STILL LIFE 157 – CLIFFTOP

 

 


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Colours caught by the sun on a Cornish clifftop, with grimmer, more sombre cliffs behind.

Plants are rarely my strong point, and I’ve no idea what this gloriously coloured plant is – can anyone help?  I’m guessing that it may be some kind of succulent.  It was common on the sea cliffs in the area.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; The Lizard, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.
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BRISTOL 122 – CITY CENTRE GREEN SPACE

 

 


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Somewhat ravaged Dandelion catching the morning light in perfunctory flower bed outside a shopping mall.

Of course we’re a Green city!  Actually I’m doing Bristol a disservice as it does have some nice green bits, and anyone really wanting to see flowers is not in any case going to go looking for them in shopping mall flower beds, are they?!

And some of you may point out that Dandelions are in any case weeds – but, although not being any great Green/botanical activist, weed is a term that I simply do not subscribe to.  The fact that something is growing where we have decreed that it is not allowed cannot in any way lessen that something’s status as a living organism.  Plants are plants are plants, period.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 250mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; The Galleries shopping mall, central Bristol; 7 July 2017.

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ARCHIVE 295 – TRAILING LEAVES

 

 


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Leaves trailing from a plant pot at The Point, Bristol harbourside; 11 Apr 2004.  

The few green leaves amongst the many leaf shadows on a featureless, bluish ground, are important here – the presence of the colour green definitely enhances the picture. 

Technique: rotated 90 degrees clockwise; OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 3200 ISO. 

UPDATE: Minimalism, less is more; usually better than a cluttered image – the eye knows more what to look at, rather than being confused by masses of detail.  And quite a shock to see that I took this 13 years ago – I used to stalk around Bristol with this wonderfully compact 21mm lens, looking for simplicity, looking too for abstract compositions.  And I loved push-processing colour slide films (the Provia 400 here is being pushed 3 stops: 400 to 800 to 1600 to 3200), to boost the colours and contrast, and to get more grain, as seen here.
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STILL LIFE 30 – PLANT, BEHIND NET CURTAINS

 

 

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Plant in our front garden, seen through our net curtains; 8 Sept 2015.

Taken from my armchair in our living room’s bay window, while I was sipping Westons’ Old Rosie, a very smooth, cloudy cider.

A plant is pressed up against the outside of the window (the garden is trying to invade the house! >>> The Day Of The Triffids comes to mind) and its green leaves are glimpsed through the net curtains’ mesh.  Underexposure produces this scene.

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

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 120mm; 400 ISO; Capture NX2.
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ARCHIVE 220 – PLANTAIN (MONO)

 

 

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Plantain from our Bristol garden; 22 June 2014.

Taking my life (and my plant guide) in my hands, I’m going to identify this as the Ribwort Plantain.  And this is the first denizen of our front garden that I’ve pictured.  Not that it was in the front garden when I pictured it.  Seeing these plantains – plants that I’ve always liked – beside our front gate, I held back The Destructor (our petrol mower) from roaring and ravaging over them and instead let it roar and ravage around them, so that I could preserve them and bring a bloom indoors.

And if this is indeed the Ribwort Plantain, my little book tells me that its one of the commonest European plants – and also that it grows in “grassy and waste places”, which describes our diminutive and scraggy front garden to a tee.

D800 with 105mm Nikkor; 100 ISO; tripod; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.

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BRISTOL 95 – BRIGHT SUNSHINE (MONO)

 

 

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Bright autumn sunshine, Whiteladies Road; 20 Oct 2015.

On my way to Corks of Cotham, which is primarily a wine shop, but which also stocks (sadly now only a very few) Belgian beers of truly world class quality – my choice yesterday included mouthwatering tipples from the Trappist monks of the Westmalle and Rochefort monasteries.

And it was a gloriously sunny day – to me, soft, warm, autumn sunshine is more enjoyable than the blazing heats of summer.  And beside the road was this rough wall, taking the gorgeous sunshine full on and reflecting Our Star’s warmth back at the world. 

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Key 2 preset.
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ARCHIVE 134 – 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 at 40mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s Film Noir 1 preset.
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KENYA 70 – TABLE DECORATION

 

 

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Conversation piece on my Nairobi dining table; Nov 1979.

I would like to be able to say that all of the evenings chez moi were black tie and that, as the port decanter made its rounds, this little charmer made the conversation hum and buzz.  But, well, you know … 😉 …

The reality was that, because I was writing a book at the time, my large dining table was perpetually covered in piles of maps, books and papers, together with a portable typewriter (remember typewriters???), a little space where my plate could go when I wanted to eat – and a pot plant that was home to this beauty for awhile.

Tripod-mounted OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko; extension tubes or close up lenses; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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GARDEN 49 – EARLY MORNING GARDEN: BRAMBLE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

A Bramble shoot arcing up into the air
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A shoot from one of the dense Bramble thickets bordering our “lawns”, arcing up into the air with the hope of eventually landing on open ground and thus extending the thicket’s size; 10 July 2014.

I’m decidedly ambivalent about Brambles.  Their plus side of course is their copious fruit, the blackberry, which stains fingers, tastes delicious and takes part in all sorts of delicious other foods – jam, jelly, pies, crumbles – and the latter two with lashings of glorious custard!  And all of this, especially for a FATman, must outweigh all the negatives but, outweighed as they may be, they cannot be ignored.

First, Brambles are covered in sharp thorns, which snag clothing and easily pierce skin  – this is not a plant to be tackled with even gloved hands. 

And second, these plants are territorially voracious, and this is what is shown above.  For thickets send these exploratory branches skywards and, after climbing, they arch over towards the ground – and when they eventually land on the open ground around the thicket, they take root and so expand the thicket’s size – after which the whole process repeats itself.  A few years unguarded – by me and my pair of B&Q Value shears! –  or certainly a decade, and our garden would be completely engulfed.

This shot was originally a near silhouette of the plant against a blue sky.  Taking the image into black and white, I converted the sky to plain white, and then restored, and lightened, almost all of the plant’s colours.  A thin border serves to show the subject’s position within the frame.

D800 with 50mm Nikkor used in DX format to provide 75mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Key 2  preset and selectively restoring colour.
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GARDEN 47 – PLANTAIN (MONO)

 

 

Plantain in our Bristol garden

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Plantain from our Bristol garden; 22 June 2014.

Taking my life (and my plant guide) in my hands, I’m going to identify this as the Ribwort Plantain.  And this is the first denizen of our front garden that I’ve pictured.  Not that it was in the front garden when I pictured it.  Seeing these plantains – plants that I’ve always liked – beside our front gate, I held back The Destructor (our petrol mower) from roaring and ravaging over them and instead let it roar and ravage around them, so that I could preserve them and bring a bloom indoors.

And if this is indeed the Ribwort Plantain, my little book tells me that its one of the commonest European plants – and also that it grows in “grassy and waste places”, which describes our diminutive and scraggy front garden to a tee.

D800 with 105mm Nikkor; 100 ISO; tripod; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.
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