SOMERSET LEVELS 435 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 4

 

 

Wet morning

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Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 3 .

A short history of Weston is here.

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Lion, drainpipe and CCTV

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Wet morning: drenched leaf on drenched pavement

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PEOPLE 377 – MODERN LIFE (MONO)

 

 


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Reality in Modern Life: exit your front door – leaving all home comforts behind – to walk on a side street, on a wet morning, in Weston-super-Mare.

This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; raw file processed and cropped in-camera using the Graphite profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 433 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 3

 

 

Wet morning: face with condensation or rainwater

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Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 .

A short history of Weston is here.

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Front door

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Wet morning

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Autumn

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OUTER SUBURBS 150 – BUS SHELTER

 

 


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Looking into a bus shelter.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 80mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 24 Oct 2019.
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THE ANSWERS TO LIFE’S PROBLEMS

 

 

Selfie with a spiral staircase
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Two aspects of what I laughingly call My Lifestyle have come together in glorious conjunction this stormy morn.

First, although no longer watching it quite so much these days, I’m a big fan of The Simpsons and in particular, of Homer – someone who in my more imaginative moments certainly ascends to the status of role model.

And then second, and not at all in keeping with the times, I still use – and depend enthusiastically upon – a paper diary >>> which leads to simple but rock solid logic along the lines of “If it goes into the diary it’ll get done, even if its something far ahead in the future” – a state of affairs which my wife has quickly come to see can have its very positive side (and the more so should she ever become adept at forging my scrawl  … ).

And so, sitting down to breakfast this morning – salmon fishcakes with chilli and ginger, accompanied by mango, cooked tomatoes, pickled garlic and hot lime pickle – I turned to today’s page in my diary and was instantly uplifted, instantly set up for the day.  Why?  How?  Well, because my dairy has a quote on every page, and today’s quote is from Homer himself: 

 

When will I learn?  The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle.  They’re on TV.

 

What can I say???  Well …. Role model!!! >>> ROLE MODEL!!!!!!

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PEOPLE 374 – VERY OLD FRIENDS (MONO)

 

 


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Life moves on.  As Dylan Thomas so wonderfully put it, in Under Milk Wood, “Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”

And so to an Italian restaurant in a reasonably run down, seaside town, and five people around a table – already hitting the electric sauce, if only moderately, and good naturedly corralling a waiter into taking a snap of the occasion.  He was somewhat disconcerted by “Focus on the wine bottle!”.  While after “Squeeze yourself right back into that corner to get us all in!”, it had to be explained that we were not in fact all planning to try and get in the corner with him.  Ah, the youth of today …  But, anyway, here is the result.

So just who are these smiling worthies?  Well, as a landmark, something to navigate by when in distress on the sea, the lolling lout front right (magnified by proximity to the TG-5’s wide angle lens I might add) is me >>> does my tum look big in this??? 

Then the two women are the partners of the two blokes opposite me.

But the two blokes opposite me are the thing really, because we three were in the same school in the 1960s.  I’ve been friends with one nearest the camera for 60 years at least, we were in adjacent primary schools.  And the other is one of the two luminaries responsible for getting me into birdwatching in 1967, an interest that was to later take me to Kenya for 12 wonderful years – an experience from which, thank goodness, I’ve never quite recovered.

And although three of us live locally, the other very special thing about this occasion is that the other couple live on the other side of the world, so that we see them only very occasionally.

And so here we three are, back in our home town as it happens, and not a stone’s throw from the primary schools where two of us started out.  And we are all stunned by the fact that, having known each other since our childhoods, we are now all approaching our 70th birthdays.

“Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”
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OUTER SUBURBS 131 – MAN AND BUS SHELTER AT SUNRISE, BESIDE GRASS AND NEW FENCE

 

 


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The year grows older, the sun rises later and – quite suddenly it seems – “the light” is starting to make very welcome appearances again during my early morning walks in Bristol’s suburbs.  From here on in, for quite a few months to come, I can look forward to sunrises, colours, mists and the wonderful remnants of night. 

One project that I have in mind is to look at autumn colour and bleakness up on the Mendip Hills; another is to take the Nikon Z 6 and the 70-300 lens down into the glare, noise, bustle, turmoil and winter darkness of Bristol’s early morning rush hours – well the spirit is willing anyway, although the willingness and fortitude of the flesh is perhaps another matter >>> but the lure of Harts Bakery might just tip the scales!!!

Anyway >>> in this image, a man stands in a bus shelter that, being struck by the sunrise’s first, intense rays, throws shadows across a new and as yet unpainted fence.  Reflected light washes over the grass in the foreground.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 53mm (equiv); 250 ISO; spot metering on the fence; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 28 Aug 2019.
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BRISTOL 145 – PERSON OF ILL REPUTE, APPARENTLY (MONO)

 

 


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Passing time in central Bristol: man ascending steps, past accusation >>> all of which, including the title, sounds like something out of crossword …  …

There are other pictures in this short series here: 1 2 3 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 08 profile; steps off Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 25 June 2019.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 368 – JOGGER (MONO)

 

 

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Morning run amongst the flowers and lush growth of early summer, on the northern edge of Tealham Moor.  The farm behind has prudently been built on the slightly rising ground above the moor, well out of the way of flooding.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightoom, starting at the Camera Vivid v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Wet Rocks preset and adding a light coffee tone; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.
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BRISTOL 133 – CITY LIFE 2 (MONO)

 

 


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Life in the city: artificial, unnatural but not unnecessary; noisy, closed in, crowded, claustrophobic.

There is an earlier city life post here: 1 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 125mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Smooth preset; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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