ARCHIVE 570 – AUTUMN HAZEL, DOUBLE EXPOSURE

 

 


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A double exposure of the Hazel tree in our Bristol garden, with the beautiful yellow leaves that it has in the autumn.  The camera was moved slightly between the two exposures.

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

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GARDEN 72 – A WONDERFUL ENCOUNTER

 

 


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Out doing a bit of gardening, cutting our “front lawn” (aka The Dandelion Patch – I like Dandelions!).  And I kept getting the impression out of the corner of my eye of something darting swiftly by – until at last there came a beautifully warm red-orange glow from the bottom of a dense bush, and there was a Robin, a fairly small type of thrush.

And as I raked the grass and so laid bare more and more food items for him, he darted out more and more and dutifully gobbled them all down.  And knowing birds a little, I kept fairly still and started talking to him in much the same way that I talk to cats – quietly, softly and low.  And, looking up at this giant towering over him, he came closer and closer, to within a couple of inches of my feet I suppose, and I did wonder whether he might hop up onto the top of my shoe.

But he hopped away again, though not far away – and I started thinking about a photograph.  So, very quietly and slowly, keeping my eyes on him, I backed away into the house where I knew the Z 6 with a telezoom attached and a charged up battery were ready and waiting.  Creeping back out into the garden again I was sure he’d have disappeared – but no, he was still there, looking me.  So I carefully braced myself against the wall of the house and managed a few pictures.

Trouble was, I’d hardly used the Z 6 since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March – I’ve been almost entirely photographing with the Olympus TG-5 – and so I’d forgotten exactly how the ***** Z 6 works!!! >>>> and so to several failed shots!

But a couple of the frames came out ok – and so to a record of a really wonderful close encounter, just the thing in fact to lift the spirits in these very sad and trying times.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Landscape v2 profile; south Bristol; 22 Sept 2020.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 11 – EARLY LIGHT, AND DEW

 

 


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I walk back home most early mornings along a road lined with big cars and big, comfortable, middle class dwellings.  These houses are on my right, to the east of me, with – on clear days –  the autumn sun rising behind them.

There are big areas of shadow where the houses block the sun’s light, but the driveways between these semi-detached houses are ablaze with the early light, with most of the cars pointing directly into it.  There’s a lot of contrast and some blazing reflections, but looking carefully and using the TG-5’s 100mm telephoto and its spot meter, there are areas like this, with the sunlight glancing almost horizontally across the cars’ dew-soaked bodywork and illuminating every surface feature, texture and tiny drop of moisture.  Walking past these cars never fails to draw my gaze.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 03 profile; south Bristol; 14 Sept 2020.
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ARCHIVE 569 – FULMAR

 

 


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Fulmar flying along the cliff top at West Bay, Dorset; 23 Apr 2015.

How I love Dorset!  And we’ve just been down there for a few days’ break, renting a cheapo caravan not far behind the beach at the tiny “resort” of West Bay, which is on the coast south of Bridport.  I put resort in quotes because, although it is on Dorset’s absolutely totally beautiful coast and it does have a harbour with a few working fishing boats – mainly for shellfish, crabs and lobster I think – West Bay also has some really ugly holiday apartments (which sell for just under half a million pounds each) and other ugly modern buildings, and it really is a cheap and cheerful place.

BUT, that said, this is coastal Dorset, and so all this money! money! money! ugliness is set amongst just totally wonderful natural beauty.  And the little kiosks  round the harbour serve up good fish and chips, and there’s Dorset Apple Cake, and a brewery nearby that’s been churning out the good stuff since 1794, and some really nice bakeries in nearby Bridport, etc etc.  I suppose the bottom line is that its very hard to dent coastal Dorset’s vast appeal – and thank goodness for that!

Anyway, anyway –  it was the afternoon of the final day of our stay, the blast of the bright sunshine had softened a little, and I took it in my head to climb a steep hill east of the harbour, to explore a bit.  Well, OMG, it was steep, but when The Great Explorer eventually puffed and coughed his way to the top, what did he find?  Beautiful natural wilderness?  Well, no, a golf course actually, but you can’t have everything.  And as I set off regardless along the cliff top path, I caught a glimpse of a seagull coasting along the cliffs – but it didn’t look quite right.

And sure enough it wasn’t quite right, because rather than a gull it was a (Northern) Fulmar – Fulmarus glacialis – a seabird, a real denizen of the open oceans that only comes ashore to breed, on steep inaccessible cliffs like those at West Bay.  So, I watched where these birds were habitually gliding past, wound the D800 up on DX format so that my 70-300 zoom became a 105-450 zoom – and started blasting away.

It was difficult going, even with autofocus, and lots of my attempts are, shall we say, “impressionistic”.  But here is one caught above the glare of the lowering sun on the sea – and it does look like a seagull at first glance, doesn’t it – but there’s a little kink and ridge on the top of its bill that houses nasal passages, something that gulls don’t have.

And two points of interest.  Living out on the open seas as they do, and eating things like squid, fish and shrimps, these birds are up to their ears in salt – some of which they manage to get rid of by excreting it as a strong saline solution through their noses.  And, should one of these beauties feel that you’re approaching it too closely on a cliff, they will vomit their foul smelling stomach oils over you –  as a means of giving you a gentle hint.

And, finally, their plumage is white below.  The warm orange tinge to the underparts that you see in the photo was in fact the reflection of the lowering sunlight on West Bay’s beautiful, honey-coloured cliffs.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX format to give 450mm; 400 ISO.
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ARCHIVE KENYA 88 – UNKNOWN SUNRISE

 

 

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Sunrise, somewhere in Kenya, probably in the late 1970s – how’s that for vague?

An Agfa colour slide with absolutely no information on it.  Am I sure its a sunrise? I think so – it has that clean, clear look – but who knows? And where is it taking place? Well, somewhere very flat – the bush country of Tsavo maybe, or perhaps the Maasai Mara grasslands? 

Click onto this image to see a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 10 – RUSH HOUR, RED LIGHT

 

 


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

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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ARCHIVE 568 – NEAR WEST LITTLETON

 

 


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Something Minimal, there’s really not much here, both in terms of content and colour, but straight black and white would lose a little I think.  And the bird – and getting focus on the bird – were fortuitous!

Click onto this image to open it in a separate window.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; near West Littleton, South Gloucestershire; 12 Apr 2017.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 84 – SOMETIME EARLIER IN THE WORLD

 

 


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Sunrise at the mouth of the Njoro River at Lake Nakuru, Kenya; Jan 1978.

Early morning mists rise above the lake and, as the sun appears, everything is flooded by warm, golden light – a scene seemingly from long ago in the world that has always fascinated me.  Here is something primeval, here we are an irrelevance.

The gaunt skeletons of trees out in the lake are Yellow-barked Acacias that were killed as the lake’s soda-rich waters rose up around them.

There are two types of birds here.  Those holding their wings out to dry, and those perching on the dead trees, and those very faintly seen bottom right, are Cormorants – the same species as found in Europe.  The dark scrum of larger birds at the lake’s edge are White Pelicans – one great head and neck can be seen as, preening, a bird reaches deep into its plumage.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: tripod-mounted OM-2 with 400mm Vivitar; Agfa CT 18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE 567 – BICYCLE

 

 


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A bicycle.  Blue and yellow.  And in my mind its lying down, relaxing, but raising one pedal to look at me.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; The Grove, central Bristol; 12 May 2017.

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OUTER SUBURBS 279 – MORNING SUNLIGHT ON GRASS

 

 


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Standing on a lawn, beside a fence, as the sun rose.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: TG-5 at 46mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 27 Aug 2020.
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