ARCHIVE 350 – MAASAI GIRAFFE (MONO)

 

 


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Maasai Giraffe, Nairobi National Park, Kenya; probably late 1970s.

Although this is a portrait of a wild animal, and so a representation of the natural world, it is also partly abstract.  The animal is (more or less!) in focus, but behind it, even close behind it, the landscape is only diffusely visible.  Looking at this very limited depth of focus, I think this must have been taken with an old Vivitar 400mm telephoto that I had in those far off days.

Composition: in terms of the “rule” of thirds, the giraffe occupies the right vertical third of the photo (i.e. the vertical line about one third of the way into the image from the right margin), which is a visually strong position in which to be.  The thornbushes immediately behind the giraffe are out of focus, and those further out towards the (just about visible) horizon are more diffuse still.  This gives a sense of distance and depth.

Technique:  use of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro has added a slightly bluish tint to the image, and rendered the out of focus areas still more diffuse.  These effects are enhanced by the addition of a pale vignette, a quite thick zone of pale diffusion right around the image’s borders, the effects of which are best seen to the right of the bush immediately behind the giraffe, and on the distant bushes in the image’s top left corner.

Click onto the image to open a (slightly) larger version in a separate window.
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STILL LIFE 215 – SHADOW OF A BUS SHELTER (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Hard winter sunlight producing shadows as it shines through a bus shelter.

The image has been rotated 90 degrees clockwise, so that the shelter’s supports are at the top of the frame, while the shadows of its structures are thrown out across the now vertical, rectangular slabs of a pale pavement.  The image has quite high contrast, and a thick black border has been added to provide a firm container that separates the strident patterns of the image from this blog’s plain white background.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 150mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset, adding a thick black border, and selectively restoring colour; rotated 90 degrees clockwise; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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ARCHIVE 349 – IN THE HARBOUR (MONO)

 

 


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In the harbour, West Bay, Dorset; 23 Apr 2015.

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

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

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ARCHIVE 348 – FLY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Fly on a horse’s forehead, south of Catcott Burtle, on the Somerset Levels; 3 June 2014.

My penchants for getting up close and personal, and for keeping things simple.  To me, the fly is the subject here.  I look first at the fly but then realise that something else, something far larger and potentially more menacing, is there too.

This horse was in a field with the other one pictured recently.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset and selectively re-introducing colour.

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ARCHIVE 347 – POLLARDS AT TEALHAM (MONO)

 

 


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Pollarded willows on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 30 Oct 2014.

A typical Levels landscape – dead flat countryside,  with water (sometimes a lot of water!) and pollarded trees.  Pollarding is explained here.

The more I look at this, the more these trees resemble knobbly headed beings with huge coiffures, that are coming slowly forwards to look at me – the second and third from the left, in particular, seem to be craning to get a better view.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 24mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2; Color Efex Pro 4.

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STILL LIFE 211 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 17 (MONO)

 

 


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Roadside seat, in the rain; Bath, Somerset; 4 Sept 2009.

Wet metal – hard and without warmth – about as inviting as selling cold fish, straight from the fridge, on a raw day.

The FATman Guide to the contents of this picture (don’t say you don’t get value for money on this blog … OK, so it doesn’t cost you anything … yes, well … there is that … 😦 …)  anyway, the left hand half of the shot is the bit of the seat that you actually sit on; and this curls up to upper right, which is the seat’s back, the bit you lean on; in the lower right corner is the end of another seat with the same design; and over on the right the pale areas seen through the black bars of the seats show the faint outlines of paving stones.

An image from my last days of using film.  Not long previously I’d bought a really good DSLR, one that I still use and treasure (the Nikon D700), but back then digital black and white just wasn’t doing it for me.  And so here I was, out in Bath with a top flight Olympus film camera and a wide lens, looking for grain and atmosphere.  Trouble was, I hadn’t yet realised that by far the best way of achieving good digital black and white is by starting with a full colour digital raw file.  So here is that long ago jpeg, given the recent benefit of SEP2 and a cyanotype tone.

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 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: OM-4 Ti with 21mm Zuiko lens; Ilford HP5 black and white film, rated at 1600 ISO; commercially scanned; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Smooth preset and adding a heavy cyanotype tone.

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ARCHIVE 346 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 


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Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, seen from Kenya’s Amboseli Game Reserve; July 1978.

There is another Kilimanjaro image here .

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75mm-150mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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STILL LIFE 210 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 16 (MONO)

 

 


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Two chairs outside The Hole in the Wall pub, at Bristol’s Harbourside; 5 August 2016.

The two curving and tapering shapes advancing out towards the camera – apparently for a closer look at it – are the exception here.  Almost everything else is either coated by hard, precise, rectilinear patterns, or in shadow.

At last I’m starting to use the X-T1’s tilting LCD screen a little more.  Its already proved very useful in getting an extreme wide angle lens down to ground level, as in this shot.

And now, as I approached these chairs, it was much easier to get the camera down to their level by looking down into the screen – that is, much easier than it would be getting me down to their level to look at them horizontally though the viewfinder ->>> its an age thing 😦 !!!

And this pub’s strange name?  Its due to a spy hole in the pub’s wall, where centuries ago smugglers might keep a look out for customs and excise men – and any man might keep a look out for the press gangs that roved this busy port, snatching men for the harsh and dangerous life endured by sailors on the Royal Navy’s warships.

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

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 96mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro2.

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PEOPLE 324 – GOING TO WORK 56 (MONO)

 

 


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Nearly all of my Going to Work images have been captured in central Bristol and many of them have been early on cold, dark mornings – well, its a FATman thing …  But the rush hour also occurs far out in the countryside, as the city sucks in labour from its surrounding towns and (often gentrified) villages.

The Old Bristol Road across the top of the Mendip Hills and does exactly what it says on the packet, apart from arriving at a (more or less) modern city.  It may not be an A road or a motorway, but it brings people from the Mendips and further south in towards the city.  And, because it is a open and clear road, with fairly long, straight stretches, these commuters in their modern vehicles often cover it at considerable speed.  Twice a day, the relative peace of these hills is shattered by the roar of powerful engines, and road accidents – often at road junctions – can be serious affairs.

Another image – here – shows the “rush hour” away from the city centre, and the image below also shows cars speeding along these Mendip roads.

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Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the images to open a larger version in a separate window and, for the upper image,  click onto the enlarged image once more to enlarge it further.

Technique (upper image): X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 234mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Holga preset and adding a tone; the Old Bristol Road, east of Priddy, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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ARCHIVE 343 – BLUE SUNRISE (MONO)

 

 


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Sunrise behind a young Alder on Jack’s Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Aug 2013.

Alders are wet country trees, they like “to have their feet in the water”.  This one, still a bush really, is up along Jack’s Drove, growing between the road and the water-filled ditch alongside it.

The sun was rising and I got within the young tree’s shadow.  The ultra-wideangle made sure the tree’s branches reached wide in the frame, reaching out to embrace the camera  – and, I hoped, me too –  and I made sure the rising sun was visible through the tree, as a brilliant, star-shaped brightness.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 12mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Tin Type preset, with heavy Cyanotype tone.

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