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)

.

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

 

 


.

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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 602 – DIRTY WINDOW WITH WHITE CURTAIN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

Dirty window and white curtain; Penzance, Cornwall, 27 Apr 2012.

Colour has been restored to the window frame and the image cropped to have darkness on both sides.  The window frame’s shadow is convoluted by the poorly hung curtain, and this shadow has been darkened to emphasise this.  The grime on the window adds to the effect.

The blue frame reminds me somewhat of a crucifix, but this was certainly not in my mind when I photographed it.

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

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

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 599 – RECTANGLES WITHIN RECTANGLES (MONO)

 

 


.

Caravans, Newquay, Cornwall; 10 Sept 2013.

A series of pale boxes, apparently floating in blackness.  The one on the right displays a slightly curved roof, and is leaning gently away from the vertical.  Otherwise, these are a series of rectangular shapes containing many other rectangular shapes.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Pinhole preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 597 – POSTER

 

 


.

Poster in a Truro shop window; 25 April 2007.

I don’t usually take photos of other people’s photos, pictures or graffiti – although I do like good graffiti / street art very much ->>> I am, after all, a resident of Banksy’s hometown. 

Its not so much that photographing others’ images feels like theft or plagiarising, its more that I prefer to concoct my own images.   Having someone else’s image as a part of a composition is ok – see this example –  but making someone else’s image the principal subject or all of one of mine just isn’t really me.

But this picture struck me – the pose and vacant gaze on the right and the gawping, mindless expression on the left.  Whoever took this picture deserves abundant applause!

And what should we all do?  Well, of course, like sheep, we should all mindlessly follow whatever fashion chooses to dictate ….  but that bus is overcrowded >>> anyone for the Individuality Special???

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

Technique: Nikon F6 with 24m-85m Nikkor lens; Fuji Sensia 400 colour slide film rated at 800 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 590 – HERRING GULL

 

 


.

Adult Herring Gull, Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

A big, meaty bird, a bird to be taken seriously – and particularly so if its trying to steal your lunch!  The dark streaking shows it to be in winter plumage.

Looking at this now, in 2020, I wonder how I might characterise him in human terms >>> big, feathered, aggressive, opportunistic hooligan might do it – and, in my eyes, absolutely wonderful too.  Well, I am after all a birder but it goes back much further than that: I grew up on the coast and these birds were a constant and noisy part of my younger years, they are in effect a part of who I am, I think.  I can well remember taking my first job away from the coast, in Milton Keynes of all places: there were no gulls there and I really felt their absence, it was somehow like being in a very different place.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 582 – BALUSTRADE, BACKLIT

 

 


.

Backlit plaster balustrade in a restaurant; Newquay, Cornwall; 13 Sept 2011.

We were having lunch – my snout was squarely in the trough –  when a burst of sunlight opened up this scene right beside our table.  The long end of a short zoom was just enough to capture these repeating patterns, fading off into a distance which is actually only a few feet away, beside the next table in the room. 

Altering the orientation of the image gives the impression of lighting pouring up from below.  The colours are minimal, but they certainly give this shot an edge over monochrome versions.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1600 ISO; image horizontally flipped and then rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

UPDATE: looking at this anew, after nine years, I’m struck by those long dark curves coming in from the left.  They rise very gently – less is more! – as they move across the frame, after which they peak, falter – and descend abruptly into the image’s far more active right third.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 556 – ELDERLY WOMAN, WAITING FOR SOMEONE

 

 


.

Elderly woman, waiting for someone, in the main street of Perranporth, Cornwall; 12 Sept 2013.

I like the way that she is sandwiched within – and only partly emerging from –  a world of reflections.  She is real, but many of the other contents of the picture are the reflected images of things that are not, in a material sense, within the frame.

Aside from the parts within plain view, much more of her is visible through the shop window of the Family Butcher.  But because her left hand and arm are protruding sufficiently far left, they are reflected in this window.  Her pale blue jacket harmonises with the paler blue-greys around her.  And a sense of depth is given by the right hand vertical window edge cutting her form, while the wider window edge further left is cut by her hand.

This picture was taken within a very brief timeframe.  As I walked along the pavement, another woman was walking towards me and the elderly lady was just behind her – and gazing about all over the place, looking for the person she was due to meet. 

She turned away to look into the distance, I raised the camera and readied it in one movement, the woman approaching me looked momentarily askance – and I fired.  There was just time for two frames – before the woman in the doorway, catching sight of her friend, was gone.

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

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

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: