STANTON DREW 49 – PARADISE 2

 

 


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Not sure this is Paradise but, if it is, I wasn’t allowed in.  Even, in desperation, venturing to mention my untarnished soul failed to gain me entry, the general feeling being that, if my soul really is in such pristine condition, I must have had it Photoshopped.

The first picture of Paradise, of a rather more accepting and welcoming scene, can be found here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
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STANTON DREW 48 – VILLAGE LIFE 14

 

 

 

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Still quite early, only around 7.30am, but we western Brits have been having a certainly unusual heatwave this past week or so, and the midsummer sun was already very warm.

Having grown up alongside  a big tom called George, I have always had a great love for cats.  This one was not 100% sure about me (although we have in fact met before), but he was just too warm and comfortable to do anything about it.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.

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STANTON DREW 47 – IN LOVING MEMORY OF

 

 


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

As with all things (and not least photography!) there is a vast spectrum of attitudes to, and beliefs and thoughts about, death.  I don’t profess to have any answers here, except to think that the deceased live on in the thoughts and memories of those who knew them.  And of course I’m not just talking about people: the same is certainly true of some animals too.  Pets are the most obvious example, and I find myself thinking often of the cat that I grew up alongside, who died 55 or so years ago: clearly he means a great deal to me, more so than I have previously realised.  Is this the wisdom and insight of old age, or burgeoning (and quite possibly drink-induced) sentimentality?  Well, whatever it is, I value it.

Being remembered by mortals is not of course anything like immortality, and the same is very true of the sentiments expressed on this weathered and decaying gravestone: it was quarried from the ground and, slowly but surely, hard rock though it may be, it is returning there.

Recalling those who have died can give rise to a whole gamut of emotions, ranging from warm happiness and humour, to regret and great sadness.  But, nevertheless, we remember, and I do find that a very valuable and human thing.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 234mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film preset; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 231 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 22

 

 


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This is the final post of Looking at Chairs – hope you’ve enjoyed the series.

So, lastly, two chairs, back to back, beside a window.

Sitting in Browns, waiting for the third breakfast of a long morning’s photography – a repast which might have equated to what we Brits call Elevenses … except that it was only just after 10am …

In Browns, I always sit at any table that looks across the room towards the windows onto the street, because these provide good cross- and backlighting.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 .  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 further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Browns Restaurant, Bristol; 19 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 230 – NELSON STREET 2

 

 


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Looking across the street at an old, discoloured building.

The first image of this pipe, with more context, is here .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 157mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Nelson Street, central Bristol; 20 Apr 2018.
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BIRDS 107 – CHICKEN 5

 

 


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Once again, up close and personal – in close with a long telephoto.  I love getting in close like this to living things, both in terms of being there with them, and also of seeing the resulting very shallow depths of focus.

The expression is one of  consternation and horror – well, its not unknown for me to have that effect.   I like the curve of the body from the head out to the tail.  Compositionally, viewing the image from left to right as we Westerners do, the sweep of the creature’s back leads my eye into the photo and up and on to the in-focus face.

Other pictures of these birds, and context, are herehere and here.

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-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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STILL LIFE 224 – SPRINGTIME IN CHURCH LANE 2

 

 


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The Natural World’s great springtime outburst of growth and activity along a small lane on the outskirts of Bristol – there are further images, and context, hereThere is another image here.

Above: the vast Horse Chestnut, shot with a 15mm (equiv) wide angle lens on the X-T1, which gives the impression of the tree spreading out – reaching out maybe – above and around the camera.  Its worth clicking onto this image to open another version in a separate window, and then clicking onto that image, to fully get this effect.  400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; 7 May 2018.

Below: another image of this tree’s new leaves, backlit by the rising sun.  X-T2 at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; 4 May 2018.  This image can also be enlarged by clicking onto it, and then clicking onto the larger image that opens: recommended.
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STILL LIFE 223 – THREE FLOWERS

 

 


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Three flowers. 

One up close and personal: solid, real, in our world, in our face too maybe but, in any case, in the way we see things. 

The other two are hazy, more remote; vague, they are imperfect impressions of reality, such as might appear in our dreams, or under the influence of myopia or intoxication.  And yet these vague impressions reflect the human condition if not visual reality – one is damaged, wounded; the other marginalised and only partly seen.  

And all are pallid, desaturated; they are pale representations of how the world ought to be.

Technique: this effect has been produced in Lightroom, by setting Vibrance to -100 and reducing Contrast.  Today there’s mostly a trend towards either bright, attention-grabbing, vivacious colours or no colour at all – black and white.  But between the two lie many possibilities – possibilities that I for one frequently forget to consider.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Stanton Drew, south of Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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STILL LIFE 222 – BROWN CHAIR WITH ORCHIDS AND POTTERY

 

 


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This is a totally ad lib shot that I took while sitting at the breakfast table (which sounds distinctly grand, doesn’t it, until you find out that it is in fact our only table …) to see if a camera was working properly.  Just how honest and up front can I get???  I looked through the large and rather wonderful electronic viewfinder, liked what I saw, and snapped it.

This rather cluttered still life is lit by that most wonderful (and gratis) of light sources, window light, and it also benefits from the fact that this light is filtered through net curtains.

It is a totally natural (i.e. unarranged) still life, which has three main subjects.  On the right is a lovely old chair, bought second hand at least 25 years ago, and probably originating in the generation before mine, if not earlier.  Then there are two examples from my wife’s orchid collection, one in flower and the other looking rather ravaged and destitute, though with abundant aerial roots.

And finally, at the back, two pieces of pottery, the one at the front having been made by John Leach, the grandson of Bernard Leach, at his pottery in Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels.

I like this picture.  Well, it is a part of my home, so I’m probably biassed.  But what do I like most?  Well, without a doubt, the light spilling over the warm colours of that old chair.  The objects on the left of the picture are well lit and, in their way, visually interesting.  But the chair is more snugly in the shadows, the light and shadow are washing over its surfaces, amplifying its wonderful old creases and textures >>> a metaphor for myself perhaps …..

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Chez Moi!; 3 May 2018.
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BIRDS 106 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


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Looking up, in Church Lane.

There are other images from Church Lane, and more context, here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Church Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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