BRISTOL 141 – RAILINGS WITH BOTTLE (MONO)

 

 


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Exploring Leonard Lane with Paula, and hence to an empty beer bottle jammed between railings: the reminder – along with that morning after feeling, no doubt – of a good night out.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Leonard Lane, in the Old City area of central Bristol; 3 June 2019.
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PEOPLE 369 – DRINKING LAGER (MONO)

 

 


Having lunch with an old and very valued friend; feeling good and drinking lager, as it happens.  And I asked her to take some shots of me with the TG-5.  Not at all an ideal camera for this, far too much of the background in focus and light conditions tricky but, anyway, here I am, sucking down the old Electric Sauce and feeling the benefits thereof.

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Critique: the TG-5 not doing too badly at 3200 ISO.  However, as my old friend was driven to admit, the whole experience left her shaken … but not stirred …   And also, you know, I’m just not sure she’s caught my best side …
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Technique: take one old and very valued friend, several glasses of lager and one TG-5 at 40mm (equiv), and shake well to mix in all the goodness and downright friendliness; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset and adding a light Coffee tone; lunching, drinking and laughing in a pub in south Bristol; 14 Mar 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 91 – LUNCH IN A PUB

 

 


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Those of you outside the UK will probably have heard of British pubs or public houses – the “local”, the boozer, purveyors of The Electric Soup.  At 69, I can still remember, long ago, glimpses through open doors of rough, raw, smoke filled “spit and sawdust” establishments where men got drunk, and women were either absent or few; as I can recall pubs not being allowed to open on Sundays; and also pubs opening on Sundays where often the only things to eat were packets of crisps – not so good for those looking for warmth after a freezing winter’s early morning birding!  But now, pubs are for all, children included, and in many cases, especially away from city centres, they only survive in a very tough marketplace via their food rather than their booze.

And so to a quiet lunch in a pub way out in the south Bristol suburbs, on the edge of the city, on a weekday – this place is far busier on the weekend, and maybe on Fridays too.  Range of clientele?  Well there a baby’s buggy on the left –  children are allowed in until 9pm – and there’s an old woman with a walking stick at top left.  And so to modern life: sauce bottles on the tables (excellent!), a large TV up on the wall (groan!), and a flight of white-edged steps for falling down on your way back, laden with drinks, from the bar, which is out of shot at top right.  All in all, reasonably comfortable and congenial, and certainly affordable.

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This is the pub’s Mega Mixed Grill!!!  The friendly manageress has been known to exclaim “You’ve eaten it all!” but, well, you know, its a FATman Thing.  Nice touches to this meal, things that catch my eye??? Well, some blackening on the tomato, the ritual steak knife, and the jug of pepper sauce – a delicious meal except for the steak, which is often a problem in this particular pub. 😦

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And all washed down with pints of Stella, an above average, Belgian, mass market lager, tasty and fairly strong, a pleasure to drink – though simply not up there with brews from the likes of Duvel or Westmalle!  The above is a balanced diet – a pint for each hand …

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; south Bristol; 11 Feb 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 89 – INDIFFERENT LAGER

 

 

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LOL!!! before I get hauled over the coals by beer fans , the lager in the glass was not the lager advertised on the glass!  (Tho I don’t rate the lager advertised on the glass either!)  In fact I forget exactly what the lager in the glass was, but I do remember that it was cold, wet and had, well,  a little taste – and so wasn’t too bad for swilling down food!!!  I’m a gourmet, a man of taste?  Mais certainement, c’est moi!

But actually this picture was taken to try out the Microscope Mode on the Olympus TG-5, which lets the camera get in very close (down to 1cm) to the subject – this little camera packs a lot in it!  As I’ve mentioned before, this camera’s very small sensor (6.17mmx4.55mm) gives very large depths of focus, and so really its not a camera for those wanting misty images with lots of gorgeous bokeh.  But because this Microscope Mode enables the camera to get very close, out of focus effects are possible, as can be seen here.

Focus stacking and focus bracketing are also available.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 20 Feb 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 66 – A GOOD NIGHT OUT

 

 


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Early morning at 13 – and OMG I’m looking at street furniture again!!!  But this time its because of what’s up on top of it – the remnants of a good night out in Bristol’s outer suburbs.

And, as well as early morning for me, its also early morning for those drinkers who were here last night – wherever they are this morning.  And this morning is hangover alley, the famous “morning after”….   But after what?  Well, lager with vodka chasers and maybe other variations on The Electric Soup too, together with ciggies and certain “illicite substances” perhaps.  Which irresistibly brings to mind a drinks order from the wonderful (and cult) film Withnail and I,  which I totally recommend (the film, not the drinks order) – the order in question being “Two large gins, two pints of cider, ice in the cider.”.  That’s what I call real class.

But why were these party people in this alley anyway, when there’s a pub only yards away across the road?  Well, underage drinkers maybe – which brings to mind my youthful dalliances with rough cider in Somerset.  Or then again, perhaps these drinkers didn’t want to pay pub prices – booze is cheaper everywhere else, especially in supermarkets.  Or then again perhaps they’d been banned from the pub.  Ah, Life’s rich tapestry …

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So what were they knocking back?  Click onto the image twice to have a closer look!  The vodka is a cheap supermarket brand, and only 37.5% proof.  The white cans are Stella Artois lager at 4.8%, which is a Belgian lager that is very popular here and not bad, especially on draught.  Its Belgian, yes, but it in no way compares with the likes of the Duvel and Westmalle beers.  The green bottle is also “Stella”, as its known here.

And on the left Tennent’s Super, an 8% lager that an ex-partner of mine used to favour.  And if you have the nerve or curiosity to enlarge this image substantially, you can see two rather telling messages on the front of the can – one above, and one below, the “Alc. 8% Vol.” message.

The upper message, in large font and capitals, says “PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY”.  This message may well have to be on the can by law but, in any case, it is just there for appearances, it is just there so that someone – the manufacturer and/or the government – can be seen to be doing something, no matter how trivial and ineffective, in respect of drinkers’ health.  I do not aspire to epicurean tastes, but I do remember how foul my former partner’s Tennent’s tasted, which to me indicates that drinkers of this 8 percenter are thinking more of the oblivion that 8% can bring rather than savouring delicate its bouquets and flavours.  And should this be true, then I wonder just how many are “DRINKING IT RESPONSIBLY”, even when the can says “PLEASE”???

And the lower message, again in capitals, reads “SERVE ICE COLD” – doing this of course mutes the flavours.  Indeed, when I bought a can in a beer merchant’s long, long ago – it was a time when I was on an exploratory odyssey through beer – the proprietor of the shop actually came out with something like “I should put that in a fridge for a long time if I were you.”.  A nod’s as good as a wink, squire, say no more …

But, anyway, a good night out.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5; 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 22 Jan 2019.

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ARCHIVE 314 – MEN DRINKING (MONO)

 

 


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Men drinking beer at a wedding reception near Bristol; 17 Aug 2011.

I took informal photos at a friends’ wedding reception sometime back.  The celebration was set high up above the Chew Valley, a beautiful area not far south of Bristol.  I took a lot of shots but, looking back on it now, I wish I’d taken more – and that I’d had the love of my life – the 70-300 lens – with me, as well as the 24-120.

Being a good friend of the happy couple I was given carte blanche to fire away as and when I chose, and very, very little was posed >>> I’d very much like to have another crack at something like this.

To me, the man in the foreground is a strong, even powerful figure, with his closely cropped dark hair and beard – someone swigging seriously from his bottle and wanting it, almost frowning, deeply enjoying it in a masculine way, with an almost bullish determination.

The drinker in the background is different.  He is tilting his head slightly further back – enjoying the experience in a lighter and slightly more gourmet way maybe? – and he has a rather “softer” and more conventional haircut, and his clothes are paler.  Perhaps he does not display quite the same solid determination.  And, certainly, his appearance there, slightly out of focus and duplicating his friend’s stance, provides a repeating pattern that adds to the shot.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1000 ISO; conversion to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping in at the Sepia Landscape preset.

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STILL LIFE 138 – GLASS OF BEER 2

 

 


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Amber nectar?  No, not really, its only Stella Artois – but its in our faces and bubbling, and I like the effect.

The first glass of beer image is here Thinking about it, it may even be the same glass of beer (depending on how fast I was drinking at the time), but I think I prefer this closer in, simpler version, with its more clearly seen bubbles.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Standard film simulation, Bristol; 10 Feb 2017.
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STILL LIFE 81 – GLASS OF BEER

 

 

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A glass (actually several glasses) of beer with lunch, in a local pub which produces quite simple, tasty food.

I say beer, but actually its lager, and (to my shame) actually its Stella Artois.  OK, OK, I may be something of a beer snob, but the simple fact is that I like beers (and one or two lagers too) that have great mouthfuls of fine flavours and aftertastes – so that I am, or course, more or less married to the beers of Belgium.  OK, OK (again, again!), Stella Artois is Belgian too, and if its adequate (if a little strong) for washing down food with – cold soda water does just as well really –  it cannot compare at all with Belgium’s real, quality beers, which have an almost unimaginable variety of truly wonderful flavours.

My favourites?  Well, my staple is the pale Duvel, a Belgian classic, which at 8.5% alcohol is really not something you knock back in pints!  Not unless you yourself want to be on your back too of course.  And then there are the Dubbel and the Tripel produced by the Trappist monastery at Westmalle.  I’m not a gourmet, I’m not sure I have a very sensitive palate, but I simply glory in these beers and many others.

Technique: anyway, we went for lunch in this pub and, as usually happens, there was a delay between ordering our food and receiving it.  And sitting there, sipping our drinks and chatting, there was time to look around at everything.  My wife had her back to the window and I was facing into the light, so that my glass of drink shone golden in front of me.  So out came the relatively small and unobtrusive G11 and, looking down into its wonderful, fully articulated screen, the golden chalice looked good.  But, unless I filled the frame with the drink, there might well arise problems with obtrusive things in the background which, even if not in focus, can completely ruin any image.  So it was a question of manoeuvring from side to side around the glass to find a simple and relatively unobtrusive backdrop – that either would not disrupt the picture as it was, or which could have its obtrusive features subdued by post-processing.  I ended up with a compromise between these two outcomes.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; 10 Feb 2017.
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