STILL LIFE 147 – SHADOWS OF THE NATURAL WORLD

 

 


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A meeting of the Natural and Unnatural worlds; shadows of roadside trees on bland, precise, sterile, retail architecture.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broadmead shopping centre, Bristol; 11 Aug 2017.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 297 – RIVER BANK 2

 

 


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Bank of the River Sheppey, beside Hurn Drove, northwest of Polsham.

A picture taken from the opposite bank of this little river, and rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.  The plants on the left are on the river bank, while those on the right are in the river and aligned with the water’s gentle flow.

The first of these river bank pictures is here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 215mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; rotated; 18 Aug 2017.
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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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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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ARCHIVE 295 – TRAILING LEAVES

 

 


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Leaves trailing from a plant pot at The Point, Bristol harbourside; 11 Apr 2004.  

The few green leaves amongst the many leaf shadows on a featureless, bluish ground, are important here – the presence of the colour green definitely enhances the picture. 

Technique: rotated 90 degrees clockwise; OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 3200 ISO. 

UPDATE: Minimalism, less is more; usually better than a cluttered image – the eye knows more what to look at, rather than being confused by masses of detail.  And quite a shock to see that I took this 13 years ago – I used to stalk around Bristol with this wonderfully compact 21mm lens, looking for simplicity, looking too for abstract compositions.  And I loved push-processing colour slide films (the Provia 400 here is being pushed 3 stops: 400 to 800 to 1600 to 3200), to boost the colours and contrast, and to get more grain, as seen here.
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ARCHIVE 286 – SELF-PORTRAIT WITH ROAD CHIPPINGS AND DEAD LEAVES

 

 


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Self-portrait with road chippings and dead leaves, along Swanshard Lane, north of Polsham, on the Somerset Levels; 24 Jul 2012.

Along Swanshard Lane, approaching Fenny Castle House, there is a large layby regularly used by the local council’s road maintenance department for the storage of bulk quantities of chippings and other road materials.  As I passed by yesterday the sun was slanting over the great mounds of debris, interesting shadows and textures were all around and the whole affair looked good for something wideangle.

Here my shadow falls on a mound of chippings rising up in front of me, some minor heaps produce an interesting line of shadows which my shadow intersects, and there are some richly coloured dead leaves around too.  The slopes of the mound were not vertical, but they appear so in the photo – to me they appear to be rising up almost vertically in front of me and I like this effect.

This is a prime candidate for conversion to mono, but I think the bright colours of the dead leaves add something living and organic.  I tried converting the shot to mono and then restoring the leaves’ colour, but the image looks better in straight colour.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 16mm; 320 ISO; manipulated with Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 277 – SHADOW OF A FOOTBRIDGE

 

 

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Shadow of a footbridge in Bristol’s Castle Park; 7 Oct 2014.

The ground here is a dark tarmac path that runs below the bridge.

Lynn Wohlers (bluebrightly.wordpress.comrecently mentioned tension in photos to me, and maybe there’s some here.  I find my eyes being attracted up to the bright leaf, but then being drawn back down along the various lines towards lower right – only to be attracted back up to the leaf once more.

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

UPDATE: I continue to consider tension in images, although it seems to be something discovered during post-processing – gut instincts probably take over at point of capture.  Technique here?  Well, cropping to fill the frame completely with the bridge’s shadow and that single, very contrasting leaf – cropping to exclude everything extraneous to the picture, which is something to think about in all pictures.  To be sure, some pictures are meant to show scenes, surroundings and environments totally, and everything should be included in the frame in such cases.  But other pictures look at something (or things) specific, and in those cases some degree of cropping at or after capture – so easy now in digital – is the thing.  I continue, very much, to be a fan of Lynn’s images, words and outlook.

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STILL LIFE 71 – CEMETERY 3: AUTUMN (MONO)

 

 

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Lines of stones, like those remembered, disappear into mist. 

Autumn leaves adorn lawns. 

And, as Dylan Thomas put it, “Time passes.   Listen.   Time passes.”.

The two earlier images in this series are here and here.

D800 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 100mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset; Shaw Cemetery, Newbury, Berkshire; 24 Nov 2016.
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