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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ARCHIVE 496 – MAGPIE, BARBED WIRE FENCE AND TREE (MONO)

 

 


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Magpie flying over farmland beside East Water Lane, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 7 Aug 2014.

I had in mind a Minimalist composition consisting only of the tree and the barbed wire and its fence posts, when a noisy group of Magpies appeared and by luck I caught this one.  The pale areas of its plumage merge with the backdrop, eating into its outline.  But it is flying towards the left, with the black cone of its head, neck and breast on the left, and its long, thin, black tail stretching out behind.  Its wings are frozen by the high shutter speed, held up above its body.

One way of looking at this: of the three elements in the composition, the tree and the fence are static, with the third element flying into their space / surroundings.  Then again, the fence may be marching out towards the right, with its posts roped together for safety, and gradually disappearing down into a dip in the ground, or vice versa.  Everything is what it seems, until we start thinking about it.

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

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

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ARCHIVE 486 – FAST FOOD OUTLET (MONO)

 

 


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Table and seats outside a fast food café in Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

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ARCHIVE 481 – SELFIE OF YOUNG LOVE (MONO)

 

 


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Something heartwarming, something very good to see; West Bay, Dorset; 21 Apr 2015.

Strolling on the harbour wall at the diminutive Dorset resort of West Bay, with the damned great Nikon and zoom perched on my paunch – when over left a selfie was fired off – and I was just not quick enough to capture the action, although I did get a shot of them examining the result immediately afterwards.

And so, and not for the first time, I cursed my lack of alertness and speed – when they squared up for another shot at it – I mean, them – and this time I was ready.

Well, its truly candid, and as an image I like it.  Presentation in black and white removes the distractions of colour and takes us in solely to them and what they’re about.

But those thoughts only scratch the surface on this one.  I started off by describing it as heartwarming and I stick by that.  Its a moment of togetherness and affection, a moment shared – and that’s good to see.  Who knows what the future will bring for them?  Not knowing them at all, I wish them good luck and happiness.

See?  Underneath … well, actually, really quite deep underneath … I’m just something of an Old Softy ….

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum preset.

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ARCHIVE 476 – EARLY IN THE DAY, JUST BEFORE MIDWINTER

 

 


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The first flushes of sunrise on 16th Dec 2016 –  just before the shortest day of the year.  I was heading towards the village of Mark, and looking eastwards across Binham Moor, on the Somerset Levels.

Composition: a noisy, grainy, blurry image – no more than an impression of what it was like being there.  And what was it like being there?  Well, it was ******* cold and, despite 1/250th and image stabilisation, I was lying across the outside of the car, hoping to high heaven that, shivering as I was, I could still hold the camera steady.  Did I have a tripod with me?  Yes.  Could I be bothered to use it?  Nope – but then that’s always the case!  This image is very much a series of horizontal layers, one on top of the other, the darkness of the ground moving up, in a series of discreet steps, into the first welcome tints of the day.

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 300mm; 25,600 ISO; 1/250th, wide open at f5.6; Lightroom, starting at the Adobe Standard profile; Binham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 16 Dec 2016.

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ARCHIVE 473 – WAVE MEETS MAN (MONO)

 

 


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FANTASY: a wave, furrowed, swelling, dark, and with a thin, foaming apron of silver, rolls in towards the beach and meets a man.  And there is a communion – something passes –  between the moving water and that rigid figure with his dark suit, bowed head and tightly clenched fists.  

Is he bowing to the turbulent and rising water, acknowledging it perhaps as a living thing?  Or, in a moment of shock and revelation, is he realising his own inadequacy in the face of this endless, remorseless and energetic swell?  And, equally, in what way is the wave responding to him?  Indifference, perhaps?  Or, however muted and distant, is there some acknowledgement of another feature of this planet’s surface?

And because this is an interpretation that exists only in my mind, I have used a pale vignette to separate this imagined interaction from the solid and all too permanent reality all around – the mist shifts, and we are granted a fleeting glimpse into a daydream.

REALITY: a man, not a young man as I remember, walked down the beach in a dark blue suit, brown shoes and a wide brimmed hat, and remained standing there in the harsh sunlight, apparently transfixed by the sand and pebbles at his feet. 

What was he actually doing?  His fists appear to be clenched but, magnifying things substantially, I think that his hands are in fact full of beach pebbles – and fossils too maybe on this famous Jurassic Coast.  And he’s gazing down at the beach’s debris, hoping to add more to his collection.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset; West Bay, Dorset; 21 Apr 2015.

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STILL LIFE 252 – MANNEQUIN

 

 


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Using a long telephoto to look closely into a Truro shop window.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Truro, Cornwall; 12 Apr 2016.
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ARCHIVE 458 – HERRING GULL AT NEW QUAY (MONO)

 

 

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Herring Gull on the harbour wall at New Quay, Ceredigion, west Wales; 23 September 2014.

Once again, my love for these “rats with wings”, whose anarchy, opportunism and sheer being good at what they do upsets our ordered little seaside – and now urban – worlds.

And a delicate beauty here perhaps, but that hard eye has you in its gaze and this is no time to let your guard down by drifting off into sentiment and aesthetics.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate II preset.

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ARCHIVE 456 – SWANS OVER TEALHAM

 

 


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Mute Swans about to land on flooded Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 7 Feb 2014.

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

Much against good sense, I ventured down onto the Levels recently, to my habitual haunts on Tealham and Tadham Moors.  Not daring to take my usual cross-country route because of the many places where even small amounts of flooding might cut it, I drove down the main A38 road south from Bristol to Highbridge, and then went eastwards into the flatlands along another, relatively large road.  All was well on these main roads, but as soon as I got onto the smaller lanes, problems with water appeared.

Tealham and Tadham were mostly submerged, with just just the roads sticking up above the waters and little traffic about, but the floods in this more northerly part of the Levels are nothing like those further south, south of the Polden Hills, where whole villages are being overwhelmed, main roads have been cut for weeks, cutting edge pumping technology has been brought in from Holland, and the Army has been called in to help the local people.

This image is starting to look rather unphotographic, more like a painting maybe, and I always feel good when this happens.  Henrietta Richer and Dave Battarbee have both made suggestions about this image, which I’ve incorporated.  

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO. 

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