SOMERSET LEVELS 314 – LOOKING EAST, TOTNEY DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking eastwards along Totney Drove, a single track, tarmac road on Tadham Moor.  Tall Willows are silhouetted by the sunrise, and water-filled rhynes (ditches) flank the road on either side.  The distance is shrouded in fog, but the ghosts of cattle can just be made out in the background on the left.

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

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Tin Type preset; Totney Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 43 – CHRISTMAS IS HERE

 

 

Christmas is here: 1

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Christmas is here: 2

Christmas.  What does Christmas mean to me, what do I think about it?  Well, four things to mention.

First, as I see Christmas in the UK, its really a time for children.  I can well remember its magic 60 and more years ago and, regardless of how many of the myths children here do or don’t believe now, its still a magical time for them (and an increasingly expensive one for their parents).  I approach every Christmas hoping that the few children that I know, at least, will be happy.

Second, “The Christmas Story” and the other religious sides to Christmas are simply not me.  As Bob Dylan so succinctly put it in The Mighty Quinn: “It ain’t my cup of meat”.

And a common saying here is that Christmas is the Season of Goodwill whereas, being a bit picky perhaps, I’d prefer goodwill to be around during all the other seasons too 😉 .

And finally, I’m amazed by the vast and almost hysterical, materialistic and commercialised juggernaut that Christmas has become in the UK.  The two pictures here are not intended to allude to any connections between Christmas and the gutter, but to me they are symbolic of this vast commercialisation which, in Bristol at least, started making itself apparent around the beginning of September.  And, irreligious as I am, I do feel sorrow for those for whom Christmas has a religious significance: it must be very grim and disheartening to see it so swamped by the various non-spiritual behemoths.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Click twice onto the images to enlarge them in separate windows.

Technique: TG-5; Lightroom; south Bristol; 1 Dec 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 304 – TOTNEY DROVE, TADHAM MOOR

 

 


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Totney Drove, a tarmacked, single track lane, disappears off eastwards across Tadham Moor into fog made golden by the rising sun.  Only a few hundred years ago, this area was all wild marshland, with no roads or farms.  When the marshes and lakes were drained to make agricultural land, the Levels’ droves were a system of tracks made between the newly demarcated  fields, so that farmers could move their animals and produce to and from their land, without having to go through other farmers’ land.  A few of these droves, like this one, have been given a tarmac surface.

The glint of water down to the right is a rhyne (rhymes with seen), a deep, water-filled ditch, which does duty as a field boundary, fence and drainage channel in this very flat and wet countryside.

A very small rise in the lane, to the left of the two posts, shows where it passes over another small waterway that empties into the rhyne.  A thoughtful local authority has painted white lines (faintly seen here) on this tiny bridge’s tarmac – the droves are often very narrow, and pulling off onto the verges to let oncoming vehicles pass is commonplace, but pulling off on this tiny bridge, perhaps in mist and darkness, could be catastrophic.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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ARCHIVE 380 – BACK ROAD NEAR AKALA (MONO)

 

 


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Back road through farms near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

The wideangle lens makes the road appear in worse condition than it was – and, in any case, it was dry weather; tackling this in wet conditions would be something else again.

The VW Beetle was wonderful for this sort of thing.  No 4×4, just drive in the two rear wheels, the engine seated over the wheels – which made for very good grip –  and a large metal plate underneath most of the length of the car, to guard against rocks and boulders.

But the car took quite a hammering on this trip and, as I pulled out at the end of my stay for the long drive back to Nairobi, my front wheels had, unbeknown to me, taken such a pounding that they were facing outwards, i.e. away from each other.

This very soon wore both tyres completely bald and, when I came upon a police road block, I had a hard job persuading them to let me through.  Luckily there was an excellent garage specialising in VW repairs in Nairobi, and however badly I damaged the car, they were always able to fix it.

Another thing about this picture is that it was taken in a very fertile, agricultural landscape teeming with people.  I’ve only just stopped for a photo, and already there’s a young lad standing by the car.  If we were really to get stuck or break down, there were always plenty of willing hands to help push and pull us on our way.  They were friendly – and distinctly humorous – people.  Less friendly was the malaria, which initially got its teeth into me during this safari.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red preset.

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OUTER SUBURBS 12 – MODERN LIFE 2: SHATTERED COLOUR

 

 


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Something colourful, lying shattered, on the road

There is an earlier Modern Life post here: 1 .

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 .  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 enlarge it further.

Technique: TG-5 at 57mm (equiv); 1,000 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 3 Sept 2018.
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BRISTOL 130 – THE OUTER SUBURBS (MONO)

 

 


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Bristol’s city centre is actually quite small, it can be walked right across in an hour or so, but it is surrounded by suburbs that are vaster (and often wealthier) on the north, and smaller (and in many parts less well to do) on the south.  Most of my pictures of the city have been from the city centre but here is one quite far out in the southern suburbs.  This is the A37, known as the Wells Road, which is a main artery heading south out of the city towards the tiny city of Wells, and also Yeovil and – that (to me anyway) holiest of holies – the county of Dorset.

The edge of the city is not far ahead, perhaps a couple of miles or so, and beyond that are some of my favourite areas of countryside – the Chew Valley, the Mendip Hills and, of course – perhaps my spiritual home – the Somerset Levels.  This blog has image Categories for each of those areas – see the Categories drop-down list, which can be found in the sidebar, just below the gravatars of readers who have left Comments.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 129mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Provia/Standard film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset; south Bristol; 19 July 2016.
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STILL LIFE 238 – BOLLARDS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Roadside bollards.

There is another image like this here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset, adding a strong selenium tone, and selectively restoring colour; Corn Street, central Bristol; 19 July 2018.

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PEOPLE 342 – GOING TO WORK 72

 

 


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On the way to work:  walking up towards Bristol Bridge, early on a summer’s morning.

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, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 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: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using tilting and the Provia/Standard film simulation; near Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.
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PEOPLE 304 – GOING TO WORK 38

 

 


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Sunrise glistens on the road, as fast moving rush hour traffic turns sharply into Broad Street.

My ever over-fertile imagination conjures up the thought of the slipstream of these vehicles sending The FATman pirouetting backwards into a nearby fashionable men’s barbering salon (Now then, squire, we don’t serve your type in ‘ere!), but the reach of a 305mm lens does a lot to keep me out of trouble, while my appearance in such an establishment would be more of a surreal fiction than even this blog can support.

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, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37 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 yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Broad Street, central Bristol; 15 Dec 2017.
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STILL LIFE 175 – DUAL CARRIAGEWAY

 

 

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After a morning looking for low angle winter sunlight in the city, I walked back towards some (more!) food and a bus home.  I was walking beside a roaringly busy dual carriageway and the dazzling winter sun – providing at best only the very faintest warmth – was blasting across the road at me from the left.  Looking into the sun, across the road, I turned the X-T2 into portrait orientation and took this picture – which has here been rotated 90 degrees towards the left – anticlockwise – into landscape format.

What was the camera looking at?  The dual carriageway has a central crash barrier, with a stout metal girder above a solid concrete base.  On the left of the shot, this crash barrier throws a harsh black shadow onto the road’s surface.  Then, to the right of that, there is the black tarmac road surface, turned almost silver by the sun’s glare.  And then the thick white line that separates the road’s two inbound lanes.

The lane nearest the camera has a brown surface, to show that it leads to an exit from the dual carriageway.   Autumn leaves have been firmly crushed into this brown surface – in a way that they would not be crushed into real tarmac – until they have become pale and flattened, amorphous streaks of their former selves.  And so to an abstract image.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 640 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise; Temple Way, central Bristol; 1 Dec 2017.

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