STILL LIFE 161 – MASONRY

 

 


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Surface of a wall near the railway station.  Pale cream or honey-coloured stone, perhaps Bath Stone from the Jurassic, used ornamentally amongst certainly older rocks.

A picture about differing colours, shapes and, above all, textures – enlarge it to see the rocks’ rough textures.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it still further – recommended, for the textures.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24mm Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; angled camera; Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads Station, Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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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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STANTON DREW 37 – VILLAGE LIFE 4

 

 


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A picture from the edge of Stanton Drew, looking in towards the village from the surrounding fields.  And a picture very immediately depicting two very different ages of Man.

In the foreground, prehistoric standing stonespresumably erected for some ceremonial purpose, four or five thousand years ago.  Whereas in the background, and only 700 or less years old, is the Christian church of St Mary the Virgin.  Its intriguing (but by no means unique) to see Christian structures so close to far more ancient ceremonial sites.

Seeing these prehistoric stones at Stanton Drew positively does me good, just knowing that they are there does me good.  I do not of course have any concept of the rites or religion(s) that were practiced here in those very far off days, but if I find anything spiritual at Stanton Drew – and I do – it is without doubt amongst these very ancient standing stones.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 .  Further images are here: 2 3 .

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 155mm; 200 ISO; Lightroom; Stanton Drew; 1 Aug 2013.

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STANTON DREW 36 – VILLAGE LIFE 3

 

 


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Old gravestones, barely legible now, in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, the parish church.

A lovely, tranquil rural churchyard, the church being in fact at the top of a dead end (ohhh, no pun intended!) road, next to a farm.  Wandering quietly in the churchyard – where I can’t recall ever encountering another soul – is a wonderful stimulant for reflection.  Inevitably, my mind turns, not unpleasantly, to thoughts of mortality; but then, I’m a geologist, and if I can’t be at one with life, death, extinctions and eternities, who can?

But I like this photo for two reasons.  First, the leaning, weathered, lichen-encrusted nature of the old stones, quite far from the ordered and sterile gentrification of modern days.  And secondly for the long, lush grass sprouting up around them: yes, mortality for sure, this exuberant grass is saying, but Life goes on.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1Further images are here: 2 .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 195mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Stanton Drew; 7 June 2016.
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BIRDS 95 – GREAT WHITE EGRET – AND A NEW BIRD FOR MY UK LIST!!!

 

 

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Last Friday, driving home past Chew Valley Lake, I saw a white heron out of the corner of my eye and automatically assumed that it was a Little Egret, a bird that was very rare here in my youth but which has flooded into southern Britain in recent decades.  But, all in an instant, it hit me that it looked far too big for a Little – and my car swerved across the thankfully empty road, I grabbed the bins, leapt out and, well, here it is pictured above – it is a Great White Egret, a bird of warmer, more southerly climes and, as far as I knew, a great rarity – tho not new for my UK bird list, as I’d already seen one on Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides, in the 1990s.

Well, I will summarise what happened next.  I immediately met a birder from South Wales, a chap of my age, and as we looked out over this small part of the lake – the Herons Green Bay that I’ve often spoken of before – we found 18 Little Egrets, 12 of these Great White Egrets – and a single Cattle Egret, a bird I’d never seen in Britain before, but which I’m very familiar with from 12 years in Kenya.  Unfortunately this new bird was too far away for anything like a decent photo – I wished I’d been carrying a full-frame Nikon and 400+mm of telephoto reach!

I’m not a bird lister these days, its simply a type of collecting, and while I was reasonably into it during my birding decades, 1967-2002, a great chunk of my life really, I now have a far more relaxed attitude to birds.  I still enjoy them hugely, I love to see them and they certainly significantly raise my Quality Of Life – as do butterflies.  But I am now out the frenetic race to see more and more bird species – I’ve moved on, as the current phrase goes, and I’m different now.

But, nevertheless, seeing a new bird for my UK list so unexpectedly was quite a (nice) shock – and this welcome feeling was only enhanced by the setting, because Herons Green was one of the Somerset locations where I started birding all those years ago.  I’ve travelled quite a bit I suppose, including living in Kenya, but now I’m happy to be, more or less, “back where I started”.  Is it a “coming home” thing, well I don’t know, although I am now very close to where I grew up – but I do know that ending up here in southwest England – Somerset, and sometimes Dorset, Devon and Cornwall too – feels right.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 6 Oct 2017.
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BIRDS 93 – YOUNG GULL

 

 

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Young gull beside the harbour in St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

My guess is that this is a young Herring Gull, because the breast streaking is rather diffuse, but it could be a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Either way, it hatched from its egg in the summer, and is now well on the way towards its first taste of winter.

It is standing by the harbour, it is “loafing” as birders say – it has eaten, it is not starving but, as is often the case with gulls, it is alert to all that is going on around it, and ever ready to dive opportunistically upon anything that presents itself – like your fish and chips!

Click onto the image to open it in another winsow, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom.
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STILL LIFE 157 – CLIFFTOP

 

 


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Colours caught by the sun on a Cornish clifftop, with grimmer, more sombre cliffs behind.

Plants are rarely my strong point, and I’ve no idea what this gloriously coloured plant is – can anyone help?  I’m guessing that it may be some kind of succulent.  It was common on the sea cliffs in the area.

Click onto this 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); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; The Lizard, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.
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ARCHIVE 324 – STRUGGLING UP TO THE LIGHT (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Plant, in Boscastle, Cornwall; 10 Sept 2013.

Just as I emerged from the Witchcraft Museum, full of intrigued and surreal thoughts, this appeared at my feet.

All else is harsh black and white, manmade, angular and strong, but these few green leaves – soft and eminently vulnerable – are pushing up through it all, into the light.

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

D800 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 40mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s Film Noir 1 preset.

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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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SOMERSET LEVELS 299 – MISTY MORNING, ALLERTON MOOR 3

 

 


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Looking into misty light, early in the day.

You can find other images from this dark and mysterious morning here and here.

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); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Allerton Moor;  22 Aug 2017.
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