BRISTOL 138 – SHAFT OF SUNLIGHT, IN A GRAVEYARD (MONO)

 

 


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This picture is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

A day out together photographing in Bristol: Paula and I walked up the narrow St John’s Steep, heading into the Old City.  Street art and interesting facades and alleyways were all around, and on our left was a fenced and partly overgrown area with several obviously old graves – it was part of an old, disused graveyard.

A shaft of brilliant sunlight lit the scene, illuminating hosts of flowers that had run wild, and also some of the greenery around them. 

Then, a pigeon walked into the scene and was – for an instant – silhouetted against the glare.

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 180mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Neutral V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Yellow Filter and adding a moderate Coffee tone; St John’s Steep, in Bristol city centre; 3 June 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 348 – LOOKING ALONG THE LANE BELOW THE WHITELAKE BRIDGE

 

 


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Looking south from the Whitelake Bridge, on Hearty Moor.  A single track lane, its surface muddy and gently (i.e. characterfully!!!) undulating, disappears off amongst the shadowy trunks of trees.  Spring flowers line the sides of the lane, and trees bright with fresh, pale foliage overhang it.  A simple little scene, a lovely little place, a place in which to feel uncomplicated, quiet and at peace – except when the farmer comes through with his tractor or cows.

I’m not too sure where the point of focus is here, it may be down near where the road disappears, as the roadside flowers seem a little soft – but, well, you know, go with the flow.  If I’m trying to get myself off the hook, I suppose I could call this an impression of the scene and, in any case, I’m glad to have the picture.

A further point is that, much as I like mono, I had trouble here deciding on mono or colour >>> and so to both.  I think the mono has it >>> but what do you think???????

Particularly as, in the mono version, in my mind’s eye, I see that great bank of pale foliage on the right as the crest of a huge wave that is about to engulf this tranquil scene.  And although this may seem a rather fanciful vision (I never restrain my imagination), the latest forecasts for sea level rise due to global warming by the end of this century are two metres (about 6 feet), and if that happens then the Somerset Levels will be squarely in the firing line.  The Romans used to be able to get into the vicinity of this picture in sea-going ships, after all, so this is not science fiction.

Both of these pictures can be enlarged by clicking onto them to open a larger version in a separate window, and then clicking onto that picture to further enlarge it – recommended, especially for the mono version >>> those shadowy tree trunks just where the road disappears, to me there’s something from Lord of the Rings down down there!

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 210mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Landscape V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Hearty Moor, northeast of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 26 Apr 2019.
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BRISTOL 135 – TABLE OUTSIDE A CAFE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, the offer of fashionable alfresco dining on a city street but – at a rather cool and early hour – with no takers. 

The flowers added a wonderful splash of colour, and selective restoration of that colour in black and white immediately came to mind.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Sepia preset, and then selectively restoring colour and adding a slight pale vignette; Corn Street, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 108 – SPRING 2

 

 


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Standing beside a roaring main road, enjoying spring’s vital rush.  And looking up, filling the frame with the natural world >>> albeit the planted-at-the-roadside natural world.

There is an earlier spring image here: 1 .

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 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 13 April 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 104 – PARADISE REVISITED

 

 


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Awhile back, I posted a picture of this tree on a misty autumn morning – and instantly thought the resulting very simple scene a portrayal of Paradise.  Several of you agreed.

Happily, this tree is often along the routes of the long walks that I take through Bristol’s outer suburbs, and often I see it daily.

And so to a misty morning in spring, and it being resplendent in its flowers.  Paradise revisited?  Well its got my vote.

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 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 65mm (equiv); 320 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; south Bristol; 30 Mar 2019.
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ARCHIVE 360 – COWSLIPS

 

 


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In amongst the Cowslips near the bottom of our garden; 24 Apr 2013.

These beautiful little flowers have been growing in our garden for many years now.  We certainly didn’t plant them, so the initial seeds were presumably brought in by birds.

I love these simple flowers very much and, every year, encourage them to spread by delaying mowing the areas they inhabit until they have fully gone over and gone to seed.  This is one of the extremely few thought out gardening plans I have  – and it works!  Every year they spread further – wonderful!

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

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STILL LIFE 223 – THREE FLOWERS

 

 


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Three flowers. 

One up close and personal: solid, real, in our world, in our face too maybe but, in any case, in the way we see things. 

The other two are hazy, more remote; vague, they are imperfect impressions of reality, such as might appear in our dreams, or under the influence of myopia or intoxication.  And yet these vague impressions reflect the human condition if not visual reality – one is damaged, wounded; the other marginalised and only partly seen.  

And all are pallid, desaturated; they are pale representations of how the world ought to be.

Technique: this effect has been produced in Lightroom, by setting Vibrance to -100 and reducing Contrast.  Today there’s mostly a trend towards either bright, attention-grabbing, vivacious colours or no colour at all – black and white.  But between the two lie many possibilities – possibilities that I for one frequently forget to consider.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Stanton Drew, south of Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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STILL LIFE 222 – BROWN CHAIR WITH ORCHIDS AND POTTERY

 

 


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This is a totally ad lib shot that I took while sitting at the breakfast table (which sounds distinctly grand, doesn’t it, until you find out that it is in fact our only table …) to see if a camera was working properly.  Just how honest and up front can I get???  I looked through the large and rather wonderful electronic viewfinder, liked what I saw, and snapped it.

This rather cluttered still life is lit by that most wonderful (and gratis) of light sources, window light, and it also benefits from the fact that this light is filtered through net curtains.

It is a totally natural (i.e. unarranged) still life, which has three main subjects.  On the right is a lovely old chair, bought second hand at least 25 years ago, and probably originating in the generation before mine, if not earlier.  Then there are two examples from my wife’s orchid collection, one in flower and the other looking rather ravaged and destitute, though with abundant aerial roots.

And finally, at the back, two pieces of pottery, the one at the front having been made by John Leach, the grandson of Bernard Leach, at his pottery in Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels.

I like this picture.  Well, it is a part of my home, so I’m probably biassed.  But what do I like most?  Well, without a doubt, the light spilling over the warm colours of that old chair.  The objects on the left of the picture are well lit and, in their way, visually interesting.  But the chair is more snugly in the shadows, the light and shadow are washing over its surfaces, amplifying its wonderful old creases and textures >>> a metaphor for myself perhaps …..

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Chez Moi!; 3 May 2018.
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STILL LIFE 196 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 12 (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, with daffodils, in the William Bray, a restaurant and bar in the village of Shere, Surrey; 24 Mar 2012.

This restaurant is on different levels, and I was able to get up onto one floor and look down on the one below.  The wonderful lines and forms made the by the chairs, tables and floorboards – and the colourful flowers –  caught my eye, and I took several photos, none of which were “THE ONE!”, to work on later.  With all these lines and textures, I knew that there was something there – and that it was screaming out for mono conversion, with the plant’s colours restored.

It took quite a time to find this crop, but it has what I searched for – the lines and textures, the great contrast between the wooden and metallic structures, and the great contrast between the daffodil’s leaves and flowers and everything else.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 6400 ISO; converted to mono and manipulated (including selective restoration of colour) in Silver Efex Pro 2, and then manipulated further in Nikon’s Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 319 – MEADOW WITH WILDFLOWERS (MONO)

 

 


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Meadow with wildflowers beside North Chine Drove, southeast of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 27 Jul 2011.

The uncut grass with its abundance of tall yellow wildflowers first caught my eye and, and I was looking at how it might best be photographed when the sun broke through the clouds, producing this beautiful (and very lucky) shaft of light across the scene.

The photo is in three layers.  In the foreground there are more of the yellow flowers, but in the shade and unfocused.  Above this, the shaft of sunlight cuts across the shot, illuminating both the tall grasses and another grove of the wildflowers.  Finally, the third and upper layer contains the trees and bushes behind the field which (luckily again) are partly caught by the sun’s rays, so that this background is not wholly dark.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; converted to monochrome, and slightly tinted very pale yellow, with Silver Efex Pro.

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