ARCHIVE 347 – POLLARDS AT TEALHAM (MONO)

 

 


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Pollarded willows on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 30 Oct 2014.

A typical Levels landscape – dead flat countryside,  with water (sometimes a lot of water!) and pollarded trees.  Pollarding is explained here.

The more I look at this, the more these trees resemble knobbly headed beings with huge coiffures, that are coming slowly forwards to look at me – the second and third from the left, in particular, seem to be craning to get a better view.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 24mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2; Color Efex Pro 4.

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ARCHIVE 346 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 


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Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, seen from Kenya’s Amboseli Game Reserve; July 1978.

There is another Kilimanjaro image here .

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75mm-150mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE 343 – BLUE SUNRISE (MONO)

 

 


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Sunrise behind a young Alder on Jack’s Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Aug 2013.

Alders are wet country trees, they like “to have their feet in the water”.  This one, still a bush really, is up along Jack’s Drove, growing between the road and the water-filled ditch alongside it.

The sun was rising and I got within the young tree’s shadow.  The ultra-wideangle made sure the tree’s branches reached wide in the frame, reaching out to embrace the camera  – and, I hoped, me too –  and I made sure the rising sun was visible through the tree, as a brilliant, star-shaped brightness.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma lens at 12mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Tin Type preset, with heavy Cyanotype tone.

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STILL LIFE 207 – TREES BESIDE A LAKE 1

 

 


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The Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve is found on the Mendip Hills, south of Bristol.  It is an area of open ground made rugged by lead mining, and it includes a small lake.  I’ve done quite a bit of photography here over the past 15 years, including recently on a very cold, early morning.

Other images from this early morning shoot, already posted, are here: 1 2  .

What is this image looking at?  Well, I am standing on one side of the small lake, looking across it towards some small, bare trees on the opposite shore.  The sun is just rising behind me, and the lower parts of the trees and the ground around them are still in shadow but, above the shadow, the golden, low angle sunlight is bathing both the upper parts of the trees and the pale brown vegetation on the hillside behind.

It is a very still morning, with barely a ripple on the lake’s surface, and this liquid mirror is reflecting the hillside’s warm, sunlit browns, the bright blue of the clear sky, and the trees’ upper branches.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 106mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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STILL LIFE 206 – SMALL TREE (MONO)

 

 


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When I can, I like to try my hand at different types of images.  For better or worse, here is an example.  I was reviewing pictures on my camera’s screen when this little tree caught my eye.  It occupies only a small part of an APS-C frame but, enlarging it on the screen, I liked it – and so to something a little different.

As usual, the initial processing was in Lightroom, and then I used Silver Efex Pro 2’s Classic Portrait preset to add softness and a pale vignette.  A pale tone followed, and the thinnest of black borders to keep it safe from the world.

What does this remind me of?  Well, I recently watched three enthralling BBC programs entitled The Art of Japanese Life, and perhaps that’s why I see something faintly oriental here, perhaps something faintly reminiscent a bonsai.

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: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Classic Portrait preset, and adding a tone and a border; Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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ARCHIVE 340 – THE VIEW TO THE NORTH ON TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 


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The small tarmac lane of Jack’s Drove heads off northwards across the flats of Tealham Moor on the Somerset Levels, towards Wedmore; 10 Apr 2014.

A water-filled ditch forms the boundary of the pastures to the right of the road, and trees (alders on the right) have been planted along the road’s low embankments, both to strengthen them and to show where the road is when it is flooded.  During last winter’s awful floods, which were far more severe to the south of here, the surface of this road stayed just above the surrounding waters, as can be seen in this photo.

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

Technique: D700 with 16-35 Nikkor lens at 16mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Orange preset and adding a slight selenium tone.

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STILL LIFE 202 – LONE TREE (MONO)

 

 


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The view across the lake at Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendip Hills.

Can’t quite believe the title I’ve given this – sounds like an entry for a camera club competition!  What have I got against camera clubs?  Nothing, except to know that they’re not for me.   I’m a loner when it comes to photography – being alone and aware of my surroundings is what works.

And as for competitions, photography is to me – like most if not all of the other arts –  far too subjective to allow meaningful ranking or judging of one photograph against another.  In photography, we each do our own thing, we express ourselves.  If others like our images, well that’s a plus.  If not, well that’s how it is, and we should, I think, keep being true to ourselves, keep being true to how we look at and see the world.  For me, taking photos with a view to competition judges saying positive things about them would hardly be satisfying.  But then, as always, I am not the norm and neither are you – we are all different, we each do our own thing.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 98mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Silhouette EV +1 preset, and adding a tone; Priddy Mineries Reserve, Mendip Hills, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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ARCHIVE 338 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM RATTLEDOWN FARM

 

 


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The view south from Rattledown Farm, looking out over the Chew Valley, south of Bristol; Chew Valley Lake is in the background – looking for all the world like blue sky; 12 July 2013.

Another slice of the English countryside, on a beautiful morning.  I think that the line of taller trees take my eye up through the picture to the lake’s blue, which then pulls my gaze right.  And I like the wedge of vivid pale green cutting across the image, just about along the upper horizontal third.

Chew Valley Lake is an artificial reservoir, flooded in the early 1950s – Google tells me it is the 5th largest artificial lake in the UK.  It has something of a special place in my life in that it was around its shores, in 1967, that I took my first, hesitant steps to becoming a birdwatcher – “with a little help from my friends”!

I was useless at birdwatching in those days.  I was (and am) short sighted, wore glasses, and had only a small telescope bought for me by my parents many years earlier.  So, a bird would appear, I’d see it and whip off my glasses so as to be able to use my telescope – and then totally lose sight of it, casting blindly about with the scope.  For Christmas that year, my impecunious mother bought me a pair of 10×50 binoculars that could be used with my glasses on and – no pun intended – I never looked back.

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

Technique: D800 used in APS-C format, with a 70-300 Nikkor lens giving a focal length of 450mm; 400 ISO;  final manipulation in Colour Efex Pro 4.

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ARCHIVE 335 – SHOOTING INTO THE GLARE 2

 

 


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Shooting into the mist and light on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 10 Apr 2014.

There is another recently posted image from this sequence, and more context, here .

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 220mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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ARCHIVE 333 – SHOOTING INTO THE GLARE

 

 

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Low angle sunlight shining through mist on Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 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.

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.

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