ARCHIVE 592 – LOOKING INTO AN EMPTY BUILDING

 

 

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The FATman has you in his (actually rather wonderful) electronic viewfinder!

Or, then again, I’m pointing my camera into an empty building.  There’s really not much here.  My (double) reflection is given substance by a dark pillar in the building’s interior, and the rest of the picture shows a desolate and completely empty room – left by a business that has moved on –  with a large window on the left through which a building in the next street can be faintly be seen.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Quay Street, central Bristol; 20 Apr 2018.

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ARCHIVE 588 – SELFIE ON A BRIDGE

 

 


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Selfie on a footbridge, Lynmouth, Devon; 24 Sept 2009.

The striking shadow and backdrop were too good to miss, and I angled the camera so that, instead of being horizontal, the footbridge’s shadow cuts a powerful, stark diagonal right across the photo, more or less from top left to bottom right. The background, a dry overspill channel, is quite rugged and textured, and also variously green – this shot also works in black and white.

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

Technique: F6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide film rated at 800 ISO.

2016 UPDATE: its almost unreal to see that this photo was originally taken as a colour slide/transparency – taken on 35mm FILM!!!   And I was having the film push processed, which means that although the film was rated at 400 ISO, I asked the company who were going to develop it to treat it as if it had a speed of 800 ISO.  The firm were (and still are, I think) based in Cheltenham in the UK, and sending the exposed film to them – and receiving back the developed colour slides in a neat plastic box – all took place via the UK postal system. 

Provia 400X was a wonderful film, excellent colours, fine grain, and I had no hesitation in having it push processed up to 3200 ISO or even higher on occasion.  Had digital photography not come onto the scene, I would certainly still be using 400X (or its descendants) now (but see below).

And film?  Well its only 7 years since this photo was taken, but all that seems such a long time ago.  Would I ever go back to using film?  Definitely not, absolutely certainly not.  The creative advantages provided by digital photography simply cannot be ignored.

2020 UPDATE: regarding Provia 400X colour slide film, time moves on and I now read that it is no longer produced, and that all existing stocks are past their expirey date – this does not of course make them anything like unusable but, as I say, time moves on …

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 28 – A CAR, WATER AND ME

 

 


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Leaning over the wet bonnet of a car I’ll never be able to afford – and, increasingly eschewing materialism as I am – which I’m totally happy not to own.  I’m on the left, glorying as I often do in the TG-5’s f2 wide angle lens, the equivalent of 25mm in full-frame format.  I’m holding my glasses as well as the camera because I can’t see well through the camera’s screen with them on >>> LOL! getting old!  And I’m looking along the slightly curving streaks of water towards the car’s windscreen wipers at far right.

The picture is rotated 90 degrees clockwise.  Occidental eyes enter images on the left and move towards the right, so that my eyes move along the water streaks towards to the darker wipers and (hopefully!) stay on them, rather than exiting the image.

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 separated window – certainly recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; rotated; south Bristol; 19 July 2020.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 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 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 9 – SELFIE WITH BLUE LORRY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Self-portrait with blue lorry, near Peacock Farm, Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 24 Jul 2012.

I’m sitting very upright in the driving seat of my car, using a wideangle zoom to record both the scene in the rear view mirror, and the road ahead as seen through the windscreen.  Back home, I’ve converted the shot to mono using Capture NX2, but retained original colour – and added some brightness too – for the scene in the mirror.

The rows of small dots above the mirror are a device to help prevent dazzle when looking up at the mirror.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .  

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 800 ISO; manipulated with Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 554 – ME, A LONG TIME AGO

 

 


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Self portrait, aged about 19, retouching a print made in the university darkroom – what a poser! – dark framed glasses a la Manfred Mann (remember them?), and student beard derived the from the fact that I could never for the life of me see the purpose in shaving off my facial hair each day –  and so on the day that I left school in 1968 I started growing the beard that I’ve had all my life .

This is a digital photograph of a black and white print, made with the D700.  The original photo was taken with an Ilford Sportsman 35mm camera mounted on a  tripod.  I’d started black and white darkroom printing at school and did more at university, before going over almost entirely to colour slides when I got my first SLR, a Praktica LTL, in the 1970s.  The subject of the photo being retouched is another student, with whom I shared accommodation.  The dark retouching liquid is in the saucer, which is resting on a box of of the light-sensitive paper used to make black and white prints.

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

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ARCHIVE 506 – SHADES, SCOOBIE’S AND ME (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Selfie in the main street of Perranporth, Cornwall; 14 Apr 2016.

A rack of trendy sunglasses outside one of this seaside town’s many gift shops and The FATman – forever vain! – snapping his reflection.

And although we didn’t go in there and get our snouts in their trough, google tells me that Scoobie’s is a diner.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Harsh preset and selectively restoring colour; flipped to provide readable reflections.

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ARCHIVE 504 – THREE VIEWS OF ME

 

 


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Three views of me, in mirrors for sale outside a seaside gift shop in Mevagissey, Cornwall; 24 Oct 2012.

Landmarks?  Well, my cap, which is actually a designer piece (tho not bought with any knowledge of that), and which I’m told makes me look like either a train driver or a Japanese soldier.

And then the lens that I’m wedded to – the 70-300.  And lastly, left of center, my trademark paunch, without which I’d have to change my name – actually I do have to lose weight but that’s another thing!

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate windows – but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the nightmares!

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 481 – SELFIE OF YOUNG LOVE (MONO)

 

 


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Something heartwarming, something very good to see; West Bay, Dorset; 21 Apr 2015.

Strolling on the harbour wall at the diminutive Dorset resort of West Bay, with the damned great Nikon and zoom perched on my paunch – when over left a selfie was fired off – and I was just not quick enough to capture the action, although I did get a shot of them examining the result immediately afterwards.

And so, and not for the first time, I cursed my lack of alertness and speed – when they squared up for another shot at it – I mean, them – and this time I was ready.

Well, its truly candid, and as an image I like it.  Presentation in black and white removes the distractions of colour and takes us in solely to them and what they’re about.

But those thoughts only scratch the surface on this one.  I started off by describing it as heartwarming and I stick by that.  Its a moment of togetherness and affection, a moment shared – and that’s good to see.  Who knows what the future will bring for them?  Not knowing them at all, I wish them good luck and happiness.

See?  Underneath … well, actually, really quite deep underneath … I’m just something of an Old Softy ….

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum preset.

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ANNIVERSARY – FATMAN PHOTOS IS NINE

 

 

1: Spectacled Owl; 2014.

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FATman Photos has been infesting cyberspace for 9 years.  Getting to 10 would be nice but, in these uncertain times, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.  As always, I want to thank everyone who follows my blog or more casually looks at it.  Your Likes give me encouragement and motivation – its always good to be appreciated –  and likewise its always a pleasure to respond to your Comments.  I try to be inventive with my pictures and to include various genres, and in this anniversary post I’ve set myself the challenge of showing faces  – mostly with eyeball contact – from the animal (as opposed to the plant) world.  I hope it all hangs together, and that you enjoy these shots.  Thank you all, again.  Adrian

Click onto any image to see it enlarged in a separate window.

 

2: Mannequin, Penzance, Cornwall; 2011.

 

3: Newquay Aquarium, Cornwall; 2011.

 

4: The Somerset Levels; 2019.

 

5: How did Paul Simon put it? … I met an old lover on the street today

Nairobi, Kenya, 1979 – where have all the years gone?

 

6: Nightmare, dead in a bunch of bananas, Nairobi, Kenya; probably late 1970s.

 

7: Cape Teal regarding me with extreme suspicion as I crawl towards it, inching forward

with a long telephoto;  Slimbridge, Gloucestershire; 2010.

 

8:  Farm cat, on the Somerset Levels; 2019.

 

9: Cow, and flies, on the Somerset Levels, 2010; the animal’s flank forms the backdrop.

 

10: Fish market, Sohar, on the Batinah coast of Oman; mid 1970s.

 

11: Great Grey Owl; 2014.

 

12: One of a flock beside the road in West Littleton, South Gloucestershire; 2016.

 

13: Black-headed Gull, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 2011.

 

14: Young photographer, aged three in fact, 2012 >>> but growing up very fast now!

 

15: Red Ruby Devon, on the Somerset Levels; 2012.

 

16: I find that talking very quietly to cats engages their attention – they open their eyes and look at you.

And so it was here. Bristol, 2017.

 

17: Turnstone, a type of wader or shorebird, in breeding plumage, St Ives, Cornwall; 2013.

 

18: No-Time Toulouse … looking guilty about something …

or perhaps aghast at reports of a Belgian beer shortage …

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THOUGHTS 9 – CORONAVIRUS

 

 

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FATman Photos is, I suppose (= I hope!), a source of entertainment.  For all I know, there are those of you who go to look at it asking yourselves “So what’s the silly, drunken old fool raving on about now???”.  Which is absolutely fine with me.  But, as we all now find ourselves in totally uncharted and really quite disquieting territory, courtesy of coronavirus, it seems to me – personally – good to acknowledge that fact.  It seems good to talk about it, if only a bit, rather than keeping it to ourselves and “all bottled up inside”.  Perhaps leading to some discussion, perhaps not.

Am I doing this as a part of some coping mechanism, perhaps in an attempt to convince myself and possibly others too, that I’m not afraid?  Part of a coping mechanism it may be, but I have no hesitation in admitting that I’m feeling both apprehension and fear, and that my wife shares these feelings.  I’ve just turned 70 and I’m fat, and my wife is a few years younger, and through far more developed self-discipline, decidedly slimmer.  But we are probably both at risk and, with the UK government saying that the disease may peak here in three or four weeks’ time, its quite something to think that we could die soon.

As it is, we are simply trying to think and plan our way through the tough times that are certain to come.  Neither of us is in the slightest religious, and so we are trusting to our own cautious and hopefully thought through actions and precautions >>> and to luck!  Its as simple as that.

In the meantime, I intend continuing blogging, which is certainly good for my sanity – and hopefully for your’s too!  If I become infected, I’ll make no secret of the fact, and try to keep on blogging if I can.

Human behaviour is of interest to me >>> its interesting to see what we humans do! >>> and I’m lucky in having a psychologist friend who shares this interest, and who knows vastly more about people than I ever will.  And this virus is certainly having an effect on our behaviours.  There have been many, often expensive, “cures” advertised on the internet; the net is also awash with misinformation; there has been panic buying in supermarkets (though sales of Duvel, a Belgian golden ale and my favourite tipple, are so far mercifully steady); and in the UK there have been hate crimes – threats, abuse, etc –  directed at foreigners, who are perceived by some as carriers / introducers of the disease, completely ignoring the fact that it has been spread by our own people too.

So, two things.  First, the picture is me, a few years ago now, sitting at the dusty computer that is the birthplace of FATman Photos.  Next to me is a large reproduction of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, painted in 1907, which has long been a favourite painting – maybe my all out favourite painting – and a vast source of ongoing, artistic and general inspiration.  As an art lecturer taught me years ago, “The first painting painted not to please.”.

And second, I wish all of you well.  Good luck!  And let’s hope we all come through this OK.

Adrian

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