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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OUTER SUBURBS 189 – EAST STREET: PHOTOGRAPHING A FACADE

 

 


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Lower angle winter sunlight blazing across the side of a building – and not the slimmest creature in this whole world photographing it.

The first photo in this East Street series, with context, is here . Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 . Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 53mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; East Street, Bedminster, south Bristol; 21 Jan 2020.
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PEOPLE 386 – SELFIE WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS, SNOWMAN AND WARNING ABOUT WET FLOOR

 

 


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Down a dull sidestreet in a seaside town, and this last vestige of overhyped festive cheer – still warm and bright despite early January’s gloom, drizzle and inescapable realities.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 48mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Flat v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.
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ARCHIVE 427 – A TORTOISE, FUNCTIONAL HEADGEAR, AND ME

 

 


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Tortoise at Lake Bogoria, in the Kenya rift valley; November 1979.

These reptiles are helpless when lifted up from the ground but, in this situation, their last ditch, shock tactic is to eject great spurts of urine – hence when picking one up it pays to keep its rear end pointed away from yourself and anyone you are friendly with!

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro.

And below is a decidedly slimmer version of me taking the photo – this shot courtesy of an old friend in The States.  I’m using the OM-1 with a 50mm F1.4 silvernose Zuiko llens – and sporting the legend that was Photographic Hat. This hat was originally bright orange, and I’d bought it to shield my hairless dome from the sun during fieldwork in the Middle East. Later, bleached and sunblasted, it accompanied me to Kenya.

The hat’s crown was fast getting too thin to be an effective sun blocker so, to help matters, I hacked a circle of denim from an old pair of jeans and very crudely “sewed” it over the hat’s decaying top. I was of course wearing a faded rag on my head, but the great thing that drew me to it – and the origin of its name – was that its limp brim fell down just nicely over the gap between my glasses and my camera’s viewfinder, so that I could always see well to photograph, even in the blazing, overhead sunlight of the equatorial midday.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 426 – UNINTENTIONAL SELFIE WITH PARKED CAR AND UMBRELLA

 

 


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Ah, the best laid plans of mice and FATmen!!!  Roaming the damp streets of Weston-super-Mare, where the Somerset Levels run down to the sea.   Seeing a wet car with an opened umbrella inside, thinking it might make an interesting image >>> and clean forgetting to check if my reflection or shadow were in the frame!  Must be losing it … tho (doubtless intending kindly reassurance) you might wonder how I can lose something I never had in the first place ….. yes, well …. good point …..

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 55mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 8 Nov 2019.
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THE ANSWERS TO LIFE’S PROBLEMS

 

 

Selfie with a spiral staircase
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Two aspects of what I laughingly call My Lifestyle have come together in glorious conjunction this stormy morn.

First, although no longer watching it quite so much these days, I’m a big fan of The Simpsons and in particular, of Homer – someone who in my more imaginative moments certainly ascends to the status of role model.

And then second, and not at all in keeping with the times, I still use – and depend enthusiastically upon – a paper diary >>> which leads to simple but rock solid logic along the lines of “If it goes into the diary it’ll get done, even if its something far ahead in the future” – a state of affairs which my wife has quickly come to see can have its very positive side (and the more so should she ever become adept at forging my scrawl  … ).

And so, sitting down to breakfast this morning – salmon fishcakes with chilli and ginger, accompanied by mango, cooked tomatoes, pickled garlic and hot lime pickle – I turned to today’s page in my diary and was instantly uplifted, instantly set up for the day.  Why?  How?  Well, because my dairy has a quote on every page, and today’s quote is from Homer himself: 

 

When will I learn?  The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle.  They’re on TV.

 

What can I say???  Well …. Role model!!! >>> ROLE MODEL!!!!!!

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PEOPLE 374 – VERY OLD FRIENDS (MONO)

 

 


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Life moves on.  As Dylan Thomas so wonderfully put it, in Under Milk Wood, “Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”

And so to an Italian restaurant in a reasonably run down, seaside town, and five people around a table – already hitting the electric sauce, if only moderately, and good naturedly corralling a waiter into taking a snap of the occasion.  He was somewhat disconcerted by “Focus on the wine bottle!”.  While after “Squeeze yourself right back into that corner to get us all in!”, it had to be explained that we were not in fact all planning to try and get in the corner with him.  Ah, the youth of today …  But, anyway, here is the result.

So just who are these smiling worthies?  Well, as a landmark, something to navigate by when in distress on the sea, the lolling lout front right (magnified by proximity to the TG-5’s wide angle lens I might add) is me >>> does my tum look big in this??? 

Then the two women are the partners of the two blokes opposite me.

But the two blokes opposite me are the thing really, because we three were in the same school in the 1960s.  I’ve been friends with one nearest the camera for 60 years at least, we were in adjacent primary schools.  And the other is one of the two luminaries responsible for getting me into birdwatching in 1967, an interest that was to later take me to Kenya for 12 wonderful years – an experience from which, thank goodness, I’ve never quite recovered.

And although three of us live locally, the other very special thing about this occasion is that the other couple live on the other side of the world, so that we see them only very occasionally.

And so here we three are, back in our home town as it happens, and not a stone’s throw from the primary schools where two of us started out.  And we are all stunned by the fact that, having known each other since our childhoods, we are now all approaching our 70th birthdays.

“Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”
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PEOPLE 372 – SELFIE, WITH TRAINERS, CAR DOOR HANDLE AND (REDUCED!) BEER GUT

 

 


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Just getting back from one of my marathon walks around Bristol’s outer suburbs and, seeing my neighbour sitting in his car, leaned on the ledge of the open passenger door window to pass the time of day with him.  Looking down, I could see the stripes of my old shirt reflected in the car’s bodywork and door handle and, well, the TG-5 was as always in my pocket …  My neighbour considered me mad of course, but then that’s just one, evidently minority, opinion.

So, taking the image from the top, what’s here?  At the top, the fully wound down window of the car between its black rubber seals – not sure if that’s the right word, but you know what I mean.

Below which is a curved surface, reflected in which can be seen the blue Bristol sky, together with my two rather scrawny hands, between which is a dark area that is the camera, the TG-5.

Below again is this huge, rounded and striped affair which is my paunch (well I am The FATman …) – but nothing like as big as it used to be, despite having been nourished by many thousands of Belgian golden ales, and in any case thankfully covered up by an old striped shirt.  To either side of me are the reflected reds and greens of a garden.

Below that again, the car’s door handle, reflecting clouds in Bristol’s blue sky, along with more of my shirt’s stripes.

And, finally, far below, my neighbour’s driveway and the toes of my trainers.

A souvenir – perhaps eccentric, perhaps not – of passing the time of day for a few minutes with my neighbour, on a sunny Bristol afternoon.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 19 Aug 2019.
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