OUTER SUBURBS 123 – LOOKING INTO THE LIGHT, TOWARDS A VAN (MONO)

 

 


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Looking up a hill after a rain shower – looking up along a gutter in fact – towards a van almost silhouetted by the harsh winter light.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 .  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: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Monotone profile; south Bristol; 7 Feb 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 384 – LOOKING PAST GRASSES, TOWARDS TREES

 

 


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

Looking at the grove of trees on Common Moor – there is more context here: 1 .  Sitting relatively low down in the car, I was able to look through these grasses towards the grove of trees.  The fine, pale, elongated specks in the image, best seen when it is enlarged, are falling raindrops – the shutter speed was 1/320th second.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Standard v2 profile; Chasey’s Drove, on Common Moor north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 19 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 383 – GROVE OF TREES (MONO)

 

 


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A wet, grey morning, and driving slowly westwards along the dead straight – and deserted – Chasey’s Drove, on Common Moor north of Glastonbury.  I’d been exploring here before, and attracted by the look of groves of low trees beside the road – and so to a more leisurely look.  Rain emptied from the overcast, but the direction of the slight breeze meant that I could open the driver’s window beside me and still remain more or less dry.  And so to looking out of my car’s window into this grove of low trees and taking pictures.

Technique: I’ve talked before ( here ) about utilising the ability of modern cameras to internally process Raw files in various ways to produce jpegs.  With the tree images from this wet morning, I found that the Camera Graphite (CG) picture control of the Z 6 produced promising results in-camera, and that Lightroom (LR) has a CG profile that mimics that of the camera.  And so to using LR’s CG profile as a first step in the processing, followed up by further processing in LR.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Chasey’s Drove, on Common Moor north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 19 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 381 – WET MORNING

 

 

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Pulled over by the side of a single track lane, as rain empties from grey overcast at 6.44am.  And vastly appreciating the luxury of engaging in such early morning photography via a car.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Long Drove on Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wells; 19 July 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 120 – PARKED CAR

 

 


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Parked car, after rain shower.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique:  TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 1250 ISO; Lightroom, starting the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 28 Feb 2019.
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ARCHIVE 412 – RAINY DAY, MOTORWAY SERVICES

 

 


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View through our windscreen on a rainy day; Membury Services, on the M4 in Berkshire; 1 June 2016.

Off eastwards to Berkshire to see a friend, with a (now habitual) stop in a motorway services for sustenance en route.  It was a wet morning and, quite by chance, we parked opposite a red car.  I blinked my way out of “driving mode”, looked around and this filled the view out in front of us.

This is very far from the first picture I’ve ever taken through a wet window, and I’m sure very far from the last too.  For me, blur and softness have their place in images, wall to wall sharpness is not the be all and end all of things.  Interestingly, this week’s edition of Amateur Photographer magazine (23 July 2016) is devoted to Sharpness, the Editor kicking things off with “Today’s photographers are obsessed with sharpness in a way that we never used to be.”.  And he’s right.  But, for me, its always the content of an image that comes first, and the technicalities second.  However next week’s AP issue is all about blur – so that’s alright then!

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 95mm; 800 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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BRISTOL 143 – PAVEMENT ADVERTISING

 

 


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Passing time in central Bristol: confrontation with advertising boards standing up four-square before me on a wet morning’s pavement.

There is another picture in this short series here: 1 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 25 June 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 365 – THE ROAD NORTH TOWARDS GODNEY (MONO)

 

 


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

A dark, wet morning on the Somerset Levels, looking back up the road to the village of Godney, on the horizon. 

On the left, the stump of a heavily pollarded Willow, crowned by a few new leaves but close to collapse.

You can find out more about pollarding trees, and about the Somerset Levels too, here .

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 03 profile; Godney Road, looking north towards the village of Godney, northwest of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 14 June 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 117 – PHONE BOX, WET MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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Street scene; and late spring’s feelgood factor … some  warmth … some less dull light … not too much to ask really … not being quite fulfilled.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 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 53a 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and adding a light Selenium tone; south Bristol; 8 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 356 – IT FELT GOOD TO BE ALIVE

 

 

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I’d driven down to the end of the little, single track road – Allermoor Drove – that runs out westwards onto Aller Moor, on the Somerset Levels.  It wasn’t actually the end of the drove as that continues onwards as a rough track, but my days of driving saloon cars off-road are long past and, indeed, far away, on another continent.  But, anyway, I’d turned the car around ready for departure, and was downing hot, sweet coffee while demolishing a thick, brown, bitter marmalade sandwich.

And beside me was a water-filled ditch – a rhyne – dense with summer’s lush growth.  And from that ditch was coming the loud, reeling song of a Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus if you want to know.  That small bird had flown – probably mainly by night – all the way from sub-Saharan Africa to breed in this little, wet ditch in Somerset.  Probably, it had bred in this ditch last year too and, if it survives, it will be here next year to do so again.  The Germans have a word for this, it is ortstreuer, this almost fanatical attachment to one small breeding site on a vast continent.

And as I stood there listening to that loud, reeling song, the bird shot up into the air several times in his fierce, hormone-driven, territorial frenzy, before dropping back once more into the safety of the ditch’s lush green depths.  And of course I know Sedge Warblers from before – those I encountered seeing out the northern winters in Africa’s warm, dense, insect ridden lushnesses – and those long before that, 50 years and more ago now, when I first started looking at birds, here in Somerset.

And as I stood there listening to that loud and lusty song, it felt good to be there with that bird, it felt good in fact to be alive, and I found myself talking to him – “Yes, come on, do it, go for it, go for it!!!”.  And that felt good too.  But then I often do such things when anything like in contact with the natural world.

Beside the ditch there was a field gate, with a long strand of orange bailer twine hanging from it, being blown about by the breeze, and a carpet of white wildflowers stretching out beyond.   And as I photographed that gate, the first, uncertain splashes of rain were cool on the back of my neck, and suddenly they were a downpour.

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I ran for the car, hunched over the camera, trying to shield it from the streaming water.  And so into the car, slamming the door, but the ******* electric window was down and I couldn’t find the car keys to switch the ignition on to raise it again – a plague on electric windows!!!  The rain poured into the car.  I cursed savagely and pulled my backpack over the two cameras on the seat beside me, trying to keep them dry.  The keys appeared, the window closed, I cursed some more, and the downpour drummed on the car.  And as I looked out through the streaming windscreen, the view before me – the trees, the sky, the little road – came alive and dissolved into a living, moving mass, and picking up the X-T2, I photographed that too.
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And, amongst all of that Nature, raw and real, it continued to feel good to be alive.
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Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens; 100 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Aller Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 14 June 2019.

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