BIRDS 103 – HERRING GULL IN CITY CENTRE HABITAT

 

 


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Herring Gull Larus argentatus at a city centre food source.  An adult, in breeding plumage.

Gulls?  Rats with wings is one name I’ve heard for them but, as always, I love them, having grown up alongside them all those years ago – this is a photo for you, Lynn, my ex-birder friend – enjoy!

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Welsh Back, central Bristol; 2 Feb 2018.
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TALKING IMAGES 37 – I’M SLOWING DOWN, FOR AWHILE

 

 

Mannequin, seared by sunlight in a Cornish shop window

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The simple fact is, I very much enjoy blogging as a means of self-expression.  There’s the creation of the images, all of the attendant writing too (I love writing!) – and last but certainly not least the communication with like minds around the world – I enjoy talking with you all very much!  Also, there is not the slightest doubt that these years of blogging have been inspirational for me, certainly (to my eyes at least) improving my photography.
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A dear, warm creature, a being whom it is simply a pleasure to be with

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However, I have two large projects in hand, and I need to spend less time blogging for a month or two, to complete them.  One of these projects is the creation of my (more or less) annual Blurb photobook which, amongst other things, contains my favourite photos from the preceding 12 months along with their captions and text.  I have around 20 of these books now, some the annual volumes and some other, specific projects, and I find them a very convenient way of producing hard copies of my favourite work; they are very good to look back through.
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Someone special, from long ago and far away

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So, whereas I’ve been producing around six posts a week, this will decrease for awhile – assuming that is that I can restrain my creative enthusiasm!  And for today, here are some favourite images – faces from the archives – two people, someone quite artificial, and two beautiful animals.  Clicking onto these images will enlarge them, click onto them again to further enlarge them.
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Great Grey Owl – we looked at each other

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Selfie, with trademark cap and hulking Nikon DSLR

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PEOPLE 317 – GOING TO WORK 50 >>> PHEW! NEVER THOUGHT THIS SERIES WOULD REACH 50!!!

 

 

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Phew!!! >>> well!!! >>>  the first of these Going To Work images was posted way back on 23 July 2016, and I never thought this series would still be ongoing!  The pictures have received some favourable words along the way, and for those I’m very grateful – simple fact is, such opinions provide encouragement, they help me to keep on keeping on with photography generally >>> so >>> thank you!

Where is this series going now?  Well, as usual, I’ve no idea.  I’ll just see what comes up.  But two points to make.

First, this series has been significantly facilitated by the portability of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2 cameras – I take only one of these cameras and one lens with me on my long walks around the city, and they are eminently compact and portable.  I’ve also used the heavier Nikon DSLRs once or twice – and there’s getting away from the fact that for pinpoint focus in situations with very poor light and/or movement, these bigger DSLRs (D700 and D800) have the edge. But, camera portability is certainly a factor, and especially so for a no-longer-so-young(!) person like me.

And then second, maybe my having retired (nearly 5 years ago now) has allowed me to get outside of the “work ethic”, necessary as it is in any society, and to stand back from it a bit.  Maybe being on the outside looking in – after all those decades spent on the inside looking out –  has produced a more detached perspective.  And so to early mornings photographing the city rush hour, and the thought that five days on and two off each week – and a life outside of work to lead too –  can be quite a punishing schedule.

And so to this picture.  Just before sunrise, I was on a traffic island in the middle of the busy dual carriageway below Temple Meads railway station, leaning back against a street light to steady the camera and watching the steamy windows of the towering double-decker buses as they arrived with their cargoes of inbound workers.  Several buses would arrive at once, and so to firing off quick series of single shots (rather than motorised bursts) before waiting for the next gaggle of buses to pull ponderously in.  I looked along the windows on the upper deck of a bus, this woman’s red coat caught my eye, I took one shot, she looked at me and I fired again. 

Technique: the light was dismal – 6400 ISO, 1/45th second with the 305mm lens wide open at f4.8 – but the image stabilisation (+ leaning on the street light!) held it steady.  One thing about these mirrorless cameras is that, since they do not have a mirror, there is no vibration as the mirror moves during an exposure (mirror slap) and so they can take sharper pictures at lower shutter speeds than DSLRs.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Clicking onto this image will open a larger version in a separate window, and clicking onto that will further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Temple Gate, in Bristol City centre; 2 Feb 2018.

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PEOPLE 316 – YOUNG GIRL (MONO)

 

 


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One of our friends’ daughters; growing up very fast now. 

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; centre-weighted metering; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Warm Tone Paper preset and adding a moderate coffee tone.
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STILL LIFE 194 – A GOOD FRIEND 3 (MONO)

 

 


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Another look at this very friendly creature, who is living out her life with our friends.

There are earlier images of her here and here .

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset; Bristol; 26 Aug 2017.
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STILL LIFE 191 – A GOOD FRIEND 2 (MONO)

 

 


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Another picture of this sociable and (usually) gentle being.  I find that talking very quietly to cats engages their attention – they open their eyes and look at you.  And so it was here.

Eye contact, we were looking into one another’s eyes.  Who knows what was in her mind?  Whatever it was, I felt it a privilege – I always feel it a privilege – to be able to interact with another living being, a being from another species, in this way.

Focus is on the right eye and, with the lens’s aperture wide open at f2.8, everything else was left to look after itself in terms of sharpness.

Another image can be found here .

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate II preset and adding a moderate coffee tone.
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ARCHIVE 337 – MAASAI (MONO)

 

 


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Young Maasai men, below the Nguruman Escarpment (the western wall of the rift valley), near Lake Magadi in southern Kenya; March 1979.

We had set up camp for a long weekend and these young men came to see us every day. Both are armed with the long spears used, amongst other things, to ward off or kill lions.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro.

UPDATE: as always, I regret not taking more photographs of Kenyan people during my years in that interesting and hospitable country; I treasure those pictures that I do have.  And I am not referring only to traditionally dressed people like these, but really to all people.  However, in those days I was a different photographic animal – primarily a birder (tho taking very few photos of birds), professionally a geologist – and photographing lots of landscapes amongst other things.
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PEOPLE 311- GOING TO WORK 45

 

 


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The early bus, and a single passenger, impassive, quite small within the frame, seen through a grimy bus window and surrounded by the steamy, colourful, half-seen world of the city commute.

To me there is something quite formal about this image, almost like a picture of someone in an identity parade – I think these feelings derive from the profile view, the completely conventional sitting pose (there’s something almost military here), the dark clothes, the impassive expression and the conventional haircut – almost Mr Everyman, en route (and maybe on autopilot too) for his workstation.

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 .  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 enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Union Street, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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STILL LIFE 185 – A GOOD FRIEND (MONO)

 

 

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Right from my very first day in this world, I grew up alongside a cat who was two years my senior.  I have never lived alongside another cat since then but have always loved them.

This one, who lives with friends, is a very beautiful and placid individual, who always seeks us out, who genuinely appears to like human company.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate II preset and adding a light coffee tone; Bristol; 1 Dec 2016.
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PEOPLE 308 – GOING TO WORK 42

 

 

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This is a single, split-second, grab shot, presented in its original orientation, and I’m not sure if anything at all is in focus – but with this blog you gotta take the rough with the unfocused, know what I mean?  🙂

Anyway, here we are – or, rather, here she is – on a cold, dark, winter’s morning, huddled and cocooned, head slightly bowed, her bag on her back, weaving through the noise, the lights and the traffic. 

We’ve all been there.

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 .  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 enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; the junction of Broad Street and High Street, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.

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