ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 29 – SELFIE IN A CITY SCENE


OK, some interpretation, working from left to right – and its best if you click onto the photo, if you’re in my blog, to see a larger version of the image in a separate window.

First, me, nattily attired in an old cap, with old, stained, black jogging bottoms, and an even older green fleece – a fetching ensemble (although just what it might fetch must remain open to conjecture) >>> but, as an ensemble, I think it works!

However, next right, the woman holding up her hands clearly doesn’t share that view – something like, in a high voice, “Just who is that GHASTLY person?!”.

Then the man in the blue shirt prefers just to look away.

And, on the far right, the whole thing is rounded off by scaffolding poles, distorted by the reflection and wrapped in yellow to prevent the unwary walking smack into them.

Welcome to my world?  Well, there are times when it can feel like that.

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); 3200 ISO; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 40 – CORPORATE FOYER


City life: the clean, soulless hospitality of a corporate foyer, with traffic lights outside and more corporate architecture across the road.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 125mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 85 – LOOKING WEST, TEALHAM MOOR


Something of a milestone, I suppose, my 300th post from these lush, wet (often very wet!!!) flatlands.  What can I say?  I love the place.  I love the very basic, what-you-see-is-what-you-get simplicity of the place.  There is no advertising hype here, no marketing, no tourism, just a flat landscape, the local farmers, the occasional person walking their dog, the occasional person simply walking, the occasional birdwatcher or photographer, and that’s it.

Many years ago, I recall going into the single shop in Westhay (which has long since closed down) and saying to the shopkeeper “There aren’t many people about this morning”, to which I received the somewhat mournful response “There are never many people about round here”.  Bring it on!  The place is not of course immune from the noise of motor vehicles, but sometimes there are just the sounds of the wind, the birds, the cows, and the soft lapping of water.

And here on Tealham Moor, and on the nearby Tadham Moor too, great big open skies which powerfully remind me of the vast open skies above Africa – actually, more specifically, the skies above Kenya. For me, there are far too many people in England, but that’s not the problem it might be because in the main, and especially so away from tourist areas, most people stay relatively close to their cars.

So, what is pictured here?  Well, flat land, land at or just below sea level, that was underwater in the geologically extremely recent past – I’m talking of only a few hundred years ago – and which will be underwater again in due course, when the coastal defences along the nearby Bristol Channel can no longer totally hold back the sea.  In Roman times, seagoing boats regularly crossed this area, inland to Glastonbury.

As we look at this view, there is slightly higher ground up on the right.  Not long ago, that was an island.  And the dead straight waterway disappearing off towards the horizon on the left is the North Drain – a totally man-made channel vital to the drainage of the area.

The large white birds are Mute Swans, a species whose wings make a beautiful, rhythmic singing sound in flight.

And finally, not far beyond the horizon, along the muddy shores of the Bristol Channel, well, that’s where I come from.  If I have one, that’s my homeland.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore; 24 June 2016.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.



ARCHIVE: PEOPLE 4 – BOAT OWNER


I rarely get enthusiastic about boats, I can’t even swim, but as soon as I caught sight of the Sharon Tracey in the little harbour at Porthleven, it was love at first sight!   I mean, what a dinky (in the British sense of the word) little boat, decked out in blue and yellow, lounging around slightly askew at low water, her little boarding ladder on the left, and one of her tiny propellers visible on the right.  Here is almost toy-like beauty.

But this is flagged as a post about people and, although Sharon may well have a personality of her own, this photo – to me, anyway – is about the man, whom I’m presuming is the boat’s owner.  Here is someone who must be into boats, seriously into boats, and how happy and proud he must be to skipper this little floating gem.  We Brits have a phrase – messing about in boats – and here’s someone, in jeans, Wellington boots and body warmer, who does it a lot – and doubtless enjoys it a lot too.

I would guess that he’s a fisherman of one sort or another, maybe he has some crab or lobster pots a little way offshore, something like that, or maybe he actually fishes.  What a life, far away from urban sprawl, commuting and rush hour traffic.  I don’t know him at all, but I would imagine that he loves being in this little boat, that he has some good quality of life, and that he’s happy in what he does – as modern idiom would put it, “WAY TO GO, MAN, WAY TO GO!!!”.

Click onto the image to see a (much!) larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Porthleven harbour, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 30 – LOOKING UP


 

Another early bus ride into the city, another second breakfast at first light in Hart’s Bakery  – and as I lurched out of that warm, friendly and bustling establishment, the tints of sunrise were above and, looking up, I saw this.

The bird is a gull (aka seagull), and just about to leap off into the air to scavenge the city’s no doubt enticing refuse.  I have Hart’s Bakery, (s)he has Bristol’s rubbish bins.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; beside Temple Meads railway station; 9 Dec 2016.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 29 – CHRISTMAS STEPS (MONO)


Morning sunlight blasts up Christmas Steps, an ancient thoroughfare in Bristol city centre; 16 Sept 2016.

Close-in with a wide angle lens, low angle sunlight, and textures all around.  This was never going to be a colour image but, as always, I like to capture images in colour, and then convert them to mono post-capture with Silver Efex Pro 2.  This method does, I think, provide far more options and potential for the final image(or images) than having the camera itself shoot mono images.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 24mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 73 – GOING TO WORK 29 (MONO)


 

Going to work.  The bike beats the jams but he’s jammed in – anonymous, wary, vulnerable, claustrophobically picking his way between shifting walls of gleaming metal and glass; lungs poisoned by fumes, ears blasted by engines and horns, and always the thought that he’ll fare worst in any tussle with these mechanised beings.

Oh come, you’ll say, mechanised beings? – each has a human driver!  Well, the way things are going, that will not be true for too much longer – so, thinking of the Terminator films – is this Rise Of The Machines???

Technique: this is tight crop, aimed at accentuating how the cyclist is being hemmed in, to accentuate how the “mobile metal monsters” are queuing up to squeeze closely past him.  And these feelings of claustrophobia are (hopefully!) added to by cropping The Man Himself; and especially so his eyes, which at once renders him anonymous and unknown; leaving only his mouth, which looks rather taut, stressed and ready for the worst.

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); 400 ISO; LightroomCapture NX2; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 18 – PUBLIC SEATING (MONO)


Public seating at the Memorial to the Merchant Navy Association, beside the Floating Harbour on Welsh Back, central Bristol;  5 Aug 2016.

This is a memorial to the Merchant Navy seamen who have sailed from Bristol.  The actual memorial is set on the quay beside the waters of Bristol’s Floating Harbour, where it is partially surrounded by curving rows of metal seating.

Here, I’m looking at this seating from the rear, looking through the vertical backrests onto the horizontal parts of the seats, which are catching the light.  One of the seats’ horizontal bars has been bent.  The unfocused backdrop, towards the top of the image, shows the light hitting the rough pavement around the seat.

The black uprights dissect the highlights into white diamonds, which occupy a band across the centre of the image, roughly from upper left to lower right.  Above this band, the uprights rise on to blend in more with the darker and more diffuse backdrop.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 17 – SEASCAPE


Study in blue – looking out to sea from Lizard Point, Cornwall; 19 Oct 2016.

Composition: a Minimalist image, take away the fluffy cloudlets and there’s really not much here, although it might still (just) work sans nuages.  But I like these little clouds – their shapes, fluffiness and colour – and the way they are at once separate from the dense, dark overcast – their relationship to this overcast is rather like that of little children skipping along beside their humourless, stolid, heavily pacing parents.  There is also that thin, linear break in the parental overcast just above these cloudlets – is it the trace of a smile? – perhaps their parents are not so humourless after all …

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



ARCHIVE: STILL LIFE 15 – LOOKING INTO A BUILDING AT NIGHT


Offices with the lights on, empty in the early morning; beside Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 16 Sept 2016.

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 305mm (equiv); 3,200 ISO.

ARCHIVE STILL LIFE

This is a new category on this blog – Archive Still Life studies.  The Still Life definition will certainly be followed loosely – e.g. some studies may only have been made “still” by the split second opening of the camera’s shutter – and my objective will be to use as many different types / genres of subject matter as possible.  Some images will be Minimalist and, in general, I try to make simpler images, rather than cramming them with visual content.

Some new Still Life studies will (hopefully!) continue to appear.



%d bloggers like this: