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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ARCHIVE 391 – DARK, BROODING GIANT ALONG CHASEY’S DROVE

 

 


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A misty early morning along Chasey’s Drove, Common Moor, just north of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Aug 2003.

I have an ongoing love affair with the big, bold, black silhouettes of trees.  I probably find them very powerfully graphic, I don’t know, but I do know that they never cease punching me right in the eye – I can’t get enough of them – as witness some of the Mendip Hills posts.

I like this one particularly – the tree’s black bulk rises just about on the left vertical third and to the right of its vast trunk is a glimpse of misty, early morning countryside which, compared to this brooding, masterful giant, is insignificant, blurry backdrop, a pale contextual glimmer.

Technique: tripod-mounted OM-4 with 85mm-250mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: an image from what seems a long, long time ago, when I was using film – and when I was determined NEVER, EVER to change to make the change to digital.  How times change!  The appearance of Nikon’s “budget” full-frame D700 DSLR brought me over to digital at a stroke, and it is a change I have never, ever (those two words again!) regretted. Indeed, I feel incredibly fortunate, after 45+ years of film photography, including wet darkroom use, to be still photographing during the advent of the digital age: for me, the creative potential of photography has simply mushroomed. 

But now, having used optical viewfinders on Nikon’s superb D700 and D800, but then started using the really very good electronic viewfinders on Fujifilm’s X-T1 and X-T2 compact system cameras, I have a feeling that its electronic viewfinders that I want to continue with – and so to Nikon’s new Z series.  The 45MP of the Z7 are really far, far more than I need, and (with the experience of using the high MP D800) I know that using such high megapixel cameras need very careful camera technique – such cameras show ever little mistake you make!!!  So the 24MP Z6 might be far more my style – and then there’s just the “minor” problem of raising the necessary cash!!! 🙂

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ARCHIVE 390 – TAKING FLIGHT

 

 


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Another early bus ride into the city, another second breakfast at first light in Hart’s Bakery (context is here) – and as I lurched out of that warm, friendly and bustling establishment, the tints of sunrise were above and, looking up, I saw this.

The bird is a gull (aka seagull), and just about to leap off into the air to scavenge the city’s no doubt enticing refuse.  I have Hart’s Bakery, (s)he has Bristol.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; beside Temple Meads railway station; 9 Dec 2016.

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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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SOMERSET LEVELS 314 – LOOKING EAST, TOTNEY DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking eastwards along Totney Drove, a single track, tarmac road on Tadham Moor.  Tall Willows are silhouetted by the sunrise, and water-filled rhynes (ditches) flank the road on either side.  The distance is shrouded in fog, but the ghosts of cattle can just be made out in the background on the left.

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

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .

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 Tin Type preset; Totney Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 313 – LAPWINGS, TEALHAM MOOR

 

 


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Driving westwards across Tealham Moor, and a long line of birds, high up above, caught my eye.  There was no traffic on the narrow road, so I stopped, watched and waited, wondering where they might be headed.  They came lower and wheeled about overhead, and I saw them to be Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), a type of large plover, that form large flocks in winter.  I started taking pictures.

Here, the flock is flying across in front of a bare, winter tree, and there are a few smaller, darker birds below them, which are Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

Compositionally, the flock is almost “resting on top” of the tree, the combination of the birds and tree making a ‘T’ shape within the image.

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 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 30 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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