STILL LIFE 153 – ADVERTISEMENT 2

 

 


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A little the worse for wear … part of an advert on a hoarding surrounding a building site.

The first advert image, from yesterday, is here.

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); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Plain, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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PEOPLE 290 – SOULS

 

 


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What are these pictures?  Who are these people?  What am I trying to do here?

Well, for over a year now, I have been photographing Bristol’s morning rush hour, the daily surge of people into work.  But, increasingly, as retirement kicks further in and I get the opportunity to think more and more about what I see around me, two things have come increasingly to mind.

First, that many people, and especially young people, are becoming increasingly estranged from the Natural World – and increasingly wary of the Natural World too.  My car is usually plastered in mud and other less mentionable substances inherited from rural roads and, on apologising for this to a neighbour, he replied “Ah yes, but you go out into the country.”.  Whereas he, and others, do not – or, at best, their contact with the countryside is made from vehicles speeding along large main roads.  I am doing my best to develop in my granddaughters a recognition of and a love for the Natural World, but whether I’m having any lasting impact is anyone’s guess.

And then second, and leading on from this, and from talking to people and also from observing people in the rush hour, I do get the feeling that many are becoming alienated by the fast pace and time-poor quality of modern life, and by the whole materialism/consumerism thing too – not to mention our political systems.  It seems that the Grenfell Tower tragedy has struck a lasting chord with many, not least in terms of whether concerns over The Great God Cash should surmount concerns over human safety, welfare and wellbeing  – and especially so for the more vulnerable or less well off members of our society.

And so I’m posting these pictures because they do, for me at least, go a little way towards expressing these misgivings about estrangement and alienation.  Here are souls, individuals each with her or his own thoughts and fears, moving into the artificial environments of the city’s streets, offices, shops, cafes and workshops for the day – on five days out of every seven.  These are quite close up, intimate shots of people, but they were in fact mainly taken from some distance away with a telephoto; many of them are radical enlargements which have been made without regard for image quality.

Clicking onto these images will open larger versions in separate windows; clicking onto these again will in mist cases further enlarge them.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2; Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street area, central Bristol; 16 Dec 2016.


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PEOPLE 289 – GOING TO WORK 32 (MONO)

 

 


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The bus to work: Bristol Bridge, 2 Dec 2016, 8.10am.

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. 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 yet again.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Strong Infrared High Contrast preset; central Bristol.
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PEOPLE 288 – GOING TO WORK 31

 

 


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Fast food on the way in to work.  Its a Friday morning, so maybe an end of the week treat, caught close with a long lens. 

Eating on the move (“on the go” as its known now), the multitasking so prevalent in these time-poor, modern times.

But, still, the luscious, almost carnal enjoyment of food, momentarily brightening a bleak winter’s morning, making it all easier to bear.  Nutritional value?  Probably negligible. Energy value certainly high. But lots of glorious, “stuffing my face with gorgeous grub!” satisfaction.  (And don’t miss the falling crumb …).

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, 30Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto each of these three images to open a larger version in a separate window, and then click onto that version to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom, Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.

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ARCHIVE 312 – FAMILY NEAR AKALA (MONO)

 

 


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Members of a farming family, near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

I like this picture because everyone is looking in different directions, which to me gives a very “real” air to the picture, i.e. they are not all posing for the camera.  The mother is posing for the camera but I think that her pose is one of the most placid, serene, genuine and friendly that I’ve seen – she is feeling absolutely at ease with both me and my camera, and is simply looking very calmly straight into the lens.  She gives the impression of being very self-possessed.

The young man on the left is smiling – and his smile, his averted eyes and the splayed fingers and thumb of his pale hand against his darker face add to this shot.  Finally, the young child (a girl?), sitting on her mother’s lap, is certainly unposed – with her attention attracted elsewhere – but staring somewhere different to her older brother.

Using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, I’ve darkened the top of the picture, down to the top of the young man’s head, to help ensure that the viewer’s attention is concentrated onto these three people.

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Silver Efex Pro.

UPDATE: this remains one of my very favourite pictures, along with the one in the Archive 310 postI only wish that I’d taken more pictures like this while in Kenya.  And what of Kenya after their general election?  Well, the current president has been re-elected and international observers think the election valid, but the opposition hotly dispute it.  Who knows what will happen now – and whether, for example, it will affect any of the six people shown in this and the 310 post?  Assuming they have survived, they will be 38 years older now, and living in a more modern Kenya than the one I knew.  And so to the eternal problem.  Others may vie for power, there may be violence, disease and destabilisation on a national scale, but whatever happens it is hard to see the lot of these six people improving significantly, while there must always be the threat that the chaos and aggression resulting from the ambitions of others will impinge upon them.

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BRISTOL 123 – STEPS OFF BALDWIN STREET (MONO)

 

 


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Steps from Baldwin Street up towards St Nicholas Street.

And the effects of tilting a very wide lens slightly upwards – yes there’s a wide field of view, but see how the metal post at upper right is tilting drunkenly outwards, while less obviously the same is true of the wall at upper left.  Purists can probably correct such effects with software but I imagine this would reduce the overall area of view, and I’m happy to go with the effect as it is.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset; Bristol; 4 Aug 2017.
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PEOPLE 287 – WAITING FOR A BUS (MONO)

 

 


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Conversation at a bus stop.

A busy picture, lots of detail, lots to look at – Let’s go ANYWHERE!  Two people caught in conversation – friends?  – chance acquaintances? – the start of a lifelong thing? – trivialities to pass the time until the bus arrives?

And two other women.  The one passing by on the left has a tumbling mane.  The other, sitting in the shelter, looks unhappy about something – and its either him or me!

There is another black and white picture of people waiting at a bus stop here.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset; Broad Quay, Bristol city centre; 14 July 2016.
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PEOPLE 286 – GOING TO WORK 30

 

 


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Upstairs on the bus, early on a cold morning.

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  and 29.   Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; on Bristol Bridge, in the city centre; 11 Nov 2016.
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PEOPLE 282 – GOING TO WORK 26 (MONO)

 

 


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She’s in the rush to work, in a winter’s dawn.  Gazing out impassively, from light into darkness, a latter day Mona Lisa in a frame within a frame.

And the D700 is working flat out, wide open at 25,600 ISO – grain, shadow, contrast, darkness –  and yet more grain.

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 and 25.  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 23 Dec 2016.
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PEOPLE 280 – CITY LIFE

 

 


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City life – faces, images, media, messages, noise; hurrying, multitasking, crowding in close, claustrophobically close; all around.

There are two little bits of the Natural World in this photo.  She is at lower right and hurrying to get through it all, and the sky is at upper right, calm, serene, and tainted only by our fumes and emissions.  And the rest is, well, the rest.

Photographically, I enjoy the city, I love being there with a camera, this human environment has so much of interest to the lens.  But in other terms, to me, the ability to access peace and quiet is one of the most valuable things on this planet.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 30mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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