ARCHIVE 338 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM RATTLEDOWN FARM

 

 


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The view south from Rattledown Farm, looking out over the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; Chew Valley Lake is in the background – looking for all the world like blue sky; 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 used in APS-C format, with a 70-300 Nikkor lens giving a focal length of 450mm; 400 ISO;  final manipulation in Colour Efex Pro 4.

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STILL LIFE 188 – MEGALITH 4 (MONO)

 

 


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Amongst the prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

Other images of these ritual stones are here: 1  2  3 .

More info about this prehistoric site is here .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset and adding a light coffee tone; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 6 Nov 2017.
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ARCHIVE 336 – BOATS AT LAMU (MONO)

 

 


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Boats on the beach at Lamu, on the coast of Kenya; July 1978.

This photo has been digitally manipulated (in Silver Efex Pro) to produce a dark, brooding look. The dimly seen white motor boat out on the sea balances the picture – obscure it with your thumb to see what I mean. I also like the repeating patterns of the two boats nearest the camera, which have similar shapes and which are inclined at the same angle.

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

Technique: Olympus OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Silver Efex Pro.
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ARCHIVE 335 – SHOOTING INTO THE GLARE 2

 

 


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Shooting into the mist and light on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Apr 2014.

There is another recently posted image from this sequence, and more context, here .

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 220mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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ARCHIVE 334 – RIFT VALLEY LANDSCAPE, KENYA (MONO)

 

 


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View eastwards across the rift valley in Kenya, showing Lake Elmenteita, a soda lake in the rift floor, with the eastern escarpment of the rift dimly seen in the far distance; probably late 1970s.

Each of the small cones on the far side of the lake, and the slightly higher ground immediately left of the lake, is a separate volcano.  The whole of the rift floor is volcanic, with liquid rock (magma) pushing up from deep inside the Earth through the fracture in the Earth’s crust that is the rift valley.  Magma erupting onto the Earth’s surface is known as lava.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Alien Skin’s Exposure 2.

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ARCHIVE 333 – SHOOTING INTO THE GLARE

 

 

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Low angle sunlight shining through mist on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Apr 2014.

Driving westwards across Tadham Moor with the sun rising behind me, I started encountering low banks of mist which were decidedly mobile, appearing and disappearing with disconcerting rapidity.  I was heading for the Magic Carpark but suddenly became aware that the mist ahead was fast disappearing, and so I swerved into a field entrance, leapt out of the car and looked back behind me, into the glare – and started firing.

As usual, there was a short length of fencing beside the gate to the field, which extended down from the gate to the water-filled ditch that otherwise forms the field’s boundary.  So I placed this in the foreground as a silhouette for depth, focused on it with a large aperture – and let the misty landscape behind it look after itself.  This backdrop consists of the rough, rather greyish pasture of the field, behind which are a few thin bushes and shrubs along the field’s edge – these are standing above another wet ditch which is the field’s far boundary.

Beyond this boundary, the next field holds greener grass and, in the distance, the faint silhouettes of larger trees can just be seen.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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STANTON DREW 46 – VILLAGE LIFE 13

 

 


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A frosty, misty, autumn morning on the outskirts of the village.  A path, made by farm animals, passes across the fields of Church Farm – which, logically enough, is the farm next to the church.  There is a livestock-proof gate into the next field in the hedge in the distance and, on the right, one of the farm’s outbuildings.

A calm, simple scene, shot against the light.  The path leads my eye towards the distant gate, and the wall and the outbuilding (including the shallow tilt of its roof) are also pointing in that general direction.

This might look alright in black and white, but here are the muted colours of the cold and the mist, made more so by the film simulation.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 .  Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  .    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 yet again – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 84mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Pro Neg. Hi film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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ARCHIVE 332 – SQUALL COMING, TADHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Squall approaching, Tadham Moor, Somerset Levels; 29 Apr 2016.

I was down on the Somerset Levels last week on a cold, wet and blustery morning.  There were bare winter trees, there were fierce hailstorms too and, to my astonishment, my journey over the higher ground of the Mendip Hills had been accompanied by snowfall.  And yet all of this was only two days away from (what we Brits can only hope will be) May’s rising warmths and softnesses!  There are times when you just have to laugh at our British weather – if only because the alternative would be to weep.

Anyway, I was out on Tadham Moor, having a hot drink while sheltering behind my car from the gusting wind, when there was a perceptible stirring behind me, followed by a sudden and urgent freshening of the air.  I turned, saw this scene, and had time for a few hurried frames before those dark, trailing curtains translated into what they so clearly were – and my car was buffeted and rattled by a furious, near-horizontal deluge that lasted a minute or two and then raced on.

I wonder if summer is actually coming this year?  You never quite know in the UK.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset, and giving the result the look of Kodak Plus-X 125PX Pro black and white film.

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STILL LIFE 179 – MEGALITH 2 (MONO)

 

 


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The prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

Other images of these ritual stones are here: 1   .

More info about this prehistoric site is here .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the String Infra Red Low Contrast preset and adding a strong Selenium tone; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 176 – MEGALITH 1 (MONO)

 

 


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Standing ritual stone – or megalith – erected in prehistoric times at Stanton Drew.

More about the Stanton Drew prehistoric site is here .

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-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art Process preset, and giving the image the look of Kodak Tri-X 400 TX Pro black and white film; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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