SOMERSET LEVELS 442 – EMPTY SHOP

 

 

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So, what the hell am I pointing my camera at now?  These are the windows of an empty shop, most probably a victim of both the current general downturn in UK retail, together the on going impoverishment of seaside towns.

These are the shop’s windows, with a white, wooden frame between them.  On the left a smaller window adjacent to the shop’s door, and on the right a larger window facing more out onto the street.  Because the premises are empty, the inside of the windows have been wiped with whitewash to deter curious eyes – there may still be things inside the shop worth stealing, or perhaps it is being refurbished.  Seen from the outside, presumably taking some colour from the sky, the whitewash appears bluish.

Then, on the right of the picture, the larger window reflects the terraced houses in the street, a white van, twin yellow “No Parking” lines and the sky’s dull, wet overcast.

Other recent pictures from Weston are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.
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PEOPLE 386 – SELFIE WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS, SNOWMAN AND WARNING ABOUT WET FLOOR

 

 


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Down a dull sidestreet in a seaside town, and this last vestige of overhyped festive cheer – still warm and bright despite early January’s gloom, drizzle and inescapable realities.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 48mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Flat v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 169 – EARLY MORNING 34

 

 


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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 29 30 31 32 33 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile and selectively desaturating colour; south Bristol; 23 Dec 2019.
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PEOPLE 383 – GOING TO WORK 96 (MONO)

 

 

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The morning rush hour in Bristol city centre.  Grab shots, hastily taken pictures of half-seen human beings, on their way to work.  Faceless, anonymous images that, to me, speak of the often dehumanising influence of work in cities, and of the artificiality of city life generally.

Recent Going to Work posts are here: 93 94 95 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto images 1, 2, 4 and 5 twice to open larger versions in separate windows; image 3 will only respond to a single click.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; in-camera processing and cropping of raw files, using the Graphite profile; Bristol city centre; 18 Dec 2019.

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GOING TO WORK: THE EARLIER POSTS: 1-92.

You can see a summary of the Going to Work series here .

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 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Each will open in a separate window.

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ARCHIVE 424 – VEHICLE IN A STORM (TWO ORIENTATIONS)

 

 

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Vehicle hit by high wind and a cloudburst, on a rooftop car park in south Bristol; 15 Feb 2014.

The view from my car’s window stretched off to the south from where, closing fast, mist and dense gloom were coming at me.  I barely had time to get the G11 from my bag and switch it on before the car shuddered under the impact of the first gusts and the rain’s rattle was all around.

A vehicle, a large black 4×4, was just pulling out, lights on and heading straight into the storm and, as it moved slowly away, I focused on my car’s streaming window and fired.  Long white walls and overhead signs lit up the backdrop, and the tungsten white balance – still set on the camera from a previous photo session – brought a blue cast to the scene.

I’ve modified the image in CEP4, raising contrast and detail, lowering brightness, and counteracting the tungsten’s cold feel with just a little warmth.

After this manipulation, this image no longer faithfully reproduces reality, but it is an impression of things that reminds me of what it was like being there.  And as well as attempting to interpret what this image portrays – which is for many, many of us our initial response to an abstract – I can enjoy this simply as a collection of shapes, textures, colours and tones.  It could also be rotated 90 degrees clockwise, as shown below.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equivalent); 400 ISO; tungsten white balance; Color Efex Pro 4.

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PEOPLE 379 – GOING TO WORK 93

 

 


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The early morning bus: misted windows, close atmosphere – and anything to distract from the tedium of the commute.

More than three years back, I started early morning photography in Bristol city centre.  This led to a series of images of people and vehicles in the city’s morning rush hour, entitled Going to Work – see links to these posts below.  Not having been down early to the city for sometime, the Going to Work posts ceased – but I’ve made another early visit to the city, and so to more pictures.

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

Technique: Z6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Bristol city centre; 29 Nov 2019.

GOING TO WORK: THE EARLIER POSTS: 1-92.

You can see a summary of the Going to Work series here .

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 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Each will open in a separate window.

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BRISTOL 156 – EARLY MORNING OFFICE, FLOODLIT

 

 


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I joined the morning rush hour, on streets teeming and blaring.  And was approaching Bristol Bridge, just about to cross the river and enter the city’s heart, when to my left appeared these offices –  deserted at this early hour, but illuminated both inside and out, regardless.

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 145mm; 12,800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 29 Nov 2019.
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BRISTOL 155 – BOTTLE TOP ON WINDOW SILL, BROWNS RESTAURANT

 

 

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Sitting in Browns restaurant, waiting for a breakfast – a second breakfast as it happens – to arrive.  I’ve often visited this rather up market venue after hours of early morning photography on Bristol’s streets; its a wonderfully quiet place to relax – and the almost ritualistic presentation of the Full English Breakfast is a minor delight – you can see what I mean here.

But whereas Browns used to have beautiful yellow chairs that caught the sidelight pouring in through the large windows, these are now gone and – in the interval between ordering the meal and receiving it – the place is not so photographically rewarding as it once was – for example here .

But, still, there was a dull red bottle top sitting on the window sill across from my table, and the perforated top of a radiator below it, all with shadows and backlighting courtesy of the light from the large windows.

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 200mm; 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Pop profile; Browns Restaurant, central Bristol; 29 Nov 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 431 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS

 

 

Uncertain destination

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Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

A short history of Weston is here.

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Wet morning

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Cracked and weathered frontage – built of one of the honey-coloured limestones from the Cotswold area, like Bath Stone.  An older house, once genteel.

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