ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 19 – SMALL TREE (MONO)


When I can, I like to try my hand at different types of images.  For better or worse, here is an example.  I was reviewing pictures on my camera’s screen when this little tree caught my eye.  It occupies only a small part of an APS-C frame but, enlarging it on the screen, I liked it – and so to something a little different.

As usual, the initial processing was in Lightroom, and then I used Silver Efex Pro 2’s Classic Portrait preset to add softness and a pale vignette.  A pale tone followed, and the thinnest of black borders to keep it safe from the world.

What does this remind me of?  Well, I recently watched three enthralling BBC programs entitled The Art of Japanese Life, and perhaps that’s why I see something faintly oriental here, perhaps something faintly reminiscent a bonsai.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Classic Portrait preset, and adding a tone and a border; Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 58: DRIVING THROUGH THE STORM (MONO)

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The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 .  Each post will open in a separate window. 

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 143mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 40

 

 


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Old tyres at Tyning’s Gate Barns, southeast of Shipham, on the Mendip Hills; 17 Oct 2004.  This is a picture with very little colour, and hence the colour version is good.  But I’ve chosen the mono version as Silver Efex Pro makes it look rougher and more contrasty, which suits the subject.

And this is a photo from quite long ago – when I was wedded to hauling a really quite weighty 300mm telephoto and tripod around, and to using a colour slide film – Fuji Velvia 50 – that was a must for all “serious” photographers.  And it wasn’t until I got into Nikon film cameras, notably the F6, a little later, and then bought the absolutely wonderful 70-300 Nikkor zoom ( still an absolutely favourite lens, in later incarnations, right up to the present day), that photography suddenly became a far less weighty and more mobile and versatile, image-stabilised affair.  I still used Velvia 50 sometimes but then – another revolution – got into other emulsions like Fuji Provia 400X, which could be push-processed to 3200 ISO and more, and also Agfa Scala black and white slide film. 

Sitting here now, with the Z 6, X-T2 and TG-5 – and Capture NX2 (still useful!), Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4,  and of course Lightroom –  all of that film photography seems so long ago.  And, having shot film and used wet darkrooms since the late 1950s, I feel so very fortunate now to still be photographing during the time when the advent of digital has given photography so much more creative potential.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: OM-4 with 300mm Zuiko lens; tripod; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide film; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise; Silver Efex Pro.

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MENDIP HILLS 43 – TREES BESIDE A LAKE (MONO)

 

 


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Bare winter trees, beside almost still water.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a Raw file, using the Graphite profile; Priddy Mineries Reserve, high on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 7 Dec 2020.
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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 25 – STORM

 

 


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Cars in a storm: high winds, driving rain and dark clouds rolling in across the top of the Mendip Hills, a Somerset landscape that was the roof of the world in my childhood, sixty and more years ago.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 136mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 17 – DARK CAR (MONO)

 

 

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An image of three parts.  The two cars, manufactured and highly mobile confections of metal, plastic, rubber and glass, racing away from each other on a road that is certainly not for those more sensitive souls who are forever slowing down to compose poetry or look at the wildflowers.

And then the white line in the road’s center, undulating slightly as it climbs towards the hill’s crest.

And finally the light, spotlighting the dark car as it rushes urgently towards us,  and seen more faintly through the trees on the right, and then more brightly (the light at the end of the tunnel?) on the left.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

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); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset; fast road over the Mendip Hills, above Compton Martin, Somerset; 24 Nov 2017.
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ARCHIVE 496 – MAGPIE, BARBED WIRE FENCE AND TREE (MONO)

 

 


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Magpie flying over farmland beside East Water Lane, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 7 Aug 2014.

I had in mind a Minimalist composition consisting only of the tree and the barbed wire and its fence posts, when a noisy group of Magpies appeared and by luck I caught this one.  The pale areas of its plumage merge with the backdrop, eating into its outline.  But it is flying towards the left, with the black cone of its head, neck and breast on the left, and its long, thin, black tail stretching out behind.  Its wings are frozen by the high shutter speed, held up above its body.

One way of looking at this: of the three elements in the composition, the tree and the fence are static, with the third element flying into their space / surroundings.  Then again, the fence may be marching out towards the right, with its posts roped together for safety, and gradually disappearing down into a dip in the ground, or vice versa.  Everything is what it seems, until we start thinking about it.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.

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ARCHIVE 460 – TREES BESIDE A LAKE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Low trees beside the marshy lake on the Priddy Mineries Reserve, near Priddy village, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 June 2014.

On seeing this scene, I very much liked the sunlit pale yellow-greens of the young leaves, and here I’ve tried to portray that, while relegating everything else in the frame to a vague impression. 

The tops of the low plants that cover most of the lake’s open water are in the foreground, below the trees.  A hillside rises behind the trees.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Orange preset and selectively restoring colour.

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ARCHIVE 405 – THE VIEW SOUTHEAST FROM EASTWATER LANE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking southeast from Eastwater Lane, high up on the Mendip plateau in Somerset; 4 Feb 2014.

In their central and western reaches, the Mendip Hills are a steep sided and formidable, west-east barrier of hard, old (Palaeozoic) rocks.  They have the Old Red Sandstone of the Devonian period in their cores, and the Carboniferous Limestone all around.  But especially in their central area, these precipitous slopes give up onto a flattish or gently undulating plateau, with sturdy farms huddling amongst windbreaks, and pubs with evocative names – names that recall my youth and things that have always been a part of my life – the Castle of Comfort, the Miner’s Arms and Hunters Lodge.

Wondering about floods, I drove up onto Mendip yesterday, and spent some time in Eastwater Lane – a favourite place because it is a dead end and so has no through traffic.  I was also around the village of Priddy.  It was a cold, damp day, initially lit by pale, glinting sun, but with dark clouds and spitting rain all too soon coming up on the gusting southerly.  There were flood warnings in several places, but the waters had either subsided, or were only thinly masking the little roads – although all of that may have changed with the storm that hit us later yesterday afternoon and overnight – and today too.

I walked along Eastwater Lane, enjoying  the sight and atmosphere of the Bronze Age round barrows on the hill crests, and seeing where streams running down from the sandstone hilltops disappear underground into caverns as soon as they encounter the far more soluble limestone.

Here was Eastwater Cavern, that I descended as a plump, pudgy teenager, and I tried to recall if I’d become stuck in it or not.  Yes, is the probable answer, as I had to be helped through many a difficult cave by my school friends – but the vast Swildons Hole, from which the Mendip Cave Rescue had to come out and extricate me, is off towards Priddy.  I made the local papers – I think I was 16 at the time.

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

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Film Noir 3 preset.

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MENDIP HILLS 42 – LANDSCAPES FOR A DEAD WIFE 3 (MONO)

 

 


Dead trees, early morning, storm

I’m remembering my dead wife, and photographing a place we shared together long ago: you can find the full context in the first part of this series, here .  The second part of this series is here .  This is the final part of the series.

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Road, speed, darkness

If you would like to see enlarged versions of these pictures, click onto each one to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it: recommended.

Technique: all pictures were taken with a Fujifilm X-T2 camera and 55-200 Fujinon lens.  All were processed in Lightroom, and then converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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