SOMERSET LEVELS 434 – ANOTHER WORLD (MONO)

 

 


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Walking in The Boulevard, one of Weston’s main streets.  It was a wet morning, rain forever around, and there was a lot of surface water.  In my path, a large puddle spread across the pavement and, well before I reached it, I could see reflections in it – and so to ramping the telezoom up to 300mm and, standing quite some distance back from it, looking at and into this puddle.

I was looking into another world.  There was the reflection of a tall street lamp and, nearer, a street sign too, and the patterns of paving stones were also visible.  I’d taken several frames when the reflection of a gull suddenly passed through the frame – and I managed a single shot before it was gone.  And thence to simplifying the image by presenting it in mono, and presenting it upside down to make it more readable, while preserving the dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere.

And, in yet another (this time, bygone) world >>> opposite this spot, 60 years ago, a toy shop called Driver’s was an exciting centre in my young life – forever adding to my vast regiments of toy soldiers, and also allowing me to buy fireworks in the days when they were both affordable and freely available to youngsters like me.  For those of you old enough, do Penny Bangers, Jumping Jacks, Volcanoes and Catherine Wheels bring back any memories???  We youngsters used to light a Penny Banger (effectively a small explosive device, costing one OLD penny) and hold it until it started fizzing and was just about to explode, and then drop it into a puddle, when it would shoot across the surface of the water before blowing up: delighted – and retaining all our fingers too – we called it a Torpedo …..

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of raw file, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom; 180 degrees’ rotation;  The Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 425 – BESIDE EASTERN MOOR BRIDGE (MONO)

 

 


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Riverside reflections.

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 at 300mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Adobe Standard v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Cripps River, at Eastern Moor Bridge, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 31 May 2019.
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BIRDS 121 – MUTE SWAN 7 (MONO)

 

 


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I have been posting images of a family of swans swimming quietly away on Cripps River (see links to earlier images below).  Here, the three young swans swim off slowly up river.  The nearest one’s head is seen in profile as (s)he keeps me cautiously in view.  The other two are looking to either side.

Albeit its my picture and I’m inevitably biased, I have to say that I find calm and beauty here.  So many things in this world are otherwise, but here, on an insignificant backwater in Somerset, three young birds – momentarily (in the UK sense) and quite unconsciously – have formed themselves into a tableau which to me is visually and emotionally attractive.  As is usual, really, the Natural World is always worth looking at, never boring.

Earlier pictures of this meeting with swans are here: 1 2 .

All recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, including use of the Graphite profile and cropping; no further processing; Cripps River, at Eastern Moor Bridge, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 25 Oct 2019.
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BIRDS 116 – MUTE SWAN 5 (MONO)

 

 


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Immature Mute Swans, moving slowly away while keeping me cautiously in view, on Cripps River.  I’d come upon a family of these birds on the river bank and, keeping quiet and still, started taking pictures.  I looked at them, they looked at me and then, unhurriedly and gently, they made their way down to the water’s edge, and slowly moved off upstream.

This is a jpeg generated and cropped in-camera from a raw file, using the Graphite profile, with no further processing in Lightroom.  Because my blog has a white background, I’d wondered about adding a thin black border in Silver Efex Pro 2, but then decided to leave these birds floating within a wider whiteness.

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 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 APS-C mode to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, including use of the Graphite profile and cropping; no further processing; Cripps River, at Eastern Moor Bridge, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 25 Oct 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 142 – PICNIC TABLE AND SEEDING GRASSES, AFTER RAIN

 

 


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After an early shower, the sun rises above a children’s playground and autumn is just around the corner.

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Technique: TG-5 at 80mm (equiv); 100 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 29 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 403 – THE RIVER SHEPPEY, BESIDE ASH MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Another early morning down on the Somerset Levels: I stopped the car along Hurn Drove and got out beside a little footbridge over the River Sheppey.  Fine tall trees on the river’s bank were reflected in its still waters, cows (as inquisitive as ever) came over to see what I was about, and beyond them the flatness of Ash Moor receded off onto the distance.

There are earlier pictures of the River Sheppey here: 1 2 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Sepia Landscape preset and adding a light Coffee tone; beside Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 30 Aug 2019.
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PEOPLE 372 – SELFIE, WITH TRAINERS, CAR DOOR HANDLE AND (REDUCED!) BEER GUT

 

 


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Just getting back from one of my marathon walks around Bristol’s outer suburbs and, seeing my neighbour sitting in his car, leaned on the ledge of the open passenger door window to pass the time of day with him.  Looking down, I could see the stripes of my old shirt reflected in the car’s bodywork and door handle and, well, the TG-5 was as always in my pocket …  My neighbour considered me mad of course, but then that’s just one, evidently minority, opinion.

So, taking the image from the top, what’s here?  At the top, the fully wound down window of the car between its black rubber seals – not sure if that’s the right word, but you know what I mean.

Below which is a curved surface, reflected in which can be seen the blue Bristol sky, together with my two rather scrawny hands, between which is a dark area that is the camera, the TG-5.

Below again is this huge, rounded and striped affair which is my paunch (well I am The FATman …) – but nothing like as big as it used to be, despite having been nourished by many thousands of Belgian golden ales, and in any case thankfully covered up by an old striped shirt.  To either side of me are the reflected reds and greens of a garden.

Below that again, the car’s door handle, reflecting clouds in Bristol’s blue sky, along with more of my shirt’s stripes.

And, finally, far below, my neighbour’s driveway and the toes of my trainers.

A souvenir – perhaps eccentric, perhaps not – of passing the time of day for a few minutes with my neighbour, on a sunny Bristol afternoon.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 19 Aug 2019.
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BRISTOL 150 – PARKED CAR 4: STRIP OF REFLECTED LIGHT ON A CAR DOOR (MONO)

 

 


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Early morning, low angle sunshine beside the railway station, and the door of a parked car is hit by a stray beam of bright reflected light.

A Minimalist image, presented in black and white to make it more so.  There’s really very little to see here – just the door handle and the narrow gap between the door and the rest of the car’s bodywork, both rendered in sharp focus; and, at bottom left, the lower edge of the door and the shadowed road below it.  And, finally, the bright band of reflected light, presumably coming from a nearby sunlit window pane.

This is the camera catching and preserving a tiny part of a much larger scene during a brief moment in time.  In itself, the scene is insignificant but, as always, it is good to see it, it is good to look at our surroundings, rather than just casually glancing over them while thinking of other – possibly equally trivial – things.  It is always good to engage with Reality, even mundane Reality, in this way >>> and the more so if you have an interest in the visual world.

There are earlier images in this Parked Car series here: 1 2 3 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; flipped; beside Temple Meads railway station, in central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 378 – MOMENTS OF UNEASE

 

 

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Driving eastwards on Hearty Moor, driving towards the rising sun.  A farmer in a huge 4×4 stopped, looked down at my little car and me, and announced that his cows were on their way down the road towards me, but “just pull over to the side and you’ll be fine!”.

Well, a narrow – in fact single track – road, there was nowhere else to go.  And so to really large, living things moving slowly down the road past me, to huge faces brushing up against the car windows and, catching sight of me within, shying away in panic; and in one unnerving instance, one of their significant bulks trying to squeeze through the little gap between the car and the hedge …

Well, you say, they were only cows, but I have two takes on this.

First, and on the positive side, I used to take paying guests on safari in Kenya, and often used to stop my vehicle in front of an advancing column of elephants, telling everyone to be very quiet and to keep still, and to let the elephants bear down upon us and flow around the vehicle like water around an island in a stream – once, one took even some greenery that had become entangled in our front bumper and ate it.   These were truly wonderful experiences, the great beasts moving slowly past us, the noises, the smells – it was said that an elephant can smell each individual occupant of a vehicle and remember the smell too!  BUT I was younger and less sensible then >>> although my hand was always on the vehicle’s ignition key, and I was in a larger, safari vehicle rather than my little car!  And having been studied for many years, the elephants of Amboseli Game Reserve were very used to people.  Although, even then, getting too near a big bull was really not a good idea.

But second, on the negative side – and much nearer home too – a cow broke out of its field near Bristol a few years back, panicked and ran off down the road.  And when confronted by a small car like mine, it ran up over the bonnet and roof in its panic, killing the driver.  And so to moments of unease on Hearty Moor, though still managing to fire off a few frames.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-25 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Hearty Moor, east of Glastonbury on the Somerset Levels; 24 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 372 – EDGE OF A WATERWAY

 

 


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Lush summer growth, beside water, on Tealham Moor.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Standard v2 profile; rotated; rhyne beside Jack’s Drove on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.

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