STILL LIFE 160 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 5

 

I’ve sampled the excellent food in Rosemarino’s Italian restaurant several times now, and taken some pictures while waiting for my meal to arrive.  Two photos (including a chair) are already posted here and here.

Now, looking at chairs some more, here are more Minimalist views of this restaurant’s simple but completely adequate seating.  My favourite amongst them?  Probably the second image down, for its simple silhouettes and pale, pastel colours – and also, looking at this image naively, the question: which are in the foreground, the colours or the silhouettes?

Which (if any!) of these images do you prefer?

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4

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

Technique: all of these images are jpegs straight out of the X-T2; aside from application of the X-T2’s in-camera film simulations, there has been no post-capture processing whatsoever.  All were taken with the 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering.

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STILL LIFE 155 – TWO YELLOW CHAIRS, BACK TO BACK

 

 


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Two chairs, back to back, beside a window.

Sitting in Browns, waiting for the third breakfast of the long morning – a repast which might have equated to what we Brits call Elevenses, except that it was just after ten.

I always sit at any table that looks across the room towards the windows onto the street, because these provide good cross- and backlighting.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Browns Restaurant, Bristol; 19 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 152 – ADVERTISEMENT

 

 


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Close up of an advertisement.

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 150mm (equiv); Lightroom; central Bristol; 7 July 2017.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 295 – HILLTOP (MONO)

 

 


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Hilltop; a Levels skyline; Minimalism.

The Somerset Levels are just that – level, flat, flat and flat again.  But just north of the area that I usually infest, they are cut by a long line of low hills – the high ground around Blackford, Wedmore and Wookey – that well within historical times formed islands in the vast morass of lakes, swamps and thickets that were the Levels in their original form, before they were drained for agriculture.

I’d driven down early from Bristol, and was sipping hot, sweet coffee in the little layby beside the willows in Swanshard Lane, and there was low cloud drifting by, almost brushing the hilltops.

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 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; processing, and conversion to mono, in Lightroom; Swanshard Lane, north of Polsham; 18 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 144 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 2

 

 


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One of the chairs around the table in what we grandly call our dining room, photographed against a black background.

An old image – wow, 11 years old! – and seen on this blog before.  Captured on film, and doubtless with the aid of a tripod.  I used that wonderful and completely gratis illumination, window light, and hung a black sheet behind the chair to completely black out the background – the sheet must have been in shadow, since that no trace of its surface textures can be seen.

A Minimalist image, and so to the mantras – less is more, simple is beautiful, small is beautiful – all very true, to my mind.  Most of the chair is out of shot, only three, separate elements remain.  This suggests a basic point.  An artist starts with a blank canvas and adds things to it, but a photographer (often) starts with a viewfinder or screen brimming over with stuff >>> now the intention may be to photograph all of the stuff, an entire landscape for example, but in many instances the photographer finds him/herself in a subtractive role, removing some items from the scene by altering the position of the camera and/or doing some post-capture cropping of the image, so that the photograph’s subject assumes greater prominence – as in this shot.  I’ve read that many photographers try to cram too much into their images, so that viewers’ eyes can’t fix onto anything – and because they don’t know where to look, they become visually confused and roam around the image and then out of it – and the appeal of the image suffers accordingly.  We live in an age of I want it all and I want it now!, but maybe I want less than it all! can be ok too.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found here.

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 200mm; Fuji Velvia 100 colour slide rated at 200 ISO; Bristol; 29 Mar 2006.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 293 – RIVER BANK

 

 


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Bank of the River Sheppey, beside Ashmoor Drove.

I was standing above the river on a little bridge that farmers use to access their fields.  I looked down, and the big, spikey leaves sticking out from the Sheppey’s bank caught my eye.

As is often the case, this could so easily have ended up in black and white, but the faint colours add something.  And there are lots of shadows, lots not on view, but the picture was always going to centre around the (slight!) colours and textures of the water’s surface, and the silhouettes of those plants against the water’s brightness.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 238mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film preset; Ash Moor, Somerset Levels; 18 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 141 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 1

 

I enjoy looking at things, and seeing how light falls on them.  A lot of my photography these days consists of looking for beautiful light, and then thinking what to do with it.  I quite often photograph cars for just this reason: they can have beautiful lines, and their metal and glass bodies are eminently reflective; when stationary they are still life subjects sensu stricto – but they can also be rewarding when in motion.

To me, chairs can be rather like cars in some respects, beyond the bald fact that we use both of them for sitting on or in.  Chairs can be objects of beauty and, beyond being thrown around in bar room brawls, they mostly stay still while light flows over them, so that it is possible to really look at how they interact with it – and of course, unlike cars, it is often easy to move chairs around, to examine new light/shadow effects.

And so to a brief series of chair pictures, some from my archives, others from my propensity for peering around with a camera while I’m sitting in various eateries, waiting to immerse my snout in their delicious delights.  Many of the resulting images tend towards the Minimal, and some the abstract.

These may not be the most exciting series of images in creation. They will most probably have a distinctly calm and tranquil air, which may be a welcome distraction from today’s rushed and frenetic world.  I hope you will enjoy them.

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In Rosemarino, an Italian restaurant in Clifton, Bristol; 7 April 2017.

What I like about this picture: the massive, dark chair back, with a thin rim of backlighting around the top; the backlighting also catching the underside of the curved element; and the faint browns glowing on the left upright.  The background is diffuse, but with subtle variations that add to things.  This picture could be presented in black and white, but I value the subtle touches of colour.

There is another picture from Rosemarino here.

Click onto this image to open another in a separate window, and click onto that image to greatly enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation.
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STILL LIFE 140 – LOVE

 

 


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Looking for love?  Well its here. 

The wide lens takes us into the image –  on the left, the orange letters stream in over our shoulder.  The walls and patterned floor are black, the door white, and the orange tones on the left are minutely mirrored below the door knob.  On the floor, cigarette butts (though I much prefer the Brit, dog ends).

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 17mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Park Street, central Bristol; 4 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 138 – GLASS OF BEER 2

 

 


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Amber nectar?  No, not really, its only Stella Artois – but its in our faces and bubbling, and I like the effect.

The first glass of beer image is here Thinking about it, it may even be the same glass of beer (depending on how fast I was drinking at the time), but I think I prefer this closer in, simpler version, with its more clearly seen bubbles.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Standard film simulation, Bristol; 10 Feb 2017.
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ARCHIVE 305 – SUNRISE WITH THREE DUCKS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Three ducks and the sunrise over Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

As with my pictures of crows aloft , the birds are dwarfed by the immensity of their element, yet quite at one with it.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: Minimalism once more, and the slightly unreal look of colour restored to a black and white image.

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