STILL LIFE 213 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 18

 

 


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Public seating, after rain.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 .  Each will open in a new window.

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 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Bristol Waterside; 15 Dec 2017.

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ARCHIVE 345 – LAYBY WITH DOG ENDS, BRISTOL

 

 


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Parking bay outside the KPMG building, at the Temple Meads end of Victoria Street, central Bristol; 11 Apr 2004.

Viewed with a wideangle lens, the pale kerbstone enters the frame bottom right and sinuously leads the eye back through the mass of muted colours, repeating patterns and ditched dog ends (= Brit for cigarette butts).  The restrained colour palette works, I think: this version is certainly better than an attempt with monochrome.

Crawling around in gutters and getting down flat onto pavements doesn’t do much for one’s standing (no pun intended)  in the eyes of the world,  so its far less embarassing taking this sort of shot out in the country, with only cows and sheep looking on.

Technique: Olympus OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide, rated at 3200 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 344 – MIST LIFTING, HERONS GREEN

 

 


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Early morning mist lifting at Herons Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

Driving through the Chew Valley, heading for the Mendip Hills, I came out onto an open stretch of road beside Chew Valley Lake and was suddenly enveloped in thick mist.  But over to my left the sun was starting to rise, the mist was lifting and changing colours in the most visually seductive ways – and I swerved into a layby, jumped out and started taking pictures.

I was there for about an hour, and this is the first of a short series of images from that misty morning.  I love images with little detail, and the telezoom that I’m married to was just right for picking out scenes in that warm softness.

Chew Valley Lake is a large reservoir, the 5th largest artificial area of water in the UK.  It was opened in 1956, to supply Bristol with drinking water.  It has many memories for me because it was here, in 1967, that two school friends first opened my eyes to birds and birdwatching, and so set me on a path and interest that continued through to 2002.  I no longer go birdwatching, but I retain a deep love and feeling for birds, and see them as an essential facet of all land-, water- and skyscapes.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 78mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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STILL LIFE 204 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 14 (MONO)

 

 


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Two sunlit chairs outside the Hurtwood Inn Hotel in Peaslake, Surrey;  25 Mar 2012.

Another image from Peaslake’s blazing sunshine.  I focused on the nearer chair, and made sure that it exits the frame through the top right corner.  The second chair is left semi-focused, and is reduced to three elements – its rear, left hand leg, which casts a shadow on the ground; the lit but unfocused wickerwork of its left side; and the shadow cast by its upright back.  All structure (ie detail) has been taken out of the backdrop, to remove any distraction from the chairs.

The result is a combination of two, featureless black areas (the shadow from the unfocused chair’s back, and its black leg), the variously lit and textured, illuminated parts of the chairs, and the shapes made by the creamish (toned), negative space between them.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12 13 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: D700 with 24mm-120mm Nikkor lens at 120mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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STILL LIFE 203 – CARRION CROW

 

 


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Carrion Crow at sunrise.

A Minimal image, mostly featureless black or gold, with just a single horizontal band of silhouetted detail.  The fence post is not vertical, the fence’s wire is barbed, and the bird’s head is seen in profile: for me, these points add something.  Do you agree?

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 202 – LONE TREE (MONO)

 

 


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The view across the lake at Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills.

Can’t quite believe the title I’ve given this – sounds like an entry for a camera club competition!  What have I got against camera clubs?  Nothing, except to know that they’re not for me.   I’m a loner when it comes to photography – being alone and aware of my surroundings is what works.

And as for competitions, photography is to me – like most if not all of the other arts –  far too subjective to allow meaningful ranking or judging of one photograph against another.  In photography, we each do our own thing, we express ourselves.  If others like our images, well that’s a plus.  If not, well that’s how it is, and we should, I think, keep being true to ourselves, keep being true to how we look at and see the world.  For me, taking photos with a view to competition judges saying positive things about them would hardly be satisfying.  But then, as always, I am not the norm and neither are you – we are all different, we each do our own thing.

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 98mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Silhouette EV +1 preset, and adding a tone; Priddy Mineries Reserve, Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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STILL LIFE 199 – DUCK, SWIMMING

 

 


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Female Mallard, a common duck species, swimming.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; image rotated; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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CHEW LAKE 23 – SIX DUCKS

 

 


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Six ducks, Tufted Ducks if I remember correctly, swimming towards me from shadows, just before sunrise.

Technique: both the X-T1 and X-T2 have large and very usable Electronic Viewfinders (EVF).  Here I set the X-T2 to spot metering, and moved the metering spot around the frame until the EVF showed me an effect I liked, when I locked the exposure via the AE-L button.  Then, with the exposure locked, I framed the image as I wanted it and fired.  This is certainly not total reality as it appeared at the time, but rather my interpretation of it – and a technique where EVFs really come into their own.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Herons Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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BIRDS 104 – MUTE SWAN (MONO)

 

 


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Mute Swan Cygnus olor, the common, resident and often tame swan in the UK.  The large black knob in the forehead shows this to be a male.

Composition: close in with a long telephoto, which often works for me.  The bird’s head and long neck form the left edge of the frame, the bird is looking down into the frame, and its body is only faintly seen; all else is water with a very faint surface texture.  Use of black and white simplifies things still further.

And perhaps there’s a feeling here of the bird being too large for the frame, of the bird bursting out if the frame.

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); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset and adding a light tone; 16 Feb 2018; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset.
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STILL LIFE 181 – MEGALITH 3 (MONO)

 

 


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Amongst the prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

Other images of these ritual stones are here: 1  2  .

More info about this prehistoric site is here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2; starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and adding a strong copper tone; Color Efex Pro 4; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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