STILL LIFE 196 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 12 (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, with daffodils, in the William Bray, a restaurant and bar in the village of Shere, Surrey; 24 Mar 2012.

This restaurant is on different levels, and I was able to get up onto one floor and look down on the one below.  The wonderful lines and forms made the by the chairs, tables and floorboards – and the colourful flowers –  caught my eye, and I took several photos, none of which were “THE ONE!”, to work on later.  With all these lines and textures, I knew that there was something there – and that it was screaming out for mono conversion, with the plant’s colours restored.

It took quite a time to find this crop, but it has what I searched for – the lines and textures, the great contrast between the wooden and metallic structures, and the great contrast between the daffodil’s leaves and flowers and everything else.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 6400 ISO; converted to mono and manipulated (including selective restoration of colour) in Silver Efex Pro 2, and then manipulated further in Nikon’s Capture NX2.

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STILL LIFE 187 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 11: SOMETHING FROM THE HEART

 

 


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UPDATE: a post written nearly two years ago now, but I can’t see my feelings about this ever changing.

We’ve had a death in the family, we have been low.  And, in due course,  we attended the crematorium and, because I’m me, with an almost unbreakable (some would say, unbearable) compulsion to be early, we were early, very early.  Those attending earlier services ebbed and flowed, grieving, around us and, it being a nice day, a cold but beautifully sunny day,  I decided to take myself off for a stroll around the site’s gardens and memorials.

Most of the latter were fairly conventional stuff, sincerely meant no doubt, but with formal words, names, dates and so on – which made me reflect that I certainly don’t want this sort of treatment when I die – and no, I’m not going to say that I wouldn’t be seen dead in a place like this …  its just that I want my ashes scattered anonymously out at a favourite spot on the Somerset Levels – the Magic Carpark –  where the cattle, tractors, farmers and walkers will trample, grumble and rumble unknowingly over me, gradually grinding me down ever further into a place that I have a vast affinity for.  I shall be below sea level and I can’t swim, but then again perhaps that won’t matter by then.

But, anyway >>> anyway!!! >>>  away towards the back of the little enclosure that I was in, and approached by a curving gravel path, stood a garden bench, with bunches of bright daffodils and other flowers tied to it.  And looking at that bench, I just felt that there was something about it that made me want to get closer to it.  I suppose you might say that I could feel it drawing me towards it.  In short, I was intrigued, totally curious, such that not getting any closer was unthinkable.

And walking on up to that seat, alone and with no sound but that of the gravel crunching under my feet, I found the plaque pictured below, mounted on its backrest – and, quite simply, it was one of those moments that you know, instantly, are special.  Life-enhancing might be overdoing it, but spiritually uplifting certainly isn’t.

For here were two things.  One of which of course was the record of a loving relationship, which is in itself uplifting, a cause for warm thoughts and happiness.  But what really got to me – and what still very much really gets to me – is that, this relationship having been struck by the death of the man,  the woman decided to say exactly what was in her heart, and to have it displayed on this bench for all to see.  Having been but moments before wading through a sea of conventional tributes and endearments – phrases that I too have had engraved onto loved ones’ tombstones –  I just loved the freshness and loving vibrance of this.

Its all simple, wonderful and straight from the heart, but MY BIG STRONG NORTHERNER really gets inside me and stirs me up – wow!  And the kisses too, simply so downright, so fundamentally, human.

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Normally I wouldn’t picture words like this from a cemetery, but they do strongly affect me, and having them placed so prominently on this seat, Jac wants others to see them too.  Now they will have a wider than anticipated audience.

And I may have almost got to meet Jac – for between the time when our service started, and the time after our service when I took these photos, someone had come and changed the flowers on the bench, replacing those going over with fresh blooms.  I should have loved to have had that encounter – and, without the slightest doubt, would have made my feelings about her words clear.  It would have been wonderful to meet her.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  .  Each will open in a new window.

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STILL LIFE 186 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 10 (MONO) : THE DANCERS

 

 


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Folding chairs outside a cafe in Bath, Somerset; 28 Mar 2009.

Immediately I saw these stacked chairs I thought of a group of (probably rather inebriated) people dancing a merry jig, and that impression has never gone away.  If only they could move, they’d dance off to the left as they are now, and then lurch back right again to the accompaniment of energetic music and much merriment and laughter – I’d like to be joining in with them!

The original slide has some confusing detail between each pair of struts, but I’ve darkened this to show just the detail and shapes of the  “front rank”.  The brightest dancer is somewhere around the left vertical third.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide, rated at 500 ISO; conversion to mono and further mainipulation in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Capture NX2.

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STILL LIFE 184 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 9 (MONO)

 

 


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Tables and chairs outside a cafe in Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

I love the abundance of shapes and textures here, and the fact that none of the objects is portrayed in its entirety.  I remember reading about some artists’ liking for truncating objects with the frame and I think this a powerful tool – for use even with portraits.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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STILL LIFE 165 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 8

 

 


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Seaside café. Cheap, cheerful, functional – and no less enjoyable for all that.  No pretence, what you see is what you get.  Visually, a cacophony of shape and colour.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7  .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

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STILL LIFE 164 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 7

 

 


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Public seating on the waterfront, close in with a telephoto.

This is the seat also pictured in black and white here, where it is viewed from the back.  The picture above is looking at this seat from the front.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found here Subsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; beside Welsh Back, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 162 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 6 (MONO)

 

 


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Seating in a bus shelter – the narrow and tilted seats, with intervening arm rests, that are designed to make it impossible for homeless people to sleep on them.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found here.  Subsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 200 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Silhouette preset; Bristol; 24 Apr 2013.

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STILL LIFE 160 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 5

 

I’ve sampled the excellent food in Rosemarino’s Italian restaurant several times now, and taken some pictures while waiting for my meal to arrive.  Two photos (including a chair) are already posted here and here.

Now, looking at chairs some more, here are more Minimalist views of this restaurant’s simple but completely adequate seating.  My favourite amongst them?  Probably the second image down, for its simple silhouettes and pale, pastel colours – and also, looking at this image naively, the question: which are in the foreground, the colours or the silhouettes?

Which (if any!) of these images do you prefer?

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4

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

Technique: all of these images are jpegs straight out of the X-T2; aside from application of the X-T2’s in-camera film simulations, there has been no post-capture processing whatsoever.  All were taken with the 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering.

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STILL LIFE 155 – TWO YELLOW CHAIRS, BACK TO BACK

 

 


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Two chairs, back to back, beside a window.

Sitting in Browns, waiting for the third breakfast of the long morning – a repast which might have equated to what we Brits call Elevenses, except that it was just after ten.

I always sit at any table that looks across the room towards the windows onto the street, because these provide good cross- and backlighting.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Browns Restaurant, Bristol; 19 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 156 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 4

 

 


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Decaying public seating in central Bristol; 14 June 2013.

I focused on the rotting wood and let the rest look after itself – a benefit of cameras with smaller sensors is that they increase depth of focus.  The out of focus metal armrest lower right brings both depth and a graceful curve to the composition.  The rear leg of the seat introduces more curves, and the pavement is a neutral, segmented backdrop.

The dull, overcast day, with it paucity of shadows, was right for this kind of photo.

And I received the usual puzzled stares – “What’s that daft old **** doing?!” – as I slowly circled what had attracted my eye.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 200 ISO; rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

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