An experiment that I have wanted to try for some time. A late night train (pendolino) passing through the Bollin Valley near Prestbury, Cheshire. I like the abstract effect in this image, the way it has come down to an exercise in dark tonality with the only significant luminosity being that of the train window streak and the signal light. I also like the way that this image is reminiscent (in a way) of the dramatic drawn illustrations in some of my classic childhood books about railways, such as the heroic activities of the night-mail footplate crew charging past signals in the dark.
- Aperture: ƒ/8
- Camera: NIKON D80
- Focal length: 20mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 134s
These black and white, and now often badly corroded or damaged railings, are a familiar site to anyone that ether lives in Cheshire or who has driven through the county. They are a unique feature of our more rural roads and date back to the mid / late 1920s. The railings were installed at all sharp bends and junctions, possibly to provide a means of stopping vehicles that had lost steering control. The rolled over top is an early attempt a crash barrier safety. There are still many examples around the ‘B’ roads and lanes of Cheshire and still more can been seen knitted into hedging after years of neglect. Cheshire councils have never replaced these railings and have no plans to install similar alternatives so all that still exists are originals and at least 80 years old.
The old Ford House, one of the architectural focal points in the historic village of Prestbury, Cheshire. A new large residential complex is currently being built on this site and is due for completion at the end of 2017. Prestbury village has changed a lot in the last 20 years in terms of demographics, land use, and building and much of this has to do with an influx of very high net worth individuals and families. It is quite a different place from the sleepy, old world and relatively modest but charmingly antiquated village that I moved into so many years ago having escaped from London.
- Aperture: ƒ/8
- Focal length: 55mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/500s
Read more about Ford House
Long exposure (bulb exposure) shots of various common features close to where I live. The dead tree was an ideal subject, quite a hunting shape against the dark (darker than it seems) night sky. Not wishing to give too many of my tricks away but the tree was ‘painted’ in with an LED bike light, camera white balance set to tungsten to create a very blue effect with the high colour temperature light from the LEDs. This was just a starting point of course, as this imnage has been treated with quite a number of PS filters and a texture layer. I wanted to compensate for noise in the original by making the the finished image look more like a painting render of some kind. The original exposure time was approx 2 mins.
The 2016 Tour of Britain cycle race is coming through East Cheshire and due to pass through the village’s of Prestbury and Bollington. All renowned as stopping off points on some of the best cycle routes in the country. The course has been liberally decorated with, in many cases, perfectly nice used and not so used bikes. All appear to be touring / MTB hybrid types and all have been painted bright orange. I wonder if these bikes will go to some charitable cause afterwards as many of them are perfectly serviceable.
I thought the bike strapped to the village sign in the patchy evening light made quite an intriguing subject. This photo was taken with my very old Nikon AI 35mm f2.8 lens.
I call this a ‘hyper nocturne’, in other words, an under exposed low ISO night shot recovered with levels and HDR treatments. This tree shows typical signs of lightning damage which is not an uncommon sight in remote field trees that often attract lightning strikes due to their prominence above ground. The result is usually a dead and maimed tree – but not always. It was quite a windy night and so the branches were moving and generally swaying about a lot, hence the curious blurring effect that gives them an almost pom-pom like appearance; similar to a north American Joshua Tree.
I’m quite interested in night shooting at the moment and I am also trying to get the best effects I can with now quite aged camera gear. I don’t have access to ludicrously high ISO capabilities at the moment so don’t expect to see perfectly exposed milky way’s over well exposed ground from noctoluminescent ambience etc.
Original photo exif details:-
Nikon D200, 14mm, 100iso, f4.8, 55sec, Aug 16th 2016 – 21:39