ARCHIVE 541 – WINDBLOWN

 

 


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Windblown poppy; Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

I like Newquay.  It is cheap, tatty and unpretentious, and there are so many establishments offering Full English Breakfasts that I could probably stay there for a whole month and eat in a different one each day.  That said, I have the strong suspicion that most of these repasts would be of the pallid and rather tasteless variety but, still, anywhere with this number of breakfasts on offer can’t be all bad.

And, with its famous Fistral Beach facing out into the Atlantic’s rollers,  this little town is a mecca for UK surfers – as well as being the pub, nightclub and “booze / drug yourself silly” capital of the west for youngsters intent upon a good time that they may not remember too much about.

We had a couple of dry days on our short break, but the westerly wind blew throughout and the great white waves smashed into the cliffs and headlands – not that we are in any way surfers, mind!  For a start I can’t swim, and neither of us are at all into such energetic activities. 

There was a ragged flowerbed in front of some kind of religious building sandwiched in between the Houses Of Hedonism along the main drag, and the gusting westerly was sending the flowers in all directions. The waving poppies stood out from the rest, and a quarter of a second at F29 gave this pale and Impressionistic result.

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 537 – CHAIR, WALL AND SIDELIGHTING

 

 


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I enjoy lounging around in holiday chalets and caravans.  Its a wonderful opportunity to sprawl back in comfort and enjoy the moment – and also a good chance to watch how the light interacts with things as the sun moves across the sky. 

Here, with lighting from the left, a chair at the bottom of the stairs throws its shadow onto a rough wall.  The woodwork at upper left is part of the banister of the narrow stairway.

This photo is something of a departure for me as its one of the few times that I’ve used my 50mm lens: most of my images use focal lengths far above or below this “standard” lens, which roughly approximates to human eyes’ field of vision.  I ought to use this lens more often.  It has a very useful maximum aperture of f1.4 and so is good in low light situations, and using the D800 in DX (= APS-C) format, when focal lengths are magnified by 1.5, I end up with a very useful – inspiring, even – 75mm f1.4 chunk of glass.

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Technique: D800 with 50mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4; 11 Apr 2016.

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ARCHIVE 536 – SCORPION (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Nail brush; 4 August 2013.

This nail brush appeared in our bathroom recently and caught my eye every time I used the wash basin.  I like the curve of the handle, and also the way the light comes through between the groups of bristles – which resemble the legs of some monstrous millipede!

Or perhaps this is some large scorpion-like creature, its lethal sting poised above its head, making off to the left intent on giving some hapless victim a bad day.

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Technique: tripod-mounted D800 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 200 ISO; conversion to mono, selenium toning and selective colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Green Filter preset.

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ARCHIVE 529 – CLOUDS IN THE EARLY MORNING

 

 


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Early morning clouds over our garden; 22 Apr 2013.

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

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; 400 ISO; all underexposed to various degrees in Capture NX2 to saturate colour and bring out detail.

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ARCHIVE 523 – LOOKING UP AT SUNRISE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking up over our garden this morning – clouds and a contrail caught by the rising sun; Bristol; 22 Apr 2013.

I was just on the point of making that greatest of luxuries, the morning’s first cup of tea, when I glanced out of the window.  And then came one of the great improbables – a FATman moving at a rate of knots – in a frantic dash out into the back garden!

I love skies and clouds but, especially when the sun is just appearing or disappearing, and when contrails are moving steadily across the sky, things happen quickly – and there’s no time to hang about!

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 – recommended.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset.

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ARCHIVE 507 – PHOTOGRAPHER (MONO)

 

 


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Photographer on top the East Cliff at West Bay, Dorset; 21 Apr 2015.

Having climbed the really quite steep path palely visible on the far left, a woman pauses to look back westwards, taking a photo perhaps of the view over the tiny coastal resort of West Bay and the wonderful coastal scenery beyond.  Her companion – who may be as frustrated and bored with her “artistic pauses” as many photographers’ companions are – digs his hands into his pockets and stalks on along the path, which passes to the right of the wire fence.

I like this picture for its simplicity, and also for the impression it gives of Tiny and Fleeting Humanity against the dark, brooding, massive and far longer term Natural World.  I’ve intentionally made the silhouette to emphasise this distinction, but I value the path’s pale rocks because they provide some sort of border to the image on that side.  And the featureless blue sky is left untidy with a contrail and gulls, both of which could have been removed, because they add some interest and closure on the right.

And has she seen the glint of the long lens on my thundering great tank of a Nikon, and so is photographing, me photographing her, photographing me … “and so on, ad infinitum“, if I can paraphrase Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)?  Or is she (hopefully …) of a more artistic bent, and going for what the French call a vue generale?

Finally, the cliff’s stark edge forms the profile of a human visage that is looking up to the right – forelock, eyelashes, nose, lips, and maybe double chin or Adam’s Apple too, they’re all there –   but even I have not the gall to suggest that they be thought of as a cliff face.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE 506 – SHADES, SCOOBIE’S AND ME (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Selfie in the main street of Perranporth, Cornwall; 14 Apr 2016.

A rack of trendy sunglasses outside one of this seaside town’s many gift shops and The FATman – forever vain! – snapping his reflection.

And although we didn’t go in there and get our snouts in their trough, google tells me that Scoobie’s is a diner.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Harsh preset and selectively restoring colour; flipped to provide readable reflections.

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ARCHIVE 503 – REFLECTION OF PLACES WHERE PEOPLE LIVE

 

 


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Reflection in tall windows of  a block of flats in central Bristol; 20 Aug 2013.

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

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

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ARCHIVE 500 – FISHERMEN (MONO)

 

 


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Fishermen far off across a lake on a misty morning; 17 Oct 2013.

The local water company stocks Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol, with trout, and makes good profits from anglers.  There is also a sailing club, and some barely adequate birdwatching hides – returning from Kenya’s wide open spaces, I was astonished to be restricted to these little huts with their narrow viewing slits – something of a culture change!  I retain the feeling that birding ought to be out in the fresh and open air.

If you love grain >>> click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

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ARCHIVE 498 – THE VIEW WEST AT SUNRISE

 

 


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Looking west along the North Drain from the Jack’s Drove bridge on Tealham Moor, at sunrise; 22 Nov 2013.

I’d raced to Tealham Moor to catch the sunrise, and just before the scene was blasted by the light of the rapidly rising sun (see this image), there was this beautiful soft light, with clouds that were faintly tinged pink, off to the west. 

A group of three Mute Swans are on the water at lower left, and I’m pleased because this whole scene is just as I remember it. 

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 – recommended.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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