ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 29 – SELFIE IN A CITY SCENE


OK, some interpretation, working from left to right – and its best if you click onto the photo, if you’re in my blog, to see a larger version of the image in a separate window.

First, me, nattily attired in an old cap, with old, stained, black jogging bottoms, and an even older green fleece – a fetching ensemble (although just what it might fetch must remain open to conjecture) >>> but, as an ensemble, I think it works!

However, next right, the woman holding up her hands clearly doesn’t share that view – something like, in a high voice, “Just who is that GHASTLY person?!”.

Then the man in the blue shirt prefers just to look away.

And, on the far right, the whole thing is rounded off by scaffolding poles, distorted by the reflection and wrapped in yellow to prevent the unwary walking smack into them.

Welcome to my world?  Well, there are times when it can feel like that.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.



ARCHIVE PEOPLE 27 – REFLECTION OF A SHOPPER (MONO + COLOUR)


Reflection of a shopper in a shop window on Burnham-On-Sea’s High Street;  11 Sept 2014.

Walking back up Burnham’s High Street to lunch in the excellent Somerset & Dorset pub, this sale sign and mannequin on the opposite side of the road caught my eye – and so to autofocus and three quick exposures.  I was looking back at the window and, by sheer luck, the last if these shots caught the reflection of a man off to the left who was looking at the window display.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and selectively restoring colour.



ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 26 – SOMEDAY THE FLOWERS STOP


As George Harrison put it: All things must pass, all things must pass away.  And as a geologist, especially, that really resonates with me, it is a very basic part of my core knowledge and certainties.

And I visit this rural cemetery from time to time.  It is the cemetery of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, in Stanton Drew, not far from Bristol.  And while I do not identify in the slightest with the religious aspects of this place, I do find its cemetery a wonderfully peaceful and quiet place to wander in.  Being there instils me with a great feeling of peace, as well as being a great stimulus to reflection.  And I have never met another living soul there although, for all I know, I may always be surrounded by innumerable departed ones, which is certainly fine by me.

Most of the graves in this cemetery have no flowers on them, and that is the way of things.  There can of course be many reasons for this.  For example, there may be no one left to bring flowers, or those who would like to bring them live too far away or, then again, while bringing flowers has helped the grieving process, the survivors may have moved on, preferring to keep their departed ones in their minds, photographs and keepsakes.  I know this is the case with me.  I have lost two very close family members, both younger than myself,  and I no longer visit their grave, but no day passes without their presence, repeatedly – and often without sadness – in my thoughts.

I shall continue to walk in this churchyard.  It is by no means an exciting or exotic destination, there is not a trace of the “wow factor” in sight, but it has a very deep sense of peace, and of fundamental reality, which makes simply being there a deeply meaningful and thought provoking experience.  Does it, perhaps, provide some measure of respite from the rush, materialism, competition and aggression of the modern world?  That may well be the case.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 87mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.

ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 41 – TREES BESIDE A LAKE


The Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve is found on the Mendip Hills, south of Bristol.  It is an area of open ground made rugged by lead mining, and it includes a small lake.  I’ve done quite a bit of photography here over the past 15 years, including recently on a very cold, early morning.

What is this image looking at?  Well, I am standing on one side of the small lake, looking across it towards some small, bare trees on the opposite shore.  The sun is just rising behind me, and the lower parts of the trees and the ground around them are still in shadow but, above the shadow, the golden, low angle sunlight is bathing both the upper parts of the trees and the pale brown vegetation on the hillside behind.

It is a very still morning, with barely a ripple on the lake’s surface, and this liquid mirror is reflecting the hillside’s warm, sunlit browns, the bright blue of the clear sky, and the trees’ upper branches.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 106mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 40 – CORPORATE FOYER


City life: the clean, soulless hospitality of a corporate foyer, with traffic lights outside and more corporate architecture across the road.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 125mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 86 – REFLECTION IN THE RIVER BESIDE ASHMOOR DROVE (MONO)


Reflection in the river beside Ashmoor Drove, on Ash Moor in the Somerset Levels, southwest of Wells; 7 April 2007.

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

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 85mm; Fuji Sensia 100 colour slide film rated at 125 ISO; converted to mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: I’m an Anglo-Saxon enthusiast – actually I’m interested in the while period from the departure of the Romans from our shores in 410 CE to the Norman invasion in 1066 CE.  A fascinating period of history.  And one which, via the Anglo-Saxons, has led me to Tolkien and thus to The Lord of the Rings >>> and so, in this image, to an Ent, alive and swaying before me!  But whether swaying in a friendly way, or moving in a less friendly or even frenzied way, I cannot be sure.

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 76 – CAR PARKED BESIDE THE PAVEMENT


Parked car reflecting houses as the sun rises.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 46mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 8 June 2021.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 22 – NIGHTMARE FROM THE GUTTER


Nightmare! – the distorted reflection of a window seen in a car’s shattered wing mirror found lying in a gutter; 17 Oct 2004.

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

Technique: tripod-mounted OM-4 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide film.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



STILL LIFE 263 – WALL OF CONCRETE BLOCKS, DEFACED BY RED LINE


 

Strolling down tatty back alleys behind a row of small shops in the blazing summer’s sun, and reveling in the burgeoning and totally uncaring unkemptness of it all.  The shops’ fronts might look alright, but back here behind the facades there is only sordid and refuse strewn reality – what you see is very much what you get, and what you get is pure, artless, drab functionality, bereft of all thoughts of beauty or attractive design.

And I found a wall of made of concrete blocks – breeze blocks as we Brits call them – on which some bright young thing had scrawled a long red line.  Up behind the wall was a fence of crudely painted and rusting metal panels.  And in the foreground, parked up close and personal against the wall, a car, patterned by the bright reflections of its stark backdrop.

And – rather an epiphany I suppose – I realised that, should I linger too long in these scruffy and unkempt surroundings, anyone passing by might think me a very real part of them.  So I hastened swiftly on, anxious to give a better – if false – impression elsewhere.

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

Technique:  TG-5 at 49mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 1 June 2021.



STILL LIFE 262 – BARBERING LOUNGE


This car’s driver?  He’s inside, having his hair cut.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 320 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; flipped; south Bristol; 1 June 2021.

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