SOMERSET LEVELS 392 – TOTNEY DROVE, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 

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A vehicle approaches the tiny bridge over the North Drain at Rattling Bow, on Tealham Moor.  The bridge itself is seen as the low rise in the road immediately in front of the vehicle, while its guard rails to the right are catching the light.  Totney Drove, the single track road, glistens after rain.

This is in a rather different style to many of my other Levels pictures: it is an image both captured by the camera and which has received most of its post-capture processing within the camera (more detail below).  This in-camera processing is a different way of working: capturing images in the usual way, and then sitting down later with the camera (usually accompanied by a few excellent Belgian golden ales) and trying out different crops and (customisable) looks on them.

Obvious question then, do I like this picture, do I like the post-capture processing that, via my commands, the camera has given it?  I think I do, I think this way of working is worth pursuing as a side line to more “traditional” methods.  The camera’s treatment is harshly dark, but perhaps this suits this flat, wet, open and at times bleak landscape.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a Raw file, using the Camera Graphite profile and in-camera cropping; further minor processing in Lightroom; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels northwest of Westhay; 9 Aug 2019.
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BRISTOL 150 – PARKED CAR 4: STRIP OF REFLECTED LIGHT ON A CAR DOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Early morning, low angle sunshine beside the railway station, and the door of a parked car is hit by a stray beam of bright reflected light.

A Minimalist image, presented in black and white to make it more so.  There’s really very little to see here – just the door handle and the narrow gap between the door and the rest of the car’s bodywork, both rendered in sharp focus; and, at bottom left, the lower edge of the door and the shadowed road below it.  And, finally, the bright band of reflected light, presumably coming from a nearby sunlit window pane.

This is the camera catching and preserving a tiny part of a much larger scene during a brief moment in time.  In itself, the scene is insignificant but, as always, it is good to see it, it is good to look at our surroundings, rather than just casually glancing over them while thinking of other – possibly equally trivial – things.  It is always good to engage with Reality, even mundane Reality, in this way >>> and the more so if you have an interest in the visual world.

There are earlier images in this Parked Car series here: 1 2 3 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; flipped; beside Temple Meads railway station, in central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 123 – LOOKING INTO THE LIGHT, TOWARDS A VAN (MONO)

 

 


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Looking up a hill after a rain shower – looking up along a gutter in fact – towards a van almost silhouetted by the harsh winter light.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Monotone profile; south Bristol; 7 Feb 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 386 – EARLY MORNING 2 (MONO)

 

 


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A bed of Stinging Nettles – at once soft, attractive and menacing – reaches out towards the camera.  Further back, a stump raises its one bare branch in a celebration of Life continuing.

Other images in this Early Morning series are here: 1 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Hurn Drove, Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 2 Aug 2019.
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ARCHIVE 417 – WOMAN WITH HER EYES CLOSED (MONO)

 

 


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Woman with her eyes closed; 21 Aug 2007.

This is part of a much larger negative – another product, I suppose, of my tendency for getting in close!

Trying to make it at least one step removed from a straight mono photograph, I’ve reduced sharpness and introduced a digital tone.

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

Technique: F6 with 24-85 Nikkor lens; Ilford Delta 3200 Professional black and white film rated at 3200 ISO;  scanned into digital and manipulated with Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE:  well, 12 years ago, and using fast, black and white film in a Nikon SLR, the F6.  That was a really excellent camera, but the appearance of Nikon’s D700 DSLR seemed to promise equal things and – having been a confirmed film fan – I changed to digital and have never looked back.  I am extremely grateful for the enhanced creative potential that digital provides, and astonished at the pace at which the technology has progressed, especially with regard to sensors.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 383 – GROVE OF TREES (MONO)

 

 


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A wet, grey morning, and driving slowly westwards along the dead straight – and deserted – Chasey’s Drove, on Common Moor north of Glastonbury.  I’d been exploring here before, and attracted by the look of groves of low trees beside the road – and so to a more leisurely look.  Rain emptied from the overcast, but the direction of the slight breeze meant that I could open the driver’s window beside me and still remain more or less dry.  And so to looking out of my car’s window into this grove of low trees and taking pictures.

Technique: I’ve talked before ( here ) about utilising the ability of modern cameras to internally process Raw files in various ways to produce jpegs.  With the tree images from this wet morning, I found that the Camera Graphite (CG) picture control of the Z 6 produced promising results in-camera, and that Lightroom (LR) has a CG profile that mimics that of the camera.  And so to using LR’s CG profile as a first step in the processing, followed up by further processing in LR.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Chasey’s Drove, on Common Moor north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 19 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 382 – WATERWAY (MONO)

 

 

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The lush growth of summer borders a water-filled ditch – known locally as a rhyne, and covered in waterweed – that fulfils the purpose of a liquid fence between a field of pasture out of view on the left, and a very uneven, single track lane known as Westhay Moor Drove that is out of view behind the great bank of vegetation on the right.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset and adding a split tone; beside Westhay Moor Drove, on the Somerset Levels northwest of Glastonbury; 12 July 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 122 – PARKED CAR 2 (MONO)

 

 


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Parked car with pavement, kerb and puddle.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Monotone profile; south Bristol; 7 Feb 2019.
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ARCHIVE 416 – COTTAGE IN PEASLAKE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Cottage in Peaslake, Surrey; 25 Mar 2012.

A glorious sunny morning in Peaslake, and this cottage caught my eye.  I often find rural cottages in affluent areas far too prettified and picturesque, but here the overlapping blue trellises on either side of the darker front door, and the blue window frames, all looked good and relatively uncomplicated.

I cropped in tight so as to fill the composition with (most of) the trellises and window.   Then followed conversion to mono, and restoration of the blue colouration of the trellises and window frames, in SEP2.

Apart from the dark surrounds to the front door, the image has been made pale and pastel by lightening the highlights and blues, and by the application of a thin, pale vignette.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 800 ISO; converted to mono and further manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 380 – ANIMAL 7 (MONO)

 

 


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A summer’s morning down on the Levels, and after a lot of early morning photography I was relaxing with hot coffee and a sandwich in a spot on Tadham Moor that I know as the Magic Carpark.  I’ve given it this somewhat strange name because, many years ago now, being in this little, quiet place helped me through terrible times in my life, and I’ve been coming here ever since.  And, after I’ve downed the very last of my very special Belgian beers, this is where my ashes will be scattered.  A wonderful and eminently simple little place.

On this particular morning, in the field next to the rough track that leads off south from the Carpark, there was a herd of cows, largely motionless, along with their calves.  And the more I looked at these cows, and at the morning’s light washing over them, the more I was drawn to them.  And so, putting down the coffee and picking up the Z 6, I walked slowly and quietly down the rough track towards them.

Arriving next to the cows, I kept very still and quiet and just looked at them.  Most were unconcerned by my presence, but this one, who had been lying down beside her calf, stood up to look at me, and advanced a few paces – and I was very glad of the water-filled ditch – the rhyne – that lay between us.  But, keeping silent and motionless paid off and, slowly raising the camera, I carefully started making images of this very placid scene.

I started this Levels’ Animal series with portraits of farm cats: see this link for the first image in this series, and much context; there are other images of these cats from this series here 2 3 4 5 .  Then came a picture of a deer 6 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 330mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 1 preset; the Magic Carpark, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 12 July 2019.
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