ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 28 – PLANTAIN (MONO)


Perhaps a still life in the true sense of the term – Plantain from our Bristol garden; 22 June 2014.

Taking my life (and my plant guide) in my hands, I’m going to identify this as the Ribwort Plantain.  And this is the first denizen of our front garden that I’ve pictured.  Not that it was in the front garden when I pictured it.  Seeing these plantains – plants that I’ve always liked – beside our front gate, I held back The Destructor (our petrol mower) from roaring and ravaging over them and instead let it roar and ravage around them, so that I could preserve them and bring a bloom indoors.

And if this is indeed the Ribwort Plantain, my little book tells me that its one of the commonest European plants – and also that it grows in “grassy and waste places”, which describes our diminutive and scraggy front garden to a tee.

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

Technique: D800 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 100 ISO; tripod; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE STILL LIFE PICTURE GALLERY 1 : POSTS 1-10

 

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE PICTURE GALLERIES

I’m currently posting images from my large archive of (loosely defined!) still life photos.  These photos are being posted singly, with full text.

To make viewing of these images easier for those with little time to spare, I’m also posting groups of these images with minimal titles.  This is the first of these galleries.

Clicking onto each image will open a larger version in a separate window: doing this often enhances the image.

 

1: Artificial flower

2: City life

3: Megalith

4: Three herons

5: Phone box

6: Four chairs below a table

7: Chair behind dirty window

8: Tag on the wall of a bar, Little King Street

9: Lunchtime drink

10: Early morning, in the park



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 57 – TEASEL ALONG TRIPPS DROVE (MONO + COLOUR)


Teasel along Tripps Drove; Godney Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 26 Jul 2012.

I don’t take many pictures of flowers, but early one peaceful and gorgeous morning along Tripps Drove I saw these Teasels beside a water-filled ditch – just before, my attention distracted, a horsefly had his fill from me.

And here, for once, I’ve given SEP2 its head and followed where it led – the Yellowed 2 preset looked good and here it is border and all, along with some minor adjustments, and also extensive restoration of colour.

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; converted to mono and re-coloured using Silver Efex Pro 2.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 1 – ARTIFICIAL FLOWER (MONO + COLOUR)

 

INTRO

This is the first post in a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.

 

Artificial flower on the railings in front of a house.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Capture NX2Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset, selectively restoring colour and adding a tone and black border; York Place, Clifton, Bristol; 21 Apr 2017.



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 469 – TEASELS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Teasels, Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; 1 Aug 2013.

I’ve restored the pale blues of the few petals remaining at the apex of the left hand flower, but I think a larger image is needed to fully appreciate this.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 260mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Pinhole preset, and selective restoration of colour.

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ARCHIVE 411 – VIEW INTO A RESTAURANT

 

 


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Looking in through a restaurant window, Bristol Harbourside; 14 July 2016.

Looking in through this window, I was at once taken with the single, beautiful flower, caught by the light.  But, there being all sorts of visual rubbish off to the left, I could not make the flower anywhere near central in the composition, nor get it near to any of the compositional thirds.  I could of course have tried portrait (ie vertical) format, but this seemed a waste of all that diffuse, half-seen, “restauranty” detail off to the right – table cloths, more glasses, cutlery, upholstery.

And so to this.  Westerners’ eyes often enter images from the left, perhaps because we write from left to right – I’ve often talked about this on this blog in the past.  So,  in this case, my eyes enter this image from the left and run visually slap bang into the flower and its attendant glassware, sharp and well lit in the summer sunlight – and are for a moment held there.

But as I look at the bloom and its reflective attendants, my eyes keep wandering off to the right, wondering what’s there – only to be dragged back to the flower again.

Do your eyes do the same, or do you see this differently?  Is the flower really too far left?  What do you think?

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO.

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OUTER SUBURBS 67 – MODERN HOUSING 9

 

 


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Bees around a sunflower.  And – unseen – imaginative south Bristol inhabitants.

There are earlier Modern Housing posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .  Each will open in a separate window.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 .  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: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 29 Jan 2019.
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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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STILL LIFE 171 – THE END OF THINGS

 

 


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The year ages, winter looms, and Life dies back, beds down, readying itself for the months of cold and darkness ahead.

Dead sunflower, heavily frosted, in the back garden of the farm next to the church in Stanton Drew.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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