PEOPLE 321 – MYSELF, TWICE

 

 


.

Selfie, reflected in a window.

LOL!!! >>> if you really feel that you need to enlarge this, you can click onto it to open another version in a separate window, and then click onto that version to enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.
.
.
.

TALKING IMAGES 38 – MAKING PHOTOBOOKS AS HARD COPIES / MEMORIES

 

I think it important to make hard copies of digital photos so as:

  1. not to have to perpetually view them on computer etc screens;

  2. to have them in a format in which they can be enjoyed at leisure, eg in armchair with a nice, civilised cup of English tea or (far, far better!) lots of ravishingly good Belgian beer;

  3. to act as back ups in case said computers / other devices undergo meltdowns / have mid-life crises.

And, in addition to those points, I am certainly NOT willing to print my own copies of my photos due to:

  1. what do I do with all the accumulated prints when all my wall space is taken up?  If putting them into traditional photo albums, why not make a photobook instead???

  2. the truly extortionate price of printer inks, combined with the most probable need to make at least several attempts at printing each photo before I’m at all satisfied with it.

  3. I could send my photos to professional printers, but then I would be have masses of prints – that I’d have to mount in traditional albums.

And so to making photobooks.  Advantages / disadvantages?

  1. not cheap on the scale I (more or less annually) do it (= 100+ images and text) but:

  2. provides a ready made book / album that sits easily on a bookshelf and on my lap

  3. photo reproduction good

  4. other books can be highly personalised and given as (very well received) presents – birthdays, Christmases, full Moons,  etc

  5. provides mountains of long-lasting memories – I compile favourite pictures from my blog for a 12 month period, and have both them and their full blog text (which brings back even more memories) in the photobook (some of the images shown here have brief captions – their full blog text is elsewhere in the photobook).

  6. I use Blurb, but there are many other good providers of such services.

  7. Should you opt to use Blurb, you may have quite different aims / preferences to me.  But, in case they’re useful, these are the Blurb options I standardise on.  Book Size= Large Square 30cmx30cm, because its large, and easily displays both portrait and landscape format images.  High quality paper = Proline Pearl Photo paper = very strong and heavy, good image reproduction. Book cover: Hard Cover with ImageWrap.  Have never tried an image across two pages because of deep central gutter, but there is now a better facility.  NB >>> pay great attention to the Print Safe Areas!!!  I use the new BookWright software which I’ve downloaded.  To me, thinking about double page spreads is very important – do the two (or more) images on a double page spread sit comfortably with each other?  On opening double page spreads, maybe my eyes go straight to the right page, so I have something more striking there, and something less striking but still good on the left – my eyes start on the right, but then realise the left has goodies too – useful???  Or you may experience the exact opposite.  Whatever, this might be something to consider.

So, just to give some idea of the products, here are some pictures from some of my Blurb books.  These pictures are not all well reproduced and some have actually been photographed on my computer screen – they come from the book I’m working on now – but they will give you an idea of what such books look like – and of course far more professional/up market looking layouts etc are possible.  I find Blurb (mostly) intuitive but there are many other providers. Clicking onto these images enlarges them.
.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

TALKING IMAGES 37 – I’M SLOWING DOWN, FOR AWHILE

 

 

Mannequin, seared by sunlight in a Cornish shop window

.
The simple fact is, I very much enjoy blogging as a means of self-expression.  There’s the creation of the images, all of the attendant writing too (I love writing!) – and last but certainly not least the communication with like minds around the world – I enjoy talking with you all very much!  Also, there is not the slightest doubt that these years of blogging have been inspirational for me, certainly (to my eyes at least) improving my photography.
.

.
A dear, warm creature, a being whom it is simply a pleasure to be with

.

However, I have two large projects in hand, and I need to spend less time blogging for a month or two, to complete them.  One of these projects is the creation of my (more or less) annual Blurb photobook which, amongst other things, contains my favourite photos from the preceding 12 months along with their captions and text.  I have around 20 of these books now, some the annual volumes and some other, specific projects, and I find them a very convenient way of producing hard copies of my favourite work; they are very good to look back through.
.

.
Someone special, from long ago and far away

.

So, whereas I’ve been producing around six posts a week, this will decrease for awhile – assuming that is that I can restrain my creative enthusiasm!  And for today, here are some favourite images – faces from the archives – two people, someone quite artificial, and two beautiful animals.  Clicking onto these images will enlarge them, click onto them again to further enlarge them.
.

.
Great Grey Owl – we looked at each other

.
Selfie, with trademark cap and hulking Nikon DSLR

.
.
.

SOMETHING WONDERFUL

 

 


.
I was out walking earlier this week, and approaching a young mother who was busy unloading her three small boys from the back seat of her car.

.

As I drew level with the car, two of the little boys were standing on the pavement and the woman was just reaching into the car for her third son

.
>>> when out of the car came >>>

.
MUMMY, MUMMY, LOOK AT THE FUNNY OLD MAN!!!

.

Wonderful!   Simply wonderful.  Its simply wonderful what Life can serve up sometimes.
.
.
.

APOLOGIES – UNABLE TO UPDATE THE IMAGES I’VE LIKED DISPLAY

 

 


.
Selfie with butcher’s shop

I like to look at (and Like!) other bloggers’ posts every day – both those on blogs that I follow and those on blogs that I’ve never looked at before.  Images from posts that I’ve Liked appear in the IMAGES I’VE LIKED RECENTLY  section on my blog’s sidebar.  I’m a great believer in showcasing other bloggers’ work in this way.

.

But I’m unable to do this at the moment as, for three days, my WordPress Reader has stopped working.

.

WordPress Tech Support are on the case and I’m hoping for a speedy resolution.

.

Stay tuned!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

UPDATE: having contacted WP Tech Support, it seems my Internet Explorer is faulty, as the Reader shows up fine in Google Chrome, so I’ll be using that. Phew! 🙂 

FATman

.

.

.

PEOPLE 300 – PEOPLE FROM MY PAST 3 (MONO)

 

 


.

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 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 .

It was my first time living away from home – well, at 18 I effectively left home – and I was lively and (naturally) immature, so much so that my landlord and landlady very nearly threw me out.  There were five of us in these lodgings, which were on the sea front and very cold in the winter.  Our sole source of heating, in the whole house, was a double-barred electric fire in the ground floor lounge – but there were two floors of bedrooms above that and, boy, were we cold!  So one exceptionally cold evening we actually summoned up the courage to switch on both bars of the electric fire – only to come down the following morning to find that the fire’s second bar had been taken out!  Ah, there’ll always be a welcome in the hillside – I wonder if that song gives anyone a clue as to where I spent (six of the nine years of) my university days ….

And it was here too, in the university’s bookshop, that I bought my first copy of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, a book that I have never fallen out of love with.  Very, very little poetry gets to me, and Dylan’s is far, far above my head.  I even have a recording of him reading some of his poems and that’s even worse, all far too heavy for me.  But Under Milk Wood is something else, a pure delight I would say, vast enjoyment combined with vast inspiration and admiration: in some way, something that – for better or for worse – has helped make me who I am.

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 film camera mounted on a  tripod.  I started printing black and white photos in the darkroom 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 the bed and breakfast accommodation.

 

.
.
.

PEOPLE 296 – PEOPLE FROM MY PAST 1 (MONO)

 

 

.
I’ve been posting pictures of people since I started this blog.  I’d have liked to have posted more from this genre, but opportunities for such photography have never been plentiful.  Now, as a subset of this genre, I’m going to post images of people – myself included – from my own past.  Some of these images have been posted here before, some are new.  This idea has been stimulated by the rediscovery of pictures I sent to my mother from far off places, and also by the rediscovery of some old photograph albums.  I hope you will enjoy these pictures.

And so to the first image, above.  Years ago – my passport tells me 1975/6 – I was working on geology in the mountains of the Sultanate of Oman, which is in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula.  Don (above, right) and myself would drive our (absolutely wonderful) long-wheelbase Land Rover inland from the Batinah coast and deep into the mountains, and then camp there while we worked on the rocks.  That was all that our little expeditions consisted of – him, me, the vehicle and a small tent each.  We had no radio, no means of contact with the outside world at all – but we were young, and didn’t think or worry about such things …

So there was no convivial club or bar to retire to in the evenings, and the only at all civilised and comfortable seating was in the front of the Land Rover – and so here are the two of us, with our Tilley lamp blazing away, passing a restful evening reading and writing up notes in the front seat of what we called “the van”, while outside the stony desert that had scorched us during the day became, under crystal clear skies, very much colder.  And yes, crystal clear skies every night, with no light pollution at all, and the Milky Way blazing out magnificently above.  We were both naturalists (and photographers too, as it happens) and so we both had binoculars, and we bought a little book on astronomy with binoculars: the things visible through the bins in these crystal clear heavens were impressive – and such interests gave us welcome diversion.

A story from our first journey into the mountains sticks in my mind.  Don and I were both well qualified for our task (the product of British universities, don’t ya know!!!), and so we had all the gear and everything was planned – except that, on our first expedition, we forgot to pack any matches.  So, there we were in the back of beyond, with the prospect of either existing on uncooked food, or of doing something about it.  We were carrying lots of spare petrol, some of which powered the Optimus stoves that we used for cooking.  So, on the first night, we sparked the Land Rover’s battery onto the Optimus, there was a flash as the petrol went up – and we had hot food and drink.

But it was clear that repeatedly treating the battery in this way might not be wise for various reasons, so we had to think again.  The next day, we met another vehicle and paid them quite a steep price for all the matches they were carrying.  Fine, and we thought no more of the encounter.  But several days later we met the same vehicle again – and were astounded to find that, on reaching the coast, the occupants had spent all of our money on yet more matches, and had brought them back inland in the hope of meeting us again to pass them on.

The point here is that, in deserts like this, getting into trouble, maybe even from some small mechanical failure on the vehicle, can result in getting into a very deep trouble indeed, and so everyone looks out for everyone else.  Wherever we stumbled upon (usually tiny) habitations we were always invited in for coffee and dates and, in these mountains, we never experienced any problems with theft or security.

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

Technique: Don had a (now) classic Olympus OM-1 camera and several lenses, and I used a Practica SLR; we shot colour slides – maybe Agfa CT18 I think.  Here one of us must have set the camera up in the back of the vehicle, and then reached over to press the delayed action.  Such simple things provided welcome diversion and relaxation.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 329 – LOOKING DOWN INTO A GR1v (MONO)

 

 


.

Going home on the bus after work:  12 May 2010.

This was taken with a classic film camera, a Ricoh GR1v.  I cradled this fantastic little machine in my lap, looking down into its 28mm lens and hoping that it would automatically find focus on my face – so how many other people do you know who take photos of themselves on public transport?  Without being arrested???  Oh, I forgot, this is The Age Of The Camera Phone – maybe people are doing this all the time.

My intent (and grumpy???) expression derives from concentrating very hard on trying to ensure that the auto focus was locking on.

This Ricoh is a beautiful little camera  but, sadly, its no longer in my possession – there is a picture of it on the “My photography” page in this blog.  Staff in a well known camera shop started salivating over it as soon as I showed it to them, and it became part of a large part-exchange deal that enabled me to own the latest piece of Nikon DSLR wizardry.

I hadn’t actually owned this Ricoh for a long time but it was beautifully made and a joy to use.  I was sad to part with it but, since I’m never going to shoot a frame of film again, why keep it?  I have however held onto the Olympus OM SLRs and (the few) lenses I used in Kenya as these really are of great sentimental value.  The camera bodies are mouldy now after years in the tropics but that in no way reduces their meaning and value in my eyes.  And, every so often, when I need a camera fix, I wind on the OM-1 and fire it, just to hear the wonderfully soft click of its shutter – what a great camera! (its also illustrated in “My photography”).

If you have a thing for pain or the bizarre, you can click onto this image to see an enlarged version in a separate window.

Technique: Ricoh GR1v with Ilford HP5+ black and white film push processed to 3200 ISO; commercially scanned; conversion to mono and copper toning in Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Film Noir 1 preset as a jumping off point. 

UPDATE: And so, having posted many pictures of other people going to work (for which, search on “work” in my tags), here is one of myself in said scenario >>> although actually I was on the bus going home from work, and so sh***ed out as we Brits have a way of quaintly putting it >>> although still with the energy and sheer eccentricity to take a selfie – I must have been mad … thank goodness …

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 317 – SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BLUE LORRY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

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.

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

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

.
.
.

TALKING IMAGES 33 – HAPPINESS

 

 


.
Here’s something I’d like to share with you before I have to rush out to lunch. I saw it on the TV news this morning.

A study was made of a group of people, who were each given a sum of money – not a vast amount of money, say £30 UK – and who were told to spend it in a way that would make them happy.

And when the people were questioned about their happiness levels afterwards, those that professed to be happiest were those who had used the money to buy themselves more free time, eg by hiring people to do jobs/chores for them, and NOT those who had spent the money on acquiring (yet more!) material possessions.

I find this fascinating and also very instructive.  I expect we knew this already, after all didn’t the Beatles sing “money can’t buy me love!”?  And of course those of us who live in “developed” countries often have what are termed “busy modern lifestyles” – which means that although we may be comfortable/well off in terms of money, we suffer from time poverty.  There are usually too many things to do in the day, there is usually not enough time to do them in, and we get stressed trying to balance everything out.

I’m a great searcher for the simple life, and being retired helps this quest no end.  There are those who, when they retire, just keep going because they can’t bear to slow down.  Well, that’s fine, each to their own, we are all most certainly different.  But I value the extra leisure time, I like slowing down and – to be quite honest with you – I don’t pay others to perform chores for me, I can’t afford to, but I have simply become extremely selective about which chores I think actually necessary,  as opposed to those which can wait until tomorrow, the day that never comes.

.

.

.

 

%d bloggers like this: