ARCHIVE: LEVELS 10 – NAPKINS AND WINE GLASSES (MONO)

 

 


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Napkins (aka serviettes) and wine glasses on our table in the Cottage Cafe, Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset; 9 Oct 2010.

This archive presents some of the pictures that I’ve taken on the Somerset Levels over many years.  More context can be found in the first post in this archive – 1 – and also in my first Somerset Levels post, from 2011 – here .  Further posts in this archive are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .  All of these links will open in separate windows. 

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

Technique: Canon PowerShot G11; 400 ISO; converted to mono with Alien Skin’s Exposure 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.

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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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OUTER SUBURBS 167 – WINE GLASSES ON SCRATCHED DINING TABLE

 

 


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Another image from this lunch, and more context, can be found here.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 10 Dec 2019.
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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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STILL LIFE 135 – RESTAURANT WITH FLAG

 

 


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Looking into a restaurant, through the reflection of a flag.

There are other glimpses into Bristol restaurants here, here, here and here.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Capture NX2; Bristol’s Harbourside; 19 July 2016.
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BRISTOL 107 – BLUE ROOM

 

 

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

The blue effect is achieved by altering the white balance of the shot in Lightroom, making the light temperature artificially cold.

There are other views into this restaurant here and here, and something similar here.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv);  800 ISO.
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BRISTOL 102 – VIEW INTO A RESTAURANT 2

 

 

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Another look in through the windows of this restaurant, the first look being here; 14 July 2016.

 In this case, something easier to compose with, albeit that hard reality may be in short supply.

And that flower in the shadows at top right is not looking at you.

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

There is a third restaurant interior here.

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

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PEOPLE 216 – SHADES, SCOOBIE’S AND ME (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

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This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

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.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor 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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PEOPLE 191 – MY NEW READING GLASSES (MONO)

 

 

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My new reading glasses; 4 Nov 2014.

Long ago and far away I wrote a book in collaboration with a professor of biological sciences.  We were mapping the geographical distributions of the (then) 1,065 species of birds known to have occurred in Kenya, and we were trying to explain these distributions.

And whenever my tiny mind came up with some explanation of a bird’s occurrence that was a little, shall we say, over imaginative, the austere, grey and bearded professor would lean towards me and, screwing his eyes up,  give me just this sort of look as he asked “And so you think that means something, do you, mmmmm?!”. 

Oh boy, have I suffered for my art.

Canon G11 PowerShot at 45mm (equivalent); 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Harsh preset.
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STILL LIFE 5 – MY READING GLASSES, BACKLIT, ON A SHINY TABLE (MONO)

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My reading glasses, backlit, on a shiny table; 31 Mar 2013.

The room in which I work on this blog faces east and can be magnificently blasted by the rising sun – when our dour English climate allows our star any say in matters that is.  The sun was striking my glasses and sending all sorts of brilliances and shadows across the table’s surface, and I thought there might be image potential in placing the lit spectacles on a sheet of white paper, and photographing this set up from vertically above.

But, later on, I caught sight of the spectacles’s reflection in the table top and was attracted by this too.  I wanted only the glasses and their reflection in the shot, and thought that the best way of doing this was to use a long telephoto near its closest focus, and to have the shaded wall below the window as the dark backdrop.   This was achieved by setting up some way off with a telezoom, and using f18 to give some depth of focus.

So there are three elements here.  The glasses and the lit table top, and the shadowed wall at the top of the frame.  The table is round and so the edge of its lit surface, in the background, is curved – and displaced by the refraction of the light through the glasses’s lenses.

Tripod-mounted Nikon D800 with 70mm-300mm VR Nikkor at 270mm; 200 ISO; conversion to mono and copper toning in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Smooth preset.
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