OUTER SUBURBS 28 – SKYLINE, EARLY MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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Just after dawn, the Moon sets over the outer suburbs.  A green light beckons me on, and a gull, high up on a vantage point in the early light, looks for its first feed of the day.

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 .  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 Natural film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum Inverse preset with a light Coffee tone; south Bristol; 25 Oct 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 303 – LOOKING WEST OVER TEALHAM MOOR, AT SUNRISE (2)

 

 


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I lived in Kenya and loved the huge, towering skies of Africa.  Nearly 30 years ago (time flies!!!), I returned to the UK and have become (more of less) used to living here once more, although not subscribing to or believing in some of the things that seem to make modern Britain tick.

But I’ve never lost my memories of those tall African skies,  and the wide open skies above the Somerset Levels always remind me of them – and especially those over the Tadham and Tealham Moors, which I never tire of visiting.

This picture looks west over the rough and often untidy pasture of Tealham Moor at sunrise.  The cattle are grazing, there are clouds in the tall sky above, but the horizon is hidden behind a bank of mist at ground level.

There is another image from this early morning shoot here: 1 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 302 – LOOKING WEST OVER TEALHAM MOOR, AT SUNRISE

 

 


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Having taken so many pictures of the Somerset Levels, thousands probably over the years, finding further photographic inspiration there is often not easy – and especially so when the light conditions are unexciting.  But on Friday, starting from home early, I got down there at the start of the day and instantly found myself in a visually mobile world of shifting mist and fog banks, with the sun rising behind them.

This is actually a shot from towards the end of the spectacle, looking westwards over Tealham Moor.  The sun was rising from behind thick banks of cloud along the eastern horizon, which had the effect of reducing the full force of its brilliance.  Here, looking westwards, the upper band of cloud is illuminated by the first of the sun’s rays as it emerged from the thick cloudbanks, while the thin ribbon of cloud below, and the misty surface of the moor, had yet to be fully illuminated.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 17 – STORMY SUNRISE (MONO)

 

 


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A rough, stormy sky: clouds and east-facing houses catch the first, blazing rays of the rising sun.  On the right, a telegraph pole spreads its net of telephone wires to the surrounding houses, and there is another of these poles further up the road.  These are older, semi-detached houses, probably built sometime in the 1930s or 1940s.

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16Each 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 – recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 57mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset and adding a moderate coffee tone; south Bristol; 15 Sept 2018.
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PEOPLE 352 – GOING TO WORK 80

 

 


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An old and very dear friend of mine is a professional psychologist and avid people-watcher.  Her insights into everyday human behaviour never cease to fascinate and amaze me.  I had the idea sometime back of giving her a photobook of the Going To Work images (produced via Blurb) for her birthday, and that project is moving ahead.  In the course of assembling these pictures for use in her book, I have found six images that have not been posted in the Going To Work series but which really belong there, and so I am incorporating them into this series here.  This is the third of the six.  You can find the other images here: 1 2 .

This is morning rush hour, this is the city, and in this view of the city are only two representatives of the real, Natural World.  At lower right, a real, living person, who is hurrying to work through an artificial canyon ablaze with faces, noise and messages, all crowding in close, claustrophobically close, all around her.  She hurries to get through it all, she hurries to be rid of it all.

And the only other representative of the Natural World in all of this artificially constructed reality is the sky is at upper right – calm, quiet, cloudy and serene, tainted only by our fumes and emissions.

Photographically, I enjoy the city, I love being there with a camera, this artificial, human environment has so much of interest to the lens.  But in other terms, to me, the ability to access undisturbed peace and quiet is one of the most desirable and valued of all things on this planet.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 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 Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 30mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.

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ARCHIVE 331 – CLOUD, BLASTED BY THE SUNRISE

 

 


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This is amongst my favourite pictures, and rather than writing more about it I’ll let my words from its previous outing stand:

Cloud caught in the rays of the rising sun, over our garden; 5am, 7 Jul 2005.

This picture shows a pure, powerful, raw, Minimal, natural beauty that blows me apart – if I’m looking for worthwhile things in life, here is one, one of my favourite pictures!

I like the blue and pale orange colour palette. And to increase the picture’s effect I’ve rotated it 90 degrees anticlockwise, so that the left hand edge of the strikingly linear, now vertical cloud appears blasted by the sun’s rays and, perhaps as a result of this solar barrage, to be shedding shattered cloudlets from its right hand edge.

Technique: OM-4 with 150mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide push processed to 3200 ISO, giving wonderful grain.
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STILL LIFE 178 – GULL

 

 

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Emerging warm and well fed from Hart’s Bakery, I gazed up into the blues of a cold dawn.  And there was the sliver of a crescent Moon, strikingly beautiful, amidst wisps of passing cloud.  And all at once the crowing of gulls, and there they came, drifting over high from the west.  I knew those calls, they were the larger Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, coming in ravenously over the city, looking for something – anything! – to eat.

The city’s noise was already starting up around me but up there, where they were flying, there were only the sounds of the wind and the birds.  I imagined what they could see. Below, the city’s lights, and then up above, the thin, drifting billows of vapour and that brilliant, shining crescent.

Fly well, my friends, go well – 60 years ago, I grew up beside your ancestors on the coast; their calls were my constant companions.  And now my city is your bread basket, and the cold waters of its reservoirs the safe havens upon which you spend the long hours of dangerous darkness.

And there was humour in the moment too.  A man appeared at my elbow, asking what I was photographing, telling me he’s a photographer too, showing me images on his mobile phone – but heavens, man, I’m trying to photograph the ******* heavens, man!!!  Phrases started passing through my mind … from days long ago, giving as good as I got as a rugby forward … give him a dead legkick him in the …. but, this is Life, and I can only smile now at the recollection of the moment.

The camera did well.  I was leaning back, braced against a high wall, but in that light the lens was wide open and, at x6 magnification and at a shutter speed only 1/75th – this image is a tribute to the X-T2’s image stabilisation.  The bird may not be perfectly sharp, but that’s not a factor here.  I could have used a higher ISO, but in the heat of the moment just went with it.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; beside Temple Meads Station, Bristol; 15 Dec 2107.
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STILL LIFE 166 – THREE WORLDS

 

 


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Looking up on a frosty morning: fluffy clouds, our planet’s Moon, a jet.

The clouds are just starting to take on the first hues of the sunrise.  The Moon looks hard, pale, uncompromising.  And the aircraft arrows upwards between them, a tiny dot relentlessy pursued by a vast contrail.

Three worlds.

The Moon is another world and the clouds belong to our world, so that’s two accounted for.  But the Moon and the clouds are both Natural phenomena, produced by the same universal processes that have produced ourselves – thousands of millions of years before those processes produced ourselves, of course.  We are new kids on the block.

The Moon and the clouds are indifferent to our presence.  Were we not here, they would most certainly continue to exist.  But were they not here, our lives would be severely impacted, if not impossible.

And so to the aircraft.  This is the third world here.  It is the product of the natural resources of our world, which we have used to build a machine to take us at great speed across our world’s surface.  So far so good.  The problems come, of course, when it emerges that our world’s natural resources are not infinite, and that the lovely fluffy white contrail is not the healthiest thing around, both for ourselves and for our climate.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 206mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 136 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE STREET 2

 

 


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Blues, and some browns too.

There is another image from this street here.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Capture NX2; central Bristol; 19 July 2016.
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ARCHIVE 305 – SUNRISE WITH THREE DUCKS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Three ducks and the sunrise over Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

As with my pictures of crows aloft , the birds are dwarfed by the immensity of their element, yet quite at one with it.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: Minimalism once more, and the slightly unreal look of colour restored to a black and white image.

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