ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 10 – RUSH HOUR, RED LIGHT

 

 


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Red light in the rush hour:  queuing traffic, frustration, cold winter sunshine.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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ARCHIVE 562 – WOMAN AT A CASHPOINT (MONO)

 

 


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The morning stop for cash – Park Street, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.

Three dark elements, two for automatically dispensing and one for gratefully (or maybe even indifferently …) receiving. 

I was struck by this tall, dark figure and the shadows (accentuated a little here) cast by her wide-brimmed hat: she is restocking her purse with the spending ammunition required for the day ahead.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset.

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ARCHIVE 557 – WALKING AROUND BATH

 

 


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A walk around Bath with the Canon G11 Powershot – 24 July 2011.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.
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ARCHIVE 556 – ELDERLY WOMAN, WAITING FOR SOMEONE

 

 


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Elderly woman, waiting for someone, in the main street of Perranporth, Cornwall; 12 Sept 2013.

I like the way that she is sandwiched within – and only partly emerging from –  a world of reflections.  She is real, but many of the other contents of the picture are the reflected images of things that are not, in a material sense, within the frame.

Aside from the parts within plain view, much more of her is visible through the shop window of the Family Butcher.  But because her left hand and arm are protruding sufficiently far left, they are reflected in this window.  Her pale blue jacket harmonises with the paler blue-greys around her.  And a sense of depth is given by the right hand vertical window edge cutting her form, while the wider window edge further left is cut by her hand.

This picture was taken within a very brief timeframe.  As I walked along the pavement, another woman was walking towards me and the elderly lady was just behind her – and gazing about all over the place, looking for the person she was due to meet. 

She turned away to look into the distance, I raised the camera and readied it in one movement, the woman approaching me looked momentarily askance – and I fired.  There was just time for two frames – before the woman in the doorway, catching sight of her friend, was gone.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 67 – WOMAN ON A FARM

 

 


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Luo woman on a farm near Akala in Kenya’s far west; Apr 1979.

There are two others in the frame but I’m taken with this woman’s level stare and calm self-possession – and hence to a grainy selective crop – it could almost be a passport photo.

A meeting of two worlds.  Her home, and my privilege to be there.  Conversation via a Luo and (inexpert) English speaker and my few words of Swahili – and also quite a lot of mime, gesticulation, smiling and laughter!  They were friendly and welcoming, as were people throughout Kenya, and that is something that remains with me.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Dfine 2; Color Efex Pro 4.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE 545 – WOMAN ON HER PHONE (MONO)

 

 


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Woman talking on her phone, central Bristol; 15 Oct 2013.

Blazing sunshine on Bristol Bridge, and two women, both distracted, walk towards me.  The young woman in front is in urgent conversation on her mobile, struggling to hear the other voice above the traffic noise; and the second woman glances away, across the river.  I look down into the G11’s wonderfully articulated screen and squeeze the shutter release.

I’ve left the second woman in, but can’t decide whether she adds to the image or not – and hence, maybe, why she is not mentioned in the shot’s title.  Any thoughts? 

I like the main subject’s long, trailing hair – and along with her hand, it makes a rough frame which her face is within; and she’s inclining to the right while her hair is trailing out to the left.  So if the second woman were to be removed, the first woman’s hair would need to left intact.

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

Technique: G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Janice’s Infrared Preset.

UPDATE: looking at this again now (2020), I’m glad I kept the second woman in the shot.  To me, her pale face provides balance, both in terms of her looking to the left while the other woman is inclining right, and of her pale face providing some counterbalance to the subject’s larger, paler face.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 63 – WOMEN ON A FARM

 

 


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Luo women on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

On the left is the girlfriend of my travelling companion.  This was taken on his father’s farm, where I received much hospitality and friendliness.  Everybody was curious about my camera: that it was a fairly compact and unimposing Olympus OM-1, which I mostly used with an equally unimposing 50mm lens, was helpful – it didn’t scare people off! 

And so to this relaxed picture: I especially like the straight and open gaze of the woman on the right.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE 532 – LOOKING INTO A TABLET – AND A MOMENT OF MAGIC (MONO)

 

 


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Mother and daughter gaze into a tablet computer; 24 Jan 2014.

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

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Warm Tone Paper preset.

A MOMENT OF MAGIC

We popped over to see our friends and their two wonderful daughters last week.  As usual, I completely let myself go with the two girls, and we went through all sorts of stuff and nonsense.  In common with other parents here, my friends have something called the Thinking Step which, one of the bottom steps of their stairs, is where the girls are sent to sit and think over their behaviour when it oversteps the mark.

And, old friends that we are, when my behaviour became too boisterous, the girls’ mother condemned me to the Thinking Step, and the two girls took me out into the hall, to show me where it is.

And then the moment of magic happened.  As I sat there, the four year old looked at me seriously, went upstairs, and returned with one of her dolls – which she sat on the Step beside me, so that I wouldn’t be lonely sitting there on my own.

I have to say that I was immensely touched by the kindness and simplicity of what she had done – for there, in microcosm, was one of the things that make Life lift and soar, one of the truly great things of this world.

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TALKING IMAGES 56 – THOUGHTS FOR THOSE NEW TO PHOTOGRAPHY: 2 – RAW VS JPEG

 

(Click onto any of these images to open a larger version in a separate window)

Some years ago, I put out some posts specifically aimed at those just getting interested in photography, just starting out.  I tried to think of things that might be useful to them – and not just in terms of technique, but also in ways of thinking about photography, attitudes, questions that might arise, etc.  I most certainly do not know all there is to know about photography, but I’d like to try something similar again and – as always – I’m happy to take questions >>> with the caveat that, as already mentioned, my knowledge is not exhaustive.

But always remember, these are only my views and opinions: others may well think differently, and equally validly.

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EARLIER POSTS IN THIS SERIES

POST 1: The Main Mantra: there are no rights or wrongs in photography, only individual photographers’ differing opinions.

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RAW CAPTURE VERSUS JPEG – THE PROS AND CONS

Many cameras can capture both raw and jpeg image files, even simultaneously, and the debate about their relative merits has rumbled on for years, with die hard supporters on both sides.  However there is a very simple distinction between the two, which really centres on how the resulting images are going to be processed – or not processed –  post-capture.
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Jpegs contain only the information from your camera’s sensor that relates to the actual image at the point of capture.  And so they can provide excellent images of the scenes that you have photographed as the camera saw them at the point of capture, but they cannot be used to significantly alter those images after capture – they simply do not contain the necessary data.  So you might use the jpeg format if you do not want to subject your photos to significant post-capture processing but are happy with the photos your camera produces – which you can then post straight onto the web, or get printed, etc.  And my advice would be to opt for top quality jpegs, to get best quality images.

So jpegs are useful in various situations where:

  • you don’t want to put in a lot of time on post-capture processing of your pictures;
  • or you want to shoot large numbers of images in a short time, including using motorised shooting;
  • or your photos are only going to be used on the internet;
  • or you plan to make only smallish prints, if any.

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In the past, raw files were capable of producing much better quality images than jpegs, but this is no longer the case – many cameras can now produce very good jpeg images, Olympus and Fujifilm in particular being notable for this. 

But raw files contain BOTH the information necessary to create a top quality image of the scene being photographed, AND a lot of OTHER information too – everything that the camera has recorded in fact.  And the point here is that this OTHER information can be used, if desired, to produce a version of the image that differs substantially from what the camera has recorded, and maybe from reality too.  So raw files are really of more use to those who regularly subject their images to post-capture processing, those who are NOT looking for “something nice straight out of the camera” – and the point should be made that raw files, however well captured, can often look dreadful straight out of the camera, they often require some adjustment to make them even look presentable, let alone the work needed to transform their images into “something new”.   

I never shoot any format except raw, simply because I always want to have the maximum possible, post-capture processing flexibility, in case I need it.  Raw is also useful in various situations where:

  • low light levels necessitate the use of high ISOs but image noise needs to be kept to a minimum;
  • or images have particularly high tonal range, i.e. between very dark and very light areas;
  • or adjustments to colour temperature (i.e. white balance) may be made after capture;
  • or high quality black and white conversions are planned;
  • or large, high quality prints are planned.

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ARCHIVE 516 – WOMAN IN THE FOG (MONO)

 

 


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Woman walking down the Wells Road in south Bristol on a foggy morning; 13 Mar 2014.

The G11 produces images that are already below full (i.e. 35mm) frame in size, and this is a substantial enlargement from one of those images.  Hence image grain has played its part here, and I’ve added to this with grain from SEP2.   This is a dank, foggy morning, all things are diffuse, and this very visible grain adds to that effect.

Where is she going?  She is hurrying down the pavement and, first drawn to that great catapult of a Plane tree, my eye is then drawn left to her – she and the tree are both very dark objects surrounded by light.  She is the stark, central point between the converging lines of the pavement and its attendant trees, which are dissolving off into the distance.  She is headed into that convergence.

The dark mistiness of the road is also headed down that way (with ghosts of buildings just visible over on the right), and a line of road markings, the brightest things in the frame, confirm that direction.

And what of her?  She is hurrying – to work probably, or to some appointment perhaps.  The morning was not really cold, but her coat, wide-brimmed hat and boots add to the inclement effect.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset.

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