STILL LIFE 35 – RUSTY CHAINS ACROSS STEPS

 

 

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Newquay, Cornwall; 13 April 2016.

Down a side street, as I often am, a flight of steps lead up to a fast food shop.  The vertical faces of the steps have been painted pale blue, as much for aesthetic reasons as to enhance their visibility to revellers during Newquay’s very numerous, very drunken nights.

But the shop is closed and, thwarted by the two chains, the hungry (together with the just plain greedy) must champ and chomp elsewhere.

Facing squarely out into the Atlantic’s swells, Newquay is a famous UK surfing destination, and the westerlies that swirl and roar around this little town are salt-laden. 

So the chains are corroded, and the rain and spray have dripped the corrosion’s rusty hues down over the step below.

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

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 155mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.
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ARCHIVE 215 – SOMETHING ROMANTIC FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

 

 

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Poster in the window of a beauty salon, seen through the shop’s security grill; Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 240mm; 1600 ISO.

UPDATE: Well, it makes me feel romantic, anyway …    Originally posted under the title “RUDE GIRL”.  .
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ARCHIVE 178 – WINDBLOWN

 

 

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Windblown poppy; Newquay, Cornwall; 11 Sept 2013.

I like Newquay.  It is cheap, tatty and unpretentious, and there are so many establishments offering Full English Breakfasts that I could probably stay there for a whole month and eat in a different one each day.  That said, I have the strong suspicion that most of these repasts would be of the pallid and rather tasteless variety but, still, anywhere with this number of breakfasts on offer can’t be all bad.

And, with its famous Fistral Beach facing out into the Atlantic’s rollers,  this little town is a mecca for UK surfers – as well as being the pub, nightclub and “booze / drug yourself silly” capital of the west for youngsters intent upon a good time that they may not remember too much about.

We had a couple of dry days on our short break, but the westerly wind blew throughout and the great white waves smashed into the cliffs and headlands – not that we are in any way surfers, mind!  For a start I can’t swim, and neither of us are at all into such energetic activities. 

There was a ragged flowerbed in front of some kind of religious building sandwiched in between the Houses Of Hedonism along the main drag, and the gusting westerly was sending the flowers in all directions. The waving poppies stood out from the rest, and a quarter of a second at F29 gave this pale and Impressionistic result.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 152 – BALUSTRADE, BACKLIT

 

 

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Backlit plaster balustrade in a restaurant; Newquay, Cornwall; 13 Sept 2011.

We were having lunch – my snout was squarely in the trough –  when a burst of sunlight opened up this scene right beside our table.  The long end of a short zoom was just enough to capture these repeating patterns, fading off into a distance which is actually only a few feet away, beside the next table in the room. 

Altering the orientation of the image gives the impression of lighting pouring up from below.  The colours are minimal, but they certainly give this shot an edge over monochrome versions.

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 120mm; 1600 ISO; image horizontally flipped and then rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

UPDATE: looking at this anew, after several years, I’m struck by those long dark curves coming in from the left.  They rise very gently – less is more! – as they move across the frame, after which they peak, falter – and descend abruptly into the image’s far more active right third.
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ARCHIVE 144 – IN NEWQUAY AQUARIUM (MONO)

 

 

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Newquay Aquarium, Cornwall; 13 Sept 2011.

I love photographing close in to animals and to plants too, and getting them large in the frame or filling it completely.  And even if I can’t fill the frame, its good to exclude – or at least blur –  all extraneous detail, so that the viewer is right in there with whatever it might be.  Aquariums (sorry, can’t bring myself to say “aquaria”!) are good places for this, albeit that the photographer faces many problems – low light levels, myriad reflections, people in the frame etc etc.

So, using the same strategy as for photographing children who are bouncing around off all the walls, when I’m in an aquarium and something hits me visually, I take many shots of it – isn’t digital wonderful? – trying to make each and every shot count.  And of course many, many shots are failures, in terms of technique, composition or, not infrequently, both.  But usually there are one or two promising ones amongst all the dross, and I home in on these.

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 120mm; 6400 ISO;  Silver Efex Pro 2.
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ARCHIVE 124 – LANDSCAPE NEAR NEWQUAY (MONO)

 

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Landscape near Newquay, Cornwall; 23 Oct 2012.

The lines of windblown trees first attracted me to this scene, and then there were the partly seen house and the bold, dark lines of the field boundaries.  Letterbox is an ideal format here because it more or less parallels these boundaries.

I’ve used a pale vignette to suggest mistiness around the frame edges.

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

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Full Contrast and Structure preset as a starting point.
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ARCHIVE 120 – STAIRS IN A PUB

 

 

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Stairs in a pub, Newquay, Cornwall; 13 Sept 2011.

After lunch, as we left the pub, this colourful chasm opened up on our right.  Letting it go unphotographed was out of the question.  It was awash with colour and I was especially taken with the black and white edges to the steps, which are presumably there to help prevent inebriate revellers from going head over heels – or, as we earthy Brits might from time to time term it, arse over tit – down the stairs.

Two things came to mind.  First, I wanted those black and white steps to be somewhere near vertical in the finished product, to give the effect of a wonderfully coloured wall, or of a receding series of coloured columns.  Second, a problem, there was great contrast in the scene, with the sun blazing in from the left, so I used a low sensitivity – 400 ISO – to give more latitude for digital manipulation later on.

I took two frames and, as I clicked the first, this chap appeared from nowhere and provided an unwitting focal point for the converging lines!

I’ve rotated the shot, and used NX2‘s control points to lighten both the left hand wall and the man.  I’ve also slightly raised contrast in the sunlit areas, to better bring out the patterns made by the thin window frames.

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 24mm; 400 ISO; Capture NX2; rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise.

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ARCHIVE 50 – RAY

USE YOUR PC’s F11 KEY TO VIEW THIS PAGE FULLSCREEN

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The camouflaged upperparts of a Ray, lying on the bottom of its tank in Newquay Aquarium, Cornwall; 6 Nov 2007.

This picture is not completely sharp because it was taken looking down through moving water.  But with this wonderful colouration and patterning, I don’t think that matters at all – in fact the whole hazy blueness of the image adds to its atmosphere.

Nikon F6 with 24mm-85mm Nikkor; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide, rated at 1600 ISO.
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CORNWALL 75 – SECURITY DEVICE (MONO)

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Metal hoops for the locking up of bicycles, in Newquay; 11 Sept 2013.

A negative image, with moderate copper toning and much added grain.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Negative preset.
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CORNWALL 74 – RECTANGLES WITHIN RECTANGLES (MONO)

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Caravans, Newquay; 10 Sept 2013.

A series of pale boxes, apparently floating in blackness.  The one on the right displays a slightly curved roof, and is leaning gently away from the vertical.  Otherwise, these are a series of rectangular shapes containing many other rectangular shapes.

There is an earlier photo in this style, including a tree, here .

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Pinhole preset.
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