ARCHIVE 370 – WATER LILIES IN THE NORTH DRAIN

 

 


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Water Lilies in the North Drain, Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 25 July 2009.

I like the Minimalism here – just thin, green plants against a dark background – looking almost as if they are floating up into the air on a dark night! 

And then there is the way the leaves weave a sinuous line back through the picture, and the increasing dimness of the stems of those further away.

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 200 ISO; spotmeter reading taken from the nearest leaf.
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PEOPLE 347 – GOING TO WORK 76

 

 


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Going To Work In The Modern World.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 23 Dec 2016.
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ARCHIVE 368 – TADHAM MOOR, WITH FRIESIANS (MONO)

 

 


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Tadham Moor, looking northwest towards Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 29 Aug 2013.

On the right, Jack’s Drove runs northwards towards the bridge over the North Drain.  Droves originated as networks of tracks that enabled farmers to access their fields without crossing those of other farmers.  A few of these droves, like the one here, are now tarmac roads, usually single track or nearly so.  The trees include many Alders, which thrive in this area’s perpetual wetness.

On the left, Willows overhang the rhyne (local dialect for a water-filled ditch; rhymes with “seen”) – they were often planted alongside these waterways to strengthen the banks.

And in the centre, the rhyne curves around the end of a field, at once helping to drain its water and also providing a fenceless barrier – the only fences being very small affairs where the fields’ gates are accessed by little bridges across the rhynes.  And, finally, the ubiquitous Friesian cattle – curious about this lensman, as always.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 12mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting with the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE 367 – THE RISING SUN ALONG HURN DROVE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The rising sun lights a willow along Hurn Drove, on Ash Moor, to the northwest of Polsham, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Oct 2014.

Early morning, driving slowly in shelter and shadow, travelling through a world of grey.

But as I turned out onto Hurn Drove, the upper reaches of Our Star broke the horizon and shades of gold were all around.

Click onto the photo to view a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it still further.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 1 preset and selectively restoring colour.

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PEOPLE 343 – GOING TO WORK 73

 

 


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Walking to work across Bristol Bridge, around sunrise in early December – and three things to talk about here.

First, I’m on her radar.  Although I was quite far back with a big telephoto, she looked up from her phone, the autofocus was already locked on (more on that below) and I fired a single frame. Awhile back, I’d planned to approach people in the street and ask their permission to photograph them.  But, although that may be something for the future, I’ve only actually done that once so far, and the resulting image was really not very good.  On the other hand, as those familiar with this Going To Work series will know, I’ve taken many more or less candid portraits on Bristol’s streets – and I like these better.

With this kind of photography, there’s often the fear/worry that people will object to having their photograph taken but, so far, the only comments that I’ve received have been apologies for getting in the way and obstructing my shots!  This may of course be due to the fact that I’m photographing early in the morning rush hour: the vast majority of people appear totally focused on getting to work, walking head down and with fixed expressions.  However, if someone were to say something, I would smile and say something simple like “Hello, I’m Adrian Lewis, and I’m here photographing the morning rush hour.”, and then await their response – putting the ball in their court in a way.  I’ve read a lot about this sort of photography, and the key strategies seem to be openness, an air of confidence, a smile and a readiness to explain further about what I’m doing.  I always carry some FATman Photos business cards to give out if necessary – although up to now these have been given to people who see me photographing anything and everything, and are just interested to see the sorts of photographs I take.

Secondly, the early morning was not bright, and the (now 10 years old!) D700 was working at its highest ISO – 25,600!  And so this picture, even though its not cropped, is extremely grainy – lol! >>> click onto it to see what I mean!!!  But I’m quite happy to have the grain and, in any case, I think that its ALWAYS better to have a go at a photo, no matter how poor the light conditions >>> its ALWAYS better to have a technically imperfect image than no image at all.  I strongly believe a photo’s subject matter / content is what matters, with technical aspects of the images coming quite some way second.

Third, I started digital photography as a full-frame Nikon user (D700, D800), but in the last couple of years have started using Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, including the excellent X-T2.  Most of the Going To Work pictures have been taken with my X-T2 or, indeed, my X-T1, and they have done a very good job.  But, if pressed, I would have to say that the Nikons are better for very rapid autofocus in poor lighting conditions.  But, you pays your money and you takes your choice!!!  The Nikons are bigger, bulkier, heavier, and their optical viewfinders – in most situations – are not as useful as the big, electronic viewfinders on the Fuji cameras.  And the Fuji cameras take beautiful pictures, and are smaller, lighter and very easy to handle.  For the moment, at least, I’m using the Fuji cameras a lot, but also holding onto my Nikon gear.  And, finally, Nikon (or Canon) is likely to produce a mirrorless replacement for their DSLRs soon: I’m looking forward to seeing this.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window >>> and if you have a thing for grain, click onto this enlarged image to enlarge it yet again!

Technique: D700 with 70-330 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset and adding a light coffee tone; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.
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ARCHIVE 366 – POLLARD IN FLOODWATER (MONO)

 

 


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Pollarded Willow standing in floodwater on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

With its bulky, rounded crown, this tree is top heavy and well on its way to collapse.  The usually wet, peat soils provide little in the way of support.

More about the practice of pollarding can be found in my first Somerset Levels post 

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 165mm; 200 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Yellowed 1 preset as a starting point.
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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 364 – INSIDE THE FLOWER OF A DOG ROSE

 

 


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Inside the flower of a Dog Rose.

I ought to know what the tall structures are but, as I firmly bade farewell to studying anything botanical in 1968, I’m unsure.  Stamens maybe?   ….. I’m more sure of one who will know the answer …. wonder who that can be??? …….. ?

Getting away from reality – oh, that’s better!!! …. –  the blurred dark element almost reaching the lower right corner, and a similar dark object diametrically across the flower’s centre, look like slim, beating wings.  And the blurred, slightly greenish “thing”(!) in the lower left corner might be a beak – so is this some exotic bird in flight, with bizarre and erect plumes on its back?

And if you don’t believe that such feathers exist, search Google’s images for flight shots of breeding plumage male Standard-winged Nightjars – and I have a feeling there are other examples in the Far East and South America too.  Ah, signs of a misspent youth …

The rose’s petals are pale, and serve as a diffuse backdrop.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; our back garden, Bristol; 24 June 2013.

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ARCHIVE 361 – SWAN, PREENING (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best seen at larger scale – click onto to it to see a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Mute Swan at Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

The bird is preening, busily rearranging its feathers in a flurry of activity that is sending concentric ripples out across the surrounding water.

There is another photo of this bird, in very different pose and style, here .

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; -0.3EV; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

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STILL LIFE 229 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 21 (MONO)

 

 


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Chairs beside a table at the Hurtwood Inn Hotel in Peaslake, Surrey;  25 Mar 2012.

An assemblage of shapes, shadows and textures with – especially in the background – obscure and abstract shapes.

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 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 120mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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