OUTER SUBURBS 47 – THE PATH TO SCHOOL (MONO)

 

 


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The path to school, one of Life’s Paths, one of the paths that we all tread (assuming we are lucky enough to attend a school, or are not schooled at home).  This particular path is through a rather utilitarian landscape.  Utilitarian? Google tells me it means “practical rather than attractive” which is perhaps a little hard; whereas picturesque might be a little charitable.

So what’s here for the children, on their daily walk towards learning?

Well, the wall on the right protects private properties: if they want to go in there (assuming they don’t live there already), they either have to go in for trespass and burglary (which might lead to far-reaching Life changes) or, later in life, get onto the housing ladder, as the phrase so happily puts it.  Getting onto the housing ladder?  Well, it means scrimping and saving to buy nicer and nicer homes for themselves, and thus getting themselves further and further into debt; prior to (at least partially) bankrolling their children to repeat the process.

Then straight ahead, at the end of the path, is the primary school: a state school, funded by taxes, with the wonderful aims of education, and of preparation of the young people for Life In The Outside World.

And to the left of the path, out of shot, is a church which, if at all possible, would like their souls.  Assuming, that is, that they – or indeed anyone else – in fact has a soul, which has long been a matter for speculation.  However, since the possession of an immortal soul is a cornerstone of this particular religion’s mythology, embarking on such speculation to the left of the path may become a little contentious.

So, looking at the options, I think that if I were the children, I’d stay on the path, I’d keep on walking straight ahead, at least until I’m old enough to make more informed judgements on both the worldly to the right and the divine to the left.

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 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique:  TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 640 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset; south Bristol; 2 Oct 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 46 – CAR LIT BY STREETLIGHT, JUST AROUND DAWN

 

 


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Early morning car, parked below a streetlight and speckled by a light shower.

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 .  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 25mm (equiv); 2,000 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 23 Nov 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 45 – AUTUMN 10

 

 


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Autumn with chocolate wrapper!  Maybe the last of this autumn mini series … well, it was taken just after the end of meteorological autumn but, apart from the wrapper, we are looking at autumn’s debris – in fact this was again taken beneath the huge Horse Chestnut tree in Church Lane, like this earlier shot .

The chocolate wrapper drew my eye because its curved shape is taken up by the bright green leaf below it, to almost form a semi-circle.  And the carpet of dead leaves is richly coloured and glistening: everything had been drenched by overnight rain.  The small bright green leaves at lower left help balance the composition: cover them with your finger to see what I mean.  And there’s also the inverted ‘V’ shape made by the long, thick, brown twigs that intersect (one above, one below) with the right hand end of the wrapper.

There are earlier autumn posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 .  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 further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; south Bristol; 3 Dec 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 44 – FROSTY MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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Along the roadside, on a cold morning.

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 .  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 – recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 57mm (equiv); 1,000 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset and adding a light selenium tone; south Bristol; 22 Nov 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 43 – CHRISTMAS IS HERE

 

 

Christmas is here: 1

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Christmas is here: 2

Christmas.  What does Christmas mean to me, what do I think about it?  Well, four things to mention.

First, as I see Christmas in the UK, its really a time for children.  I can well remember its magic 60 and more years ago and, regardless of how many of the myths children here do or don’t believe now, its still a magical time for them (and an increasingly expensive one for their parents).  I approach every Christmas hoping that the few children that I know, at least, will be happy.

Second, “The Christmas Story” and the other religious sides to Christmas are simply not me.  As Bob Dylan so succinctly put it in The Mighty Quinn: “It ain’t my cup of meat”.

And a common saying here is that Christmas is the Season of Goodwill whereas, being a bit picky perhaps, I’d prefer goodwill to be around during all the other seasons too 😉 .

And finally, I’m amazed by the vast and almost hysterical, materialistic and commercialised juggernaut that Christmas has become in the UK.  The two pictures here are not intended to allude to any connections between Christmas and the gutter, but to me they are symbolic of this vast commercialisation which, in Bristol at least, started making itself apparent around the beginning of September.  And, irreligious as I am, I do feel sorrow for those for whom Christmas has a religious significance: it must be very grim and disheartening to see it so swamped by the various non-spiritual behemoths.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Click twice onto the images to enlarge them in separate windows.

Technique: TG-5; Lightroom; south Bristol; 1 Dec 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 42 – MODERN LIFE 6: SMARTWATER (MONO)

 

 


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Modern Life

Grass, in need of a cut as it happens, and the only natural thing on the menu here. 

Otherwise, a barrier to prevent the over enthusiastic from gunning their over powerful vehicles up and onto the grass.  

And a little glimpse of the adjacent pavement. 

And the detritus of a modern and civilised society that feels not only that its drinking water must come in bottles, but also that – thirst having been assuaged – local authority workers should then be left to dispose of / recycle said bottles.  If there is any thought at all behind this lifestyle beyond blank indifference, it is encapsulated by “Well, that’s what they’re paid for, isn’t it?“.

There are earlier Modern Life posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 .  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 43mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Monotone film simulation; south Bristol; 29 Aug 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 41 – SITTING IN DEB’S CAFE AND TAKEAWAY, ON A DULL FRIDAY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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

A dull Friday morning.  But, of course, to those working a five day week, Friday morning is never dull.  It is enriched with the promises of both edible treats to celebrate the working week’s end and, equally, to celebrate the start of the weekend, when all good things in life appear – for a day or two –  eminently possible.  But, weatherwise, this was a dull morning, with low, dark overcast and no sign at all of the rising sun’s glow.  In just over a week’s time we’d be in winter and, meteorologically, this Friday morning was getting all set up for it.

And also, for those into consumerism, materialism and our incessant manipulation by the mass media – and also, of course, those who know it as just plain, simple, good old shopping – this was indeed a dark day.  Indeed (there’s that word again!), no day could be darker, for this was Black Friday, when many hope to grab bargains (why does the word “grab” seem particularly appropriate here … ? …) and so accumulate yet more, “happiness inducing stuff”.  The more of it we have, the happier we are, right?

Anyway, oblivious to all this mass hysteria, I’d had a first breakfast before dawn, and then set off on foot into the dark streets with the little camera in my pocket.  And after an hour or so – and seeing that it was a Friday – I dropped gratefully into Deb’s Café & Takeaway and ordered a second breakfast – a thick, “doorstop” bacon sandwich, and a mug of hot, strong, sweet tea – ah, Life’s Simple Pleasures!

I’d been into Deb’s before.  Indeed I’d been into Deb’s when it was packed out, with no room to sit down, and so been forced to look elsewhere for what the more cultured gourmets of my social circle term “a good plateful”.  What’s Deb’s like?  Well, its a little street café  staffed by women whom I take to be three generations of the same family, it opens at 7am and closes after lunch, and it specialises in good, solid, simple English food, much of it in the full English breakfast vein.

And I like this place for three reasons.  First, obviously, the food is good, and not expensive.  Then, the women are natural and friendly – there are no airs and graces here – and since many of the early morning clientele are builders, scaffolders and other workmen, the atmosphere can be humorous, irreverent, ribald and earthy – in a word, three words actually, real and human: this is not the place to go if you like pretence, café au lait and croissants.  And that’s the third reason I like this place: there is a complete absence of the usual marketing, hype and bullsh*t that is so often a feature of the modern commercial/retail world – these women simply produce good, enjoyable, basic food and, as you eat it, likely as not there’ll be some convivial chat, gossip and banter around ……

So, as I sat there, taken aback somewhat by just how much of a doorstop I’d contracted to get outside of, I looked out at the grey morning and the grey urban landscape.  In that moment, what could I see?  A woman, head down, trudges through the parked cars towards the at best uninspiring (except for Deb’s!!!) row of shops.  Down left of her there is a litter (trash) bin, while the shining metallic semicircles immediately outside of Deb’s are the backs of chairs set around tables, for those who like to smoke while eating.  And further away, the suburban landscape: houses, a single decker bus, and bare, pollarded trees.  Rather a bleak scene, but one which was amply compensated for by the warmth and conviviality of the café.

And, grey and bleak though that view may have been, it was immeasurably enhanced by the absence of any hint of the burgeoning greed and materialism of Black Friday.

I downed the doorstop with lashings of ketchup, drank the delicious tea, struggled to my feet, made it to the door, and lurched off, heavily and uncertainly, into the gloom.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Technique:  TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1,000 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Spectrum Inverse preset and selectively restoring some of the colour; south Bristol; 23 Nov 2018.

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OUTER SUBURBS 40 – AUTUMN 9

 

 


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Autumn – low angle sunlight rakes across the textured pavement that alerts visually disabled people to a pedestrian crossing.

There are earlier autumn posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 65mm (equiv); 640 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 13 Nov 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 39 – AUTUMN 8

 

 


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Autumn: leaves from a Horse Chestnut tree, and a tail feather from a Woodpigeon.  This is the towering Horse Chestnut, in Church Lane, shown here .

There are earlier autumn posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 91mm (equiv); 500 ISO; flash; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 30 Oct 2018.
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OUTER SUBURBS 38 – MODERN HOUSING 5

 

 


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Looking up at modern housing, and not worrying about preserving verticals; also the decision not to try to clean up the various stains on the paintwork.  I initially processed this in black and white, but now think that the blues and the (slightly grimy) cream add something.

And a problem with the TG-5 camera solved >>>in my OUTER SUBURBS 33 post, I griped about not be able to find any way to quickly change the TG-5’s metering mode from the ESP (= a sort of matrix metering) that I usually use, to the Spot setting that only meters the centre of the image – which can be useful in tricky lighting situations.  This has been solved by using one of the camera’s two Custom Modes, which enable the photographer to save frequently used sets of camera settings and switch to them instantly.

So the camera is usually in Aperture Priority mode (A), with ESP metering.  And then I’ve set up Custom Mode 1 (C1) to have identical settings, but with Spot metering instead of ESP.  Mode A is next to C1 on the mode dial, and thus I can switch back and fore between Spot metering and ESP metering almost instantly, which is very handy.

There are earlier Modern Housing posts here: 1 2 3 4 : each will open in a separate window.

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 .  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 74mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 12 Sept 2018.
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