ARCHIVE: LEVELS 40 – EARLY IN THE DAY, JUST BEFORE MIDWINTER

.
.

.

The first flushes of sunrise on 16th Dec 2016 –  just before the shortest day of the year.  I was heading towards the village of Mark, and looking eastwards across Binham Moor.

Composition: a noisy, grainy, blurry image – no more than an impression of what it was like being there.  And what was it like being there?  Well, it was ******* cold and, despite 1/250th and image stabilisation, I was lying across the outside of the car, hoping to high heaven that, shivering as I was, I could still hold the camera steady.  Did I have a tripod with me?  Yes.  Could I be bothered to use it?  Nope – but then that’s always the case!  This image is very much a series of horizontal layers, one on top of the other, the darkness of the ground moving up, in a series of discreet steps, into the first welcome tints of the day.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; 1/250th, wide open at f5.6; Lightroom.

.
.
.

STILL LIFE 253 – THE SHADOW OF A VAN ON A SECURITY SHUTTER

.
.

.

Walking past shuttered shops and looking at the shadow of a van.  The van’s tinted windows colour the warm, early morning light passing through them and the shadow of the steering wheel is ready and alert.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 6 Apr 2021.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE: LEVELS 36 – THE RISING SUN THROUGH TREES, DE-FOCUSED

. .
.

The rising sun through trees, de-focused; seen from Hurn Drove, northeast of Godney; 28 Oct 2014.

Driving into the Levels early in the morning, when the sun started blasting over from the left. So found a place to get the car off the single track road, and ran back up the road to catch our star shining through a small copse. And so to spot metering for the sky next to the blazing disc (which is out of view, just left of this photo), focusing the lens on the ground at my feet, and taking this out of focus shot of the warm light streaming through the distant mesh of branches.

Fanciful maybe, but this reminds me of subdued detail in an Old Master painting and I like that effect. And yet another foray into the debate about photos necessarily needing some sharp detail.

This image looks better on a black background but my blog is white – and so to a thickish black border.

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

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

. . .

ARCHIVE: LEVELS 32 – SUN RISING OVER GLASTONBURY TOR

. .

.

Sunrise over Glastonbury Tor, seen from Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 22 Nov 2013.

I’ve lightened the centre section to bring interest to the mid-ground with the two cows – but I’m sure they should have shadows … oh dear, digital … not always quite up to it are you?  Or maybe I’m not quite up to it – its probably me ….

And of course I’m pointing my magnificent if distinctly weighty telezoom straight into the sun’s glare, and so to a second, orange sun low down in the frame, and also some rather fiery glows between that sun and the real one.  I could have gone at it with software to try and make good these optical artefacts but, first, I can’t be bothered, and second, I think they add to the atmosphere and feeling of the shot – I mean, I’m pointing a x6 telephoto directly into Our Star’s incandescent face, so what do I expect, perfect and pristine optical rendition?

I like the 80-400 (but – Jan 2020 – have sold it now).  Large and unwieldy it may be and its not one of Nikon’s very quick AF-S lenses, but it is image stabilised and I can hand hold it, and it gives such reach and flexibility.

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

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

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywordsthat will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.

. . .

ARCHIVE: LEVELS 24 – RISING SUN WITH FOG, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

.
.

.

Rising sun behind fog, Tealham Moor; 8 Apr 2015.

The view eastwards from the top of the low bridge over the North Drain (the waterway on the right), on a cool and still, April morning.

This archive presents some of the pictures that I’ve taken on the Somerset Levels over many years.  More context can be found in the first post in this archive – 1 – and also in my first Somerset Levels post, from 2011 – here .

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 200 ISO with 1 stop underexposure; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset and adding a cool tone.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 55 – CARS ON DRIVEWAYS, EARLY LIGHT

 

 


.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  These Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 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 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 .  Each post will open in a separate window. 

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 23 Feb 2021.
.
.
.

OUTER SUBURBS 311 – DANCER

 

 


.

Walking in the frosty sunrise, and squeezing into the shadow of a tree – getting a tree’s eye view perhaps …    But when you’re as bulky as me, squeezing in can be quite tricky – the bulge on the right of the trunk’s shadow may be my elbow.

The tree’s shadow is moving as the sun rises: on the left of the trunk’s shadow there is a halo of white, still unmelted frost, only just exposed to the sun’s weak winter rays.

And when I look at this image I see a dancer, perhaps a woman in a long dress, inclining her head to the left and raising her arms in celebration of the new morning’s warmth and light.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 70mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 05 profile; south Bristol; 26 Feb 2021.
.
.
.

OUTER SUBURBS 309 – TREE SHADOW ON LOCKED DOWN RETAIL

 

 


.
Sunrise, and the shadow of a bare winter tree is thrown onto the security shutters of a shop closed for the duration of the current covid lock down.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 320 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 26 Feb 2021.
.
.
.

OUTER SUBURBS 308 – LOOKING DOWN OUT OF THE CITY AS THE SUN ROSE

 

 


.
Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 43mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 15 Feb 2021.
.
.
.

OUTER SUBURBS 307 – LOOKING AROUND A CORNER, TOWARDS A BUS SHELTER LIT BY THE RISING SUN

 

 


.
Looking around a corner and seeing a bus shelter backlit by the rising sun, and a glistering river of light flowing down towards me.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day. 

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

Technique: TG-5 at 53mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 15 Feb 2021.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: