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

 

 


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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.

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ARCHIVE 363 – 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.

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ARCHIVE 362 – RUDE GIRL

 

 


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Poster in the window of a beauty salon, seen through the shop’s security grill; Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 240mm; 1600 ISO.

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STILL LIFE 197 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 13

 

 


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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.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot; 400 ISO.

UPDATE: 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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STILL LIFE 184 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 9 (MONO)

 

 


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Tables and chairs outside a cafe in Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

I love the abundance of shapes and textures here, and the fact that none of the objects is portrayed in its entirety.  I remember reading about some artists’ liking for truncating objects with the frame and I think this a powerful tool – for use even with portraits.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  .  Each will open in a new window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, then click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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STILL LIFE 165 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 8

 

 


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Seaside café. Cheap, cheerful, functional – and no less enjoyable for all that.  No pretence, what you see is what you get.  Visually, a cacophony of shape and colour.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7  .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

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ARCHIVE 327 – THE THREE KINGS ARRIVE IN THE WRAITHS’ CITY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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FANTASY: three tall kings, resplendent in richly coloured robes, enter the spectral city of the Wraiths.  I’m influenced by Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings perhaps – not perhaps >>> most certainly!!!  These three are in Tolkien’s Minas Morgul, the city of his Ringwraiths, walking into its deathly glow.

REALITY: three furled sun umbarellas and an old streetlight outside a pub in Perranporth, Cornwall; 25 Oct 2012.  The impression of robed beings was immediate.

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

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; conversion to mono and re-colouring in Silver Efex Pro 2; further processing in Capture NX2.

UPDATE: the first of this blog’s Fantasy posts, from sometime back.

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STILL LIFE 158 – BEACH SCENE (MONO)

 

 


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Rocks on the beach.

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-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 186mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset; The Lizard, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.
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BIRDS 94 – HERRING GULL (MONO)

 

 


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Adult Herring Gull, in winter plumage, beside the harbour in St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

A piercing stare – (s)he was sitting on top of a car parked on the harbourside, and I eased forwards, taking little steps, often pausing, and making a diagonal rather than head-on approach.  The D800 was set for APS-C format, and so I had 450mm – 9x magnification – to play with.  I made some very low clicking noises with my tongue, and (s)he looked at me.

How I love gulls!  They were all around during my childhood, they are all over Bristol now, and their wild calls are just that – a very welcome reminder of the wild across the city’s skyline.  They fly in to the city very early each morning, while its still dark – because its ok to get lost when the day is just starting.  But they leave before dusk, because getting lost at night is another matter entirely.

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, used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset.
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BIRDS 93 – YOUNG GULL

 

 

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Young gull beside the harbour in St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

My guess is that this is a young Herring Gull, because the breast streaking is rather diffuse, but it could be a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Either way, it hatched from its egg in the summer, and is now well on the way towards its first taste of winter.

It is standing by the harbour, it is “loafing” as birders say – it has eaten, it is not starving but, as is often the case with gulls, it is alert to all that is going on around it, and ever ready to dive opportunistically upon anything that presents itself – like your fish and chips!

Click onto the image to open it in another winsow, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

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