ARCHIVE 429 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM RATTLEDOWN FARM

 

 


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The view south from Rattledown Farm, looking out over the Chew Valley in Somerset, with Chew Valley Lake in the background; 12 July 2013.

Another slice of the English countryside, on a beautiful morning.  I think that the line of taller trees take my eye up through the picture to the lake’s blue, which then pulls my gaze right.  And I like the wedge of vivid pale green cutting across the image, just about along the upper horizontal third.

Chew Valley Lake is an artificial reservoir, flooded in the early 1950s – Google tells me it is the 5th largest artificial lake in the UK.  It has something of a special place in my life in that it was around its shores, in 1967, that I took my first, hesitant steps to becoming a birdwatcher – “with a little help from my friends”!

I was useless at birdwatching in those days.  I was (and am) short sighted, wore glasses, and had only a small telescope bought for me by my parents many years earlier.  So, a bird would appear, I’d see it and whip off my glasses so as to be able to use my telescope – and then totally lose sight of it, casting blindly about with the scope.  For Christmas that year, my impecunious mother bought me a pair of 10×50 binoculars that could be used with my glasses on and – no pun intended – I never looked back.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give a focal length of 450mm; 400 ISO;  final manipulation in Color Efex Pro 4.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 443 – EARLY MORNING, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Early morning on Tealham Moor: silent except for the soft shuffling of the cattle and the low sigh of the breeze.

There is a colour version of this image here .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a Raw file, using the Graphite profile and in-camera cropping; further minor processing in Lightroom; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 9 Aug 2019.

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ARCHIVE 428 – EARLY MORNING 36

 

 


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Sunrise over Glastonbury Tor, seen from Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 22 Nov 2013.

I’ve lightened the centre section to bring interest to the mid-ground with the two cows – but I’m sure they should have shadows … oh dear, digital … not always quite up to it are you?  Or maybe I’m not quite up to it – its probably me ….

And of course I’m pointing my magnificent if distinctly weighty telezoom straight into the sun’s glare, and so to a second, orange sun low down in the frame, and also some rather fiery glows between that sun and the real one.  I could have gone at it with software to try and make good these optical artefacts but, first, I can’t be bothered, and second, I think they add to the atmosphere and feeling of the shot – I mean, I’m pointing a x6 telephoto directly into Our Star’s incandescent face, so what do I expect, perfect and pristine optical rendition?

I like the 80-400 (but – Jan 2020 – have sold it now).  Large and unwieldy it may be and its not one of Nikon’s very quick AF-S lenses, but it is image stabilised and I can hand hold it, and it gives such reach and flexibility.

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 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 .  All will open in separate windows.  You can also search on the “early morning” tag.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO.

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OUTER SUBURBS 171 – EARLY MORNING MIST, MAIN ROAD

 

 


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Walking amidst early morning’s dark uncertainties, the wild and welcome screams of gulls my only companions. 

And, alone still, reaching a road – with trees, mists, lights, and the sky slowly brightening.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 30 Dec 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 170 – EARLY MORNING 35

 

 


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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 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera  Portrait profile; south Bristol; 5 Dec 2019.
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ARCHIVE 425 – FLOODS ON TADHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Floods on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 20 Jan 2008.

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

Technique: F6 with Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide rated at 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Tin Type preset.

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BRISTOL 158 – HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 


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HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, AND THE HOPE THAT 2020

WILL TREAT YOU ALL KINDLY.

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AND THOUGHTS TOO FOR THOSE IN THIS WORLD WHO ARE SUFFERING ADVERSITY >>> HOPE TOO FOR THEM,  IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR RACE, CREED, NATIONALITY, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AGE, DISABILITIES, ETC ETC >>> ALL THE USUAL SUSPECTS! – WHICH OUR SPECIES SO HABITUALLY USES AS THE BASES FOR DIVISION, HATRED AND OPPRESSION.

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Christmas lights over central Bristol – click onto the image twice to view an enlarged version in a separate window.
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OUTER SUBURBS 166 – COLD MORNING, AFTER RAIN

 

 

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The sky clears after rain, the first flushes of sunrise do nothing to dispel the penetrating cold, and a street lamp stands – a gaunt sentinel – above The Way Ahead.

And in the distance, the lights of cars, the slow and often halting journey to work in south Bristol.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 9 Dec 2019.

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OUTER SUBURBS 165 – EARLY MORNING 32

 

 


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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 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Adobe Standard profile; south Bristol; 5 Dec 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 437 – THE VIEW SOUTH, TADHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Looking south on a wet morning in early winter, with a wide angle lens on the camera, and a split tone added in post-capture processing.

Compositionally, the lines of the track, the banks of the water-filled ditch to the left of the track, the horizon and the cloud formations all draw my eyes down past the large tree.  A tree that is certainly valued, perhaps even loved –  I never come to this very special place without touching it and talking to it, as it clings stoutly to the steep bank of yet another water-filled ditch, always in danger of toppling over, as three other long-known willows behind the camera have already toppled.

Over the years, and in terrible times now quite long past, this very open and simple spot has helped me to keep going, to keep on keeping on, and I am very much attached and indebted to it.  To the extent that, when the time comes, my ashes will be sprinkled down there, down along this track, beyond the tree and the large puddle beside it.  Knowing that that is going to happen always affects my visits here, but never I hasten to add in any sad or bad way, but rather serving to imbue me with a sense of certainty, and of belonging too, which gets into my photos sometimes and which I value.

And with global sea levels rising as they are, and the land hereabouts already being below the height of the Bristol Channel’s tall tides – tides with ranges of up to nearly 50 feet – it may not be too long before these flatlands are inundated once more.  So, yes, a temporary place, then – but to a geologist like me every place is temporary after all.

However – the bottom line – a very simple place, vastly attractive to my “less is more” eyes and mindset – and very special to me in my thoughts too.

Click onto the image twice to open an enlarged version: recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 12 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset and adding a split tone; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 6 Dec 2019.
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