PEOPLE 301 – GOING TO WORK 36

 

 


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Steamy windows on the winter bus and there’s tedium in the air too – but mobile devices distract.

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  . 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 – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Union Street, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.
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PEOPLE 299 – GOING TO WORK 35

 

 


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All my pictures of Bristol’s morning rush hour have been taken in the city centre.  But here is something different, here is “rush hour” out in the sticks, out on the city’s edge.  To be sure there are still houses around, both to the left and to the right of this shot, but there are also trees and broad grass verges, and back behind the bus shelter are open fields with sheep and cattle. The sunrise of a clear, frosty morning is blazing in across that open farmland.

Two people wait for the morning bus to work, perhaps enjoying the bright (but still cold) sun, but for sure deeply engaged with their mobile devices.  Through the bus shelter’s icy windows we see only their engrossed shadows.

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  . 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.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom; Capture NX2; south Bristol; 8 Nov 2017.
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PEOPLE 297 – PEOPLE FROM MY PAST 2 (MONO)

 

 


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Yesterday, I introduced these People from my Past images, along with a picture from my time as a geologist in the mountains of Oman.  This is another picture from Oman.

Here is our campsite, two tents, the vehicle, and rock – rock everywhere – with the bare mountains all around.  I’m slouching in the shade of the vehicle on a camping stool, quite possibly after a long day’s work – and the photographer is my colleague Don.

It was extremely interesting exploring the interior of a country which was only just opening up to the outside world.  The interior was wild, I remember many apparently ancient sites lying open on the surface, but the going was tough.  The days were hot, I wore two pairs of socks inside stout boots to keep the heat away from my feet, and the vehicle’s bodywork was burning to the touch.  There were no tarmac roads, and indeed very few roads of any size at all; we often found ourselves driving across country, or up into the many deep wadis that radiated out from the mountains’ flanks.

The Land Rover was rugged, tough, very basic and an absolutely wonderful vehicle for these conditions.   There is a jerry can visible in the roof rack: we carried most of our water and spare petrol up there above our heads – which in the case of the petrol was distinctly unnerving, but luckily we never turned the vehicle over.   The water was solely for cooking and drinking, washing being a luxury that had to wait until we got back to our base at Sohar, on the coast.

The terrain was mentally as well as physically taxing, since nearly the whole landscape was in shades or brown or maroon, so much so that the rare patches of greenery, near water, were often quite shocking, even strident, to the eye.  Flying home, the endless greens of England were a definite shock too.

Before going to Arabia, we had been trained to give and receive intravenous injections of serum that would counteract snake bites and scorpion stings.  I can’t recall seeing any snakes, but scorpions were common under stones, especially near water.  During our training, the sight of the large, intravenous needle, and then having to stick it either into myself or someone else, to extract a little blood from the vein before injecting the serum, always made me pass out.  I would feel my head getting tighter, and then wake up lying on the floor, looking up at a ring of laughing faces looking down at me.

And so the scenario was all too predictable – Don would be stung or bitten, and collapsed, flat out on the desert floor.  I would rush up with the large needle, push it in – and then there would be two of us flat out on the desert floor …  We were very careful, and this scenario never unfolded – the worst sting I had was from a hornet.

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

Technique: Don took this, and looking at it I would guess he used his OM-1 with a 135mm Zuiko telephoto.

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PEOPLE 295 – GOING TO WORK 34

 

 


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Warm breath in a cold sunrise.  Walking away from the light, walking into the city, walking 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 . 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 yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol, 11 Nov 2016.

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ARCHIVE 329 – LOOKING DOWN INTO A GR1v (MONO)

 

 


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Going home on the bus after work:  12 May 2010.

This was taken with a classic film camera, a Ricoh GR1v.  I cradled this fantastic little machine in my lap, looking down into its 28mm lens and hoping that it would automatically find focus on my face – so how many other people do you know who take photos of themselves on public transport?  Without being arrested???  Oh, I forgot, this is The Age Of The Camera Phone – maybe people are doing this all the time.

My intent (and grumpy???) expression derives from concentrating very hard on trying to ensure that the auto focus was locking on.

This Ricoh is a beautiful little camera  but, sadly, its no longer in my possession – there is a picture of it on the “My photography” page in this blog.  Staff in a well known camera shop started salivating over it as soon as I showed it to them, and it became part of a large part-exchange deal that enabled me to own the latest piece of Nikon DSLR wizardry.

I hadn’t actually owned this Ricoh for a long time but it was beautifully made and a joy to use.  I was sad to part with it but, since I’m never going to shoot a frame of film again, why keep it?  I have however held onto the Olympus OM SLRs and (the few) lenses I used in Kenya as these really are of great sentimental value.  The camera bodies are mouldy now after years in the tropics but that in no way reduces their meaning and value in my eyes.  And, every so often, when I need a camera fix, I wind on the OM-1 and fire it, just to hear the wonderfully soft click of its shutter – what a great camera! (its also illustrated in “My photography”).

If you have a thing for pain or the bizarre, you can click onto this image to see an enlarged version in a separate window.

Technique: Ricoh GR1v with Ilford HP5+ black and white film push processed to 3200 ISO; commercially scanned; conversion to mono and copper toning in Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Film Noir 1 preset as a jumping off point. 

UPDATE: And so, having posted many pictures of other people going to work (for which, search on “work” in my tags), here is one of myself in said scenario >>> although actually I was on the bus going home from work, and so sh***ed out as we Brits have a way of quaintly putting it >>> although still with the energy and sheer eccentricity to take a selfie – I must have been mad … thank goodness …

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PEOPLE 294 – FARMER (MONO)

 

 


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Farmer and his sheep, northeast of West Littleton, South Gloucestershire.

Other images from the West Littleton area – the Outlands images – are here: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89,  1011, 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17 Each will open in its own window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art Process preset; 12 Apr 2017.
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PEOPLE 290 – SOULS

 

 


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What are these pictures?  Who are these people?  What am I trying to do here?

Well, for over a year now, I have been photographing Bristol’s morning rush hour, the daily surge of people into work.  But, increasingly, as retirement kicks further in and I get the opportunity to think more and more about what I see around me, two things have come increasingly to mind.

First, that many people, and especially young people, are becoming increasingly estranged from the Natural World – and increasingly wary of the Natural World too.  My car is usually plastered in mud and other less mentionable substances inherited from rural roads and, on apologising for this to a neighbour, he replied “Ah yes, but you go out into the country.”.  Whereas he, and others, do not – or, at best, their contact with the countryside is made from vehicles speeding along large main roads.  I am doing my best to develop in my granddaughters a recognition of and a love for the Natural World, but whether I’m having any lasting impact is anyone’s guess.

And then second, and leading on from this, and from talking to people and also from observing people in the rush hour, I do get the feeling that many are becoming alienated by the fast pace and time-poor quality of modern life, and by the whole materialism/consumerism thing too – not to mention our political systems.  It seems that the Grenfell Tower tragedy has struck a lasting chord with many, not least in terms of whether concerns over The Great God Cash should surmount concerns over human safety, welfare and wellbeing  – and especially so for the more vulnerable or less well off members of our society.

And so I’m posting these pictures because they do, for me at least, go a little way towards expressing these misgivings about estrangement and alienation.  Here are souls, individuals each with her or his own thoughts and fears, moving into the artificial environments of the city’s streets, offices, shops, cafes and workshops for the day – on five days out of every seven.  These are quite close up, intimate shots of people, but they were in fact mainly taken from some distance away with a telephoto; many of them are radical enlargements which have been made without regard for image quality.

Clicking onto these images will open larger versions in separate windows; clicking onto these again will in mist cases further enlarge them.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2; Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street area, central Bristol; 16 Dec 2016.


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PEOPLE 289 – GOING TO WORK 32 (MONO)

 

 


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The bus to work: Bristol Bridge, 2 Dec 2016, 8.10am.

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. 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 yet again.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared High Contrast preset; central Bristol.
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STILL LIFE 146 – CONSUMERIST ICON: ALTAR WITH OBJECT OF ADULATION, FLANKED BY ACOLYTES

 

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Ha!!! just how cynical can I get???!!!

Or then again am I only reporting reality, the world (or at least the bit of it I know) as I see it?

Or am I trying to get into the Christmas spirit?  Because we are, after all, already in September, and there are Christmas things in the shops and various eateries are taking booking for office Christmas parties.  I do not in any case harbour Christian beliefs, but the vast, frenzied consumer festival that Christmas has become leaves me cold.  But there are only 114 days to go!

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; Capture NX2; Broadmead shopping centre, Bristol; 11 Aug 2017.
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ARCHIVE 314 – MEN DRINKING (MONO)

 

 


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Men drinking beer at a wedding reception near Bristol; 17 Aug 2011.

I took informal photos at a friends’ wedding reception sometime back.  The celebration was set high up above the Chew Valley, a beautiful area not far south of Bristol.  I took a lot of shots but, looking back on it now, I wish I’d taken more – and that I’d had the love of my life – the 70-300 lens – with me, as well as the 24-120.

Being a good friend of the happy couple I was given carte blanche to fire away as and when I chose, and very, very little was posed >>> I’d very much like to have another crack at something like this.

To me, the man in the foreground is a strong, even powerful figure, with his closely cropped dark hair and beard – someone swigging seriously from his bottle and wanting it, almost frowning, deeply enjoying it in a masculine way, with an almost bullish determination.

The drinker in the background is different.  He is tilting his head slightly further back – enjoying the experience in a lighter and slightly more gourmet way maybe? – and he has a rather “softer” and more conventional haircut, and his clothes are paler.  Perhaps he does not display quite the same solid determination.  And, certainly, his appearance there, slightly out of focus and duplicating his friend’s stance, provides a repeating pattern that adds to the shot.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1000 ISO; conversion to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping in at the Sepia Landscape preset.

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