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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SOMERSET LEVELS 311 – SCHOOL BUS OUTSIDE GODNEY

 

 


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The images in this short series from the Somerset Levels were taken on an absolutely beautiful morning, when the sunrise coincided with banks of thick fog.  Most if not all of the other images celebrate the natural beauty of that early morning, but here is one that simply looks at a facet of Levels life.

There is no school in the village of Godney, and so those who are not taken to their schools by other means go via the school bus, which is seen here waiting on the outskirts of the village early in the morning, prior to going into the village to pick up the children.

What can we see in this picture?  Well, obviously, the bus waiting amidst open farmland – it’ll be in a place where it does not block the single track road.  And the red triangle of the road sign to the right of the bus warns drivers that this narrow road is about to enter a series of sharp corners: the road is following the bends of the little River Sheppey – the raised river bank can be seen immediately behind the bus.  Then there is a telegraph poll, carrying landline phone cables.  And right of the road sign, part of the inverted umbrella shape of a pollarded willow tree.

A short while ago, my blogging colleague Harrie Nijland was talking to me about two distinct types of photography.  The first type of photo is simply a straight, factual representation of something, a record shot perhaps, or documentary photography.  This is such a shot, showing an everyday facet of Levels life, without any artistic ambitions or endeavour whatsoever.  But the second type of photo Harrie mentioned does use artistic / compositional / etc devices in an attempt to make images more attractive to the eye: and, for better or worse, the other images in this short series are all of this type.

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

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Godney, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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ARCHIVE 380 – BACK ROAD NEAR AKALA (MONO)

 

 


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Back road through farms near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

The wideangle lens makes the road appear in worse condition than it was – and, in any case, it was dry weather; tackling this in wet conditions would be something else again.

The VW Beetle was wonderful for this sort of thing.  No 4×4, just drive in the two rear wheels, the engine seated over the wheels – which made for very good grip –  and a large metal plate underneath most of the length of the car, to guard against rocks and boulders.

But the car took quite a hammering on this trip and, as I pulled out at the end of my stay for the long drive back to Nairobi, my front wheels had, unbeknown to me, taken such a pounding that they were facing outwards, i.e. away from each other.

This very soon wore both tyres completely bald and, when I came upon a police road block, I had a hard job persuading them to let me through.  Luckily there was an excellent garage specialising in VW repairs in Nairobi, and however badly I damaged the car, they were always able to fix it.

Another thing about this picture is that it was taken in a very fertile, agricultural landscape teeming with people.  I’ve only just stopped for a photo, and already there’s a young lad standing by the car.  If we were really to get stuck or break down, there were always plenty of willing hands to help push and pull us on our way.  They were friendly – and distinctly humorous – people.  Less friendly was the malaria, which initially got its teeth into me during this safari.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red preset.

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OUTER SUBURBS 8 – WHERE IS THIS PROJECT AT NOW???

 

I’m very much feeling my way forwards with this new Outer Suburbs project.  There seems to be the distinct opportunity to become totally immersed in moody black and white, but I want to do some (at times very saturated) colour too.  The project may be stretching me a bit, or at least making me think about things in different ways, which has to be a plus.  One or two things about the actual photography are mentioned below.

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Early morning shower

Much of this photography looks at details, and for this reason I am at the moment favouring the flat and dull light of overcast days, days when the only shadows are those underneath parked cars.  This is very different from my usual photography, where I often look for dramatic, directional lighting and then decide what to do with it.  The TG-5’s metering works well with this type of overcast light shot, and I’m getting more used to using the non-articulated screen.  Also this little camera remains completely out of sight on my trouser pocket, and is eminently easy to carry around.  The 25mm-100mm (equivalent) zoom range works very well with the types of subject I’m looking at here – though I have to admit to missing my habitual 300mm at times!

Most of my current subjects are static; I’m not sure how well the TG-5 will handle movement – but this may simply reflect my lack of expertise with the camera.

Also (OMG!!!) I’m using Lightroom instead of Silver Efex Pro 2 for some of the black and white!  That this would not long ago have been heresy probably reflects a certain snobbishness on my part, but if I can achieve something workable with LR, I’ll sometimes use it.  I’m using LR in a slightly more radical / extreme way, and with the mono I’m conscious of time-saving, which may not be a good attitude to cultivate.

The first image in this series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 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 window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 38mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; south Bristol; 18 Aug 2018.

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PEOPLE 355 – GOING TO WORK 82

 

 


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Inbound: the blazing headlights, blaring horns and sheer cut and thrust of the morning rush into work.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 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 enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 285mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Temple Gate, Bristol; 2 Feb 2018.
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PEOPLE 354 – SARA

 

 


We all have some money,

but no matter how rich or poor,

 we all think we should have more.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 223mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; Welsh Back, central Bristol; 2 Feb 2018.
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STILL LIFE 243 – WHITE VAN WITH STICKERS AND GRIME

 

 


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White van with stickers and grime?  Has FATman finally lost it?  And, if this is the case, how can he have lost what he’s never found in the first place?

Ah, an uncertain world, a world of questions >>> but this image does exactly what it says on the tin – its a grimy van (that’s the trouble with white), with two stickers.

And its been rotated, to give a it a different look, to push it a little towards some sort of graphic design.  And, also, its almost black and white, apart from the stickers.

The black/dark areas at upper right and lower left balance each other to some extent, and the bodywork of the van introduces vertical elements ranging from black to almost pure white, which contrast with the curved elements at upper right.  Finally, the stickers provide small, unique, focal points of bright colour.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 111mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; rotated; Little King Street, central Bristol; 19 July 2018.
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STILL LIFE 239 – PARKED CAR (MONO)

 

 


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Parked car, pavement and arches, looked at differently. And now, to me at least, becoming more an assemblage of shapes and textures than recognisable entities.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film preset; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset, and using a light selenium tone; rotated; beside Temple Meads railway station, central Bristol; 19 July 2018.
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PEOPLE 344 – GOING TO WORK 74

 

 


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An old and very dear friend of mine is a professional psychologist and avid people-watcher.  Her insights into everyday human behaviour never cease to fascinate and amaze me.  I had the idea sometime back of giving her a photobook of the Going To Work images (produced via Blurb) for her birthday, and that project is moving ahead.  In the course of assembling these pictures for use in her book, I have found six images that have not been posted in the Going To Work series but which really belong there, and so I am going to start incorporating them into this series here.  This is the first of the six.

ORIGINAL TEXT

Morning rush hour, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.

Early morning sunlight blasts down Baldwin Street, bringing out the textures on a dented and dirty car (for which, in my world, read eminently characterful car).

And the driver, who is late and who does not have any time at all to waste, bites his nails and stares anxiously ahead at the stacked up, stationary traffic.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom.

UPDATE

This picture was taken on the first of my early morning bus trips into Bristol city centre which, on the 19th of this month, will have been two years ago – how Time rushes by!  This was the morning when I took the first of the Going To Work images, although the concept of such a photo series hadn’t then occurred to me.

Two things get to me about this picture. First of course, is the man’s body language – he’s in a hurry and in a traffic jam – bad news!

The second thing is that, for quite sometime now, when out photographing I look for good light and then try to decide what to do with it.  As I’m writing this post, its a warm summer’s day, but the total overcast has made the light flat and featureless – there are no shadows, except those below the parked cars.  This sort of lighting is fine for taking shots of detail, and for some portraits and abstracts, but I like chiaroscuro, a term that started off being used with regard to paintings, and which describes the effects on contrasting light and shadow in an image.  And in this picture I’m looking at the early morning light glancing along the dirty and dented bodywork of the car.  I really like the textures and shadows that this warm, glancing light reveals, and there is something else  – this is Reality, this is not some auto magazine’s shot of a spotless, pristine and shining car >>> car porn! >>>  this is what Life is really like, warts and all.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 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 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 Each will open in a separate window.

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STILL LIFE 235 – CAR DOOR

 

 


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Close in with a car door.

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-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol harbourside; 14 July 2016.
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