STILL LIFE 105 – ARTIFICIAL FLOWER (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Artificial flower on railings.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Capture NX2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset, selectively restoring colour and adding a tone and black border; York Place, Clifton, Bristol; 21 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 103 – FLIGHTS OF STEPS

 

 


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Looking down flights of steps with yellow edges.

Originally taken in portrait format, the image has been rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.  The last two steps of a flight with their yellow, high-visibility safety edges are seen on the right, and there is a small landing, floored with handsome granite slabs, in the centre of the picture.  A second flight of steps descends between dark walls on the left but, because of the angle of the shot, all of the yellow edges of these steps meld together to form one yellow mass.  Another landing is dimly seen between the walls’ shadow at extreme left.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 85mm (equiv); 400 ISO; image rotation;  Lightroom, applying the Astia/Soft film simulation; York Place, Clifton, Bristol; 21 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 100 – KING WILLIAM AVENUE

 

 


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Traffic sign and early sunlight.

There is another picture of this wall here.

Click onto this image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click upon this enlarged image to enlarge it further.

X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 250mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, including the Astia/Soft film simulation; King William Avenue, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 99 – PARKED CAR REFLECTING ARCHITECTURE AND BLUE SKY

 

 

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Reflections in the bodywork of a parked car.  The blue sky can be seen left of centre, with distorted reflections of buildings around it.  The other reflections are from the car itself.

Technique: a first for this blog, in that although Lightroom has been used afterwards for final processing, this image was initially generated by the X-T2’s Raw Conversion facility.  In-camera, this facility allows Raw files to be edited in various ways – Push/Pull Processing, Film Simulation, Dynamic Range, Grain Effect, White Balance, Cropping, etc, etc – and then to be saved as jpegs while leaving the original Raw files intact.  In this case, the Raw file was given the look of Fuji’s Velvia film simulation, which (as users of Velvia film may remember), boosts colours and contrast.  Sitting down with the camera after a photo session, I find this a useful and creative way of looking through what the session has captured, as well as experimenting with the images to see what looks and crops may be eyecatching – and then saving those that appear useful.

I have a sneaking feeling that some photographic purists might consider this cheating, because I’m letting the camera do some of the processing work for me whereas I ought to be handling the whole of the processing myself in eg Lightroom.  Well, two thoughts about that.  First, I have always said – and it has always been a very core part of my photographic thinking – that all that matters in photography is the final image, irrespective of the way(s) in which it has been generated.  And second, if I generate something like this image, am I really going to expend lots of time and energy seeking to replicate it with Lightroom, when I already have something useable to hand?

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; jpeg with the Velvia film simulation generated from a Raw file in-camera; Lightroom; King Street, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.

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STILL LIFE 91 – MODERN ARCHITECTURE

 

 


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Sunrise in the city, on a cold, clear morning.

Light from Our Star illuminates elegant modern design.  But the bare winter trees, although far less striking, are important too.  They help balance the composition, and they support the colours of the sky and the light in bringing Natural, uncontrived elements to the scene.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; the Eclipse apartment block, on the edge of Bristol’s Broadmead shopping area; 20 Jan 2017.

 

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ARCHIVE 281 – THATCHED COTTAGE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Thatched roof in Wareham, Dorset; 7 Nov 2006.

Technique: use of a 24mm wide angle lens, close in, emphasises the vast, rough bulk of the thatch, making it loom towards the camera, almost filling the frame.  The chimney, totally outscaled, appears to be toppling, again as a result of the distortion of the wide lens.  I originally intended this shot to be monochrome, but the slight tinges of colour in the thatch, the chimney and the plant improve it – instances of low key colour (in this instance, restored colour) adding something.

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

Technique: F6 with 24-85 Nikkor at 24mm; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset and selectively restoring colour.

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BRISTOL 118 – EARLY MORNING, TEMPLE GATE (MONO)

 

 

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Looking up at a cloudy sky, just before sunrise; Temple Gate; 24 Feb 2017.

Post-apocalyptic perhaps?  Or fan as I am of the Terminator films, is this The Rise of the Machines?  That innocuous little line of cloud that was wafting gently overhead now looks more like the result of an air strike.

Well, it may be that, but what it isn’t of course is a true representation of reality.  It is how I choose to portray things – which gets back to yesterday’s post about freeing ourselves from photography’s conventions and “rules”, freeing ourselves from what we think is expected of us, from what others may expect us to do, and instead following our own creative feelings, emotions and gut instincts.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and then click onto that larger image again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, including substantial underexposure.
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STILL LIFE 87 – HAND RAIL ON RED WALL, OVEREXPOSED

 

 

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Hand rail on red wall.

A rail beside a flight of steps that ascend this bright red, outside wall.  An older picture, here, puts it a little more in context.

Technique: in the bright sunlight, exposure for the shadows has caused the highlights to almost burn out, perhaps making the image more abstract.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Park Row, central Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.
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STILL LIFE 83 – FIRE ESCAPE

 

 

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Fire escape, beside Temple Meads railway station, Bristol.

Technique: this looks like black and white, but it is in fact a very high contrast colour image.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom; 3 Feb 2017.
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ARCHIVE 273 – BUILDING WITH OPEN WINDOWS (MONO)

 

 

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Building with open windows on John Street, off Broad Street, in Bristol city centre; 5 July 2013.

John Street, in Bristol’s Old City, is very narrow.  There are pavements wide enough for only one person to walk, and just room for one vehicle to move along its middle.  Walking along it, the buildings tower up on either side.  I was strolling down to the Baldwin Street branch of London Camera Exchange, en route to having lunch with a dear friend.  The (rare!) English summer sun was blazing along John Street’s facades and, lost in other thoughts, I noticed this but ambled on.

I enjoy visiting the Baldwin Street branch of LCE, simply because the staff there are friendly, and also – a small point! – their photographic expertise is both vast and readily given.  That day, I was asking their advice about a tripod and ball head combination I had in mind – and the issue was resolved and the gear ordered in a very short time.  A shorter time than I’d anticipated in fact, and I was left with time on my hands prior to lunch.

I remembered the sunlit façade, and strolled back to John Street for another look.  It looked good and, taking care not to be swept off the narrow pavements by passing vehicles, I stared down into the G11’s screen and took a range of shots.

In this image, I’ve tilted the camera so that the sunlit, upstanding parts of the façade lean to the right, which I think effective.  The white window frames break up the monotony of the pale and dark mosaic.

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

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 100 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Smooth preset.

UPDATE: as often happens, filling the frame with the subject, which helps to produce an abstract effect, there being no other source of reference, no other clues as to context, in the shot.  I don’t use the G11 much these days, although it remains a capable, compact and not too heavy standby for times when photography may not occur but its good to have a camera along  just in case – visits to pubs, lunches, days out, etc.

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