ARCHIVE 273 – BUILDING WITH OPEN WINDOWS (MONO)

 

 

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Building with open windows on John Street, off Broad Street, in Bristol city centre; 5 July 2013.

John Street, in Bristol’s Old City, is very narrow.  There are pavements wide enough for only one person to walk, and just room for one vehicle to move along its middle.  Walking along it, the buildings tower up on either side.  I was strolling down to the Baldwin Street branch of London Camera Exchange, en route to having lunch with a dear friend.  The (rare!) English summer sun was blazing along John Street’s facades and, lost in other thoughts, I noticed this but ambled on.

I enjoy visiting the Baldwin Street branch of LCE, simply because the staff there are friendly, and also – a small point! – their photographic expertise is both vast and readily given.  That day, I was asking their advice about a tripod and ball head combination I had in mind – and the issue was resolved and the gear ordered in a very short time.  A shorter time than I’d anticipated in fact, and I was left with time on my hands prior to lunch.

I remembered the sunlit façade, and strolled back to John Street for another look.  It looked good and, taking care not to be swept off the narrow pavements by passing vehicles, I stared down into the G11’s screen and took a range of shots.

In this image, I’ve tilted the camera so that the sunlit, upstanding parts of the façade lean to the right, which I think effective.  The white window frames break up the monotony of the pale and dark mosaic.

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

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 100 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Smooth preset.

UPDATE: as often happens, filling the frame with the subject, which helps to produce an abstract effect, there being no other source of reference, no other clues as to context, in the shot.  I don’t use the G11 much these days, although it remains a capable, compact and not too heavy standby for times when photography may not occur but its good to have a camera along  just in case – visits to pubs, lunches, days out, etc.

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BRISTOL 107 – BLUE ROOM

 

 

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Looking in through a restaurant window, Bristol Harbourside; 14 July 2016.

The blue effect is achieved by altering the white balance of the shot in Lightroom, making the light temperature artificially cold.

There are other views into this restaurant here and here, and something similar here.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv);  800 ISO.
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STILL LIFE 68 – LOOKING THROUGH A FROSTED GLASS DOOR

 

 

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We were on holiday again recently, in a caravan in the far southwest of Cornwall and, especially towards each day’s end, there were extended periods of glorious inactivity, when everything around could be looked at and taken in.  Our caravan’s door had a frosted glass panel, and this warped glass twisted and turned our view of everything outside – and so to this.  I can’t remember what the white object against the green glass was, but does that matter?

Well, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.  You may not feel comfortable with this image.  I have found that my and many others’ first reaction on being presented with such an abstract is to try and discover what it is, what the reality is, of what we’re being shown.  Well, in this instance, I don’t know what the image shows, and there may remain the urge for greater reality, for something real and knowable to fix your eyes and thoughts upon. 

What do you think – about abstracts in general, and about this one in particular?

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 226mm (equiv); 800 ISO; image rotated; 18 Oct 2016.
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STILL LIFE 66 – CHALET 5: THE VIEW FROM THE CHALET (MONO)

 

 

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On a cheapo holiday last spring, we were very comfortably accommodated in a two storey chalet – well, actually, it could very easily pass muster as a house.  And relaxing with the time to look around, I took quite a few photos of things within the chalet that caught my eye.  Some of these pictures have already been posted here – you can find them here, here, here and here.

And lolling back on a sofa, a favourite occupation, especially in the late afternoons, I looked to my right through the chalet’s open door and saw the lowering sun making light and shadow on the chalets opposite our’s.  And – and this is really decadence gone mad, not really as bad as Nero fiddling while Rome burned, but getting there – and I remember putting down my glass of Belgian beer and, still lolling, picking up the damn great Nikon which was lying on the sofa beside me, and starting firing through the open door.

It was always going to be about light, shadow, shapes and texture, and so I’ve converted the image to gritty and quite contrasty black and white, using Silver Efex Pro 2, the software that no one serious about black and white digital photography should be without.

The roof on the far right makes a diagonal shadow across the house front; and the the shadow of the tree on the building on the left and those few tree branches sticking out from behind that building, both add something living and organic to the scene.

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

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 195mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2.  Near Perranporth, Cornwall; 11 Apr 2016.
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STILL LIFE 54 – WALL WITH DRAINPIPE AND WINDOW

 

 

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King William Avenue, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.

A photo with little in it.  First, I was strongly drawn by the glorious colour and texture of the wall.  More of Bristol’s walls should look like this, the city would be a brighter place.

Then the drainpipe and window frame add starkly black, rectilinear shapes, and the window contains paleness and uncertainties.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 84mm (equiv); 400 ISO.
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STANTON DREW 32 – WHITE HOUSE WITH WINDOW BOX

 

 

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Stanton Drew village, south of Bristol; 7 June 2016.

A humid day and, due to the heavy, stifling overcast, a day with few shadows.  I walked gratefully away from the village’s single, narrow road – always glad to be able to concentrate on taking in my surroundings without wondering if I’m about to be mown down by some hurtling mass of motorised metal.

The clucking and scraping of chickens sounded momentarily loud in the sudden quiet, a sign proclaimed eggs for sale and, looking back over my shoulder – something which I often find useful – there was this white house with a dark window and a colourful window box, partly obscured by the branches of an overhanging tree.

But the overhanging greenery looked good against the black and white chequerboard of the window with its colourfully boxed posy, so I focused on the tree’s leaves and left the rest to look after itself.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon at 305mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Lightroom, Capture NX2.
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CORNWALL 85 – DECAY (MONO + COLOUR)

 

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Window frame in serious need of some tlc, Perranporth; 14 Apr 2016.

We like Perranporth.  Like Somerset’s Burnham-On-Sea, its cheap and cheerful – no frills and what you see is exactly what you get.  But this simply makes it a fresh and unpretentious little place, and relaxed wandering is the order of the day.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset and selectively restoring colour.
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CORNWALL 84 – SHOP WINDOW, TRURO

 

 

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Shop window in Truro; 12 Apr 2016.

We were on holiday in Cornwall this week and, taking advantage of what looked like being the only dry day, we visited Cornwall’s county town, Truro.  As we walked down the main street, sunlight and shadow dappled ‘sale’ signs on the other side of the road.

Truro is a very pleasant, open and not too large town, with a cathedral that rises straight up from its not over wide streets in a way reminiscent of French cities.  We stumbled upon a shop selling a good range of foreign beers, including quite a number from that Holy of Brewing Holies, Belgium.

And, always having wondered about the whys and wherefores of the world around me – a trait which is certainly increasing with age – I came upon Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens – a brief history of humankind, and am very, very deeply enthralled.  (In case you’re interested, and I can’t recommend this mind-stretcher and blaster too highly, its at ISBN 978-0-099-59008-8)

Click onto this image to see a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.
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BRISTOL 99 – URBAN ABSTRACT

 

 

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

Reflections in the windows of the Colston Hall, a theatre in the city centre; 20 Aug 2013.

Focus is on the strong, dark window frames that cut the image into four parts.  One of these frames bisects the image horizontally, on its long axis.  But the other frame cuts down at a high angle across the image, at an opposing angle to the prominent white lines in the backdrop – which is a slightly out of focus reflection of other windows.

The image’s main focal point is formed by the intersection the in-focus window frames.  But my eye is also attracted to the small red dot just right of centre, and the adjacent small area of featureless, very pale blue.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 280mm; 400 ISO; rotated 90 degrees clockwise.
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ARCHIVE 213 – INSIDE ST NICHOLAS MARKET

 

 

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Inside St Nicholas Market; central Bristol, 6 June 2013.

Calm and still; Minimalist maybe, although there is quite a lot of detail here.

This picture of a grey-walled room was taken looking into the room through a window.  The faint lines running near horizontally across the frame are reflections in that window.

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

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 800 ISO.

UPDATE: we are looking through a window into a place, a room with grey walls.  And we are looking through this room out to another place, a corridor with blue walls.  On the far side of this corridor is a window onto yet another, largely unseen, place – and in this window is a painting or photograph, a representation of clouds in a blue sky maybe, a representation of somewhere else completely.

I think that the pale blue colour helps this image, as do the pink outside frames to the nearest (visible) window.  Change that blue to grey, and remove that pink too, and something would be lost.

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