STANTON DREW 52 – VILLAGE LIFE 15 (MONO)

 

 


.

A cottage in the village, caught by the rising sun.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset and adding a light coffee tone; Stanton Drew, south of Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STILL LIFE 244 – JACKDAW 2 (MONO)

 

 


.
Jackdaw on a roof at Church Farm.

An earlier image in this series is here: 1 .

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 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

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.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 51 – OUTHOUSE (MONO)

 

 


.

Oh dear, we Brits – and many other Europeans too – are in the throes of a record-breaking heatwave that, accompanied by thunderstorms, torrential rain, flash-flooding and wildfires, has been with us for at least six weeks.  In a nutshell, this heat is both draining and debilitating.  It is a bit like being under siege.  Walks in the early morning are delightful, but after that the heat and humidity build, and being indoors is really the only thing.  Early yesterday morning I made the fatal mistake of opening our kitchen curtains for a look at the new day – curtains on a window that faces due east – and was immediately smacked in the face by the blazing and not long risen sun.

But we shall survive, and not least because of the felicitous discovery that pints of weak gin and tonic, with many slices of fresh lemon and loads of ice, are in fact extraordinarily pleasant.  Ah, there’s always a silver lining … hic! ….. 😉 ……..

And in an effort to beat the heat, I got down to Stanton Drew exceedingly early one morning recently, and wandered around in the cool peace and quiet of my favourite village for a couple of hours.  But the sun rose, hit the side of this outhouse near the church, and soon had me retreating to a cool café for that mother of all solaces, a second breakfast.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset and adding a split tone; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.

.
.
.

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.
.
.
.

STILL LIFE 236 – FENCE POST (MONO)

 

 


.

Beside the road, on the way into the village of Stanton Drew.

The camera was tilted, to bring the post (further) away from the vertical.  The post has a slit through which light can be seen, and it not a pure silhouette: some of its rough, corroded surface texture is just visible.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 105mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared High Contrast preset; Capture NX2; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

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.

.

.

.

STANTON DREW 47 – IN LOVING MEMORY OF

 

 


.

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

As with all things (and not least photography!) there is a vast spectrum of attitudes to, and beliefs and thoughts about, death.  I don’t profess to have any answers here, except to think that the deceased live on in the thoughts and memories of those who knew them.  And of course I’m not just talking about people: the same is certainly true of some animals too.  Pets are the most obvious example, and I find myself thinking often of the cat that I grew up alongside, who died 55 or so years ago: clearly he means a great deal to me, more so than I have previously realised.  Is this the wisdom and insight of old age, or burgeoning (and quite possibly drink-induced) sentimentality?  Well, whatever it is, I value it.

Being remembered by mortals is not of course anything like immortality, and the same is very true of the sentiments expressed on this weathered and decaying gravestone: it was quarried from the ground and, slowly but surely, hard rock though it may be, it is returning there.

Recalling those who have died can give rise to a whole gamut of emotions, ranging from warm happiness and humour, to regret and great sadness.  But, nevertheless, we remember, and I do find that a very valuable and human thing.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 234mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film preset; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: