ARCHIVE 363 – MANNEQUIN

 

 


.Camborne, Cornwall: mannequin in a shop window; 9 Oct 2013.

I take shots of these dummies from time to time.  Here I was attracted by that loosely hanging, white hand, but now I’m also looking at the hairy red sweater with its horizontal stripes, and the plastic “water droplets” on those fashionably distressed jeans.  The black backdrop keeps it simple.

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

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

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 362 – RUDE GIRL

 

 


.

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

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

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

.
.
.

TALKING IMAGES 40 – NEWS: DxO PHOTOLAB 1.2 AND THE NIK COLLECTION 2018

 

 


I’m a great fan of image processing programmes called Silver Efex Pro 2 (which I use for all my black and white images and Color Efex Pro 4. (There are some SEP2 images here – some using its original colour restoration facility, which can be effective) These programmes, which are a part of the Nik Collection, were originally developed by Nik Software, a Nikon company. Then they were bought by Google, which did a little more development – but then Google started giving them away, and many devotees (certainly including me!) had a very nasty feeling that the Nik Collection was simply going to be discontinued by Google, and hence disappear forever. However, the Nik Collection was acquired by DxO last year and, I see two items of good news in Amateur Photographer magazine .

.

First, that DxO has updated the seven plug-ins in the Nik Collection, and that they are available right now – AND at a bargain price of £39.99 until 1 July. You can also have a 30-day free trial of this software. AP talks of these being plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, which they undoubtedly are. I’ve been using this software, probably from its Nikon days, and I use it as a plug-in for an old version of Photoshop Elements, version 11. Whether they can be used standalone I don’t know.
.
.

To say that I recommend this software – and especially SEP2 and CEP4 – is vast understatement, I use these programmes – and especially SEP2 – all the time. I don’t know how (if) DxO has improved them, but I’m pretty sure that they are continuing using Nik’s absolutely wonderful U Point technology which, in my view, simply leaves Lightroom’s radial filters far, far behind. You can find out more here .
.
.

.

The other news concerns an update to DxO’s much praised raw and jpeg processing software, which is now available for £99 as DxO Photolab 1.2 – and which uses Nik’s U Point technology too. I’ve never used this software. At the moment, for just under £10/month, I’m using Adobe Lightroom. I find it slick, it does all I need to do – I have no need to get involved with Photoshop itself – and as long as Adobe don’t get greedy and increase the monthly fee, I’ll probably stick with it – although not at all being convinced by its Catalogue method of working. But I have a feeling that DxO’s Photolab 1.2 is good – you can get further details here .

.
.

But two caveats to make about Photolab. First, one benefit of subscribing to Lightroom is that it is updated for new cameras’ raw files soon after the cameras appear, whereas I’m not sure this is the case with Photolab – so, especially if you’ve just bought a new camera and you shoot raw, check which cameras’ raw files 1.2 is good for – the DxO link given in the previous sentence includes the facility to see whether the software covers your camera’s raw files >>> and, for me, the second, vast caveat is that Photolab does NOT process raw files generated by Fujifilm cameras which use their unique X-Trans sensors >>> like my X-T1 and X-T2. So, not much use for me!!! But I certainly stand by my views on Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4 – they’re excellent.

.
.

.

.

.
.
.

PEOPLE 336 – GOING TO WORK 67 (MONO)

 

 


.

This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Composition: morning rush hour, Victoria Street, and perhaps there are two subjects here.  The backlit and near silhouetted man on the left – walking across the road while looking at his phone and carrying his briefcase – first drew my attention.  Using him as the image’s sole subject would magnify his size in the frame and draw attention to him.  But I couldn’t resist the silhouette of the cyclist on the right too, with the light catching his billowing, steamy breath and shiny helmet – he is balancing on his wheels, rather than put a foot to the ground while waiting for the lights to change.  Maybe our gaze will be drawn back and fore from one to the other of these two people, I don’t know, but, in any case, here they are.  To me, although the man on the left could be the image’s sole subject, this is not true of the cyclist – he’s further away, amidst a fairly cluttered background.

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 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 Each will open in a separate window.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset, giving the image the look of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film, and adding a strong selenium tone; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
.
.
.

 

KENYA 80 – THE LUSH FARMLANDS OF THE WEST

 

 


.

This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Farms between Kisumu and Kakamega in the lush and fertile, far west of Kenya; April 1979.

This western part of Kenya lies just to the east of Lake Victoria, and benefits from the big storms that form over the lake and then drift eastwards, bringing plentiful rain.  Add all this water to fertile soils and high, year-round temperatures, and this is wonderfully productive farming country.  But on the downside there is malaria here, and this is where it first got its claws into me.

The tall plants in the foreground are bananas – there were many varieties of bananas of all sizes and colours here, including simply delicious ones used for cooking.  It may be more a dish from Uganda, but I simply adored cooked banana – matoke, I think it was called – with groundnut sauce.

Some of the local people can just be seen, up to the left of the two houses with metal roofs in the foreground.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 361 – SWAN, PREENING (MONO)

 

 


.

This image is best seen at larger scale – click onto to it to see a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Mute Swan at Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

The bird is preening, busily rearranging its feathers in a flurry of activity that is sending concentric ripples out across the surrounding water.

There is another photo of this bird, in very different pose and style, here .

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; -0.3EV; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

.
.
.

STILL LIFE 231 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 22

 

 


.

This is the final post of Looking at Chairs – hope you’ve enjoyed the series.

So, lastly, two chairs, back to back, beside a window.

Sitting in Browns, waiting for the third breakfast of a long morning’s photography – a repast which might have equated to what we Brits call Elevenses … except that it was only just after 10am …

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

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 17 18 19 20 21 .  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 further enlarge it.

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

ARCHIVE 360 – COWSLIPS

 

 


.

In amongst the Cowslips near the bottom of our garden; 24 Apr 2013.

These beautiful little flowers have been growing in our garden for many years now.  We certainly didn’t plant them, so the initial seeds were presumably brought in by birds.

I love these simple flowers very much and, every year, encourage them to spread by delaying mowing the areas they inhabit until they have fully gone over and gone to seed.  This is one of the extremely few thought out gardening plans I have  – and it works!  Every year they spread further – wonderful!

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO.

.
.
.

PEOPLE 335 – GOING TO WORK 66 (MONO)

 

 


.

The walk to work: small, alone and in a fleeting, uneasy world of light and shadow.

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 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 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 further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset and adding a light coffee tone; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
.
.
.

PEOPLE 334 – GOING TO WORK 65

 

 


.
Early morning bus, in November: parka, mittens, screen time.

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 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: