BRISTOL 151 – TABLE AND YELLOW CHAIR

 

 


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A couple of years back, I was doing a lot of early morning visits to Bristol city centre, and glorying in the abilities, light weight and compactness of my second mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 (my first being the X-T1).  Having tramped the early streets for several hours, I would at last fetch at some or other eatery, and flop down to a second breakfast – which was usually a Full English.

One of the eateries I frequented was Browns: the food is excellent and, while not inexpensive, the Full English with a pot of tea (together with a tea strainer!) has a definite sense of occasion and ceremony about it – which I’ve tried to convey in A Distinctly Civilised Full English, here .  Even though I say so myself, if you’re anything like interested in food, this post might be worth a look.

And while waiting for the food to arrive, I took many pictures of the restaurant’s tables and beautiful yellow chairs, which were side lit by large windows looking out onto the street.  Some of these images have already been posted – search for Browns in the tags shown along the bottom of this post – but here is another that I came across recently.  Mostly low key, its about the way the light coming in from the street illuminates the various objects in the frame, notably the yellow chair.  I hope you like it.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 212mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Browns restaurant, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.
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BRISTOL 146 – OUTSIDE THE CROWN

 

 


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Passing time in central Bristol: tables for patrons only, outside The Crown.
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There are other pictures in this short series here: 1 2 3 4 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 49mm (equiv); 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; outside The Crown pub, in All Saints Lane, central Bristol; 25 June 2019.

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ARCHIVE 411 – VIEW INTO A RESTAURANT

 

 


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Looking in through a restaurant window, Bristol Harbourside; 14 July 2016.

Looking in through this window, I was at once taken with the single, beautiful flower, caught by the light.  But, there being all sorts of visual rubbish off to the left, I could not make the flower anywhere near central in the composition, nor get it near to any of the compositional thirds.  I could of course have tried portrait (ie vertical) format, but this seemed a waste of all that diffuse, half-seen, “restauranty” detail off to the right – table cloths, more glasses, cutlery, upholstery.

And so to this.  Westerners’ eyes often enter images from the left, perhaps because we write from left to right – I’ve often talked about this on this blog in the past.  So,  in this case, my eyes enter this image from the left and run visually slap bang into the flower and its attendant glassware, sharp and well lit in the summer sunlight – and are for a moment held there.

But as I look at the bloom and its reflective attendants, my eyes keep wandering off to the right, wondering what’s there – only to be dragged back to the flower again.

Do your eyes do the same, or do you see this differently?  Is the flower really too far left?  What do you think?

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO.

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BRISTOL 135 – TABLE OUTSIDE A CAFE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, the offer of fashionable alfresco dining on a city street but – at a rather cool and early hour – with no takers. 

The flowers added a wonderful splash of colour, and selective restoration of that colour in black and white immediately came to mind.

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 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Sepia preset, and then selectively restoring colour and adding a slight pale vignette; Corn Street, central Bristol; 10 May 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 80 – A GOOD PLATEFUL

 

 


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The Mixed Grill, in a south Bristol pub.

Rather like a Full English breakfast really – but with chips, peas, onion rings and more types of meat –  and usually downed later in the day.  Although, having said that, I could certainly have a go at this for breakfast – and especially so if the morning were bitterly cold and I had little planned for later in the day other than sitting beside a fire with a few, contemplative glasses of whisky.

So, what is here?  Ah, the steak sits atop the gammon, which sits atop the chicken, which sits atop the (really not at all bad) sausages.  So not a meal for vegetarians then.  But also eggs, half a grilled tomato, and the other, aforesaid vegetables.  All downed with lashings of salt, pepper and tomato sauce.  And all aided and abetted by a steak knife – for practical purposes of course, but also to enhance the atmosphere of delicious and almost ritualistic hedonism.

And all washed down with a couple of pints of just about adequate, cold lager – well, you can’t have everything and, still, this was a “A Good Plateful” and, even just looking at the picture,  I for one can still feel the vibrations.

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 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 19 Feb 2019.
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ARCHIVE 395 – CANDLESTICKS IN A FLOATING RESTAURANT

 

 

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Silhouetted candlesticks in The Three Brothers Burgers floating restaurant; Welsh Back, central Bristol; 5 August 2016.

A second early morning foray into Bristol city centre, on another day that promised a lot of sunshine.  The 0608 bus got me down there earlier than more sensible souls, the sun kept promising to rise above a low cloud bank, and I went walkabout, looking at anything and everything – while hoping for blazing, low angle, early morning sunlight.  Years ago I read that our legs are amongst our most useful photographic tools – always keep moving, keep looking with an aware, open and receptive mind, keep altering viewpoint – this simple plan of action has very often worked for me.

So later I found myself meandering along the side of the Floating Harbour, heading up towards Bristol Bridge.  To my right was the water, with three floating restaurants that were broadside on to the now blazing sun.

I drew abreast the middle boat, The Three Brothers Burgers restaurant, and the sun was pouring into its dining room, throwing two large candlesticks into sharp silhouette.  The atmosphere in that dining room looked dusty and hazy, the whole place reminded me of a painting, and the camera caught the feel of the place exactly.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 168mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.

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OUTER SUBURBS 41 – SITTING IN DEB’S CAFE AND TAKEAWAY, ON A DULL FRIDAY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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

A dull Friday morning.  But, of course, to those working a five day week, Friday morning is never dull.  It is enriched with the promises of both edible treats to celebrate the working week’s end and, equally, to celebrate the start of the weekend, when all good things in life appear – for a day or two –  eminently possible.  But, weatherwise, this was a dull morning, with low, dark overcast and no sign at all of the rising sun’s glow.  In just over a week’s time we’d be in winter and, meteorologically, this Friday morning was getting all set up for it.

And also, for those into consumerism, materialism and our incessant manipulation by the mass media – and also, of course, those who know it as just plain, simple, good old shopping – this was indeed a dark day.  Indeed (there’s that word again!), no day could be darker, for this was Black Friday, when many hope to grab bargains (why does the word “grab” seem particularly appropriate here … ? …) and so accumulate yet more, “happiness inducing stuff”.  The more of it we have, the happier we are, right?

Anyway, oblivious to all this mass hysteria, I’d had a first breakfast before dawn, and then set off on foot into the dark streets with the little camera in my pocket.  And after an hour or so – and seeing that it was a Friday – I dropped gratefully into Deb’s Café & Takeaway and ordered a second breakfast – a thick, “doorstop” bacon sandwich, and a mug of hot, strong, sweet tea – ah, Life’s Simple Pleasures!

I’d been into Deb’s before.  Indeed I’d been into Deb’s when it was packed out, with no room to sit down, and so been forced to look elsewhere for what the more cultured gourmets of my social circle term “a good plateful”.  What’s Deb’s like?  Well, its a little street café  staffed by women whom I take to be three generations of the same family, it opens at 7am and closes after lunch, and it specialises in good, solid, simple English food, much of it in the full English breakfast vein.

And I like this place for three reasons.  First, obviously, the food is good, and not expensive.  Then, the women are natural and friendly – there are no airs and graces here – and since many of the early morning clientele are builders, scaffolders and other workmen, the atmosphere can be humorous, irreverent, ribald and earthy – in a word, three words actually, real and human: this is not the place to go if you like pretence, café au lait and croissants.  And that’s the third reason I like this place: there is a complete absence of the usual marketing, hype and bullsh*t that is so often a feature of the modern commercial/retail world – these women simply produce good, enjoyable, basic food and, as you eat it, likely as not there’ll be some convivial chat, gossip and banter around ……

So, as I sat there, taken aback somewhat by just how much of a doorstop I’d contracted to get outside of, I looked out at the grey morning and the grey urban landscape.  In that moment, what could I see?  A woman, head down, trudges through the parked cars towards the at best uninspiring (except for Deb’s!!!) row of shops.  Down left of her there is a litter (trash) bin, while the shining metallic semicircles immediately outside of Deb’s are the backs of chairs set around tables, for those who like to smoke while eating.  And further away, the suburban landscape: houses, a single decker bus, and bare, pollarded trees.  Rather a bleak scene, but one which was amply compensated for by the warmth and conviviality of the café.

And, grey and bleak though that view may have been, it was immeasurably enhanced by the absence of any hint of the burgeoning greed and materialism of Black Friday.

I downed the doorstop with lashings of ketchup, drank the delicious tea, struggled to my feet, made it to the door, and lurched off, heavily and uncertainly, into the gloom.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Technique:  TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1,000 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum Inverse preset and selectively restoring some of the colour; south Bristol; 23 Nov 2018.

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