PEOPLE 363 – GOING TO WORK 87 (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

At long last I’ve used the Olympus TG-5 TOUGH camera for what it is designed for – appalling weather.  Early on a Thursday morning, I was returning from one of my long walks around south Bristol, when the skies opened.  Wedging myself into a shop doorway to escape the worst of the deluge, I looked out over a grey and pouring main road, with a solitary soul sitting in a bus shelter, on their way to work.  The scene looked promising, and the TG-5 is after all claimed to be waterproof down to quite a depth underwater – a year ago, I bought it to photograph in the rain after all!

And so I started firing frames.  I would have dearly liked to have has a longer telephoto but – well, we just do the best we can with the camera we have with us.  And, as usual, if I see something that might have visual appeal, I take quite a few pictures, with varying compositions and viewpoints – not having to worry about how many frames I have left is one of the very beautiful and eminently user-friendly aspects of digital!!!

So here is yet another take on the early morning journey into work.  At least the shelter keeps her huddled figure dry, and buses into the city centre are regular along this main road.

Technique: because I didn’t have a longer telephoto with me – the TG-5 only goes up to 100mm equivalent, which = x2 magnification – this is an enlargement of a small area of the frame – and I’m impressed with what this little camera has achieved.  The low ISO (400) helped, and the 1/250th shutter speed has elongated the raindrops, and so given more sense of the downpour, more atmosphere.

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, 22, 2324, 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 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 Each will open in a separate window.

Technique: Olympus TG-5 at 38mm (equiv) ; 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Harsh preset and adding a light Selenium tone; south Bristol; 8 Nov 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 33 – JUST AFTER DAWN

 

 


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Pounding the streets in the twilight, just after dawn.  In terms of photography, pounding the streets during the Blue Hour, when the sun is still some way below the horizon and its light has a very blue shade.

And also seeing what the TG-5 can do in such poor light, and being quite impressed – this is at 1600 ISO, using spot metering.  The camera has a quick menu facility that I usually leave on ISO, so that I can change the ISO very quickly.  I usually use the TG-5’s ESP metering (which is a sort of matrix metering) and, usually, this works very well.  But one gripe that I have with the TG-5 is that, on this quick menu, the facility to change between these two metering modes is some way from the ISO controls, it takes some time to get there, so that its not really practical for altering the metering mode to meet instantaneously arising picture opportunities. Oh for a button or dial to change the metering mode – but >>> this is a small camera that’s built to take quite a bit of punishment, including submersion in water, and those priorities are, quite rightly, more important.

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 .  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; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; south Bristol; 11 Oct 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 31 – PATH THROUGH MODERN HOUSING 3

 

 


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The partly seen car – a truncated splash of bright, reflective, curved colour – drew my eye.  It contrasted with the mass of non-reflective, straight-sided shapes – the blank, utilitarian facades of the built environment – surrounding it.

Earlier pictures of a paths through modern housing are here: 1 2 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 57mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 30 Oct 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 305 – DRIVING WESTWARDS, TADHAM MOOR

 

 


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A car moves cautiously westwards across Tadham Moor, through fog turned incandescent by the rising sun.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 .

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 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Totney Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.

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PEOPLE 362 – GOING TO WORK 86

 

 

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An old and very dear friend of mine is a professional psychologist and avid people-watcher.  Her insights into everyday human behaviour never cease to fascinate and amaze me.  I had the idea sometime back of giving her a photobook of the Going To Work images (produced via Blurb) for her birthday, and that project is moving ahead.  In the course of assembling these pictures for use in her book, I have found six images that have not been posted in the Going To Work series but which really belong there, and so I am incorporating them into this series here.  This is the last of the six.  You can find the other images here: 1 2 3 4 5 : each will open in a separate window.

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.  If I had to pick a single, important facet of this image, it would be the tiny point of light visible through his otherwise silhouetted glasses: to me, this brings him more alive, rather than being just a blank silhouette.

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, 22, 2324, 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 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 Each will open in a separate window.

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

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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ARCHIVE 380 – BACK ROAD NEAR AKALA (MONO)

 

 


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Back road through farms near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

The wideangle lens makes the road appear in worse condition than it was – and, in any case, it was dry weather; tackling this in wet conditions would be something else again.

The VW Beetle was wonderful for this sort of thing.  No 4×4, just drive in the two rear wheels, the engine seated over the wheels – which made for very good grip –  and a large metal plate underneath most of the length of the car, to guard against rocks and boulders.

But the car took quite a hammering on this trip and, as I pulled out at the end of my stay for the long drive back to Nairobi, my front wheels had, unbeknown to me, taken such a pounding that they were facing outwards, i.e. away from each other.

This very soon wore both tyres completely bald and, when I came upon a police road block, I had a hard job persuading them to let me through.  Luckily there was an excellent garage specialising in VW repairs in Nairobi, and however badly I damaged the car, they were always able to fix it.

Another thing about this picture is that it was taken in a very fertile, agricultural landscape teeming with people.  I’ve only just stopped for a photo, and already there’s a young lad standing by the car.  If we were really to get stuck or break down, there were always plenty of willing hands to help push and pull us on our way.  They were friendly – and distinctly humorous – people.  Less friendly was the malaria, which initially got its teeth into me during this safari.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red preset.

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MENDIP HILLS 42 – LANDSCAPES FOR A DEAD WIFE 3 (MONO)

 

 


Dead trees, early morning, storm

I’m remembering my dead wife, and photographing a place we shared together long ago: you can find the full context in the first part of this series, here .  The second part of this series is here .  This is the final part of the series.

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Road, speed, darkness

If you would like to see enlarged versions of these pictures, click onto each one to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it: recommended.

Technique: all pictures were taken with a Fujifilm X-T2 camera and 55-200 Fujinon lens.  All were processed in Lightroom, and then converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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PEOPLE 361 – GOING TO WORK 85 (MONO)

 

 


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An old and very dear friend of mine is a professional psychologist and avid people-watcher.  Her insights into everyday human behaviour never cease to fascinate and amaze me.  I had the idea sometime back of giving her a photobook of the Going To Work images (produced via Blurb) for her birthday, and that project is moving ahead.  In the course of assembling these pictures for use in her book, I have found six images that have not been posted in the Going To Work series but which really belong there, and so I am incorporating them into this series here.  This is the fifth of the six.  You can find the other images here: 1 2 3 4 : each will open in a separate window.

Caught in traffic.

Taking her chance amongst the traffic surging along Queens Road, on the edge of Bristol’s up market Clifton suburb.

The converging cars remind me of a wolf or shark pack closing in upon her – especially the sharp and down-curved “snout” of the car at upper right.

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, 22, 2324, 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 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 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 – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Smooth preset; 2 Dec 2016.

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MENDIP HILLS 41 – LANDSCAPES FOR A DEAD WIFE 2 (MONO)

 

 

Storm, rain, clouds

I’m remembering my dead wife, and photographing a place we shared together long ago: you can find the full context in the first part of this series, here .

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Road, speed, darkness

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Writhing trees, rain, shadow

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If you would like to see enlarged versions of these pictures, click onto each one to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it: recommended.

Technique: all pictures were taken with a Fujifilm X-T2 camera and 55-200 Fujinon lens.  All were processed in Lightroom, and then converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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MENDIP HILLS 40 – LANDSCAPES FOR A DEAD WIFE (MONO)

 

 

Occasional, dazzling sun as dark clouds stream overhead

Many years ago, and newly arrived from equatorial climes, my wife and I were on the Somerset coast, desperately seeking a hot lunch on a bitterly cold day in the middle of winter.  However, in that distinctly non-tourist season, nowhere could oblige us.  At long last, we were saved by the Blue Anchor Hotel, between Watchet and Minehead, which, at no notice, produced delicious hot food, almost more than we could eat in fact and – as if that were not enough – wonderful warm hospitality too.  Coastal erosion will soon cause that hotel to collapse into the sea, and this fact, combined with my memories of that far off winter day, has served to bring my wife very powerfully back to me.

And so to a sentimental journey, to a place nearer home where I used to walk with Juliet, my first wife, my now long dead first wife.  A journey to walk where we walked and – if only within myself – to talk where we talked.

But, when I got there, the Natural World had other ideas, with high winds, driving rain and dark clouds rolling in across this open, upland landscape – this landscape, on the top of Mendip Hills, that was the roof of the world in my childhood, sixty years ago.

And so to thoughts and memories – very many of them – and to a flask of hot coffee within the car’s warmth and shelter.  And to looking out at, and then photographing – through the car’s streaming windows – some of the frenetic and blasting natural energy that swirled around me.  Was I afraid of the raging elements?  No, because the Natural World in all its moods enthrals me – but having my valued camera gear saturated and ruined is quite another matter!  But I knew that, Julie, the daughter of a farmer, would have enjoyed the weather’s energy too; that’s how she was.

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Main road; early morning

Two things to mention.  First, these images (which will be presented in three posts) may be a little dark, but this really has no significance beyond my penchant for dark black and white, and the fact that it was a dark day.

But, second, this post’s stark title may come as something of a shock to some.  But, while not especially looking forward to it, I feel more or less at ease with death, not least I suppose because I know that it is an inevitable reality.  But I know too that some in our advanced and civilised societies avoid mentioning The Big D, that some regard allusions to it as being in poor taste, and that some even regard it as some sort of taboo subject.  And I suppose that I find it strange that with all the imagined realities and social constructs with which we fill our heads and in which we so ardently believe, that some of us remain averse to contemplating and discussing all Life’s single, solid, and only too real destination.

Anyway, these are photos of a stormy day, taken with Julie on my mind.

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Dead trees, rolling clouds, ghostly skyline

.If you would like to see enlarged versions of these pictures, click onto each one to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it: recommended.

Technique: all pictures were taken with a Fujifilm X-T2 camera and 55-200 Fujinon lens.  All were processed in Lightroom, and then converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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