ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 22 – MINIMAL NUDE (MONO)


My late cousin was an artist, working with oil paints, and here is a shot of one of his professional models.  I have very Minimalist tastes when it comes to images, which may be why I crop them so tightly, and I love the “less is more” message here.  Here’s what I wrote in the original post:

“There’s a lot of negative (i.e. unfilled) space in this picture, notably the large polygon between the model’s arm and flank; but also the two triangles top and bottom right, which mirror each other, as do the shadowy forearm and upper arm. This negative space is an important component of the picture.

The highlights of the picture mainly form the left hand quarter, which almost meets the illuminated upper arm at the top of the frame. There is quite a powerful feature top right where, moving outwards towards the corner, the deep shadow of the upper arm changes to highlight, and then to the dark background to the shot.”

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

Technique: 21/22 Aug 2007; F6 with 24-85 Nikkor lens fitted with a Hoya Softener (A) soft focus filter; Ilford Delta 3200 Professional film.

ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 80 – WINTER SUN, IN A CAR PARK (2)


Looking low in the car park next to Temple Meads Station, just as the bright winter sun clears the skyline and floods the area with light.

I posted the lower picture a few days back, but then started looking at another version, which is the upper shot here.  I like both of these pictures for their great simplicity, their Minimalism.  There’s not much here, its just the nearside front wheel of a red car.  But then I’m a great believer that there need not always be a lot in a picture – and that one of the great no-no’s in photography is having too much in a picture.

But which of these pictures do I prefer, and why?  I’ve processed them slightly differently: the colour of the car’s bodywork is slightly paler in the upper photo – but then the upper photo is slightly higher key in some areas, it has slightly paler tones, and some burnt out highlights too >>>>> the photographic purists amongst you may not sleep too soundly tonight …..

I prefer the upper image because of its higher (and, yes, burnt out) tones, and the way in which the convex curve of the lit up tyre slightly mirrors the slight curve of the very high key and slightly burnt out highlight on the left.  And I prefer the upper image because is even simpler, more Minimal, than the lower image.  The details of the wheel’s hub and spokes have all gone, and there are simply three curves that are convex to the left, and that single straight dark line at lower left.  If I were a purist (now there’s a surreal thought!) I might have washed the car before firing at it too …..

Which of these two images do you prefer?  Do you agree with my choice, or do you have a quite different take on things?  Let me know >>> its always good to hear others’ views!

And so to a very firmly held mantra – one, perhaps, that six years of blogging have hammered into me >>>  in photography (as in many other things), there are no rights and no wrongs, there are only differing, subjective, visual opinions.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 206mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; car park beside Temple Meads Railway Station, Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 81 – TEALHAM MOOR DROVE, LOOKING EAST (MONO)


Looking east along Tealham Moor Drove, southwest of Wedmore; 7 Feb 2014.

A track covered with chippings, and with some puddles too, and out to the left the reality of life on the Levels at this time – water and more water, and more rain forecast today and Monday.

The structure of this image has strong elements pushing in towards that large tree near top right.  There is the track, highlighted by its pale chippings and reflective puddles – and then that great silver wedge of floodwater, starting at mid to upper left, and curving and narrowing across towards upper right.  And, along with these pale items, the dark ridges of coarse grasses, and the horizon too.

The day was gusty, bleak, cold and inhospitable, with rain always a threat, but it was good to be there.  I love, and feel at home in, the simplicity and truth of this working landscape, whatever the season.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 200 ISO; starting at Silver Efex Pro 2’s Cool Tones 1 preset.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 77 – ARCING GREENS BELOW THE JACK’S DROVE BRIDGE (MONO + COLOUR)


Floating vegetation below the Jack’s Drove bridge, on Tealham Moor; 26 Aug 2012.

Jack’s Drove is a tarmac road that extends northwards from Tadham Moor up to the edge of the low hills around Wedmore.  It is a very special place to me – fresh, re-vitalising, wild, open –  and I always spend some time there when “out and about” on the Levels.

There is a little bridge on Jack’s Drove where it passes over the North Drain, and the top of this tiny edifice provides a good lookout across these flatlands, parts of which are below sea level.  Back in August, I walked up to the top of this bridge, looked down and, “seeing at 300mm” as I often do, there were these wonderfully curving, bright green shapes afloat on the dark water.

I’ve converted the image to mono and then re-coloured it, to produce something that is not reality.

The arcing greens are the subject here, and I’ve darkened the water and reduced its structure, to provide a completely non-distracting backdrop.

Looking at it now, the principal compositional elements here are the two curves that enter the frame top right, and then slice down to just about center stage – at a point that I call the “junction” – before having their direction taken over by another bright frond, that continues their trend down towards lower left.

Two other, rather dimly seen leaves splay off towards bottom right from the junction, balancing the composition a little.

Further left, other fronds provide more balance, the brighter of them echoing the main, upper right to lower left trend.  A carpet of floating waterweed brings different textures, and darkens towards the left.

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

Technique: D700 with 70mm-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; converted to mono, and re-coloured, with Silver Efex Pro 2; other manipulation in Capture NX2.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 54 – THE VIEW SOUTH, TADHAM MOOR (MONO)


Looking south on a wet morning in early winter, with a wide angle lens on the camera, and a split tone added in post-capture processing.

Compositionally, the lines of the track, the banks of the water-filled ditch to the left of the track, the horizon and the cloud formations all draw my eyes down past the large tree.  A tree that is certainly valued, perhaps even loved –  I never come to this very special place without touching it and talking to it, as it clings stoutly to the steep bank of yet another water-filled ditch, always in danger of toppling over, as three other long-known willows behind the camera have already toppled.

Click onto the image twice to open an enlarged version: recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 12 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset and adding a split tone; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 6 Dec 2019.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 28 – A CAR, WATER AND ME

 

 


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Leaning over the wet bonnet of a car I’ll never be able to afford – and, increasingly eschewing materialism as I am – which I’m totally happy not to own.  I’m on the left, glorying as I often do in the TG-5’s f2 wide angle lens, the equivalent of 25mm in full-frame format.  I’m holding my glasses as well as the camera because I can’t see well through the camera’s screen with them on >>> LOL! getting old!  And I’m looking along the slightly curving streaks of water towards the car’s windscreen wipers at far right.

The picture is rotated 90 degrees clockwise.  Occidental eyes enter images on the left and move towards the right, so that my eyes move along the water streaks towards to the darker wipers and (hopefully!) stay on them, rather than exiting the image.

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 separated window – certainly recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; rotated; south Bristol; 19 July 2020.

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 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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GARDEN 73 – A WONDERFUL ENCOUNTER 2

 

 


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Robin in our front garden.  Another image, and the full story of this encounter, are here (opens in a separate window).

The composition here is a little awkward, but I do like those leaves up in the top left corner!

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 555 – CROW ON A FALLEN TREE (MONO)

 

 


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Carrion Crow perched on a fallen tree; Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 31 Mar 2014.

Early in the day, I pulled bleary eyed into the Magic Carpark, stumbled out of the car – and saw this crow.  Praying that it wouldn’t move, and all fingers and thumbs, I readied the camera, turned and – it was still there!  In fact it stayed there for sometime.

The tree is a casualty of the recent severe flooding.  It was probably not standing vertically before, but then its roots had been able to find sufficient purchase in the soil.  But, saturate that soil with floodwater for many weeks and turn it into something like blancmange or wet rice pudding, and the roots were simply not up to the task of keeping the great bulk of trunk and branches above them upright.

I went for a pure silhouette, with the sky completely burnt out, for simplicity – a Minimalist approach.  To me, the few branches entering the frame at upper right serve to balance the composition.  The adding of a blue tone takes the scene further away from reality.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Classic Portrait preset, and adding a Cyanotype tone.

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ARCHIVE 549 – MUTE SWAN (MONO)

 

 


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Mute Swan Cygnus olor, the common, resident and often tame swan in the UK.  The large black knob on the forehead shows this to be a male.

Composition: close in with a long telephoto, which often works for me.  The bird’s head and long neck form the left edge of the frame, the bird is looking down into the frame, and his body is only faintly seen; all else is water with a very faint surface texture.  Use of black and white simplifies things still further.

And perhaps there’s a feeling here that he’s too large for the frame, that he’s bursting out of the frame.  Or, then again, perhaps he’s coming in closer, to have a better look at us.

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); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset and adding a light tone; 16 Feb 2018; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset.

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OUTER SUBURBS 258 – POST BOX AMONGST TREES (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The Royal Mail, amongst trees.

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

Technique:  TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Push Process N+3 preset and selectively restoring colour; south Bristol; 23 July 2020.
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