STILL LIFE 34 – CHALET 2: CURTAINS, BACKLIT BY THE SUN

 

 

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The sun shining on curtains, seen from indoors; Perranporth, Cornwall; 12 April 2016.

Our holiday chalet had windows facing east and west, and so was doubly blessed.  Here, lolling back on sofas, we basked in the late afternoon sunlight until, it becoming a little too dazzling, we pulled the curtains across the tall western windows and enjoyed the many shadows and patterns that appeared upon them.

Click onto this image to see a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

The first image in this series can be found here.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 170mm; 800 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4, including cross-processing.
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BRISTOL 95 – BRIGHT SUNSHINE (MONO)

 

 

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Bright autumn sunshine, Whiteladies Road; 20 Oct 2015.

On my way to Corks of Cotham, which is primarily a wine shop, but which also stocks (sadly now only a very few) Belgian beers of truly world class quality – my choice yesterday included mouthwatering tipples from the Trappist monks of the Westmalle and Rochefort monasteries.

And it was a gloriously sunny day – to me, soft, warm, autumn sunshine is more enjoyable than the blazing heats of summer.  And beside the road was this rough wall, taking the gorgeous sunshine full on and reflecting Our Star’s warmth back at the world. 

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Key 2 preset.
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BRISTOL 93 – PARKED CAR

 

 

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Car, blue skies and sunshine; Charlotte Street, in the city centre.

Clicking onto the image opens a larger version in a separate window.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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MENDIP HILLS 38 – FORESTRY PLANTATION 2

 

 

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Forestry plantation east of North Hill; 6 Apr 2015.

A shaft of early morning light from Our Star pierces the great pines’ towering darknesses.

And in my mind, these trees have closed around this little glade, maybe in awe of its light.  And maybe conscious too that any closer approach will extinguish that which so fascinates them, that which they hold to be, during the fleeting moments of star-rise, so precious.

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

The first of these images is here.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Colour Efex Pro 4.

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STILL LIFE 23 – THE SUN, SHINING THROUGH BLINDS ONTO CUSHIONS

 

 

The sun, shining through blinds onto cushions
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One thing about lolling back on a sofa for protracted periods is that it gives you plenty of opportunity to really look at and appreciate your surroundings.  Even if you’re not looking for them, you start to notice things that might otherwise lie low and unremarked.  And, more to the point, if you adhere to the sofa for sometime, which I thoroughly recommend, you see how the gradually changing angle of the day’s light interplays with the objects within your gaze.

And, lolling last week in our holiday caravan, fortified by mugs of hot, strong tea, I watched as the golden, early morning sun inched its way across the sofa and cushions opposite me, and up onto the pale wall to the right – and here is the scene.

Exposure is reduced to saturate the colours and, equally importantly, to lose various extraneous details in the shadows.  Looking at the image from left to right, the gloriously red cushion rests on the sofa opposite me and, at upper right, the sunlight is creeping across onto a slightly paler wall.  And the shadows of the blind’s thin slats play over most of it.

21 Apr 2015; West Bay, Dorset.  D800 with 16-35 Nikkor at 35mm; 400 ISO.
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GARDEN 61 – EARLY MORNING GARDEN: SUNLIGHT

 

 

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Early morning sunlight in our back garden; 9 Jul 2013.

Looking down the garden through a thin screen of tall grasses.  A very shallow depth of field, produced by using a long telephoto at close quarters, has thrown nearly everything except the closest grasses far out of focus.  This is not an accurate representation of the scene, but rather an impression of how it looked.

The line of dark tones at the top of the frame are the shadows below the hedge at the bottom of the garden.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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WALES 9 – ABERAERON 4

 

 

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Beside the harbour; 24 Sept 2014.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.
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ARCHIVE 100 – SUNLIGHT ON GRASS AND DANDILIONS, AND A QUOTE FROM TURNER

 

 

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Sunlight on grass and Dandilions in the churchyard at Stanton Drew, a village in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; 7 May 2013.

I went for a long and wonderfully peaceful stroll around Stanton Drew this morning, in blazing sunshine.  Its a small village not far south of Bristol and not on any great routes to anywhere, and so its always a very relaxing place.  There’s a pub, the Druids’ Arms, which I think is open again now.  Its name refers to the nearby stone circles, which were once part of a vast prehistoric monument – larger than both Stonehenge and Avebury – but which, being made mostly of wood, is no longer visible above ground.

The Stanton Drew circles have nothing of the hustle, bustle and tourism of Stonehenge and Avebury – car  parking is free, admission costs £1 in an Honesty Box and that’s it! – if you like your prehistory or your paganisn untainted by the masses, this is the place for you – you may well be the only person there.

The churchyard is even more peaceful than the rest of the village, and just wonderful for a slow, contemplative stroll.  I saw the light hitting the grass and flowers, and producing dappled shade under the trees – I raised the camera to my eye, saw this, and kept my fingers and thumbs well away from the autofocus!

Impressionist?  Yes, I think so – and that brings to mind a quote from JMW Turner, most certainly a hero of mine, that I mentioned sometime back – “I did not paint it to be understood, but I wished to show what such a scene was like” ->>> absolutely, JMW, way to go, man, way to go!!!

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 174 – EARLY MORNING SUN ALONG SWANSHARD LANE (MONO)

 

 

Early morning sun along Swanshard Lane
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Low angle sunlight glowing on Swanshard Lane, north of Polsham; 29 Aug 2014.

Having driven down from Bristol and turned off the main road to Glastonbury at Polsham, this little bare earth and chippings layby along Swanshard Lane is frequently my first stop – for re-invigoration via a second breakfast of hot, sweet coffee and thick cut, bitter marmalade sandwiches – Hartley’s Olde English lives!

And as the onset of my dotage makes me increasingly uncomfortable with driving on unlit roads at night, I arrived on this late August morning some time after the sun had risen.  It was pouring across the top of the hedge on the far side of the lane, illuminating the many slim and oval leaves that are already falling from the line of willows along the banks of the little River Sheppey, which are just out of shot to the right.

My old car, distorted by the tilted wideangle lens, cools off in the shadows.  And, almost dead centre in the frame, Somerset’s road menders have spray-painted three sides of a white rectangle around a section of this single track lane’s edge, where the thin tarmac is disintegrating.

Swanshard Lane continues on into the distance, seeming to turn right just as it disappears.  What is around that bend, where is this little lane going?

And what was it like being there at that early hour?  Well, as always, it felt good.  Peaceful and quite quiet, with room to think and space to breathe.  A reasonably brisk breeze – rather unexpected at this time of year – was blowing up from the southwest, causing yet more of the pale willow leaves to shower down upon the road.  And, this being late in the breeding season, especially for those species intent on heading back to Africa, there was the usual marked lack of birdsong, just a half-hearted burst – a Chiffchaff once –  here and there.  And, finally, there seemed to be a vineyard in the making up on the southern slopes of Ben Knowle Hill – have to pop in sometime for a snifter!

D800 with 12-24 Sigma at 12mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Smooth preset.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 145 – SHOOTING INTO THE GLARE

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Low angle sunlight shining through mist on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore; 10 Apr 2014.

Driving westwards across Tadham Moor with the sun rising behind me, I started encountering low banks of mist which were decidedly mobile, appearing and disappearing with disconcerting rapidity.  I was heading for the Magic Carpark but suddenly became aware that the mist ahead was fast disappearing, and so I swerved into a field entrance, leapt out of the car and looked back behind me, into the glare – and started firing.

As usual, there was a short length of fencing beside the gate to the field, which extended down from the gate to the water-filled ditch that otherwise forms the field’s boundary.  So I placed this in the foreground as a silhouette for depth, focused on it with a large aperture – and let the misty landscape behind it look after itself.  This backdrop consists of the rough, rather greyish pasture of the field, behind which are a few thin bushes and shrubs along the field’s edge – these are standing above another wet ditch which is the field’s far boundary.

Beyond this boundary, the next field holds greener grass and, in the distance, the faint silhouettes of larger trees can just be seen.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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