ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 41 – TREES BESIDE A LAKE


The Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve is found on the Mendip Hills, south of Bristol.  It is an area of open ground made rugged by lead mining, and it includes a small lake.  I’ve done quite a bit of photography here over the past 15 years, including recently on a very cold, early morning.

What is this image looking at?  Well, I am standing on one side of the small lake, looking across it towards some small, bare trees on the opposite shore.  The sun is just rising behind me, and the lower parts of the trees and the ground around them are still in shadow but, above the shadow, the golden, low angle sunlight is bathing both the upper parts of the trees and the pale brown vegetation on the hillside behind.

It is a very still morning, with barely a ripple on the lake’s surface, and this liquid mirror is reflecting the hillside’s warm, sunlit browns, the bright blue of the clear sky, and the trees’ upper branches.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 106mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; 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: 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 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 258 – THE MADDING CROWD (MONO)

 

 

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Dandilions near the The Castle of Comfort Inn, northeast of Priddy, on the Mendip Hills; 24 Apr 2011.

When I see this I think of a tide of people – or perhaps they are just faces –  emerging from the far darkness and tottering forwards, unsteadily but also unstoppably, out into the light.

Canon PowerShot G11; 200 ISO; conversion to mono in Silver Efex Pro.

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ARCHIVE 252 – DREAMWORLD (MONO)

 

 

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Tree in mist, near the Castle of Comfort Inn, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 28 June 2013.

A good deal of creativity and manipulation in SEP2 here, aiming for something unreal. 

This is an imagined landscape, a place in which we often find ourselves, wary and ill at ease, during our troubled nights.

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

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset.

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