GARDEN 69 – ANGRY MORNING

 

 


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I was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, which faces due east, and being struck by the ferocity of the winter sunrise over to the southeast.  A wild morning, an angry morning, the sort of morning that has an undeniable wild beauty, but which takes some strength of resolve to get outdoors and get to grips with.

And in front of me an oak tree that I have watched grow up from a naturally sown acorn – perhaps buried and forgotten by a squirrel – over the past twenty or so years.  And although it does not know it yet, an unfortunate oak, a healthy and burgeoning tree that because of its close proximity to the house will have to be cut down in the near future.

But back again to that fierce, early light, which was transfixing as it radiantly backlit the few of the oak’s leaves that had managed to hang on during the recent gales.  The camera was to hand, and so to spot metering … and the wonderful luminosity of those last few leaves.

And although it is a rather underexposed caricature of the original, below is an idea, just an idea, of the angry sky that was producing this beautifully fierce, hard and cold light …
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Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); spot metering; Lightroom; Bristol; 8 Dec 2017.
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BIRDS 102 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


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Adult Wood Pigeon amongst the autumn leaves and raggedly cut grass on our back “lawn”, photographed through the double glazing of the kitchen window – opening the window even a tiny bit would send these birds rocketing frantically away!  Here I tapped very, very gently on the inside of the window to attract their attention and, after a brief glance towards me, they carried on foraging.

A small flock of these pigeons have taken to visiting our back grass, and its a real pleasure seeing them there.

This is in fact an agricultural pest, a bird that anyone can shoot.  And this is a species that I’ve actually eaten but, well, that was nothing to write home about – and anyway I’d far rather be looking at them!

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Bristol; 23 Nov 2017.
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STANTON DREW 40 – VILLAGE LIFE 7 (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Child’s swing, empty, above autumn leaves – no one has come out to play!

This is a strange garden, which belongs to a short row of houses in the village.  It is quite large, and set upon what is effectively a traffic island, with the main lane through the village on one side, and two smaller lanes on the other sides.  On two sides its raised up at about head height above its surroundings so that, looking across it, your eyes are near ground level.

It houses some clucking hens and their coops, with nothing except the drop to keep them from straying off along the lanes.  And there is this swing, hanging from a large tree.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 .  Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6  .    Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset and selectively restoring colour; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 22 Oct 2014.

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STANTON DREW 38 – VILLAGE LIFE 5

 

 


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Maybe just a touch too picturesque for me but, still, a valued, quiet corner of England, although not at all far from Bristol’s hustle and bustle.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 Further images are here: 2 3 4 .    Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Color Efex Pro 4; Stanton Drew; 22 Oct 2014.

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STANTON DREW 34 – VILLAGE LIFE 1

 

Stanton Drew is a village of 800 or so people in the Chew Valley, not far south of Bristol.  Its a small, quiet village, pleasant to walk around, and notable for of its prehistoric stone circles.  As the title to this post shows, I’ve already published 33 photos –  of decidedly varying quality, it must be said – from this little place.  Now, having neglected it for sometime, I’m going to post some more photos, some seen before, some not.  And I might even manage to get myself sufficiently together to stroll around there photographing some more, maybe with a rather different eye than on my previous visits – time will tell.  If nothing else, there’s a wonderfully peaceful, rural churchyard, and a welcoming pub which has blazing log fires.
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Stanton Drew does have a narrow but reasonably busy road passing through it and, on something which is almost a large traffic island there is a garden, the surface of which is not far below eye level – which makes shots like this so much easier to take.  This garden has no fences around it, and the few chickens that live there seem to know that fluttering down from their elevated home will only bring problems.  They are reasonably tame, and I’ve found that crouching down out of sight below the edge of the raised garden, waiting until their calls are loud and near, and then very slowly emerging up beside them, pays dividends.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom.
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ARCHIVE 308 – ASH SAPLING

 

 


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Young, red leaves bursting out from an Ash sapling in our back garden; 26 June 2013.

Soft focus versions of this scene have appeared in an earlier post.

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 307 – HAZEL, A (FOR ONCE!) PLANNED IMAGE

 

 


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Hazel leaves, in our back garden; 25 June 2013.

This was captured with a definite visual plan – the eye enters the frame from the left, very soon hits the brightest component, and then moves rightwards and upwards along the “tail” of darker objects leading to the upper right corner of the frame.  The eye might then exit the frame in the upper right corner: having the final element of the “tail” there might stop it, or it might have been better to have this corner dark.

I never cease to marvel at the beauty of Nature.  What am I looking at here, what is my camera recording?  Well, light that has travelled 93 million miles from Our Star, to partially shine through a small component of one of Earth’s myriad lifeforms.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 250 ISO.

UPDATE: I rather casually mention here that viewers’ eyes will be entering the image from the left – you can find more on this very real phenomenon here.

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ARCHIVE 306 – EARLY MORNING GARDEN: SUNLIGHT

 

 


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Early morning sunlight in our back garden; 9 Jul 2013.

Looking down the garden through a thin screen of tall grasses.  A very shallow depth of field, produced by using a long telephoto at close quarters, has thrown nearly everything except the closest grasses far out of focus.  This is not an accurate representation of the scene, but rather an impression of how it looked.

The line of dark tones at the top of the frame are the shadows below the hedge at the bottom of the garden.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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BRISTOL 122 – CITY CENTRE GREEN SPACE

 

 


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Somewhat ravaged Dandelion catching the morning light in perfunctory flower bed outside a shopping mall.

Of course we’re a Green city!  Actually I’m doing Bristol a disservice as it does have some nice green bits, and anyone really wanting to see flowers is not in any case going to go looking for them in shopping mall flower beds, are they?!

And some of you may point out that Dandelions are in any case weeds – but, although not being any great Green/botanical activist, weed is a term that I simply do not subscribe to.  The fact that something is growing where we have decreed that it is not allowed cannot in any way lessen that something’s status as a living organism.  Plants are plants are plants, period.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and then click onto the enlarged image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 250mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; The Galleries shopping mall, central Bristol; 7 July 2017.

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ARCHIVE 297 – AUTUMN CARPET (TWO VERSIONS)

 

 


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Our Hazel, dark and massive and still with a few pale leaves, stands proud of its autumn carpet; 18 Nov 2013.

The extreme wideangle lens is pointing downwards, and the leaves in the foreground appear to be close under the camera.  Everything left of centre leans out towards the left, and everything to the right (including our fence, top right) vice versa.

I think I prefer the colour version here, its how it was or, rather, its what I saw through the viewfinder – and I love this garden and its autumn colours.

The mono version is quite different.  Its much darker, its really built around darkness, darkness that is cut / illuminated by those white leaves, both sprinkled across the ground and still hanging from the tree.  Both versions would benefit from larger reproduction I think, the mono version more so.

Which version do you prefer?

Click onto the images to open larger versions in separate windows.

Technique: D800 with Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm; 800 ISO; the mono version created with Silver Efex Pro 2’s Floral Style preset.

UPDATE: my apologies for not visiting others’ blogs as often as usual, but time is tight at the moment.

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