when the reflection of a gull suddenly passed through the frame – and I managed a single shot before it was gone.  And thence to simplifying the image by presenting it in mono, and presenting it upside down to make it more readable, while preserving the dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere.

And, in yet another (this time, bygone) world >>> opposite this spot, 60 years ago, a toy shop called Driver’s was an exciting centre in my young life – forever adding to my vast regiments of toy soldiers, and also allowing me to buy fireworks in the days when they were both affordable and freely available to youngsters like me.  For those of you old enough, do Penny Bangers, Jumping Jacks, Volcanoes and Catherine Wheels bring back any memories???  We youngsters used to light a Penny Banger (effectively a small explosive device, costing one OLD penny) and hold it until it started fizzing and was just about to explode, and then drop it into a puddle, when it would shoot across the surface of the water before blowing up: delighted – and retaining all our fingers too – we called it a Torpedo …..

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of raw file, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom; 180 degrees’ rotation;  The Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 433 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 3

 

 

Wet morning: face with condensation or rainwater

.

Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 .

A short history of Weston is here.

.

Front door

.

Wet morning

.

Autumn

.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 432 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 2

 

 

Local theatre

(best viewed enlarged – click onto it twice)

Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 .

A short history of Weston is here.

.

Wet morning

.

Public seating

.

Empty café

.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 431 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS

 

 

Uncertain destination

(best viewed enlarged – click onto it)

.
Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

A short history of Weston is here.

.

Wet morning

.

Cracked and weathered frontage – built of one of the honey-coloured limestones from the Cotswold area, like Bath Stone.  An older house, once genteel.

.

.

.

SOMERSET LEVELS 430 – POPLARS (MONO)

 

 


.
Poplars on a slight rise in the ground near the village of Godney – in this flattest of landscapes, these trees are quite a landmark.

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 at 300mm; 6400 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, using the Graphite profile;  Godney, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 15 Nov 2019.
.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 429 – CONGENIAL CAKE, A LITTLE PIECE OF IMAGINATIVE SIMPLICITY

 

 


.

So much of today’s world consists of buzz words, of “smart” this and “smart” that, of hype and image – and, quite frankly, most of this leaves me cold.  In many cases I feel such things to be a triumph of style over content.  I have produced some stuff over the years – geology, data analysis/management, ornithology – but I have never felt the need to label any of it as awesome or amazing – it was just, well, what it was – no marketing, no hype, no bullshit.

So that when I encounter things now, however commonplace and mundane, that show genuine sparks of imagination and innovation, I do tend to hugely admire and treasure them, and the people who have dreamt them up – in a way, I suppose, because amidst all of the commercially driven hype, media pressure and bullshit that modernity continually throws at us, I see these things as evidence that true imagination and innovation persists – and that to me is a very valuable and reassuring thing.

And so to a little bakery – Winnies Bakery  – in Weston-super-Mare, where the Somerset Levels run down to the sea – and also to a branch in Burnham-on-Sea, just down the coast to the south.

So just  what has Winnies  produced, that really gets to me???  Well, quite simply, a range of inexpensive and very tasty cakes with a really inspired but very simple name – Congenial Cakes.  I mean, wow!, who thought that one up????  And the two shops themselves are very unprepossessing, again no hype, no marketing bullshit, just simple counters and shelves stacked with inexpensive but extremely pleasant cakes, pastries and savouries >>> really, what more can one ask????

And here is a picture of a Congenial Cake – you can’t even see the cake clearly – but, take my word for it, it was delicious.

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 9 Nov 2019.

.

.

.

SOMERSET LEVELS 428 – AUTUMN MORNING, JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


.

The single track tarmac of Jack’s Drove, with a water-filled ditch (a rhyne – rhymes with scene) on either side, makes off southwards across Tadham Moor, in the dull light of an autumn morning.

On the horizon the low line of the Polden Hills, that run from Glastonbury and Street down towards the coast near Bridgwater.  The main road along the top of these hills runs along the route of a road built by the Romans – who prudently kept out of the vast lakes and marshes that covered these lowlands in those days.

And on the right my disreputable old car, covered in lichen, cobwebs, mud, cow dung and thin, very weathered paint.  Years ago I worked, looked at birds and photographed in often desolate and remote areas, areas where my life might depend on the reliability of my vehicle, and ever since then I have never bothered in the slightest about vehicles’ appearance, but always insisted on absolutely thorough maintenance and servicing.  Reliability, for me, is always the name of the game.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Jack’s Drove on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 15 Nov 2019.
.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 427 – THE END OF THINGS (MONO)

 

 


.
Death and decay on an urban pavement: the year closes down, and trees prepare for the dark, cold months ahead.  But, as always, with the knowledge that Spring’s brightenings and warmths are drawing ever closer too.

I lived on the equator, in Kenya, for some years.  In those parts, day lengths are always about 12 hours, the sun is always more or less overhead, sunrises and sets are always quite high speed affairs, and rather than summer, autumn etc, each year has two wet and two dry seasons.  When I eventually returned to England, just about 30 years ago, I was at first appalled by the winter sun sitting so low in the sky, and the cold and wet of the grey winter days – but there was no option but to make the best of things and get through them.  In the long years since then, however, I have come to appreciate all of the seasons (I suppose autumn is my favourite, just) and, in particular, to be out and about – with a camera – when light levels are subdued.

There is an earlier post on this theme of death and decay here .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, including use of the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 8 Nov 2019.
.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 426 – UNINTENTIONAL SELFIE WITH PARKED CAR AND UMBRELLA

 

 


.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and FATmen!!!  Roaming the damp streets of Weston-super-Mare, where the Somerset Levels run down to the sea.   Seeing a wet car with an opened umbrella inside, thinking it might make an interesting image >>> and clean forgetting to check if my reflection or shadow were in the frame!  Must be losing it … tho (doubtless intending kindly reassurance) you might wonder how I can lose something I never had in the first place ….. yes, well …. good point …..

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 55mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 8 Nov 2019.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: