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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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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