BRISTOL 151 – TABLE AND YELLOW CHAIR

 

 


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A couple of years back, I was doing a lot of early morning visits to Bristol city centre, and glorying in the abilities, light weight and compactness of my second mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 (my first being the X-T1).  Having tramped the early streets for several hours, I would at last fetch at some or other eatery, and flop down to a second breakfast – which was usually a Full English.

One of the eateries I frequented was Browns: the food is excellent and, while not inexpensive, the Full English with a pot of tea (together with a tea strainer!) has a definite sense of occasion and ceremony about it – which I’ve tried to convey in A Distinctly Civilised Full English, here .  Even though I say so myself, if you’re anything like interested in food, this post might be worth a look.

And while waiting for the food to arrive, I took many pictures of the restaurant’s tables and beautiful yellow chairs, which were side lit by large windows looking out onto the street.  Some of these images have already been posted – search for Browns in the tags shown along the bottom of this post – but here is another that I came across recently.  Mostly low key, its about the way the light coming in from the street illuminates the various objects in the frame, notably the yellow chair.  I hope you like it.

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-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 212mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Browns restaurant, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 389 – ASH MOOR, THE RIVER SHEPPEY

 

 


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The River Sheppey meanders slowly across Ash Moor between high, densely vegetated banks.  In the background is Hurn Farm.

Its worth enlarging this picture to get further into it – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it >>> and absorb more of the peaceful atmosphere of this little, out of the way place.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile;  Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 9 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 386 – EARLY MORNING 2 (MONO)

 

 


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A bed of Stinging Nettles – at once soft, attractive and menacing – reaches out towards the camera.  Further back, a stump raises its one bare branch in a celebration of Life continuing.

Other images in this Early Morning series are here: 1 .

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-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Hurn Drove, Ash Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 2 Aug 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 382 – WATERWAY (MONO)

 

 

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The lush growth of summer borders a water-filled ditch – known locally as a rhyne, and covered in waterweed – that fulfils the purpose of a liquid fence between a field of pasture out of view on the left, and a very uneven, single track lane known as Westhay Moor Drove that is out of view behind the great bank of vegetation on the right.

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-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset and adding a split tone; beside Westhay Moor Drove, on the Somerset Levels northwest of Glastonbury; 12 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 381 – WET MORNING

 

 

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Pulled over by the side of a single track lane, as rain empties from grey overcast at 6.44am.  And vastly appreciating the luxury of engaging in such early morning photography via a car.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Long Drove on Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wells; 19 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 378 – MOMENTS OF UNEASE

 

 

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Driving eastwards on Hearty Moor, driving towards the rising sun.  A farmer in a huge 4×4 stopped, looked down at my little car and me, and announced that his cows were on their way down the road towards me, but “just pull over to the side and you’ll be fine!”.

Well, a narrow – in fact single track – road, there was nowhere else to go.  And so to really large, living things moving slowly down the road past me, to huge faces brushing up against the car windows and, catching sight of me within, shying away in panic; and in one unnerving instance, one of their significant bulks trying to squeeze through the little gap between the car and the hedge …

Well, you say, they were only cows, but I have two takes on this.

First, and on the positive side, I used to take paying guests on safari in Kenya, and often used to stop my vehicle in front of an advancing column of elephants, telling everyone to be very quiet and to keep still, and to let the elephants bear down upon us and flow around the vehicle like water around an island in a stream – once, one took even some greenery that had become entangled in our front bumper and ate it.   These were truly wonderful experiences, the great beasts moving slowly past us, the noises, the smells – it was said that an elephant can smell each individual occupant of a vehicle and remember the smell too!  BUT I was younger and less sensible then >>> although my hand was always on the vehicle’s ignition key, and I was in a larger, safari vehicle rather than my little car!  And having been studied for many years, the elephants of Amboseli Game Reserve were very used to people.  Although, even then, getting too near a big bull was really not a good idea.

But second, on the negative side – and much nearer home too – a cow broke out of its field near Bristol a few years back, panicked and ran off down the road.  And when confronted by a small car like mine, it ran up over the bonnet and roof in its panic, killing the driver.  And so to moments of unease on Hearty Moor, though still managing to fire off a few frames.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-25 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Hearty Moor, east of Glastonbury on the Somerset Levels; 24 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 376 – ENTRANCE TO A FIELD OF RECENTLY CUT GRASS

 

 


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This picture is best viewed enlarged, there’s a lot to see – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

I’m standing on the tiny, grassy bridge across a water-filled ditch – known locally as a rhyne – which allows access of man, beast and machine to the large, open field of recently cut grass to the left.  A period of dry weather is forecast and, almost to a man, everywhere, the farmers have been out cutting their grass.

The actual metal gate to the field is open and out of shot to the left, and such short sections of wooden fencing as the one here are erected on either side of gates everywhere in this flat landscape, to prevent animals trying to squeeze around the gates from either falling into the rhynes, or gaining access to the tiny bridges and actually escaping.

The dead straight rhyne makes off eastwards across the relatively recent landscape of Queen’s Sedge Moor, and just visible up to its right is the tarmac surface of the single track Long Drove, which accompanies the rhyne across this flatland.

In all of this wonderful flatness, two areas of higher ground can just be seen.  Look along the line of the rhyne, and there is a bluish escarpment – the uplands of Launcherly Hill and Worminster Down – and over beyond there, further to the right, well that’s where the Glastonbury Festival is held.  I have never been to the festival (tho watching lots of it on TV) but, quite simply, I think it an absolutely wonderful event, something of a shining light in an often dull world, and I can only hope that it will continue for many, many years to come.

Look over to the left and you will see a long line of more distant high ground topped by a towering TV mast – these are the Mendip Hills, the northern limit of the Levels in this area, and an important part of my early life.

And, as has happened to me many times before when viewing such pictures, the large upstanding tree near the rhyne’s vanishing point resembles nothing more than an exploding artillery shell.  Why I should receive this impression, I cannot imagine.  I’m not sure I believe in the possibility of having lived earlier lives than this one but – who knows?

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 27mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 374 – LOOKING WEST FROM THE JACK’S DROVE BRIDGE

 

 


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As the single track lane of Jack’s Drove cuts northwards across Tealham Moor, it crosses a little bridge and, looking left – that is, towards the west – this is what you see.  Here are the dark, peaty waters of the North Drain, speckled with water lily pads and moving slowly away westwards.  This drain is totally manmade, to help shift water away from these often sodden flatlands – and the fact that it is full almost to the brim in the first week of July only goes to show just how much water there is around here.

The land on either side is flat, rough pasture right out to the horizon, but there is some slightly higher ground at top right – higher ground that used to be part of an island when all of these flatlands were largely underwater.

And if you enlarge this shot (which you should!!! >>> the enlarging method is given below) >>> then tightly screw in your monocle (ouch!) and fix the horizon at upper left with a fierce and penetrating stare, you may just be able to make out a long, shadowy line of high ground, the Quantock Hills, far off to the southwest.  Travel on past them, and over the horizon you’ll find the Brendon Hills, the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor and – before you know it – you’ll be in Devon!

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

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 370 – EARLY MORNING, LOOKING EAST

 

 


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The world above Queen’s Sedge Moor, early in the day.

This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 365 – THE ROAD NORTH TOWARDS GODNEY (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window. and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

A dark, wet morning on the Somerset Levels, looking back up the road to the village of Godney, on the horizon. 

On the left, the stump of a heavily pollarded Willow, crowned by a few new leaves but close to collapse.

You can find out more about pollarding trees, and about the Somerset Levels too, here .

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 03 profile; Godney Road, looking north towards the village of Godney, northwest of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 14 June 2019.
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