ARCHIVE 419 – WARBLER AMONGST ACACIA THORNS

 

 


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Small warbler – perhaps a Cisticola – amongst fearsome Acacia thorns, any one of which could so easily transfix it; probably in Nairobi National Park, in the late 1970s.

The Cisticolas are a group of small warblers that that all look very similar to each other; they are the archetypal “small brown birds”.

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

Technique: OM-1 with a Vivitar 400mm telephoto; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.  This would have been taken from the window of my car, from one of the tracks in the National Park.

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ARCHIVE 418 – GOING TO WORK 10

 

 


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Something from the Going to Work series, which seems a long time ago now:

Is this really a post in the “People” Category???  Well, if I dose myself up on artistic leeway and add a substantial shot of festive cheer (and lapse into truly dreadful puns too), there is a person here, maybe on her way to work, and she’s taking a front seat, indeed you could almost say she’s driving the image … ooohhhh …. 😉 …

But the star of the show is being driven – and giving me a rather fixed stare too.  I’m glad we weren’t sharing the ride ……..

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

Earlier photos in this series are: hereherehere, herehere, here, here, here and here.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; morning rush hour, Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 5 Aug 2016.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 387 – ANIMAL 8

 

 


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Driving across Godney Moor, glancing out of the car window and, momentarily, looking straight into his eyes.  And so to very slowly and quietly backing the car up to get opposite him, and to taking several shots out of the car window – while all the while being grateful for the water-filled ditch between us.

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 .  Next there are some recent pictures of cattle: 7 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Standard v2 profile; Godney Moor, on the Somerset Levels west of Wells; 19 July 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 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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SOMERSET LEVELS 379 – ANIMAL 6

 

 

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Driving west across Westhay Moor, when a deer ran across the road some way up ahead.  I noted where it had disappeared, drove carefully up to it – and there to my right, out in an open field, was a female Roe Deer.  The Z 6 was ready on the seat beside me, and in one (now quite practiced) movement I raised it, turned it on and flicked it into APS-C mode to increase the telezoom’s magnification.

She was very flighty, making to dash off one way or another, but every time the Z 6’s (really not loud) shutter fired, she stopped and looked at me.  I managed four frames, through roadside bushes, before she finally bolted, and by luck got this one.

This is a female (yes, that’s right, she’s a Roe doe!): no antlers, and with the quite rich brown summer coat.  Looking at her, I’m grateful for the catchlight in her eye and the raised foreleg; I’m struck by the very rectangular shape of her body, from the base of her neck back to her rump; and I see her simply as a creature of grace and beauty.  Her beauty is best appreciated enlarged >>> click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Roes are the smallest native deer in the UK, and fairly often seen out on the Levels, early and late in the day.  And they are also not at all uncommon in the leafier suburbs of our towns and cities >>> and so to the stag that I photographed recently in our fairly secluded back garden – you can see that post here .

This Levels’ Animal series started off with portraits of cats at Redlake Farm, on Queen’s Sedge Moor – see this link for the first image in this series, and much context; there are other images from this series here 2 3 4 5 .  Here now is this deer, and next I am going to post some pictures of cattle.  I have a great love of animals generally, and very much like getting close in to them with a telephoto.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Standard v2 profile; Westhay Moor Drove, on the Somerset Levels northeast of Westhay; 12 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 377 – ANIMAL 5

 

 


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

Farm cat beside the road at Redlake Farm, on Queen’s Sedge Moor – see this link for the first image in this series, and much context; there are other images from this series here 2 3 4 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral V2 profile; Redlake Farm, Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 24 May 2019.

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ARCHIVE 410 – BARN OWL, ASLEEP (MONO)

 

 


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Barn Owl, asleep, at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 363 – ANIMAL 4

 

 


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

Beside the road at Redlake Farm, on Queen’s Sedge Moor – see this link for an earlier image in this series, and much context; there are other images from this little series here 2 3 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral V2 profile; Redlake Farm, Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 24 May 2019.

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ARCHIVE 409 – GREY SQUIRREL (MONO)

 

 


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Grey Squirrel outside our kitchen window; 16 Dec 2009.

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 into mono and toned in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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