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.

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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 122 – TEMPLE CIRCUS GYRATORY

 

 


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Early morning driving on the Temple Circus Gyratory, which is a large roundabout at one of the southern approaches to Bristol, near Temple Meads railway station.  Roundabout?  Traffic circle in The States I think.  And the roundabout’s official name?  Well, it could really only have been dreamt up by officials, couldn’t it, by a Local Authority, in the interests no doubt of good urban planning and neutral nomenclature?

And the photo?  Well, its garish, technicolour plus.  The highlights are all blown to featureless white but to me that’s fine because this isn’t reality, this is how I like to see it.

So what gets to me here?  Well, the lines and curves of the blazing white vehicle, which frame the face – cool shades, no-nonsense beard, mouth slightly open – with the thrill of surfing the Gyratory maybe?  And the car’s curving lines also frame the reflections in the car’s windows, which become more colourful over towards the right.  And then, in the backdrop, all those technicolour stripes.  And no, before you ask, I haven’t ramped up the colour Saturation in Lightroom, although I did increase the Vibrance to +65.   Then CEP4 was used to provide a thin black border, to prevent the lower edges of the image merging with my blog’s white background.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 400 ISO; spotmetering; Lightroom, using the Pro Neg Hi film simulation; Color Efex Pro 4; central Bristol; 7 April 2017.
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PEOPLE 277 – GOING TO WORK 23

 

 


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Red light in the rush hour:  queuing traffic, frustration, cold winter sunshine.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.  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 yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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BRISTOL 121 – ALL SAINTS STREET 2

 

 


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Red car, reflecting yellow and rotated.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spotmetering; Lightroom, including flipping, rotation and use of the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; All Saints Street, central Bristol; 19 May 2017.
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PEOPLE 275 – GOING TO WORK 22

 

 


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Morning light in the city centre: blazing, angled glare, deep shadows, shiny cars, graffiti –  the walk to work through a very human, if dehumanising, landscape.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the images to see enlarged versions in separate windows, and click upon these enlarged images to enlarge them yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Fairfax Street, central Bristol; 19 May 2017.

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STILL LIFE 117 – CAR BEHIND A WIRE FENCE

 

 

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Brooding in the shadows and all too beautiful; tantalising, seductive even; and prudently fenced off from those who might want – or perhaps even, desire – to take too close a look.

But a cold beauty now, dumb, metallic, inert, just a work of modern sculpture or an overlarge paperweight, even if all of that can be changed in an instant by the arrival of – no, not something with the elegance of Cinderella’s slipper – but more prosaically, in this mass-produced, machine-driven world, a key.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering for highlights; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; car park beside Temple Meads station, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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PEOPLE 268 – MAN IN A CAR

 

 


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Another early morning in the city.  I walked up Crow Lane, away from the harbour’s glistening waters, and photographed the clown poster.  Then, as I turned squinting into the bright morning light, there was a man, silhouetted, sitting in his car and totally immersed in his phone.

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Technique:  a telephoto zoom is ideal for this sort of quick, close in, intimate shot – the Fuji 55-200 (a 85-305 35mm equivalent) is often the only lens I carry.  And, when out photographing, I make a habit of frequently looking behind me – and especially so if the light is coming from behind me – and of doubling back on myself >>> you never quite know what might be lurking back there!   X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spotmetering for the highlights; Lightroom.
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PEOPLE 262 – WOMAN WITH BLUE NAILS

 

 


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As so often happens, a grab shot – time for only one, very quick shot –  as passing traffic momentarily slowed down.  Luckily I had the camera set to spot metering linked to the active autofocus point, something I’m using quite a lot at the moment.  And the telephoto zoom was fully extended.  I just raised the camera to my eye, it found focus on her hand almost instantaneously, and I fired.

What do I think about this image?  Well, a passing soul, a passing someone, a stranger to me as I am to her, someone going somewhere.  But now, I suppose, part of a design, resting her fingers upon – or is she helping support?! – a curving metallic blueness set in a photographically enhanced darkness.  And if I could produce more such images, of beings in artificial, abstract realities, I would.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, including the Classic Chrome film simulation; Park Street, 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 98 – TWO CARS

 

 


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Cars parked next to each other; view through the windows of one car to the car behind.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 205mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, including adding Fuji’s Velvia colour profile; thin black border added in Color Efex Pro 4; outside Harts Bakery, Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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