ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 9 – SELFIE WITH BLUE LORRY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Self-portrait with blue lorry, near Peacock Farm, Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 24 Jul 2012.

I’m sitting very upright in the driving seat of my car, using a wideangle zoom to record both the scene in the rear view mirror, and the road ahead as seen through the windscreen.  Back home, I’ve converted the shot to mono using Capture NX2, but retained original colour – and added some brightness too – for the scene in the mirror.

The rows of small dots above the mirror are a device to help prevent dazzle when looking up at the mirror.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .  

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 800 ISO; manipulated with Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 566 – LONG-EARED OWL

 

 


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Long-eared Owl, at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

As often happens with living things, I’m close in to the individual both by means of a telephoto and via cropping of the resulting image. 

The eye – to me the really vital, vibrant and living focus of the shot – is in focus, while all of the surrounding patterns and textures are blurring into an “impression of the beast”.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 250mm; 3200 ISO; Dfine 2; Color Efex Pro 4.

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ARCHIVE 562 – WOMAN AT A CASHPOINT (MONO)

 

 


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The morning stop for cash – Park Street, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.

Three dark elements, two for automatically dispensing and one for gratefully (or maybe even indifferently …) receiving. 

I was struck by this tall, dark figure and the shadows (accentuated a little here) cast by her wide-brimmed hat: she is restocking her purse with the spending ammunition required for the day ahead.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset.

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ARCHIVE 561 – EARLY MORNING GARDEN 1

 

 


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Leaf on our Hazel tree; 24 June 2013.

The black elements in this photo have a vague upper left to lower right (or vice versa!) orientation, which produces something of a dynamic maybe.  And I like the leaf’s serrated periphery.

But most of all I enjoyed the cool, peaceful stillness of the garden early on this overcast morning – the grove of Cowslips gone to seed, some new Badger holes, and everything generally running riot, certainly heading to something like jungle unless I intervene.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 12,800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 559 – OUR FRIEND, AGED THREE (MONO)

 

 


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One of the wonderful little girls in our lives – aged three and giving the camera a fleeting look.  9 Sept 2012.

I suppose this is high key mistiness – good old Minimalist “less is more” maybe – and I want to try more images in this vein.

I’ve used the Antique Plate II preset in SEP2 as a starting point, and converted its rectangular vignette to a circular one.  Her eyes were a little too sharp – that 105mm is really something else! – so I’ve reduced their structure and added a little blur.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE 558 – WOOD PIGEON (MONO)

 

 


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Wood Pigeon at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire;  11 Aug 2010.

A close in portrait, shot against a dark, unobtrusive background.  Once again, close in use of a telephoto throws the background right out of focus.

The largest of Britain’s pigeons and a common and increasing bird – an agricultural pest and one of the few birds that can be legally shot here.  They are in our garden every day, and I love both the slow, deliberate, ponderous manner in which they waddle around – and the way they clap their wings during their soaring display flights.  I ate a couple a decade or more back but was unimpressed with both the taste and quantity of the meat.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; mono conversion via Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 554 – ME, A LONG TIME AGO

 

 


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Self portrait, aged about 19, retouching a print made in the university darkroom – what a poser! – dark framed glasses a la Manfred Mann (remember them?), and student beard derived the from the fact that I could never for the life of me see the purpose in shaving off my facial hair each day –  and so on the day that I left school in 1968 I started growing the beard that I’ve had all my life .

This is a digital photograph of a black and white print, made with the D700.  The original photo was taken with an Ilford Sportsman 35mm camera mounted on a  tripod.  I’d started black and white darkroom printing at school and did more at university, before going over almost entirely to colour slides when I got my first SLR, a Praktica LTL, in the 1970s.  The subject of the photo being retouched is another student, with whom I shared accommodation.  The dark retouching liquid is in the saucer, which is resting on a box of of the light-sensitive paper used to make black and white prints.

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

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ARCHIVE 548 – A WONDERFUL SURPRISE (MONO)

 

 


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I had a wonderful surprise yesterday (8 Apr 2015).  I was out early in thick mist on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, seeing not a lot through the viewfinder but firing off frames into the murk regardless, knowing that the pictures would be better seen and comprehended on my PC’s screen.  (As a side note, I kept the camera on +2/3 stops exposure compensation to better capture the mist’s delicate nuances).

Anyway, I took two pictures of a metal gate and its wooden side rails next to a water-filled ditch and, in the first picture, looking at it on the PC at home, that’s what I got – the gate, the ditch and the mist.

But in the second picture (shown above), which was taken only moments after the first, there is a diminutive but very distinctive silhouette on the gate’s wooden side rails – sometime in the 13 seconds between the first and second shots, a Kingfisher had landed on the fence, to use it as a vantage point for spotting fish in the waters below >>> and, busy taking the picture, I had been quite unaware of it!

Wow, bring it on, Nature simply never fails to get to me!  I am of course an ex-birder with a vast regard for birds, but a Natural event like this is to me something fundamentally simple – as well as being something priceless, something quite beyond value, which certainly lifts my quality of life.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Dfine 2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Darken Contrast Vignette preset.

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ARCHIVE 547 – TADHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 

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Floods on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the High Key 2 preset as a starting point.

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ARCHIVE 544 – LIVE TO RIDE (MONO)

 

 


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Motorbike in St Ives, Cornwall; 24 Apr 2012.

Despite having ridden one (badly) in my misspent youth, I am not any sort of motorbike fan or petrolhead, but these details caught my eye as we headed down through St Ives towards the harbour.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 170mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.

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