ARCHIVE 611 – UPSTAIRS IN THE VICTORIA TEA ROOM, PENZANCE

 

 


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Upstairs in The Victoria Tea Room, Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

We returned yesterday from a few days in the far southwest of Cornwall, based between Penzance and St Ives.  And in a week of awful weather all over England we were far enough southwest to miss it all – it only rained at night, and the days were dry and even sunny!

Whenever we’re in Penzance we always visit this tearoom.  Amongst many other tasty goodies it serves up 11 item English breakfasts – which I hold a profound reverence for – and we like to sit beside the windows upstairs, looking out over Penzance’s main street.

In this cafe there are many bentwood chairs in a beautiful green, and the place has an over all low key, Minimalist, green and grey decor that I like very much.  This cup and saucer provided a good foil for its low key surroundings, and the chairbacks on the right resemble the curving stems of some exotic plant.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot; 400 ISO.

UPDATE (SOMETIME AGO): this excellent eatery has closed down – a great loss.  And while I’m talking about this image – I can say that its a great favourite of mine.  I have always loved its vast simplicity.

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ARCHIVE 563 – FOUR CHAIRS BELOW A TABLE (MONO)

 

 


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Browns restaurant, Queens Road, Bristol; 3 Feb 2017.

My day started early as they often do, and I got downtown at dawn and took a few photos.  But my heart wasn’t really in it because I know that yet another deep depression was steamrollering its way in from the Atlantic, and that it would be saturating Bristol with rain well before the morning was through.

And so to a stop in Browns up market (and certainly not down budget!) palace for Eggs Royale and a pot of very nice english tea.  I lounged there, looking around and feeling a bit out of things after the early start, and a table with four chairs that was catching the light from a window kept drawing my eye.

And so to opening my bag and getting out the camera, and looking through the viewfinder – but by then a couple had occupied the table next to the one I was looking at, and I had the uncomfortable feeling that they thought the camera was being pointed at them.  But at least this Fuji is not so large and intimidating, or so loud, as the Nikons, and I pressed quickly on and took two frames.

Technique: the table’s top was brightly lit and cluttered with many things, but I liked the look of the seats of the four chairs that were faintly glowing in the table’s shadow – and so to a composition in which the table’s bright and cluttered top is squeezed into the top fifth or so of the frame, while the seats of the chairs glow in the less brightly lit ‘underworld’ below.  There was a lot of contrast in the scene but the camera’s multi-zone metering (aided by the live histogram I’ve opted to have visible in the viewfinder) dealt with it well, and although the colour image is attractive – one of those instances where the near absence of colour really works – it really seemed to be a scene that would suit black and white, and so to SEP2.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 125mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Smooth preset and adding a tone.

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ARCHIVE 535 – CRUMPLED TABLE CLOTH

 

 


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Crumpled table cloth in the Cottage Cafe, Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset; 29 Aug 2011.

Whenever we go down to Burnham we never miss visiting the Cottage Cafe, which continues to serve up good food.  This time, as we were demolishing toasted teacakes and a pot of tea, my eyes were drawn to window light flowing down over a discarded table cloth – and the Nikkor telezoom, that most useful of lenses, reached out and got the image.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO.

UPDATE: now, nine years later, the Cottage Cafe has long since closed down – what a loss! 😦 

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BRISTOL 166 – AT LUNCH, DRINKING WATER (MONO)

 

 


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Carafe and glass on a wooden table top: a cool drink before the food arrives.

More images from Browns restaurant can be found by clicking onto the Browns tag below – recommended.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 800 ISO; centre-weighted average metering; Lightroom, using the Camera Astia/Soft profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum Inverse preset and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Capture NX2; Browns restaurant, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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OUTER SUBURBS 167 – WINE GLASSES ON SCRATCHED DINING TABLE

 

 


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Another image from this lunch, and more context, can be found here.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 10 Dec 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 163 – GLASS OF WINE WITH DISTANT DRINKER (MONO)

 

 


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Sitting in a local pub, awaiting their Festive Meal, which is more or less a complete Christmas dinner, but served up for many weeks before The Great Consumer Festival itself magically dawns.  The food is really quite good, and inexpensive too >>> and this Meal was my second act of devotion (nay, of downright enthusiasm!) at this particularly festive culinary shrine, and my wife’s third.

While waiting for food to arrive, I got the TG-5 out and started looking at things. For human interest, there was the genial soul at the bar, downing pints of cider like there was no tomorrow and, to the evident alarm of the barmaids, revealing that he’d just been thrown out of the pub next door for threatening to burn it down.  But I was looking for a still life – or at least a stiller and less incendiary life – and so to my wife’s glass of wine.

The subject itself is obvious, while the curving, tilting, patterned surface behind is the table top, catching the light.  Something of a Minimalist image really, I suppose, but if you turn your screen upside down (or stand on your head, if that’s what gets to you) and carefully look at the glass, you will see the reflection within of an elderly drinker (yes … that’s right … someone just a bit younger than me …), sitting near us, downing a beer.  Ah, that Old Consumer Magic … already here …

Click onto the image twice to see an enlarged version.

Technique: TG-5 at 80mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 03 profile; south Bristol; 10 Dec 2019.
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BRISTOL 155 – BOTTLE TOP ON WINDOW SILL, BROWNS RESTAURANT

 

 

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Sitting in Browns restaurant, waiting for a breakfast – a second breakfast as it happens – to arrive.  I’ve often visited this rather up market venue after hours of early morning photography on Bristol’s streets; its a wonderfully quiet place to relax – and the almost ritualistic presentation of the Full English Breakfast is a minor delight – you can see what I mean here.

But whereas Browns used to have beautiful yellow chairs that caught the sidelight pouring in through the large windows, these are now gone and – in the interval between ordering the meal and receiving it – the place is not so photographically rewarding as it once was – for example here .

But, still, there was a dull red bottle top sitting on the window sill across from my table, and the perforated top of a radiator below it, all with shadows and backlighting courtesy of the light from the large windows.

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 200mm; 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Pop profile; Browns Restaurant, central Bristol; 29 Nov 2019.
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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.

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Wet morning

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Public seating

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Empty café

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PEOPLE 374 – VERY OLD FRIENDS (MONO)

 

 


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Life moves on.  As Dylan Thomas so wonderfully put it, in Under Milk Wood, “Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”

And so to an Italian restaurant in a reasonably run down, seaside town, and five people around a table – already hitting the electric sauce, if only moderately, and good naturedly corralling a waiter into taking a snap of the occasion.  He was somewhat disconcerted by “Focus on the wine bottle!”.  While after “Squeeze yourself right back into that corner to get us all in!”, it had to be explained that we were not in fact all planning to try and get in the corner with him.  Ah, the youth of today …  But, anyway, here is the result.

So just who are these smiling worthies?  Well, as a landmark, something to navigate by when in distress on the sea, the lolling lout front right (magnified by proximity to the TG-5’s wide angle lens I might add) is me >>> does my tum look big in this??? 

Then the two women are the partners of the two blokes opposite me.

But the two blokes opposite me are the thing really, because we three were in the same school in the 1960s.  I’ve been friends with one nearest the camera for 60 years at least, we were in adjacent primary schools.  And the other is one of the two luminaries responsible for getting me into birdwatching in 1967, an interest that was to later take me to Kenya for 12 wonderful years – an experience from which, thank goodness, I’ve never quite recovered.

And although three of us live locally, the other very special thing about this occasion is that the other couple live on the other side of the world, so that we see them only very occasionally.

And so here we three are, back in our home town as it happens, and not a stone’s throw from the primary schools where two of us started out.  And we are all stunned by the fact that, having known each other since our childhoods, we are now all approaching our 70th birthdays.

“Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”
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OUTER SUBURBS 134 – TAKING A CAMERA TO LUNCH … AND A FUN COMPETITION WITH FUN PRIZES!!!

 

 

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Out for lunch, and lunch taking awhile to appear. Well, it was a Monday, the school holidays are over, and maybe the restaurant hadn’t expected such a tide of (mostly) oldies.  Anyway, the TG-5 camera was in my pocket, as it often is, and so to looking around at the things on the table in front of me.  When you’re into photography, there’s always something to look at …

But when it eventually appeared, the large mixed grill couldn’t be faulted – a carnivore’s dream, accompanied by tomato, onion rings, mushroom and (an inexhaustible supply of) chips, and probably with more than a whole day’s quota of calories.  In fact it was almost more than I could eat; must be getting old …

And, as always, the Olympus TOUGH TG-5 camera was wonderfully compact, and very capable and adaptable.  I used spot metering; and also the Microscope Mode, which enables extreme close up shots with illumination from the camera; 1600 ISO; processing in Lightroom.  Each picture can be enlarged by clicking onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and clicking onto that image to further enlarge it.

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3 >>> COMPETITION!!!  BIG PRIZES!!!  QUESTION: WHAT DOES THIS ARTWORK SHOW???  >>>  First prize: a night out in the Outer Suburbs with The FATman!!!  Second prize: two nights out in Outer Suburbs with The FATman!!!!!!  And furthermore, really entering into the spirit of the thing, The FATman will on this occasion lower his usual standards and dress code so that black tie will NOT be de rigueur!

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