ARCHIVE 455 – CATTLE BESIDE THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


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A misty morning on the Somerset Levels, looking east along the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  A calm scene, with the softest of light breezes, and no other sounds except the soft shuffling and snorting of a small group of cattle that have come down to the water’s edge to drink.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 270mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s High Key 2 preset; 28 Aug 2013.

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ARCHIVE 454 – TREES IN MIST (MONO)

 

 


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Trees in mist on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 27 Oct 2011.

Today was filthy weather down on the Levels – rain and more rain, and mud and water everywhere.  I tried to wipe the condensation off the inside of the windscreen but it remained wet, and the camera managed to focus through both this condensation inside the car and the mist and pouring rain outside.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 116mm; 3200 ISO.  The shot has been converted into mono in Silver Efex Pro 2:  I applied this software’s Antique Portrait preset, and reduced its pale vignette a little.

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ARCHIVE 450 – THE BAY BESIDE BROOK COPSE

 

 


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Mute Swan in the bay beside Brook Copse, on the Chew Valley Lake’s northeastern edge; 15 May 2015.

An image almost without colour, with the marked exception of that beacon-like bill.  The various structures within this image are mainly horizontal – the wavelets, the areas of water plants – but the bird’s gentle bow wave is at a slight angle to this trend.

A popular path around the lake crosses a small stream or brook here via a small bridge, and walkers often feed the waterbirds from the bridge.  This swan spotted me on the bridge from some way off and, ever ready for food, came over – but I had not a thing edible on me!

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

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

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ARCHIVE 449 – AND IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE CAT (MONO)

 

 


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Our friends’ cat, a favourite subject of mine; 1 Mar 2015.

She climbed up onto the arm of the sofa and spent a lot of time with her back to us, wagging her tail.  Then she turned around, the bright light streaming over her from the right, and gazed impassively at us for sometime.

I find cats very beautiful and never tire of photographing them – perhaps the title of this sums up my feelings towards them.  Something spiritual, perhaps?  Quite possibly.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens used wide open; 3200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum Inverse preset.

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ARCHIVE 448 – STINGING NETTLE IN GRASS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Stinging Nettle in grass at the Magic Car Park, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Aug 2013.

Why is this car park magic?  Well, it and the surrounding countryside – open pastures, simple, wet and rough – have helped me through some very dark nights of the soul.

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

Technique: D700 with Sigma 12-24 at 24mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, including selective restoration of colour.

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ARCHIVE 445 – EARLY MORNING LIGHT ALONG TRIPPS DROVE

 

 


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Early morning light along Tripps Drove, Godney Moor, Somerset Levels; 26 Jul 2012.

I’ve been thinking about doing something more impressionist for sometime, and this early morning stroll along Tripps Drove brought wonderful light – but there were horseflies too so it wasn’t all beautiful going!  Gaussian blur provides the dreaminess.

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

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

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ARCHIVE 444 – LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST AND WEST WASTES (MONO)

 

 


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Looking towards the East and West Wastes, south of Godney, on the Somerset Levels; 29 May 2014.

I thought that they are just names on a map but, as I was pulled over in the entrance to this track and sucking down hot coffee in the rain, a farmer appeared and told me that the people around here call the flatlands out there the Wastes, the East and West Wastes.  And perhaps grateful for someone to talk to in this desolate spot on this wet and early morning, he started telling me about the big cats that roam this area – and another day I made an abortive attempt to find them.

There are several converging lines in this picture – the rough track (known as a drove hereabouts), the water-filled ditch (known as a rhyne), the horizon, and the pale wedges of pasture on either side of the rhyne and drove.  All of these linear features converge on that large and isolated tree, the nearest tree to us, which is the focal point in the composition.  For quite some time now, I have seen that rounded, dark mass not as a tree but as an explosion, as a shell or bomb landing maybe.  But how that interpretation fits in with this most tranquil of rural landscapes I cannot explain.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 18mm; 800 ISO;  Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset.

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ARCHIVE 440 – SUNLIT VENETIAN BLIND AS BACKDROP TO UNFORTUNATELY EMPTY WINE BOTTLE

 


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Wine bottle (unfortunately empty) and sunlit venetian blinds, in caravan on Hayling Island, Hampshire; 21 Sept 2010.

I also have this image in black and white but, for me, colour plays an important part here, in separating the bottle from the blinds.  The shot is intentionally underexposed, -1 stop at capture, and further still post capture, to make it more dramatic and to better see the bottle’s greens.  The photo is also purposely tilted away from the vertical, to make the composition slightly more dynamic.

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

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

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ARCHIVE 439 – A YOUNG FRIEND (MONO)

 

 


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A  little friend, aged two; 30 Aug 2011.

Who is she?  She is the younger daughter of friends, and we love her – and regard her friendship – very dearly.  People discuss the really worthwhile things in life, the things that life is all about, and our friendship with this little girl – and her big sister too – fits squarely into that category.  And I am doubly blessed because not only am I allowed totally unrestricted photographic access to these two sisters, but their parents have no problems at all with my publishing the resulting images here – not such common attitudes in England these days!.

And why is this image very special to me?  It is unposed; it is simple, candid and completely uncontrived.  Its is just a little girl – she was two at the time – glancing round at me with a perhaps questioning look.  I can’t get enough of it.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 12,800 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro.

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ARCHIVE 437 – ON HOLIDAY, TOGETHER

 

 


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A couple strolling over the rocks at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO;  this picture was produced by dragging the midpoint tab on Levels & Curves quite radically to the right, which has had the effect of darkening the image’s darker tones – in fact it has reduced them to black. The paler tones are relatively unaffected – and I’ve given them a lot of warmth in Capture NX2, to boost their colours.

Reality?  Definitely not!  But do I like it? Yes!
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