ARCHIVE 330 – BOYS AT A WEDDING (MONO)

 

 


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Young boys – curious, uncertain –  at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

I think I was the only non-African at this ceremony, and so an object of great curiosity to all the youngsters there.

There is another image from this wedding here.

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

Technique: OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko lens; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.

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ARCHIVE 314 – MEN DRINKING (MONO)

 

 


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Men drinking beer at a wedding reception near Bristol; 17 Aug 2011.

I took informal photos at a friends’ wedding reception sometime back.  The celebration was set high up above the Chew Valley, a beautiful area not far south of Bristol.  I took a lot of shots but, looking back on it now, I wish I’d taken more – and that I’d had the love of my life – the 70-300 lens – with me, as well as the 24-120.

Being a good friend of the happy couple I was given carte blanche to fire away as and when I chose, and very, very little was posed >>> I’d very much like to have another crack at something like this.

To me, the man in the foreground is a strong, even powerful figure, with his closely cropped dark hair and beard – someone swigging seriously from his bottle and wanting it, almost frowning, deeply enjoying it in a masculine way, with an almost bullish determination.

The drinker in the background is different.  He is tilting his head slightly further back – enjoying the experience in a lighter and slightly more gourmet way maybe? – and he has a rather “softer” and more conventional haircut, and his clothes are paler.  Perhaps he does not display quite the same solid determination.  And, certainly, his appearance there, slightly out of focus and duplicating his friend’s stance, provides a repeating pattern that adds to the shot.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1000 ISO; conversion to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping in at the Sepia Landscape preset.

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STILL LIFE 108 – SHOP SELLING BRIDAL WEAR

 

 


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Elegant, graceful bling: it comes at a price mind, but then its for the day when no expense is spared and perfection is the sole (no pun intended!), simply must-have outcome.

There is another Queens Road dress here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 276mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Queens Road, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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ARCHIVE 233 – PEOPLE LAUGHING (MONO)

 

 

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People laughing; 24 Mar 2012.

Guests at a party, laughing at a speech.  My gaze is taken into the photo, down the “narrowing corridor” formed by the four, nearer faces, and ending up on the woman and partly seen man sitting up against the wall. 

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 24mm; 400 ISO; diffused, bounced flash;  converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: I especially like the couple in the “second row” of these faces.  They are a couple and thus know each other well >>> and the person making the speech has just said something that has made the man explode with laughter >>> so that his partner is looking over and smiling with delight at him – a wonderfully human moment.
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ARCHIVE 218 – KIKUYU GIRL

 

 

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Little Kikuyu girl at a wedding near Thika, Kenya; late 1970s.

The bottle of Fanta fizzy orange is about 10 inches tall – and evidently her treasure!

She’s chewing the white Fanta bottle top while wondering with horror what this fat mazungu (white man) is about to do to her!

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak colour transparency.

UPDATE: This brings back a lot of memories, not least the day glow colours of much of the local knitwear, which in this case fits so well with the colour of her drink.  Kenya is a land of colour, I remember returning there from visits to England and being visually stunned and uplifted by the blazing brilliance and radiance all around.  There are two factors in this.  First, of course, the country is straddled by the equator, and the sun simply blazes down from high overhead for much of the day – your eyeballs are hammered back into your skull – and especially so on days when the sun is obscured by thin, white stratus clouds.  And to add to this effect, this photo was taken somewhere around a mile above sea level – so not only were we being blasted by the light, but we were somewhere around 5,000 feet up in the clear air – just to make sure we got the full effect!

But the other thing of course are the tropical colours – vegetation, birds, insects, clothes – absolutely wonderful to behold.  There are to be sure drabber places there too, particularly in the wilder and more arid areas, but they still have a wild beauty that stays with me.

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ARCHIVE 212 – DOMINANT FEMALE (MONO)

 

 

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Dominant female, amongst guests at a wedding reception; 17 Aug 2011.

D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 120mm; 1000 ISO; conversion to mono in Silver Efex Pro.

UPDATE: I certainly didn’t have this interpretation of the shot in mind when I took it, nor when it was first posted here over 4 years ago .

The other three people present are dark, placid even – and even I can see that the jeans on the left are not “natty gents’ wedding wear” – tho maybe for “The Younger Generation” this no longer matters, which is an attitude I wholeheartedly applaud.

But the person in the right foreground is bright and smart, probably in all senses of those terms, and elegant even – and that pose is nothing if not assertive.

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PEOPLE 194 – BOYS AT A WEDDING (MONO)

 

 

Boys at a wedding
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Young boys – curious, uncertain –  at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

I think I was the only non-African at this ceremony, and so an object of great curiosity to all the youngsters there.

There is another image from this wedding here.

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.
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PEOPLE 193 – MOTHER AND BABY

 

 

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Mother and baby at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

African women’s love of gorgeous, bright colours.

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Color Efex Pro 4.
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ARCHIVE 78 – GUEST AT A WEDDING RECEPTION (MONO)

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Man at a wedding reception near Bristol; 17 Aug 2011.

With this striking character, I’ve definitely gone for the tough guy or gangster look.  His tie was a splendid red, but restoring that colour here would have unbalanced and cheapened the whole shot I think – it would have been a major distraction.

D700 with 24-140 Nikkor at 140mm; 1,000 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting from the Cool Tones 1 preset.

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PEOPLE 120 – RING (MONO)

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My daughter’s hands, with her wedding ring; 1 June 2013.

Strange thing to say maybe, but I feel it a privilege to be able to make such an intimate portrait of another person.

And rings, especially gold ones, always bring the writings of Tolkien to my mind – and it was my daughter who accompanied me to the cinema to see the first instalment of Lord of the Rings.  Having read the book – and The Hobbit too – many times, I was unsure whether the film version would do the story justice.  But I need not have worried.  Five minutes into the vast opening battle scene, I was entranced!

Nikon D800 with 105mm Micro Nikkor; 1600 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping in at the Film Noir 3 preset.

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Soon after posting this image this morning, my colleague in arms Helen Cherry commented that the fingernail highlight at top left is a distraction and I think she’s absolutely right – so below is a second version, which I think a distinct improvement >>> what do you think?  Thanks, Helen!

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