SOMERSET LEVELS 431 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS

 

 

Uncertain destination

(best viewed enlarged – click onto it)

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Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

A short history of Weston is here.

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Wet morning

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Cracked and weathered frontage – built of one of the honey-coloured limestones from the Cotswold area, like Bath Stone.  An older house, once genteel.

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OUTER SUBURBS 141 – EARLY MORNING 23

 

 


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Due to my carelessness, this picture is most probably not sharp.  Thinking of other things (Full English Breakfasts … probably …) I loosed off at 1/13th second when using a 100mm equivalent telephoto >>> and later could only hope that the camera image stabilisation would make it all right.  Anyway, whether said stabilisation has done the job or not, this is my only shot of the scene and here it is!

So >>> walking beside a blaring main road and glancing eastwards, I liked the contrasts between the first faint pinks of the sunrise and the various colours of the house lights.  The Outer Suburbs were awake and preparing to take on whatever the day might throw at them!

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 3 Oct 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 140 – MODERN HOUSING 10 (MONO)

 

 


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Sunrise glances across a trim front garden in the outer suburbs.  The baby bushes, all in a row, are lit by its welcome radiance. 

And there is a little fence too which, while hopefully not bereft of any hint of the ornamental, is basically the symbolic barrier between two privately owned residences.  The fence casts a long shadow, as well it might in this materialistic world.

There are earlier Modern Housing posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 49mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 03 profile; south Bristol; 18 Sept 2019.

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OUTER SUBURBS 137 – PARKED CAR 7

 

 


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Parked, claustrophobically; hemmed in by the blank, looming masses of the built environment, within which – we can only hope – warm domesticity universally prevails.

There are earlier images in this Parked Car series here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 320 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 22 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 411 – EARLY MORNING 17

 

 


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Shott’s Farm on Ash Moor, bathed in the haze and glow of early morning.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Shott’s Farm on Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 2 August 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 135 – WALKING DOWN TO THE CITY

 

 

1: loved the plants!  What do they add – patina / character / a touch of Life???

Walking down to the city centre on a sunny morning.  Walking northwards, and so keeping to the right hand side of the roaring main road to watch the glare of the low angle sunlight striking the buildings opposite and also, where the view to the east is uninterrupted, to watch the glare interacting with the ground around my feet.

And so to a series of random photos: little scenes seen during a walk down to the city … to buy a loaf of (very special and simple) bread as it happens …

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

Technique: TG-5; Lightroom; south Bristol; 14 Sept 2019.
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2: part-shaded by buildings and trees on the opposite side of the road


3: the roof of a sports pavilion, with floodlights and a street light


4: loved the gulls!


5: bridge with red railings, and a white line to keep walkers safe from cyclists …


6: roadside shadows
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ARCHIVE 405 – THE VIEW SOUTHEAST FROM EASTWATER LANE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking southeast from Eastwater Lane, high up on the Mendip plateau in Somerset; 4 Feb 2014.

In their central and western reaches, the Mendip Hills are a steep sided and formidable, west-east barrier of hard, old (Palaeozoic) rocks.  They have the Old Red Sandstone of the Devonian period in their cores, and the Carboniferous Limestone all around.  But especially in their central area, these precipitous slopes give up onto a flattish or gently undulating plateau, with sturdy farms huddling amongst windbreaks, and pubs with evocative names – names that recall my youth and things that have always been a part of my life – the Castle of Comfort, the Miner’s Arms and Hunters Lodge.

Wondering about floods, I drove up onto Mendip yesterday, and spent some time in Eastwater Lane – a favourite place because it is a dead end and so has no through traffic.  I was also around the village of Priddy.  It was a cold, damp day, initially lit by pale, glinting sun, but with dark clouds and spitting rain all too soon coming up on the gusting southerly.  There were flood warnings in several places, but the waters had either subsided, or were only thinly masking the little roads – although all of that may have changed with the storm that hit us later yesterday afternoon and overnight – and today too.

I walked along Eastwater Lane, enjoying  the sight and atmosphere of the Bronze Age round barrows on the hill crests, and seeing where streams running down from the sandstone hilltops disappear underground into caverns as soon as they encounter the far more soluble limestone.

Here was Eastwater Cavern, that I descended as a plump, pudgy teenager, and I tried to recall if I’d become stuck in it or not.  Yes, is the probable answer, as I had to be helped through many a difficult cave by my school friends – but the vast Swildons Hole, from which the Mendip Cave Rescue had to come out and extricate me, is off towards Priddy.  I made the local papers – I think I was 16 at the time.

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

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Film Noir 3 preset.

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OUTER SUBURBS 72 – PATH THROUGH MODERN HOUSING 6

 

 


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Another functional and not unattractive pathway through modern housing, and something very different from the previous one.  Unusually for me, colour and mono images here – for me the black and white gets it – and I think its worth enlarging >>> click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

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Earlier pictures of a paths through modern housing are here: 1 2 3 4 5 .  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 67 68 69 70 71 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Orange preset and adding a light Coffee tone; south Bristol; Jan & Feb 2019.
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PEOPLE 365 – GOING TO WORK 89 (MONO)

 

 


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GOING TO WORK: THE PROJECT

This project has been running, on and off, for sometime now – the first post (number 1, below) was in July 2016.  For those not familiar with the earlier posts, this project is now in three parts.

First there is the great bulk of posts in the earlier stages: numbers 1 to 86 below.  This really came about for two reasons.  First, having retired in 2013, I became increasingly interested in the work phenomenon, and a single photographic look at Bristol’s early morning rush hour ramped this interest up to the level of a fascination for a twice daily event – a twice daily tide –  that, until recently, I had been a part of.  And such long, early morning visits to the city centre were considerably facilitated by the excellent, lighter and smaller Fujifilm mirrorless cameras (X-T1 and X-T2) that gave me a break from my also excellent but bigger and heavier Nikon DSLR gear.  In some part I felt (and feel) that commuting and city centre working can be something of a pressurised and dehumanising experience; as I recall from two bouts of overwork and stress-related illness.

And then part 2 of this project is a single picture (number 87) taken in heavy rain with the Olympus TOUGH TG-5 camera.  I’d bought this camera with the aim of looking at the rush hour in atrocious weather conditions, but that aim has yet to be fulfilled – >>> the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak???  🙂  But the TG-5 has  instead proved itself very flexible and useful in the Outer Suburbs project, which makes up the bulk of my posts these days.

And, last week, I found myself with the TG-5 in the morning rush hour in Bristol’s Bedminster suburb, and so to a few more images, part 3 of Going to Work, starting with post 88.

But where this project will go from here – as usual – I have not the slightest idea!!!

POST 89

Alone on a cold, damp morning.  Overcast, and going to work.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 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 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 25mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset; St Luke’s Road, south Bristol; 29 Jan 2019.
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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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