ARCHIVE 396 – PEOPLE DRINKING TEA (MONO)

 

 

.

A couple having a hot drink beside the beach in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall; 10 Oct 2013.

The man is hunched over towards the right, sipping his cuppa, while the woman is inclined towards the left, intent on screwing shut her bottle of milk.  Their two shapes tend to come together somewhat, in the shape of an arch or dome, an effect heightened by her inclined hair bun.  I’ve tried to enhance this impression of togetherness by adding a slight, pale, circular vignette.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Full Dynamic Smooth preset; mild copper toning.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 393 – RECTANGLES WITHIN RECTANGLES

 

 


.

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.

There is an earlier photo in this style, including a tree, here .  It will open in a separate window.

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

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 392 – ROOK ON THE HIGH STREET

 

 


.

Rook preening on a street lamp in the main street of Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

We were sitting at a table on the upper floor of a café, enjoying the interesting and lively view over Penzance’s main street.

Two Rooks came and perched on street lamp brackets immediately outside the window.  I had a feeling they wouldn’t stay there long, and so rather than reaching for the Nikon, I used the little G11 which was already in my hand.  One of the Rooks left almost immediately but I managed to train the Canon’s telephoto onto the other bird which, despite all of the hustle and bustle in the street below, started preening.

Rooks are crows, and more usually birds of the open countryside.  I like crows anyway, but noisy colonies of these birds – rookeries – in the tops of tall, rural trees are for me one of the great joys of spring.  So seeing them here above this busy shopping street was a surprise, albeit that Penzance is not that large a town.  And having the bird set against the window display of the shop on the other side of the road added to that.

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equivalent); 400 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 388 – YOUNG GULL AT ST IVES (MONO)

 

 


.

Juvenile Herring Gull in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

I have a liking for photos that appear more like the products of other media and here is something certainly heading that way – perhaps more like a pencil drawing?  I’ve used a Soft Portrait preset, which includes pale vignetting, and the bird appears to be emerging from dense mist, with even its left wing nebulous and obscure.

Using this preset has also almost completely obscured details of the sea below the bird – and this all makes for an artificially isolated vignette of the creature – a sketch in a notebook perhaps.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; conversion to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Classic Portrait preset, and giving the image the look of Ilford Delta 400 mono print film.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 386 – WOMAN IN A CAFE (MONO)

 

 


.

Woman in a café, in 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, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

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

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 385 – FAST FOOD OUTLET (MONO)

 

 


.

Table and seats outside a fast food café in Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 384 – SITTING IN THE BACK OF THE THREE RIVERS CAFE

 

 


.

Sitting in the back of the Three Rivers Cafe, Truro, Cornwall; 26 Sept 2012.

Sitting in the back, eating food that included a really not bad steak and kidney pie, a nice piece of gammon, lots of chips and two mugs of hot tea, this view opened up in front of us and, as always, the G11 went for it!

My eyes were first caught by the rows of black seats with their backlit, horizontal tops and the intervening white-topped tables.  There’s probably potential for mono and/or re-coloured image(s) here.

But, looking at it all more generally, here are the trappings of a basic but good English cafe (definitely pronounced “caff”!) – rows of clean tables and seats (all bolted to the floor), tall menus and sugar pourers, salt and pepper couples – and backlit shakers of gloriously dark amber vinegar.

Some degree of privacy is afforded by the curtains and, above this, a hanging basket brings floral colour.  This rectangular area of window looks strange and disconnected – it could be a picture hanging on the wall.

All this and chips too?  Wonderful!!!

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 400 ISO.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 383 – THE TIDE COMING IN

 

 


.

The tide coming in, seen from the end of Western Pier at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

This is a picture of the shallow wavelets of the incoming tide moving over the clean sand in St Ives Harbour – it was taken at the same time as another(!) The Tide Coming In.

I like the dark purple-blues here, the black lines of the incoming wavelets, and golden brown of the submerged sand.  The picture is starting to look more like a painting and, as always, I’m happy with that.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; manipulated in Capture NX2.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 378 – RAY IN NEWQUAY AQUARIUM

 

 


.
The camouflaged upperparts of a Ray, lying on the bottom of its tank in Newquay Aquarium, Cornwall; 6 Nov 2007.

This picture is not completely sharp because it was taken looking down through moving water.  But with this wonderful colouration and patterning, I don’t think that matters at all – in fact the whole hazy blueness of the image adds to its atmosphere.

Technique: F6 with 24mm-85mm Nikkor lens; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide, rated at 1600 ISO.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 365 – “HEAR THAT, FATman? – YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL UNLESS YOU’RE SLIM!”

 

 


.

Someone of maybe my own years (and bulk?) gazes at a beauty stereotype in a slimming emporium’s window, in Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Sept 2012.

Here’s something that can get me reaching urgently for my dictionary of Anglo-Saxon profanity!  We think we’re free but we’re certainly not.  We want to fit in, we want respect and admiration – envy even – from our friends and neighbours, and so we are prey to all the latest fashions, role models, celebrity recipes, gimmicks, cars, buzzwords and facile stereotypes.

Well, OK, this lady and I would very probably be healthier if we were  slimmer – but as to fulfilling an envied role model ->>> this blog’s called FATman Photos isn’t it??? …  not SLIMman Snapshots!!!

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

UPDATE: this was first posted five years ago and, since then, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and, as a result (and also quite astonishingly) I lost a lot of weight – 50 pounds or more – to get myself out of the “danger zone”.  I certainly enjoy what I eat and drink and, now, I’ve put some of that weight back on, but I’m also completely into a routine of 5-6 mile daily walks that Sue, my wonderful doctor, is all in favour of.  I’m not aspiring to “The Body Beautiful” (which is just as well really … 🙂 ) but its a continual fight against the flab >>> that’s inescapable fact, that’s how it is!

BUT, I do, even more so, stick by my words in paragraph 2 of this post: we are certainly NOT free, and we are prey to a vast number of body image-related pressures and taboos, which we are plainly incapable of shrugging off.  In the years since I put out this post, two things have happened, two things to mention.

First that, with the luxury of retirement, I’ve had more time to sit back and look at what’s happening around me and, never having been that much of a conformer, I eschew a lot of it.  For better or worse, I am what I am, I am what I am happy with, and others’ opinions matter less.  This is partly an age thing too of course.

But then, re all the pressures etc that I touched upon in the second paragraph of this post, there is the burgeoning trend, especially amongst young people, for selfies – self-portraits in which they have become trapped into trying to show their peers and the world at large not so much how they look, but rather how they WANT TO LOOK, how they want to be seen, how wonderful they would like others to think their lives are.  I can only see this as an ultimately sad process, and one which must bring much anxiety, fear and pressure.  Here in the UK, young people are under increasing pressures from daily life, their mental health problems are rising and – not least here in Bristol – university students are committing suicide.  It is always easy to see the past through rose-coloured glasses, to think that everything was wonderful back then.  I try not to think along these lines: some things were good back then, some things were not.  But, equally, I do not think that the modern world, with its incessant emphasis on body image, fame, celebrity culture, mobile communication devices and The Great God Cash is a healthy environment for young people.  This is not a Natural (note the capital) state of affairs, and it is certainly a very sad state of affairs.

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: