Regarding Melissa #57

…..Previously

Mel reckoned that she’d need a couple of nights to process the images on her media cards, culling the ones she’d ignore for now and concentrating on the probable “keepers”. She hoped that it wouldn’t take more time than that. She wouldn’t have much control over the photos that Barry would use for the magazine, but the ones she would use for her own purposes – such as an exhibition or online in social media – that was a different matter. She could use her own creative skills to curate those into a collection.

Continued…..

Mid-September – a date for Mel

It was nearing the time for leaving, at the end of a busy Wednesday, that Jamie approached Mel.

‘I’ve a favour to ask,’ he said, ‘Any chance that we could meet this evening after work in that park again?’

She looked at him, curious, her head tilted to one side as she tried to read his expression.

‘Why?’ she asked.

‘Please,’ he said, ‘I’ll explain then.’

‘Okay,’ she said, ‘Six-thirty?’

‘Yes,’ he said, ‘Thanks, See you then.’

They arrived at about the same time, got served and sat at the table where they’d talked six-months or so earlier.

‘Come on then,’ she said, ‘What’s this all about that we couldn’t discuss in the shop?’

‘Well, in truth, some of it we could have talked about there,’ he said, ‘but I’m hoping that you’ll agree to come out with me on a date.’

‘Wouldn’t that be a problem – us being co-workers?’ she asked, ‘What’s changed since our last meeting here?’

‘The main thing is that we’re not going to be working together much longer,’ he said, ‘At least not in the shop.’

‘Are you giving me the sack?’ she asked, ‘Or will you be moving somewhere else?’

‘Neither,’ he told her, ‘You’ll still be doing the same job but taking over most of what I do as well, and I’ll be moving upstairs handling our growing online presence and business.’

‘You’ve got a cheek!’ she said, ‘How am I supposed to do two jobs?’

‘You’ll be interviewing for an extra pair of hands with Tony as soon as we can advertise,’ he said, ‘And of course we’ll give you a rise in pay to reflect the extra responsibility.’

‘Can I think about it?’ she asked.

‘The job or a date?’ he asked in return.

‘Hold on, Tiger,’ she said, ‘Job first.’

‘Take all the time you need about the job,’ he assured her, ‘I asked you to come out to interview me about the chance of us dating.’

‘How very romantic,’ she said, ‘Well, it’s obvious you’re going to need some training.’

He held up his hands in surrender.

She laughed, ‘Okay then, show me your credentials.’

He looked at her, his eyebrows raised.

‘Roll up your trouser legs,’ she ordered him, ‘Let’s see your legs.’

An elderly couple at the table next to them had obviously been listening and they turned to watch the performance.

Jamie bent and complied, raising his cargo-pants legs to reveal his hairy calves.

‘Well, those look like nice strong muscles,’ she said, ‘I think that I’ll need to feel how hard they are.’

He stared at her, open-mouthed. The old woman was leaning towards her husband and pointing at Jamie’s legs.

Mel hooted with laughter. ‘Put them away,’ she said, ‘too much flesh for our first date.’

The old woman said, ‘Leave him be. I was enjoying seeing a young man’s legs for a change.’

Jamie hurriedly lowered his trousers back down into place, blushing.

‘Now you know something of how women feel every day – as though they’re up for auction at a cattle market.’

Featured Photo

Okay, you’ve had a couple of day’s break in the Lake District – back to Liverpool today. I said that I’d intended to do try my hand at street photography. I did manage to bring back a few shots, the first of which is today’s photo of a young guy on a skateboard near Pierhead, who was being filmed by someone.

For all the street shots, I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera twinned with a Pentax 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 mm lens at an ISO of 100. The EXIF data for this photo were 1/320 secs @ f/5.6 and 21 mm.

Regarding Melissa #56

…..Previously

Barry accompanied her, keen to see how she measured up to what he’d heard about her from Damian. He interviewed her while she set up her equipment – asking about her choice of subject and why she’d chosen it. He noted the lens and the settings that she’d be using, and then he took some shots of Mel at work and of her subject – one or two over her shoulder to show the reader the setting of Mel’s viewpoint.

Continued…..

She didn’t tell Barry, but she was delighted that Sean hadn’t asked for that spot to shoot from. It would have been a better location for the joint subject. Now, however, it was her prize. She couldn’t imagine that Sean could have picked a better target image.

The view was so lovely in the sunlight that now warmed her shoulders that she wished that she could find an excuse to remain there longer, but she told Barry that she was ready to move on.

She was headed next to Crummock Water – north of Buttermere and close to the hotel. Barry walked with her part of the way to meet up with Sean and to interview him and record his choice of viewpoint.

Mel had chosen a position by the lakeside where she had a line of rocks as foreground to add interest to the lake and across to the mountains of Blea Crag and Scale Knott.

When she’d finished, she made her way back to the hotel to meet up with the others. They’d already arrived and Barry had uploaded Sean’s images onto his iPad. Mel passed her camera to Barry so that he could upload hers. They sat around the empty dining table with Barry between them and his tablet computer screen handy for them all to view their results.

For the moment at least, personal antipathy between Mel and Sean was forgotten as the three of them inspected each image and appraised them as peer professionals. When Sean saw Mel’s shot of the Sentinels however, his comment – however it had been intended – indirectly reflected considerable praise.

‘Shit!’ he said, his head in his hands, ‘Why didn’t I think of that. It’s a shot I’ve done loads of times.’

Mel praised the way that Sean had captured the majesty of the waterfall, and asked him about his settings.

Barry explained that he hoped to have everything in place ready for the magazine’s October issue. He promised them a preview of the article. They continued their discussion of the day, and of trends in professional equipment, as they ate their early afternoon lunch.

When the two men had packed and driven off to their respective homes, Mel waited for her dad to come for her. Jack, her brother was playing in an away match that day. It was a long journey for her dad to make and she had no idea how long he would be, so she sat with her backpack and case at a bench in the hotel garden, enjoying the sunshine and replaying the events of the day in her mind. It had been a fascinating experience overall.

Mel reckoned that she’d need a couple of nights to process the images on her media cards, culling the ones she’d ignore for now and concentrating on the probable “keepers”. She hoped that it wouldn’t take more time than that. She wouldn’t have much control over the photos that Barry would use for the magazine, but the ones she would use for her own purposes – such as an exhibition or online in social media – that was a different matter. She could use her own creative skills to curate those into a collection.

Featured Photo

Another shot today fit the storyline. I took these a few years ago when I spent a weekend at Lake Buttermere. From that outing, I’ve chosen this one of the Crummock Water.

I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera together with a Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. The shutter speed was 1/1250 secs at f/11 and 28 mm. The ISO was 800.

Regarding Melissa #55

…..Previously

The following morning, before sunrise, the hotel provided a simple, self-service continental style breakfast including fruit, cooked meat, bread, butter, croissants and coffee. At thet rtime4 in the morning the dining room was almost empty except for staff. Sean still managed to stand behind her at the table laid with the food, so as to lean over her and help himself to a dish for his fresh fruit, brushing his body against hers as he did so. She managed to dig her elbow sharply into his chest as she turned to give him daggers with her eyes.

‘Don’t try anything like that again,’ she warned him, ‘I can be terribly clumsy when I have a pot of hot coffee in my hand.’

Continued…..

He blustered that he had no idea what she was talking about.

Her lip curled in disbelief as she walked away from him, keeping her back straight and her bearing upright to show that she was not cowed. She was angry. She hadn’t dressed in any way that could have been described as provocative. Her grey hoodie, hiking trousers and boots effectively disguised her figure. Her make-up was minimal, and her hair was pulled back loosely in a pony tail that poked through the hole at the rear of her baseball cap.

Mel was pleased that their paths were unlikely to cross much during the day. The three of them would start together at the Lone Tree at the northernmost tip of Lake Buttermere. It was a spindly tree standing in the water that most passing people wouldn’t even notice . However, with its impressive mountain backdrop of Fleetwith Pike across the length of the lake – it was a famous choice of location for photographers. Mel and Sean would both be capturing the same subject at sunrise and their efforts would be seen side by side in the magazine.

At this stage, it would be usual for the professional to look over the amateur’s settings and to provide advice as necessary. The photojournalist would then have recorded the advice. When Sean came across to look over Mel’s shoulder, however, she told him that she’d somehow manage without his help.

‘Huh!’ he said, ‘Well, let the best man win. I hope that you’ll take your defeat with better grace.’

Barry looked amused. A needle match would be worth reporting as such and make his article more interesting.

The surface of the lake was ruffled by an unwelcome early morning breeze, destroying any real hope of attractive reflections of the rising Sun. Both Mel and Sean prepared for shooting with long exposures using filters. The few high clouds were scudding across the sky quickly in the high-altitude winds and their long exposures would be enhanced by the effects of this movement.

Once these opening shots had been taken, Mel and Sean headed in different directions. Barry went to photograph nearby Sourmilk Ghyll while Mel packed her gear and started her walk on the other side of the lake, heading most of the way up towards the northern end of Lake Buttermere.

The foot of Sourmilk Ghyll where it enters Lake Buttermere

She walked along the eastern bank of the lake, taking occasional shots as she went. Her chosen spot, however, was the view across to The Sentinels – a line of trees that, in the early morning sunlight were beautifully backlit against Haystacks – the mountain behind them. Now that the breeze of daybreak had gone, the trees and mountain were reflected in the lake.

The Sentinels below Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks

Barry accompanied her, keen to see how she measured up to what he’d heard about her from Damian. He interviewed her while she set up her equipment – asking about her choice of subject and why she’d chosen it. He noted the lens and the settings that she’d be using, and then he took some shots of Mel at work and of her subject – one or two over her shoulder to show the reader the setting of Mel’s viewpoint.

Featured Photo

I’m breaking the Liverpool sequence for a couple of days to post some shots that fit the storyline. I took these a few years ago when I spent a weekend at Lake Buttermere. From that day, I’ve chosen this one of the Lone Tree at daybreak.

I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera together with a Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. The shutter speed was 1/50 secs at f/11 and 28 mm. The ISO was 100.