ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 18 – MANNEQUIN


Camborne, Cornwall: mannequin in a shop window; 9 Oct 2013.

I take shots of these dummies from time to time.  Here I was attracted by that loosely hanging, white hand, but now I’m also looking at the hairy red sweater with its horizontal stripes, and the plastic “water droplets” on those fashionably distressed jeans.  The black backdrop keeps it simple.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 33 – ON THE MAIN STREET OF PENZANCE (MONO + COLOUR)


Telephone boxes in Penzance, Cornwall; 27 Apr 2012.

These two telephone boxes stand beside the road in Penzance’s main street but, because the pavement is raised, it is possible to photograph them straight on, rather than having to look up at them.  They are in poor condition and badly in need of attention – but this semi-dereliction makes for a strong photographic subject.

I’ve taken them into mono and restored some of their characteristic colour, and also increased structure to help emphasise their grimy, peeling surfaces.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; converted to mono with selective colour restoration and other manipulation in Silver Efex Pro 2.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE PEOPLE 9 – MAN ON STAIRS


Stairs in a pub, Newquay, Cornwall; 13 Sept 2011.

After lunch, as we left the pub, this colourful chasm opened up on our right.  Letting it go unphotographed was out of the question.  It was awash with colour and I was especially taken with the black and white edges to the steps, which are presumably there to help prevent inebriate revellers from going head over heels – or, as we earthy Brits might from time to time term it, arse over tit – down the stairs.

Two things came to mind.  First, I wanted those black and white steps to be somewhere near vertical in the finished product, to give the effect of a wonderfully coloured wall, or of a receding series of coloured columns.  Second, a problem, there was great contrast in the scene, with the sun blazing in from the left, so I used a low sensitivity – 400 ISO – to give more latitude for digital manipulation later on.

I took two frames and, as I clicked the first, this chap appeared from nowhere and provided an unwitting focal point for the converging lines!

I’ve rotated the shot, and used NX2‘s control points to lighten both the left hand wall and the man.  I’ve also slightly raised contrast in the sunlit areas, to better bring out the patterns made by the thin window frames.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 400 ISO; Capture NX2; rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise.



ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 7 – LOVERS


A couple strolling over the rocks at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO;  this picture was produced by dragging the midpoint tab on Levels & Curves quite radically to the right, which has had the effect of darkening the image’s darker tones – in fact it has reduced them to black. The paler tones are relatively unaffected – and I’ve given them a lot of warmth in Capture NX2, to boost their colours.

Reality?  Definitely not!  But do I like it? Yes!



ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 4 – BOAT OWNER


I rarely get enthusiastic about boats, I can’t even swim, but as soon as I caught sight of the Sharon Tracey in the little harbour at Porthleven, it was love at first sight!   I mean, what a dinky (in the British sense of the word) little boat, decked out in blue and yellow, lounging around slightly askew at low water, her little boarding ladder on the left, and one of her tiny propellers visible on the right.  Here is almost toy-like beauty.

But this is flagged as a post about people and, although Sharon may well have a personality of her own, this photo – to me, anyway – is about the man, whom I’m presuming is the boat’s owner.  Here is someone who must be into boats, seriously into boats, and how happy and proud he must be to skipper this little floating gem.  We Brits have a phrase – messing about in boats – and here’s someone, in jeans, Wellington boots and body warmer, who does it a lot – and doubtless enjoys it a lot too.

I would guess that he’s a fisherman of one sort or another, maybe he has some crab or lobster pots a little way offshore, something like that, or maybe he actually fishes.  What a life, far away from urban sprawl, commuting and rush hour traffic.  I don’t know him at all, but I would imagine that he loves being in this little boat, that he has some good quality of life, and that he’s happy in what he does – as modern idiom would put it, “WAY TO GO, MAN, WAY TO GO!!!”.

Click onto the image to see a (much!) larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Porthleven harbour, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.



ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 1 – WOMAN IN A CAFE (MONO)

 

THE PEOPLE ARCHIVE: INTRO

This is the first post in a new Category on this blog, which will look at photographs of people.  To be honest and up front, I don’t see myself as a people photographer >>> LOL! >>> NEVER, EVER let me take your wedding pics! 😎😎😎 >>> but, over the decades, I have photographed quite a few of my fellow humans.

And, as is usual with these archives, I will try to present some variety, a range of approaches, from post to post.

 

Woman in a café; Camborne, Cornwall, 9 Oct 2013.

My wife was in the shops, and I was doing what I like to do – wandering around with a camera and an open, receptive mind, looking at anything and everything.  I was slowly meandering up Camborne’s main street when I saw this woman in a café on the other side of the road, chatting with a friend.

It took several paces to register fully what I’d seen, and then I slowly turned and doubled back on my tracks, adjusting the camera as I went, and turned to photograph her – only to find her looking straight at me, probably wondering what this strange and rather bulky old man was doing, cutting back on himself.

The autofocus locked on (boy, do I love autofocus!), two shots (and do I love automated wind-on too!), and I walked on, expecting every moment to feel the heavy hand of the Image Police on my shoulder – but that’s untrue of course, as in the UK, in a public place like Camborne’s main street, you can photograph as you please.

I’d thought about presenting this photo in vertical letterbox format, showing just the door, the woman and the OPEN sign.  But I’ve doubled the image’s width by including the net curtains and some other details, and I think this adds balance and context to the shot – but what do you think?

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 25 – JACKDAW WITH ELECTRICS (MONO + COLOUR)


Jackdaw near Perranporth, Cornwall, 14 April 2016.

What do I think about this image?  Well, to start with, it looks odd, and the more so perhaps because I’ve re-coloured the more colourful elements after taking the whole thing into slightly toned black and white.

Then there is a disparate assemblage of elements here, the living, natural bird on the one hand and all those decidedly non-natural electrics on the other – and those electrics are held up in the air, safely away from the likes of you and me, on wooden poles – which are formerly living (and now rounded for purpose) natural things.

And the bird is looking out of the picture, away from all the technology.  Is there disdain there, in that averted gaze, for the immobile, Unnatural World?  Or maybe there is the knowledge that that World has certainly, by one means or another, significantly reduced the numbers of this country’s wild birds within the lifetime of the FATman who, out of frame, is standing below this tableau and looking up.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Yellowed 1 preset and selectively restoring colour.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 17 – SEASCAPE


Study in blue – looking out to sea from Lizard Point, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.

Composition: a Minimalist image, take away the fluffy cloudlets and there’s really not much here, although it might still (just) work sans nuages.  But I like these little clouds – their shapes, fluffiness and colour – and the way they are at once separate from the dense, dark overcast – their relationship to this overcast is rather like that of little children skipping along beside their humourless, stolid, heavily pacing parents.  There is also that thin, linear break in the parental overcast just above these cloudlets – is it the trace of a smile? – perhaps their parents are not so humourless after all …

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE 615 – HERRING GULL (MONO + COLOUR)

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Adult Herring Gull in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall;  24 Apr 2012.

Rather than having the backdrop completely black, I’ve restored just a little of the sky’s blue.  I’d thought of a total colour restoration but, with the bright red and yellow bill,  the results were garish to say the least.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and partial colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2.

ARCHIVE 611 – UPSTAIRS IN THE VICTORIA TEA ROOM, PENZANCE

 

 


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Upstairs in The Victoria Tea Room, Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

We returned yesterday from a few days in the far southwest of Cornwall, based between Penzance and St Ives.  And in a week of awful weather all over England we were far enough southwest to miss it all – it only rained at night, and the days were dry and even sunny!

Whenever we’re in Penzance we always visit this tearoom.  Amongst many other tasty goodies it serves up 11 item English breakfasts – which I hold a profound reverence for – and we like to sit beside the windows upstairs, looking out over Penzance’s main street.

In this cafe there are many bentwood chairs in a beautiful green, and the place has an over all low key, Minimalist, green and grey decor that I like very much.  This cup and saucer provided a good foil for its low key surroundings, and the chairbacks on the right resemble the curving stems of some exotic plant.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot; 400 ISO.

UPDATE (SOMETIME AGO): this excellent eatery has closed down – a great loss.  And while I’m talking about this image – I can say that its a great favourite of mine.  I have always loved its vast simplicity.

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