STILL LIFE 210 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 16 (MONO)

 

 


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Two chairs outside The Hole in the Wall pub, at Bristol’s Harbourside; 5 August 2016.

The two curving and tapering shapes advancing out towards the camera – apparently for a closer look at it – are the exception here.  Almost everything else is either coated by hard, precise, rectilinear patterns, or in shadow.

At last I’m starting to use the X-T1’s tilting LCD screen a little more.  Its already proved very useful in getting an extreme wide angle lens down to ground level, as in this shot.

And now, as I approached these chairs, it was much easier to get the camera down to their level by looking down into the screen – that is, much easier than it would be getting me down to their level to look at them horizontally though the viewfinder ->>> its an age thing 😦 !!!

And this pub’s strange name?  Its due to a spy hole in the pub’s wall, where centuries ago smugglers might keep a look out for customs and excise men – and any man might keep a look out for the press gangs that roved this busy port, snatching men for the harsh and dangerous life endured by sailors on the Royal Navy’s warships.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found here Subsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12 13 14 15 .  Each will open in a new window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 96mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro2.

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PEOPLE 321 – MYSELF, TWICE

 

 


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Selfie, reflected in a window.

LOL!!! >>> if you really feel that you need to enlarge this, you can click onto it to open another version in a separate window, and then click onto that version to enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom; central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.
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STILL LIFE 198 – MEGALITH 5 (MONO)

 

 


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Amongst the prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

Other images of these ritual stones are here: 1  2  3 4 .

More info about this prehistoric site is here .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 14mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Tin Type preset; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.

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PEOPLE 317 – GOING TO WORK 50 >>> PHEW! NEVER THOUGHT THIS SERIES WOULD REACH 50!!!

 

 

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Phew!!! >>> well!!! >>>  the first of these Going To Work images was posted way back on 23 July 2016, and I never thought this series would still be ongoing!  The pictures have received some favourable words along the way, and for those I’m very grateful – simple fact is, such opinions provide encouragement, they help me to keep on keeping on with photography generally >>> so >>> thank you!

Where is this series going now?  Well, as usual, I’ve no idea.  I’ll just see what comes up.  But two points to make.

First, this series has been significantly facilitated by the portability of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2 cameras – I take only one of these cameras and one lens with me on my long walks around the city, and they are eminently compact and portable.  I’ve also used the heavier Nikon DSLRs once or twice – and there’s getting away from the fact that for pinpoint focus in situations with very poor light and/or movement, these bigger DSLRs (D700 and D800) have the edge. But, camera portability is certainly a factor, and especially so for a no-longer-so-young(!) person like me.

And then second, maybe my having retired (nearly 5 years ago now) has allowed me to get outside of the “work ethic”, necessary as it is in any society, and to stand back from it a bit.  Maybe being on the outside looking in – after all those decades spent on the inside looking out –  has produced a more detached perspective.  And so to early mornings photographing the city rush hour, and the thought that five days on and two off each week – and a life outside of work to lead too –  can be quite a punishing schedule.

And so to this picture.  Just before sunrise, I was on a traffic island in the middle of the busy dual carriageway below Temple Meads railway station, leaning back against a street light to steady the camera and watching the steamy windows of the towering double-decker buses as they arrived with their cargoes of inbound workers.  Several buses would arrive at once, and so to firing off quick series of single shots (rather than motorised bursts) before waiting for the next gaggle of buses to pull ponderously in.  I looked along the windows on the upper deck of a bus, this woman’s red coat caught my eye, I took one shot, she looked at me and I fired again. 

Technique: the light was dismal – 6400 ISO, 1/45th second with the 305mm lens wide open at f4.8 – but the image stabilisation (+ leaning on the street light!) held it steady.  One thing about these mirrorless cameras is that, since they do not have a mirror, there is no vibration as the mirror moves during an exposure (mirror slap) and so they can take sharper pictures at lower shutter speeds than DSLRs.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Clicking onto this image will open a larger version in a separate window, and clicking onto that will further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Temple Gate, in Bristol City centre; 2 Feb 2018.

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PEOPLE 315 – GOING TO WORK 49

 

 


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The walk to work, in November: warm breath, cold air, the dazzling but icy gold of sunrise.

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 .  Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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STILL LIFE 193 – TABLE IN A CAFE (MONO)

 

 


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A little while back, we went up to the café at the Priddy Good Farm Shop, on the top of the Mendip Hills, for a first rate Full English Breakfast.  I’d taken along the Fujifilm X-T1 camera and 10-24 wide angle lens specifically to photograph the food – and the resulting picture is here.

This café is a little extension with large windows on two sides that has been built onto the farm and, while waiting for the food to arrive, I walked around with the camera looking at anything and everything.  Next to us was a long wooden table with chairs along both sides and, set beside both sets of windows, it was well lit.  Long and slim, it receded from me.  I put the zoom onto its widest setting (15mm full-frame equivalent), looked down at the table, and raised the camera.  The farmer came in and said “You’re photographing the table.”, which put everything neatly into context, and I started gently squeezing the trigger.

I don’t often think about such things, but I suppose it was always going to be a black and white shot, with the receding lines of the table and the wonderful grain, knots and plate/glass marks on its polished top – and also the little group of condiments and sauces in their various containers, just in front of the bright reflection at the table’s end.

But the thing about pointing such a wide angle lens downwards is the distortion it brings, which makes all of the chairs appear to be “relaxing” outwards, which in turn channels more attention down onto the table top.  It could almost be a coffin, flanked by laid back, contemplative mourners and set with some small (and saucy??? – ohhhh! 😉 ) tributes to the deceased.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Push Process N+3 preset, and adding a light coffee tone; Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 19 Jan 2018.
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PEOPLE 313 – GOING TO WORK 47: APOCALYPSE (MONO)

 

 

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This is obviously not a representation of reality – or, if it is, then maybe you shouldn’t be thinking of Bristol for your holiday this year ….

What’s here?  Well, spot metering for the highlights has produced a low key image, and this effect has been enhanced by further darkening during toned black and white processing.  What was in reality a clear, sunny morning has been converted into something less comfortable – we are conditioned to be afraid of the dark, right?

The huge, backlit double-decker buses, their headlights on, tower above people walking passively – perhaps even hypnotically – towards them, while the Tin Type tone spreads its cold, lifeless glow through the highlights.

The more I look at this picture the more it has an apocalyptic feel.  Just what is this – the End Of Days?  Some appalling human cleansing operation?  Just where are these vast metal and glass machines carrying these people off to?  Have Bristol’s retail emporia finally emptied of merchandise in the run up to Christmas, and are these the Lemming Specials that take shoppers on cold turkey to the nearest precipitous cliffs???  >>> LOL! >>> sheer fantasy! >>> the churnings of an over active mind! >>>  but then that’s what photography – and especially black and white – can do for you.

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 .  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 further – recommended.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); spot metering; 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2,  starting at the Tin Type preset; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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PEOPLE 312 – GOING TO WORK 46: CONFRONTATION (MONO)

 

 


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People in the rush hour at Broad Quay.  I cannot now remember whether there was actually any interaction between the man with his back to us and the man on the left – and also the figure whose leg shadows are up at upper right.  But the stance of the man in the foreground – legs set firmly apart, semi-clenched fist hanging loose – does not seem, to me anyway, to be that of someone completely at ease with this meeting of souls.

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 .  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: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset and adding a selenium tone; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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STILL LIFE 188 – MEGALITH 4 (MONO)

 

 


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Amongst the prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

Other images of these ritual stones are here: 1  2  3 .

More info about this prehistoric site is 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 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset and adding a light coffee tone; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 6 Nov 2017.
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PEOPLE 310 – GOING TO WORK 44

 

 


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Walking to work on pavements strewn with inspection covers, shadows and fallen autumn leaves.

Veering over a little towards the surreal perhaps, am I?  Starting to look a little bit alien or otherworldly?  Two thoughts come to mind.

First, that following advice I read long ago and have never forgotten, I believe in letting my (now mainly non-existent!) hair down with black and white: black and white is already one step removed from reality, and I like seeing it become even more unreal.  I’m not really into straight black and white representations of colour scenes, such as might be obtained for example simply by desaturating a colour image.  Silver Efex Pro 2 is a very welcome companion on these sometimes delirious flights of fancy.

Then second, with this Going To Work series, I’m trying to look at various approaches and techniques, with a completely open mind, ruling nothing out.

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 .  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 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 Strong Infrared Low Contrast preset and adding a strong cyanotype tone; Broad Quay, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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