STILL LIFE 192 – AUTUMN 3

 

 


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Autumn leaves and lichen inside an old and very weathered pot for flowers; on a grave, on a frosty morning, in the cemetery at Stanton Drew.

Earlier Autumn posts are here: 1 2 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 238mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.
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PEOPLE 310 – GOING TO WORK 44

 

 


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Walking to work on pavements strewn with inspection covers, shadows and fallen autumn leaves.

Veering over a little towards the surreal perhaps, am I?  Starting to look a little bit alien or otherworldly?  Two thoughts come to mind.

First, that following advice I read long ago and have never forgotten, I believe in letting my (now mainly non-existent!) hair down with black and white: black and white is already one step removed from reality, and I like seeing it become even more unreal.  I’m not really into straight black and white representations of colour scenes, such as might be obtained for example simply by desaturating a colour image.  Silver Efex Pro 2 is a very welcome companion on these sometimes delirious flights of fancy.

Then second, with this Going To Work series, I’m trying to look at various approaches and techniques, with a completely open mind, ruling nothing out.

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 .  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.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset and adding a strong cyanotype tone; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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STILL LIFE 183 – AUTUMN 2

 

 


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The leaf of a Horse Chestnut tree, on a frosty autumn morning.

Strange how things can move (or be moved) around, and strange too how we can take things for granted.  If you’d asked me about Horse Chestnut trees awhile back, I’d have characterised them as an essential and native part of “England” that has, for example, brought the “traditional” game of conkers to us, and which graces many a picturesque and “traditional” English village (I always deeply mistrust the word “traditional”, and especially so when its used in any type of marketing …).

Anyway, the fact is that these beautiful big trees were introduced to the UK from Turkey in the late 16th century so they’re not native at all – but they still are very beautiful.

Earlier autumn posts are here: 1 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 228mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 182 – AUTUMN 1

 

 


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Low angle autumn sunlight grazes the surface of the pavement on a steep hill. 

The leaf is from one of the tall Plane trees that line this major route south out of the city.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 74mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; Wells Road, Bristol; 17 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 175 – DUAL CARRIAGEWAY

 

 

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After a morning looking for low angle winter sunlight in the city, I walked back towards some (more!) food and a bus home.  I was walking beside a roaringly busy dual carriageway and the dazzling winter sun – providing at best only the very faintest warmth – was blasting across the road at me from the left.  Looking into the sun, across the road, I turned the X-T2 into portrait orientation and took this picture – which has here been rotated 90 degrees towards the left – anticlockwise – into landscape format.

What was the camera looking at?  The dual carriageway has a central crash barrier, with a stout metal girder above a solid concrete base.  On the left of the shot, this crash barrier throws a harsh black shadow onto the road’s surface.  Then, to the right of that, there is the black tarmac road surface, turned almost silver by the sun’s glare.  And then the thick white line that separates the road’s two inbound lanes.

The lane nearest the camera has a brown surface, to show that it leads to an exit from the dual carriageway.   Autumn leaves have been firmly crushed into this brown surface – in a way that they would not be crushed into real tarmac – until they have become pale and flattened, amorphous streaks of their former selves.  And so to an abstract image.

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 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 640 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise; Temple Way, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.

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GARDEN 69 – ANGRY MORNING

 

 


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I was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, which faces due east, and being struck by the ferocity of the winter sunrise over to the southeast.  A wild morning, an angry morning, the sort of morning that has an undeniable wild beauty, but which takes some strength of resolve to get outdoors and get to grips with.

And in front of me an oak tree that I have watched grow up from a naturally sown acorn – perhaps buried and forgotten by a squirrel – over the past twenty or so years.  And although it does not know it yet, an unfortunate oak, a healthy and burgeoning tree that because of its close proximity to the house will have to be cut down in the near future.

But back again to that fierce, early light, which was transfixing as it radiantly backlit the few of the oak’s leaves that had managed to hang on during the recent gales.  The camera was to hand, and so to spot metering … and the wonderful luminosity of those last few leaves.

And although it is a rather underexposed caricature of the original, below is an idea, just an idea, of the angry sky that was producing this beautifully fierce, hard and cold light …
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Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); spot metering; Lightroom; Bristol; 8 Dec 2017.
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BIRDS 102 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


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Adult Wood Pigeon amongst the autumn leaves and raggedly cut grass on our back “lawn”, photographed through the double glazing of the kitchen window – opening the window even a tiny bit would send these birds rocketing frantically away!  Here I tapped very, very gently on the inside of the window to attract their attention and, after a brief glance towards me, they carried on foraging.

A small flock of these pigeons have taken to visiting our back grass, and its a real pleasure seeing them there.

This is in fact an agricultural pest, a bird that anyone can shoot.  And this is a species that I’ve actually eaten but, well, that was nothing to write home about – and anyway I’d far rather be looking at them!

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 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Bristol; 23 Nov 2017.
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STANTON DREW 40 – VILLAGE LIFE 7 (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Child’s swing, empty, above autumn leaves – no one has come out to play!

This is a strange garden, which belongs to a short row of houses in the village.  It is quite large, and set upon what is effectively a traffic island, with the main lane through the village on one side, and two smaller lanes on the other sides.  On two sides its raised up at about head height above its surroundings so that, looking across it, your eyes are near ground level.

It houses some clucking hens and their coops, with nothing except the drop to keep them from straying off along the lanes.  And there is this swing, hanging from a large tree.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 .  Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6  .    Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset and selectively restoring colour; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 22 Oct 2014.

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STILL LIFE 167 – FROSTY MORNING

 

 


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Early on a frosty morning, in autumn.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 168mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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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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