ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 83 – RAINY DAY, MOTORWAY SERVICES


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.

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



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 79 – WET AFTERNOON, GOING HOME


Going home from work.  Sitting glumly on a bus near Bristol’s Temple Meads railway station, while the rain streamed down and the dull winter’s afternoon grew ever duller.  It was sometime in February 2006, and the day had nothing in mind other than to expire gratefully, unremembered, into the darkness and anonymity of a wet night.

But I do remember this afternoon clearly – mainly thanks to this photo I suppose.  I was sitting in my favourite seat, right up in the front on the upper deck of the bus, but even that could not dispel the feelings of drabness and gloom brought on by the cold and damp weather – and, let’s face it, no approach to Temple Meads station passes through any of Bristol’s more attractive quarters.

The bus in front is covered is a vast green advert for Asda supermarkets, and to the right of it, alone on a traffic island, is a derelict hotel.   The red lights bring a touch of colour to the otherwise drab scene, and the rain spattered window recalls my feeling at that moment of wanting to be anywhere else in the world but stuck on this damned bus!

Click onto the image to see a larger version of all this dreadfulness in a separate window.

Technique: Olympus XA2 with Fuji Provia 400 colour slide film rated at 800 ISO – and fellow passengers all too audibly wondering what the hell this fat weirdo was doing taking pictures from a bus on a rainy day …



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 84 – THE ROAD NORTH TOWARDS GODNEY (MONO)


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 .

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

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.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 75 – THE CAR PARKED NEXT TO MINE (2) (MONO + COLOUR)


The car parked next to mine; Bristol, 22 Nov 2012.

A day of high winds and showers; raindrops are visible on the window.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 63mm (35mm equivalent); 400 ISO; rotated 90 degrees clockwise; using Silver Efex Pro’s Silhouette 025 E +0.5 preset as a starting point, with some colour restoration.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 59 – TREES IN MIST (MONO)


Trees in mist on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 27 Oct 2011.

Today was filthy weather down on the Levels – rain and more rain, and mud and water everywhere.  I tried to wipe the condensation off the inside of the windscreen but it remained wet, and the camera managed to focus through both this condensation inside the car and the mist and pouring rain outside.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 116mm; 3200 ISO.  The shot has been converted into mono in Silver Efex Pro 2:  I applied this software’s Antique Portrait preset, and reduced its pale vignette a little.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 66 – PHOTOS FROM A DRENCHED CAR 2


Photo taken through the streaming windows of my car during a torrential rainstorm.

The image is easy to decipher – assuming that you feel the need when faced with anything at all abstract, to know what you’re looking at – which most people do.  The car is parked on the other side of the road with its headlights reflecting off the wet tarmac.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 15 Jan 2018.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 41 – RAINY DAY, TADHAM MOOR

Rainy day on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 14 May 2013.

As the rain poured down, the view through the window of my car, towards a nearby Willow.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equiv); 200 ISO; conversion to mono, selective colour restoration and toning in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



SOMERSET LEVELS PICTURE GALLERY 3 – POSTS 21-30

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SOMERSET LEVELS PICTURE GALLERIES

I’m currently posting images from my large archive of photos from the Somerset Levels, an area not far from where I grew up that holds particular meaning and attraction for me.  These photos are being posted singly, with full text.

To make viewing of these images easier for those with little time to spare, I’m also posting groups of these images with minimal titles.  This is the third gallery – you can find the earlier galleries here: 1 2 .

Clicking onto each image will open a larger version in a separate window: doing this often enhances the image.

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21: Looking into the distance as a day begins; Hay Moor, Aug 2019.

22: Rain storm, photographed from inside my car; the Magic Carpark,Tadham Moor; Jan 2008.

23: Meadow with wildflowers, beside North Chine Drove; Jul 2011.

24: Sun rising behind fog bank, Tealham Moor; Apr 2015.

25: Red Ruby Devon, Peacock Farm, Mar 2012. Having large animals fill the frame has always attracted me – I like to get in close to them, usually with a sizeable telephoto and, in a way, turn them into landscapes. Here the accent is very much on the animal’s pale and coarsely hairy face, with its bulging eye and odd strands of pale straw. Then my eye is taken left to its wonderfully hairy ear and then, further left again, the dark flank fades off into abstraction.

26: Storm-blown trees; Tadham Moor, early on 23 Dec 2013. Taken through my car’s windscreen, during heavy rain.

27: Looking out across a misty landscape, early in the day; Rose Farm, south of Tarnock, May 2019.

28: Entrance to a field of recently cut grass, with a dead straight rhyne making off eastwards across the relatively young landscape of Queen’s Sedge Moor; July 2019.

29: The tips of coarse marsh grasses protruding above floodwater; Tadham Moor, Nov 2012.

30: Redlake Farm, Queen’s Sedge Moor; May 2019.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 62 – RAINY NIGHT

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In my opinion (with which you may not agree), this is a picture to look deeply into, to get right in there with the darkness, the rain and the bright lights.  Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Sitting in my car, waiting, a little nervously I suppose.  I mean, there may be people like me about.  And its just before dawn, on a rainy night.

Technique: TG-5 at 61mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 16 Jan 2019.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 58: DRIVING THROUGH THE STORM (MONO)

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The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 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 55 56 57 .  Each post will open in a separate window. 

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 143mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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