STILL LIFE 242 – JACKDAW

 

 


.

Jackdaw on a roof at Church Farm, Stanton Drew.

The smallest of our crows, and attractively busy, bustling, talkative and, often, approachable.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Church Farm, Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 371 – FISHERMEN (MONO)

 

 


.

Fishermen far off across Chew Valley Lake on a misty morning.

The local water company stocks Chew Valley Lake with trout, and makes good profits from anglers.  There is also a sailing club, and some barely adequate birdwatching hides – returning from Kenya’s wide open spaces, I was astonished to be restricted to these little huts with their narrow viewing slits – something of a culture change!  I retain the feeling that birding ought to be out in the fresh and open air.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – if you like grain!!!

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 17 Oct 2013.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 370 – WATER LILIES IN THE NORTH DRAIN

 

 


.

Water Lilies in the North Drain, Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 25 July 2009.

I like the Minimalism here – just thin, green plants against a dark background – looking almost as if they are floating up into the air on a dark night! 

And then there is the way the leaves weave a sinuous line back through the picture, and the increasing dimness of the stems of those further away.

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 200 ISO; spotmeter reading taken from the nearest leaf.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 369 – THE VIEW WEST AT SUNRISE

 

 


.

Looking west along the North Drain from the Jack’s Drove bridge on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, at sunrise; 22 Nov 2013.

I’d raced to Tealham Moor to catch the sunrise, and just before the scene was blasted by the light of the rapidly rising sun (see this image), there was this beautiful soft light, with clouds that were faintly tinged pink, off to the west.

A group of three Mute Swans are on the water at lower left, and I’m pleased because this whole scene is just as I remember it.

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

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

.

.

.

PEOPLE 348 – SOMEDAY THE FLOWERS STOP

 

 


.

As George Harrison put it: All things must pass, all things must pass away.  And as a geologist, especially, that really resonates with me, it is a very basic part of my core knowledge and certainties.

And I visit this rural cemetery from time to time.  It is the cemetery of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, in Stanton Drew, not far from Bristol.  And while I do not identify in the slightest with the religious aspects of this place, I do find its cemetery a wonderfully peaceful and quiet place to wander in.  Being there instils me with a great feeling of peace, as well as being a great stimulus to reflection.  And I have never met another living soul there although, for all I know, I may always be surrounded by innumerable departed ones, which is certainly fine by me.

Most of the graves in this cemetery have no flowers on them, and that is the way of things.  There can of course be many reasons for this.  For example, there may be no one left to bring flowers, or those who would like to bring them live too far away or, then again, while bringing flowers has helped the grieving process, the survivors may have moved on, preferring to keep their departed ones in their minds, photographs and keepsakes.  I know this is the case with me.  I have lost two very close family members, both younger than myself,  and I no longer visit their grave, but no day passes without their presence, repeatedly – and often without sadness – in my thoughts.

I shall continue to walk in this churchyard.  It is by no means an exciting or exotic destination, there is not a trace of the “wow factor” in sight, but it has a very deep sense of peace, and of fundamental reality, which makes simply being there a deeply meaningful and thought provoking experience.  Does it, perhaps, provide some measure of respite from the rush, materialism, competition and aggression of the modern world?  That may well be the case.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 87mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 50 – VILLAGE LIFE 15

 

 


.

A gardener’s sense of humour, beside the little lane that leads up to the church.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film preset; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 368 – TADHAM MOOR, WITH FRIESIANS (MONO)

 

 


.

Tadham Moor, looking northwest towards Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 29 Aug 2013.

On the right, Jack’s Drove runs northwards towards the bridge over the North Drain.  Droves originated as networks of tracks that enabled farmers to access their fields without crossing those of other farmers.  A few of these droves, like the one here, are now tarmac roads, usually single track or nearly so.  The trees include many Alders, which thrive in this area’s perpetual wetness.

On the left, Willows overhang the rhyne (local dialect for a water-filled ditch; rhymes with “seen”) – they were often planted alongside these waterways to strengthen the banks.

And in the centre, the rhyne curves around the end of a field, at once helping to drain its water and also providing a fenceless barrier – the only fences being very small affairs where the fields’ gates are accessed by little bridges across the rhynes.  And, finally, the ubiquitous Friesian cattle – curious about this lensman, as always.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 12mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting with the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 367 – THE RISING SUN ALONG HURN DROVE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

The rising sun lights a willow along Hurn Drove, on Ash Moor, to the northwest of Polsham, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Oct 2014.

Early morning, driving slowly in shelter and shadow, travelling through a world of grey.

But as I turned out onto Hurn Drove, the upper reaches of Our Star broke the horizon and shades of gold were all around.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 1 preset and selectively restoring colour.

.
.
.

STANTON DREW 49 – PARADISE 2

 

 


.

Not sure this is Paradise but, if it is, I wasn’t allowed in.  Even, in desperation, venturing to mention my untarnished soul failed to gain me entry, the general feeling being that, if my soul really is in such pristine condition, I must have had it Photoshopped.

The first picture of Paradise, of a rather more accepting and welcoming scene, can be found here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 48 – VILLAGE LIFE 14

 

 

 

.

Still quite early, only around 7.30am, but we western Brits have been having a certainly unusual heatwave this past week or so, and the midsummer sun was already very warm.

Having grown up alongside  a big tom called George, I have always had a great love for cats.  This one was not 100% sure about me (although we have in fact met before), but he was just too warm and comfortable to do anything about it.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.

.

.

.

%d bloggers like this: