STILL LIFE 99 – PARKED CAR REFLECTING ARCHITECTURE AND BLUE SKY

 

 

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Reflections in the bodywork of a parked car.  The blue sky can be seen left of centre, with distorted reflections of buildings around it.  The other reflections are from the car itself.

Technique: a first for this blog, in that although Lightroom has been used afterwards for final processing, this image was initially generated by the X-T2’s Raw Conversion facility.  In-camera, this facility allows Raw files to be edited in various ways – Push/Pull Processing, Film Simulation, Dynamic Range, Grain Effect, White Balance, Cropping, etc, etc – and then to be saved as jpegs while leaving the original Raw files intact.  In this case, the Raw file was given the look of Fuji’s Velvia film simulation, which (as users of Velvia film may remember), boosts colours and contrast.  Sitting down with the camera after a photo session, I find this a useful and creative way of looking through what the session has captured, as well as experimenting with the images to see what looks and crops may be eyecatching – and then saving those that appear useful.

I have a sneaking feeling that some photographic purists might consider this cheating, because I’m letting the camera do some of the processing work for me whereas I ought to be handling the whole of the processing myself in eg Lightroom.  Well, two thoughts about that.  First, I have always said – and it has always been a very core part of my photographic thinking – that all that matters in photography is the final image, irrespective of the way(s) in which it has been generated.  And second, if I generate something like this image, am I really going to expend lots of time and energy seeking to replicate it with Lightroom, when I already have something useable to hand?

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; jpeg with the Velvia film simulation generated from a Raw file in-camera; Lightroom; King Street, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.

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PEOPLE 261 – GOING TO WORK 21

 

 


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Woman driver, an anonymous someone in the morning rush hour – a picture to look deeply into, almost abstract, a traveller cocooned in a cacophony of reflection.

Again a grab shot, the traffic surged forward, momentarily paused, and there was just time for a single, frantic shot before the great metal torrent streamed off again on its way into the city.

This is a restricted crop from the very centre of the image, but the X-T2’s 24 megapixels in the less than full-frame sized APS-C sensor certainly helps when using such small parts of the capture.

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 and 20.  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click on the enlarged image once more to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 276mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.

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STILL LIFE 88 – PARKED CARS

 

 

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Looking along a line of parked cars, Lower Maudlin St, central Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.

Composition: I have a visual fetish for looking along lines of objects – vehicles, buildings’ windows and facades, trees and so on – that recede into the distance.  I suppose this is something to do with the convergence of such views, and the apparently diminishing scale of the objects.  In this case there was a building site on the right, with a big, pale, solid wooden fence between it and the pavement.  In the bright sunlight, this stockade was reflecting a lot of light onto the line of closely parked cars – and so to focusing on the mirror of the nearest car to establish a prominent, solid object to tie the rest of the composition to, and then letting the camera look on down the jumbled line of metallic shapes, with empty, sunlit pavement relatively featureless on the right.  The X-T2’s APS-C sensor gives greater depths of focus than full frame sensors, but even on f8 the close-in use of a long telephoto narrows the zone of sharp focus considerably, rendering the more distant cars as increasingly vague shapes and impressions.  A couple more car mirrors add some structure to that receding line of metallic chaos, and two red brake lights add welcome hot colour.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.
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STILL LIFE 86 – PARKED CAR

 

 

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Reflections in the bodywork of a parked car; Park Street, central Bristol.

Not an easy image to comprehend and maybe not intended for comprehension.  It has been rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.  The little door covering the fuel cap is the little circle with a raised finger hole, down just right of the picture’s centre.  Up left of that, and snaking slightly across from lower left to upper right, is the edge of the vehicle’s closed rear passenger door.

Technique: with me, with regard to photography (but maybe not much else), the great thing is not to overdo things.  And when it comes to visually overdoing things, Lightroom, with its myriad sliders, is an overdoing disaster just waiting to happen – its so easy in LR to end up unintentionally overcooked and garish – which for me is one of the few complete photographic no-no’s.  Undercooked is fine, intentionally overcooked is fine – but the real no-no is overcooking something and then trying to pass it off as reality.  So on first looking at this after processing it, I thought (and not for the first time) OMG!, what are you on, Lewis?!  But, looking back at the unprocessed image, and looking through the LR adjustments I’ve used, this is in fact not far from reality – which is a relief!  The car was not super clean, you can see dirt etc on it it you look closely but, in brilliant sunshine, it was parked next to something – and I can’t now remember what – that, on the low angle, brilliant sunshine, was extremely reflective.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and then click onto the enlarged image once again – recommended.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; rotated; 20 Jan 2017.
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STILL LIFE 82 – MAN ON FOOTBRIDGE

 

 

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Man, wearing sunglasses and walking across a footbridge, seen as a reflection in the waters below.

This must be amongst the most indecipherable and abstract images that I’ve ever posted.  It does represent reality, it is based on reality, but that reality has been heavily altered by digital post-processing – and then a frame has been added.

Technique: it is the reflection of a footbridge over water in Bristol’s Floating Harbour, with a man walking over it, walking towards the left.  First, because it is a reflection, it was upside down and so I’ve turned it right way up.  Then I’ve substantially lightened it in Lightroom, to restore many of the colours to what was originally a silhouette.  This radical lightening has removed most of the water’s blue tint – some can still be faintly seen right in the middle of the shot, and there are faint blue ripples coming across the top of the shot, just below the man’s head, from upper left towards lower right.  This lightening has also blasted much of the water’s surface to pure white, and so, because I have a white background to my blog, I’ve added a thin black border to outline the image’s space.  The thin yellow poles are the uprights which support the bridge’s guardrails, and the man is walking towards the left, just about between two of these yellow uprights.  The reflection of his head is distorted by the water’s ripples, but dark sunglasses can just be seen above his nose.

Is this an image that I like, and that I may go on liking?  Probably not, as its rather too contrived for my taste.  But I do think it worthwhile posting it, to show the effect.  What do you think?

Looking at this, I’m reminded of (a poor attempt at) the style of Salvador Dali, a Surrealist artist that I greatly admire – his Persistence of Memory (the “folding clocks”) hangs over our living room mantelpiece.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 137mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, including rotation by 180 degrees; Color Efex Pro 4; Pero’s Bridge, at The Waterfront, central Bristol; 20 Jan 2017.
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BRISTOL 117 – RIVER REFLECTION, THE WATERFRONT

 

 

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River reflection at The Waterfront, central Bristol; 3 Feb 2017.

Technique: contrast and colour saturation have been raised a little, because my aim here is not to represent the scene exactly as I saw it, but to produce an image that (hopefully!) is visually attractive.  Compositionally, the left side of the image has a bold design, with the warm brown at the top passing down into raggedly margined white, and then moving on further down to that prominent, vertical white and pale blue stripe.  It is almost as if that vertical white and pale blue stripe is a pillar with the areas of white and warm brown on top of it, almost as if the stripe is holding these two areas of colour aloft.  Moving right, the foreground patterning is more subtle, but there are focal points higher up – the bright golden reflection of a light, and the white structure with a dark central stripe at upper right, which is the most figurative (i.e. least abstract) element in the picture.

There is another river reflection image, taken nearby, here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Capture NX2.
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STILL LIFE 77 – REFLECTION OF A NEW BRIDGE

 

 

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Two reflections: a footbridge under construction across Bristol’s Floating Harbour lies dark in the shadows of early morning, and the top of a church spire (upper right) catches the sunrise.

Or – then again –  having just thrust a golden lance into the side of a giant black dragon (or, perhaps, millipede), St George has just popped off for a cup of what Bertie Wooster would undoubtedly term The Hot And Strengthening.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 195mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; 20 Jan 2017.
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ARCHIVE 270 – REFLECTION OF A SMALL BOAT

 

 

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The prow of a small boat in Mevagissey harbour, Cornwall, on a still morning; 24 Oct 2012.

I think this must be the most perfect reflection photo I’ve ever taken.  Conditions were ideal – an overcast morning with barely a whiff of breeze. 

This boat was moored at the quay, and the rusting chain is its mooring line.

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

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 240mm; 5000 ISO.

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STILL LIFE 74 – RED CAR 2

 

 

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Red car, Park Street, central Bristol; 9 Dec 2016.

The first of the two photos of this car is here, and is reproduced below.  This earlier version seems to me to be a flatter abstract, with less hard, recognisable structure. 

The second version, above, has some of the car’s lights in focus at upper left and so is slightly less unreal.

Which do you prefer?

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; rotated.

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STILL LIFE 72 – RED CAR 1

 

 

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Red car, Park Street, central Bristol; 9 Dec 2016.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; rotated.
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