SOMERSET LEVELS 448 – SITTING IN THE CAR, LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW (MONO)

 

 


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Longer term readers of this blog will have heard this already, but for those more recently looking at my pictures – first, THANK YOU! for doing so – and second here is a little explanatory context re the Somerset Levels, which are an area in southwest England that you may not be familiar with.  My first Levels post – here – goes into more detail, but in essence the Levels are the second largest area of reclaimed flatlands in the UK, after those of East Anglia.  Many areas in the Levels have a distinctive landscape in that, rather than being enclosed by fences, the fields are separated by water-filled ditches, called rhynes (rhymes with “scenes”), which make for a very open and distinctive landscape.

And so to this picture.  Out on Tealham Moor, a favourite area of the Levels, early in the morning, I’d driven up Jack’s Drove, which is the single track, tarmac road visible upper left in the picture.  Since these Levels fields are surrounded by water-filled rhynes, each field must have a little bridge across the water, to allow the farmers to get their livestock, tractors, etc in and out of the pastures.  And so, very carefully, I backed my car onto one of these tiny bridges, so as not to leave it blocking the very narrow road.  And care is needed here, because any misjudgment would risk plunging both me and my vehicle into many feet of water and thick, muddy ooze.

The car safely parked, I relaxed, opened the driver’s window, looked out and was confronted by this quintessential Levels scene.  First, the landscape is dead flat and, in this area, below the level of the high tides that lap the shores of the Bristol Channel, which is not far off to the west.  Global warming and its attendant sea level rises are a very relevant issue here.  Only far away, on the horizon, can higher ground be seen.  These are the long line of the Polden Hills and, back in the days when most of the land in this photo consisted of impenetrable lakes and marshes, the Romans built a road along the top of these hills, to get down from Glastonbury to the sea.

Nearer at hand, the long line of the rhyne, the water-filled ditch, stretches away in front of us, with the black tarmac of Jack’s Drove up on its left.  The grassy tufts in the foreground are along the edge of the tiny bridge upon which the car is parked.  And to the right a short section of apparently purposeless fencing.  But its not purposeless at all.  The field’s gate is out of view to the right and, given half a chance, cows, sheep. etc would try to squeeze around the edge of the gate, and escape the field – and would either gain the bridge and make off down the road – or fall into the rhyne while trying.  And so every gate in this distinctive landscape has such short stretches of fencing on either side, to keep the livestock in.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 08 profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 14 Feb 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 187 – EARLY MORNING MIST, MAIN ROAD 2

 


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Walking a main road in the stillness of early morning.  No one else about; the roar and hiss of cars on the wet tarmac the only sounds.  Walking towards a favourite tree which leans elegantly out towards the road before rising on up vertically – a tree which I keep thinking may topple over on top of me one darkly inauspicious morning.  I’m surprised that the city’s mindless local authorities haven’t reduced it to sawdust long ago, but I certainly don’t want them to do that.

The streetlights lit up the mist, and I liked the way the tree’s lower branches were silhouetted against the glare.  So, completely forgetting to increase the TG-5’s ISO, I raised the camera and took two shots – handheld at 1/6th second and 74mm equivalent focal length.  The second shot is sharper but, as ever, that aspect is not of overriding importance to me – I prefer the look and composition of this; it reminds me more of the moment.

There is an earlier image if this tree here .  It will open in a separate window.  Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 74mm (equiv); 1/6th second, handheld; 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 22 Jan 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 186 – EARLY MORNING 42

 

 

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Rain during the night, and the streets glistening and reflective just before dawn.  On the right a bus shelter, and on the left, dimly seen, a supermarket’s advertisements.

There is another shot of this bus shelter here .

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 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 . All will open in separate windows. You can also search on the “early morning” tag.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 85mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 27 Dec 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 180 – MAIN ROAD, DAWN BREAKING

 

 


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After the long winter’s night, the sky starts to lighten above a main road as it enters Bristol’s southern suburbs.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Adobe Standard profile; south Bristol; 27 Jan 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 176 – EARLY MORNING 39

 

 


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A bitingly cold dawn with a hard frost: and so to slippery roads and pavements, and to a bright moon high in a completely clear sky.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 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 .  All will open in separate windows.  You can also search on the “early morning” tag.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 18 Jan 2020.

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OUTER SUBURBS 175 – EAST STREET

 

 

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Shopping in south Bristol: East Street in Bedminster, on the edge of the city centre, just to the south of the River Avon – and so “south of the river”, a phrase that, particularly on the city’s wealthier suburbs, may not always have been used charitably.  But for me this is a real place, tatty at the edges like Weston-super-Mare its true, but a place with real shops and real people – so much more human, interesting and alive than the large, generic, faceless facades of retail chain stores in the city centre.

And what to see in this first look?  Well, a narrow street; its not pedestrianized, but its mainly buses and delivery vehicles here, with the nearby main road taking the lion’s share of the through traffic.  And then large numbers of totally vandal-proof public seats, and large numbers of litter bins too – this street has a wonderful number of cafés, pubs and other eateries – this is not the gourmet capital of Bristol, those pretensions lie in wealthier neighbourhoods elsewhere, but here there are eateries for people who want good, simple food at reasonable prices – and what can be wrong with that?

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 21 Jan 2020.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 441 – CROSS STREET

 

 


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One of the narrow sidestreets in the older part of Weston’s town centre that I find so attractive.  Streets from my boyhood, I suppose.

Traffic coming up towards the camera is told very firmly by the large white arrow to turn right.  The twin yellow lines down either side of the street ban all parking and, near the camera, are in real need of repainting.  What else?  Well, the bags of refuse on the narrow pavement on the right; two vehicles parked very tightly in on the right further down, and the view right down this narrow street to the parked car at the far end.

Other recent pictures from Weston are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 12,800 ISO; in-camera production of jpeg from the raw file, using the Somber profile; Cross Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.

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PEOPLE 385 – GOING TO WORK 98

 

 


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New Year’s Eve, and an early morning bus enters south Bristol, on its journey up from the Somerset Levels.

Recent Going to Work posts are here: 93 94 95 96 97 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 31 Dec 2019.

GOING TO WORK: THE EARLIER POSTS: 1-92.

You can see a summary of the Going to Work series here .

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 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Each will open in a separate window.

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OUTER SUBURBS 171 – EARLY MORNING MIST, MAIN ROAD

 

 


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Walking amidst early morning’s dark uncertainties, the wild and welcome screams of gulls my only companions. 

And, alone still, reaching a road – with trees, mists, lights, and the sky slowly brightening.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 30 Dec 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 166 – COLD MORNING, AFTER RAIN

 

 

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The sky clears after rain, the first flushes of sunrise do nothing to dispel the penetrating cold, and a street lamp stands – a gaunt sentinel – above The Way Ahead.

And in the distance, the lights of cars, the slow and often halting journey to work in south Bristol.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 9 Dec 2019.

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