STILL LIFE 142 – STAIRWAY

 

 


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Outdoor stairway, with a roof to protect it from the elements but still in need of some tlc.  Also an abstract design, more or less bisected by the diagonal from the upper right corner to the lower left.  Strong horizontals on the right are abruptly truncated by a (grimy!) wall with some angular, zigzag patterning on the left.  Further up these steps, on a landing, were rough sleepers.

Did I wish these stairs sparkling, clean and conforming to the “Modern Sterile” look?  Not at all, to me they show more character, more reality, like this – and all the more so for being surrounded by the shopping centre’s gleaming and pristine retail temples.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broadmead shopping centre, central Bristol; 7 July 2017.

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BRISTOL 123 – STEPS OFF BALDWIN STREET (MONO)

 

 


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Steps from Baldwin Street up towards St Nicholas Street.

And the effects of tilting a very wide lens slightly upwards – yes there’s a wide field of view, but see how the metal post at upper right is tilting drunkenly outwards, while less obviously the same is true of the wall at upper left.  Purists can probably correct such effects with software but I imagine this would reduce the overall area of view, and I’m happy to go with the effect as it is.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset; Bristol; 4 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 136 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE STREET 2

 

 


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Blues, and some browns too.

There is another image from this street here.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Capture NX2; central Bristol; 19 July 2016.
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STILL LIFE 134 – CITY LIFE

 

 


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City life: the clean, soulless hospitality of a corporate foyer, with traffic lights outside and more corporate architecture across the road.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 125mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.
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STILL LIFE 132 – BLUE, YELLOW AND BLACK

 

 

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Window, Queen Charlotte Street, central Bristol; 7 July 2017.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film preset.
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STILL LIFE 130 – 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, and click onto the enlarged image to enlarge it yet again – 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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STILL LIFE 126 – WHITE CAR

 

 


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The dominance of the private car in modern society but, as a driver myself, who am I to express an adverse opinion?  Still, there are many here for whom using public transport is largely unthinkable, quite close to anathema really, while walking any distance is at best infrequent.  I’m not sure I’m writing these words as any great Green or Health activist, but one thing I am sure about is that walking allows me to see, sense and experience so much more in my surroundings which, to me, is a distinctly desirable thing.  And photography, of course, fires my curiosity, keeps me looking at things, all sorts of things, which is equally desirable.

And, talking of photography, here are the effects of using a very wide angle lens tilted downwards towards the subject – the car pushes and swells right up to the front of the picture to get a better look at us, while the buildings in the backdrop tilt nightmarishly, like something from a Surrealist artwork.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 17mm (equiv); Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; King Street, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 124 – MORNING SUNLIGHT

 

 


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Slivers of morning sunlight on a city centre façade.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 113mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 123 – PUTTING ABILITY FIRST

 

 

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Snapshot of city life.

The black margin to this image has not been applied with software, it is the outline of a window –  I was standing in one street, and looking right through a building, via its windows, to a scene in the next street.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; shot from Rupert Street, central Bristol, looking through a building into Colston Avenue; 19 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 120 – WINDOW BOX

 

 


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Window box in Christmas Steps, a narrow and ancient alleyway in the city centre.

May sunshine was flooding across Bristol, but one side of the deep cleft of Christmas Steps was still in deep shadow.  I’m not usually someone who waits around for photos to happen, I’m usually on the move, if only slowly.  But the sunlight was inching its way around towards the Steps’ northeastern side – you could almost see the light creeping across the masonry – and I decided, this once, to be patient, because I wanted to see the light flooding across the textures of the buildings’ facades.

It seemed like an eternity, but a cat came over to see me and that passed some of the time.  And then the blazing light hit a window box, with the wall behind it still in deep shadow, and I took this picture.  The slightly open window frame is glowing in light reflected from a shop sign just out of shot on the left.

What does this picture do for me?  Well, it talks to me about peace – something not in limitless supply in the UK on this particular Sunday morning – and quiet; it talks about warm air, warm breezes and warm shadows to relax in, and some release from the pace, stresses and lowered quality of modern life.  It reminds me of pictures from more southerly climes, there’s something Mediterranean here perhaps, something not experienced over large parts of the year by us relative northerners.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 195mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering for highlights; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Christmas Steps, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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