OUTER SUBURBS 160 – EARLY MORNING 31

 

 


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Clear morning, early December.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 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 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 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 4 Dec 2019.
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PEOPLE 377 – MODERN LIFE (MONO)

 

 


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Reality in Modern Life: exit your front door – leaving all home comforts behind – to walk on a side street, on a wet morning, in Weston-super-Mare.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; raw file processed and cropped in-camera using the Graphite profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 434 – ANOTHER WORLD (MONO)

 

 


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Walking in The Boulevard, one of Weston’s main streets.  It was a wet morning, rain forever around, and there was a lot of surface water.  In my path, a large puddle spread across the pavement and, well before I reached it, I could see reflections in it – and so to ramping the telezoom up to 300mm and, standing quite some distance back from it, looking at and into this puddle.

I was looking into another world.  There was the reflection of a tall street lamp and, nearer, a street sign too, and the patterns of paving stones were also visible.  I’d taken several frames when the reflection of a gull suddenly passed through the frame – and I managed a single shot before it was gone.  And thence to simplifying the image by presenting it in mono, and presenting it upside down to make it more readable, while preserving the dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere.

And, in yet another (this time, bygone) world >>> opposite this spot, 60 years ago, a toy shop called Driver’s was an exciting centre in my young life – forever adding to my vast regiments of toy soldiers, and also allowing me to buy fireworks in the days when they were both affordable and freely available to youngsters like me.  For those of you old enough, do Penny Bangers, Jumping Jacks, Volcanoes and Catherine Wheels bring back any memories???  We youngsters used to light a Penny Banger (effectively a small explosive device, costing one OLD penny) and hold it until it started fizzing and was just about to explode, and then drop it into a puddle, when it would shoot across the surface of the water before blowing up: delighted – and retaining all our fingers too – we called it a Torpedo …..

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of raw file, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom; 180 degrees’ rotation;  The Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 159 – EARLY MORNING 30

 

 


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

Bus shelter (with illuminated arrival times) beside a busy main road, a major route into the city from the south.  And the first, faint flush of sunrise.

A few minutes prior to this, crossing this road, I had witnessed two cars narrowly avoiding a collision, only to then myself narrowly avoid being hit by a driver speeding through a red light – ah, south Bristol ….. que je t’aime! …..

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 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 .

Technique: TG-5 at 70mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 27 Nov 2019.

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BIRDS 123 – HERRING GULL (MONO)

 

 


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Herring Gull around refuse and recycling bins in Weston town centre; possibly not too happy with my presence … LOL!  >>> I grew up here, these birds were always around, they were a part of my childhood, and I have to confess to a great fondness for them, quite regardless of any aggression on their part.  If I’d been eating fish and chips, I would have certainly shared them with him – and probably outraged the (more or less mindless and unimaginative, it has to be said) local authorities by doing so.

But, looking at things another way, here is a very successful creature, certainly at home on the coast and inland waters, but also, equally, at home scavenging around human habitation – LOL again!!! >>> unless absolutely desperate (after a nuclear holocaust, perhaps???), I wouldn’t want to eat the rotting refuse he’s eating, whereas he will take both the refuse and my fish and  chips – and me too if I were moribund or actually dead (starting with my eyes, most probably …) ->>> and he’d do so with great alacrity!

Quite simply, he is very good at what he does.  Most of society – sitting in front of TV’s and becoming increasingly estranged from the natural world – no doubt find him abhorrent, but I admire his expertise – years ago, I read that if function is beauty, then the Spotted Hyaena (a truly voracious predator and hardly the world’s most aesthetic organism, even I will admit) >>> well I read that if function is beauty, then the hyaena is beautiful, and some similar sentiment also applies here.  I know, I’m a Silly Old Romantic, I know …. but gull and chips might actually be quite tasty … with a little salt and tomato sauce …. of course …..

And, as I’ve said before on this blog, in a parallel universe, if I were eating my tasty gull and chips beside the sea, maybe a fish would jump up out of the water and steal it …..

All recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera conversion of raw file using the Graphite profile and cropping; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 22 Nov 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 158 – EARLY MORNING 29

 

 


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Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 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 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 9 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 430 – POPLARS (MONO)

 

 


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Poplars on a slight rise in the ground near the village of Godney – in this flattest of landscapes, these trees are quite a landmark.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, using the Graphite profile;  Godney, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 15 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 429 – CONGENIAL CAKE, A LITTLE PIECE OF IMAGINATIVE SIMPLICITY

 

 


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So much of today’s world consists of buzz words, of “smart” this and “smart” that, of hype and image – and, quite frankly, most of this leaves me cold.  In many cases I feel such things to be a triumph of style over content.  I have produced some stuff over the years – geology, data analysis/management, ornithology – but I have never felt the need to label any of it as awesome or amazing – it was just, well, what it was – no marketing, no hype, no bullshit.

So that when I encounter things now, however commonplace and mundane, that show genuine sparks of imagination and innovation, I do tend to hugely admire and treasure them, and the people who have dreamt them up – in a way, I suppose, because amidst all of the commercially driven hype, media pressure and bullshit that modernity continually throws at us, I see these things as evidence that true imagination and innovation persists – and that to me is a very valuable and reassuring thing.

And so to a little bakery – Winnies Bakery  – in Weston-super-Mare, where the Somerset Levels run down to the sea – and also to a branch in Burnham-on-Sea, just down the coast to the south.

So just  what has Winnies  produced, that really gets to me???  Well, quite simply, a range of inexpensive and very tasty cakes with a really inspired but very simple name – Congenial Cakes.  I mean, wow!, who thought that one up????  And the two shops themselves are very unprepossessing, again no hype, no marketing bullshit, just simple counters and shelves stacked with inexpensive but extremely pleasant cakes, pastries and savouries >>> really, what more can one ask????

And here is a picture of a Congenial Cake – you can’t even see the cake clearly – but, take my word for it, it was delicious.

Technique: TG-5 at 30mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 9 Nov 2019.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 428 – AUTUMN MORNING, JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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The single track tarmac of Jack’s Drove, with a water-filled ditch (a rhyne – rhymes with scene) on either side, makes off southwards across Tadham Moor, in the dull light of an autumn morning.

On the horizon the low line of the Polden Hills, that run from Glastonbury and Street down towards the coast near Bridgwater.  The main road along the top of these hills runs along the route of a road built by the Romans – who prudently kept out of the vast lakes and marshes that covered these lowlands in those days.

And on the right my disreputable old car, covered in lichen, cobwebs, mud, cow dung and thin, very weathered paint.  Years ago I worked, looked at birds and photographed in often desolate and remote areas, areas where my life might depend on the reliability of my vehicle, and ever since then I have never bothered in the slightest about vehicles’ appearance, but always insisted on absolutely thorough maintenance and servicing.  Reliability, for me, is always the name of the game.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Jack’s Drove on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 15 Nov 2019.
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OUTER SUBURBS 157 – PARKED CAR 8

 

 


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Parked car with sunrise, dew and tinted windows.

There are earlier images in this Parked Car series here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 320 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 18 Nov 2019.
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