ARCHIVE 326 – IN A FIELD IN SOUTH BRISTOL (MONO)

 

 


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In a field in south Bristol; 28 Aug 2010.

This was one of a group of these beautiful animals that lived in a nearby field.  Our neighbours used to love feeding them – carrots were a firm favourite.  One day I went along with them, and took a few shots.

Once again, I like to get close in to large animals, filling the frame with them.  This isn’t the whole of the horse’s head, but I like the way the rough, tough and very textured harness frames the upper part of the face – this could be a picture of Nature bridled or firmly restrained.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 75mm; 3200 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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STILL LIFE 159 – ASSASSIN (MONO)

 

 


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Perception can so often be a matter of viewpoint. 

To our eyes, this may be a beautiful, even elegant, wild creature, the sight of which lifts our spirits and, indeed, our quality of life.

But in the real world, that thick, serpentine, muscular neck, and that dagger of a bill, are the tools of a precise and eminently stealthy predator – and any small creature moving under the water, if it sees this killer at all before being struck, views it quite differently.

Another picture of a Great White Egret at Chew Valley Lake, the first picture of this bird, is here.

Click onto this image to open a larger (and grainier) version in a separate window, and click onto that image to marginally 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 light coffee tone; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake; 6 Oct 2017.  This is a huge enlargement of an APS-C image, with the X-T2 working at its highest quality, native 200 ISO.
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STILL LIFE 158 – BEACH SCENE (MONO)

 

 


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Rocks on the beach.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 186mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset; The Lizard, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.
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BIRDS 94 – HERRING GULL (MONO)

 

 


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Adult Herring Gull, in winter plumage, beside the harbour in St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

A piercing stare – (s)he was sitting on top of a car parked on the harbourside, and I eased forwards, taking little steps, often pausing, and making a diagonal rather than head-on approach.  The D800 was set for APS-C format, and so I had 450mm – 9x magnification – to play with.  I made some very low clicking noises with my tongue, and (s)he looked at me.

How I love gulls!  They were all around during my childhood, they are all over Bristol now, and their wild calls are just that – a very welcome reminder of the wild across the city’s skyline.  They fly in to the city very early each morning, while its still dark – because its ok to get lost when the day is just starting.  But they leave before dusk, because getting lost at night is another matter entirely.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens, used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset.
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ARCHIVE 325 – ELEPHANT (MONO)

 

 


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Elephant at The Ark, a game viewing lodge in the Aberdare Mountains, Kenya; June 1980.

I particularly like the effect produced when a large animal completely fills the frame; there is something of the abstract about it, and also something massive and impressive.

Here the textures of this elephant’s hide have purposely been exaggerated by Nik Software’s SEP to help emphasise the vast strength of its huge, looming, rough presence.

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

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

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ARCHIVE 324 – STRUGGLING UP TO THE LIGHT (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Plant, in Boscastle, Cornwall; 10 Sept 2013.

Just as I emerged from the Witchcraft Museum, full of intrigued and surreal thoughts, this appeared at my feet.

All else is harsh black and white, manmade, angular and strong, but these few green leaves – soft and eminently vulnerable – are pushing up through it all, into the light.

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

D800 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 40mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s Film Noir 1 preset.

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PEOPLE 294 – FARMER (MONO)

 

 


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Farmer and his sheep, northeast of West Littleton, South Gloucestershire.

Other images from the West Littleton area – the Outlands images – are here: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89,  1011, 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17 Each will open in its own window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art Process preset; 12 Apr 2017.
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PEOPLE 292 – PORTRAIT OF A GIRL (MONO)

 

 


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The daughter of friends, someone I’ve known for all of her life.  And now growing up fast, and long past the time when a favourite pastime was trying to pull my thumbs off.  And also a long time since, if she was at all unhappy, I could rattle a bunch of keys to instantly brighten her mood.  And, yes, now growing up fast – time rushes on – but still, as ever, a very valued friend.

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Smooth preset and adding a light tone; Bristol; 24 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 151 – CHAIR BESIDE A ROUND TABLE (MONO)

 

 


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Felt like a black and white fix, it gets me like that from time to time, and so … The chair next to mine, in Browns Restaurant, Bristol.

This view was immediately to the left of the one here, the chair pictured above can just be seen on the far left.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Orange Filter preset, and adding a light coffee tone; 28 Apr 2017.
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PEOPLE 290 – SOULS

 

 


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What are these pictures?  Who are these people?  What am I trying to do here?

Well, for over a year now, I have been photographing Bristol’s morning rush hour, the daily surge of people into work.  But, increasingly, as retirement kicks further in and I get the opportunity to think more and more about what I see around me, two things have come increasingly to mind.

First, that many people, and especially young people, are becoming increasingly estranged from the Natural World – and increasingly wary of the Natural World too.  My car is usually plastered in mud and other less mentionable substances inherited from rural roads and, on apologising for this to a neighbour, he replied “Ah yes, but you go out into the country.”.  Whereas he, and others, do not – or, at best, their contact with the countryside is made from vehicles speeding along large main roads.  I am doing my best to develop in my granddaughters a recognition of and a love for the Natural World, but whether I’m having any lasting impact is anyone’s guess.

And then second, and leading on from this, and from talking to people and also from observing people in the rush hour, I do get the feeling that many are becoming alienated by the fast pace and time-poor quality of modern life, and by the whole materialism/consumerism thing too – not to mention our political systems.  It seems that the Grenfell Tower tragedy has struck a lasting chord with many, not least in terms of whether concerns over The Great God Cash should surmount concerns over human safety, welfare and wellbeing  – and especially so for the more vulnerable or less well off members of our society.

And so I’m posting these pictures because they do, for me at least, go a little way towards expressing these misgivings about estrangement and alienation.  Here are souls, individuals each with her or his own thoughts and fears, moving into the artificial environments of the city’s streets, offices, shops, cafes and workshops for the day – on five days out of every seven.  These are quite close up, intimate shots of people, but they were in fact mainly taken from some distance away with a telephoto; many of them are radical enlargements which have been made without regard for image quality.

Clicking onto these images will open larger versions in separate windows; clicking onto these again will in mist cases further enlarge them.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2; Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street area, central Bristol; 16 Dec 2016.


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