SOMERSET LEVELS 355 – TREE WITH BROKEN BRANCH (MONO)

 

 


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Casualty of recent unseasonally windy weather, on a decidedly damp and dull morning in what we Brits have known, in the past at least, as “Flaming June”.

Technique: both of the cameras that I now take to the Somerset Levels – the Nikon Z 6 and the Fujifilm X-T2 – have the facility to process their Raw files internally to produce jpegs that can be downloaded alongside the original Raw files to (in my case) Lightroom Classic.  The processing possibilities are quite extensive – including adding “looks”, cropping, changing exposure, white balance, etc etc – and I find this a great aid to creativity.  I find the Fujifilm X-T2 a little better at this sort of processing than the Nikon Z 6, but even in the latter it is still a very useful process / add-on.

Thus a typical day is an early morning visit to the Levels, followed by an afternoon slumped in an armchair feeling totally shattered, sipping the golden Belgian beer Duvel that is my favourite tipple, and – for greater or shorter periods – looking through the day’s images on the two cameras, trying out various edits, and saving as jpegs those that look promising.  Then, the same day if I’m not too far Duvelled – or the next day if I am –  I can download BOTH the original Raw files and my manufactured jpegs into Lightroom >>> so that I can look at both my original photos AND the prompts towards potentially useful processing methods.  I can only say that I find this a definite aid to creativity and that anyone whose camera allows in-camera Raw processing should explore its possibilities (the Duvel is of course optional, but wholeheartedly recommended all the same!).

Another point here is that mirrorless cameras like the Nikon and the Fuji allow review of images via the viewfinder as well as the rear screen, and that the viewfinder often gives a better appreciation, especially in bright ambient light.

And yet another point is that Lightroom – dear Lightroom – removes things like Fujifilm’s excellent film simulations as it reads in Raw files, whereas it does not do this with other file types eg jpegs >>> so that all in-camera processing is preserved.

I couldn’t decide which of these images to present and hence both are here – I think I prefer the darker, more foreboding, more apocalyptic,  version above.
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Click onto each image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); in-camera processing of the Raw file, using the Acros + red filter film simulation; no further processing; Great Withy Drove, Common Moor, north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 14 June 2019.
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BRISTOL 139 – VIEW THROUGH A BUILDING

 

 


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Walking up St John’s Steep with Paula, and thence off left into narrower streets and alleys.

The going became shadier and more closed in, until suddenly we were looking right through a building and out into the brightness of an adjacent street.

But although the light and colours in that street were bright and welcoming, caged and barred darkness kept them inexorably distant.

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 24mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Flat V2 picture control; off John Street, Bristol city centre; 3 June 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 345 – MALLARD ON THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


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A pair of Mallard, a very common duck, on the calm waters of the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  The more ornate male is on the left, and the far more camouflaged female on the right.

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 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Flat V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Underexpose EV -1 preset and adding a strong coffee tone; the North Drain on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, seen from the Jack’s Drove bridge; 12 Apr 2019.
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BRISTOL 137 – EARLY MORNING LIGHT – AND UNDER MILK WOOD

 

 


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Walking the old, narrow streets of Bristol city centre, looking at anything and everything.  And watching how the morning sunlight crept across the buildings’ facades, I was irresistibly reminded of lines written by Dylan Thomas in Under Milk Wood:

Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes. …

And the dawn inches up.

I just simply love the thought of being able to hear the passing of time; and similarly the sound and connotations of the word “inches” in this context grab me and do not let me go.

And Under Milk Wood itself?  I bought my first copy when I was a university student, and have never fallen out of love with it.  I can still remember opening the book and reading the first few words –

To begin at the beginning:

It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.

>> and I was hooked, and I have been hooked – wonderfully hooked – ever since!  The words inspire me and I think, in some small measure, have affected how I look at the world, how I see it and how I photograph it.

You can find out about Under Milk Wood here .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Little King Street, in central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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BRISTOL 134 – BOARDED UP PREMISES

 

 


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Early morning sunlight reaching across a boarded up building, a reflection of the currently challenging times.

And tags, part of a young people’s culture that I know I do not understand but, equally certainly, do not judge.

And mainly a picture of two colours, but also containing the pale grey of that sinuous bar on the door – the bar is partly in shadow, and rather gives the impression of coyly peeping out at us.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor zoom at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; St Nicholas Street, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 344 – MORNING LIGHT, LOOKING EAST ACROSS THE NORTH DRAIN

 

 


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Morning light on the North Drain.  This is not a river, it is a totally man-made waterway that helps drain these lush and often wet flatlands.

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 70-300 Nikkor lens at 125mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Landscape V2 picture control; looking east, early in the day, from the Jack’s Drove Bridge across the North Drain on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 12 April 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 111 – PHOTOGRAPHING SHADOWS (MONO)

 

 


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Shadows: a fence, a tree and me.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 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 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 35mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Portrait film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Silhouette preset; south Bristol; 6 May 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 110 – CINDERFORD GLOS (MONO)

 

 


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The shadows of a fence and streetlight, falling across a pavement and onto a road.  And a drain cover from long ago – probably before WWII –  when such things were still made around here (Cinderford being a town in Glos. (= Gloucestershire)).

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 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 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 28mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Monotone film simulation; south Bristol; 11 Mar 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 107 – SPRING

 

 


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A cold, dark, misty morning in spring, with the sun rising through banks of thick, dark overcast.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 53a 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 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 17 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 326 – THE VIEW SOUTHWEST FROM WHITELAKE BRIDGE (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Looking out over the Whitelake River and Hearty Moor, with the landmark of Glastonbury Tor, topped by its ruined church, in the distance.  Large masses of flowering Blackthorn on the left.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Neutral V2 Picture Control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red Filter preset and adding a light coffee tone; Whitelake Bridge, northeast of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 5 Apr 2019.
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