GARDEN 69 – ANGRY MORNING

 

 


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I was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, which faces due east, and being struck by the ferocity of the winter sunrise over to the southeast.  A wild morning, an angry morning, the sort of morning that has an undeniable wild beauty, but which takes some strength of resolve to get outdoors and get to grips with.

And in front of me an oak tree that I have watched grow up from a naturally sown acorn – perhaps buried and forgotten by a squirrel – over the past twenty or so years.  And although it does not know it yet, an unfortunate oak, a healthy and burgeoning tree that because of its close proximity to the house will have to be cut down in the near future.

But back again to that fierce, early light, which was transfixing as it radiantly backlit the few of the oak’s leaves that had managed to hang on during the recent gales.  The camera was to hand, and so to spot metering … and the wonderful luminosity of those last few leaves.

And although it is a rather underexposed caricature of the original, below is an idea, just an idea, of the angry sky that was producing this beautifully fierce, hard and cold light …
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Click onto each 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); spot metering; Lightroom; Bristol; 8 Dec 2017.
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PEOPLE 301 – GOING TO WORK 36

 

 


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Steamy windows on the winter bus and there’s tedium in the air too – but mobile devices distract.

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  . 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 – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Union Street, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.
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STILL LIFE 174 – WINTER SUN, IN A CAR PARK

 

 


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Low angle winter sunlight floods across a car park, illuminating a front tyre.

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-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 206mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Capture NX2; Temple Meads Station, Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.
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BIRDS 102 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


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Adult Wood Pigeon amongst the autumn leaves and raggedly cut grass on our back “lawn”, photographed through the double glazing of the kitchen window – opening the window even a tiny bit would send these birds rocketing frantically away!  Here I tapped very, very gently on the inside of the window to attract their attention and, after a brief glance towards me, they carried on foraging.

A small flock of these pigeons have taken to visiting our back grass, and its a real pleasure seeing them there.

This is in fact an agricultural pest, a bird that anyone can shoot.  And this is a species that I’ve actually eaten but, well, that was nothing to write home about – and anyway I’d far rather be looking at them!

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Bristol; 23 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 173 – BROAD STREET 2

 

 


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Loitering in Broad Street, lolling back against a shop front, gazing blearily up at the façade across the street.

Another image from the same moments, as the rising sun blasted along Broad Street, is here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Street, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.
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STILL LIFE 172 – BROAD STREET

 

 


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Early morning, and low angle sunlight – hard, cold, bright – sears across the facades of Broad Street.

Another early morning journey down into the city.  Staggering out of Hart’s Bakery after a hot, thick, toasted cheese, garlic and mushroom sandwich – and a hefty slice of moist bread pudding (paradise on Earth!) – I found the sun still only just struggling up over the tall southern skyline. 

And so swiftly on into the still dark canyons of the city centre’s streets, waiting for the sun, looking for the light.

And then it came, cold, bright and totally dazzling, and I was glad of the peak on my cap and the deep hood on my lens.  And so to this picture, looking across to the other side the road, and isolating details with the long end of a zoom; I used spot metering for precise exposure of a small part of the frame.

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-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Street, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.
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STILL LIFE 171 – THE END OF THINGS

 

 


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The year ages, winter looms, and Life dies back, beds down, readying itself for the months of cold and darkness ahead.

Dead sunflower, heavily frosted, in the back garden of the farm next to the church in Stanton Drew.

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); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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BIRDS 101 – CHICKEN 3

 

 


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Another bird from the little flock that live on the traffic island garden in the village of Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

As ever, my love of getting in close to living creatures.

Other pictures of these birds, and context, are here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.

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STANTON DREW 44 – VILLAGE LIFE 11

 

 


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This is a tiny piece of England and, to me, this is simply wonderful.  We are here in Stanton Drew, beside a large and important Stone Age monument – and these are the only entry formalities!  This is what more of Life should be like!!!

The farmer has attached this box to the gate that takes us into the fields where the prehistoric stones stand, and there is a little hole in the top to receive the one pound entry charge – most people probably pay with a pound coin, a coin that is a little over two centimetres in diameter and which neatly fits through that hole.  There is a little keyhole so that the farmer can collect his pounds.  And that’s more or less it!

In a container on the gate there used to be some single page, printed leaflets that very briefly described the prehistoric site, but there were none there on my latest visit.  And a little further on there is a small, green Ministry of Works sign, informing anyone who damages or defaces these standing stones that the full weight of English Law will descend upon them – the penalties may not quite be on a par with those imposed for setting fire to Her Majesty’s dockyards, but they’ll still be pretty damned unpleasant …

After which you pass through gates which prevent livestock getting out of the fields – and you’re in the fields, and the stones stand, lean and lie wonderfully before you.
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Part of one of the stone circles, with a farm, cattle and sheep up on the hill behind – click onto the image to better see these.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .    Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens; Lightroom; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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STANTON DREW 43 – VILLAGE LIFE 10

 

 

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Looking out from the village at sunrise, on a cold and very misty day.  Using a telephoto to isolate a small part of the scene.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1Further images 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, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – certainly recommended >>> can you see the two birds in the tall tree?  Woodpigeons, I think.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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