Knocking Things Into Shape

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Indy, it seems to me, is a patient horse! I understand there were five horses being re-shod  at Cimla Equestrian Centre last Saturday. I wonder if they were all as accommodating as Indy?

I spent about ten years taking my eldest daughter to riding lessons at Cimla and although I don’t ride, I surprised myself by enjoying being around the horses. This is quite useful now that I am doing equestrian photography.

Hot Shoe – Farrier Style

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I was doing some equestrian photography training at the weekend and for the purpose arranged to use a group lesson at Cimla Equestrian Centre in the hills above Neath.

I can’t show the photography the students did but I managed to get some of my own shots up in the stable yard at the end of the session and this is a quick taster of what I found – a gallery will go up tomorrow.

Farrier Fire

Fire, if not brimstone!

Cimla Landscape

Cimla Landscape

Planning a Walk – Walking on the Gower

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A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in writing a regular article about my walks in the Swansea and South Wales area for the online version of the South Wales Evening Post. So, with the interests of StillWalks in mind and what they are all about, I will be posting up my sixth article today – My Walk this Week – from Parc-Le-Breos House.

I have recently been planning StillWalks Sights and Sounds Tag Along Days and this has necessitated exploring possible walk routes in suitable places. This not only serves the intended  purpose of setting up these events / workshops, but also provides me with good material for the Evening Post article.

My first exploration was to Parc-Le-Breos House. The reason for selecting this as a starting point is the number of already planned walks that start from the Bed and Breakfast and include some beautiful areas on the Gower Peninsula. Also, there is the option for refreshments and facilities and the use of a room for review of photography and sound clips produced on the Tag Along walk.

Below are a couple of the photos I got on my recce walk. I will talk more about this and post more photos over the next couple of days and a selection of the images are available at the StillWalks Photography website on PhotoShelter.

Park Le Bruce Burial Chamber

Giant’s Grave, Green Cwm

Flowers along the wayside

Flowers along the wayside

Long Oaks Woodland

Long Oaks Woodland at Parc-le-Breos

Exhibition Opening and Tag Along Days

The Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project exhibition opening, which took place last Wednesday, went very well – so well I forgot to get photographs! Never mind, the event was enjoyed by all who came and since then I have had a number of enquiries about the possibility of Tag Along days.

StillWalks Tag Along days would not be about production of a StillWalk®. The bespoke StillWalks produced through project work require greater input than would be practical on a tag along day.

Tag Along days would give a small group of individuals the opportunity to accompany me on a walk with their own cameras (and sound recorders) and discover some aspects of the approach to photography I take for personal use and for StillWalks production.

Field recording – there would also be the opportunity to experience environmental sounds through the high quality StillWalks field recording kit which in itself, can lead to better listening skills – this can be a revelation!

Watch the website for more information and if anyone out there is interested, please contact me.

Exhibition / screening

The seats are empty here but they had been full to overflowing!

StillWalks Project Exhibition

Looking Out the Window

The full project exhibition for the StillWalks project “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside” is now set up in the Mechanics Institute, Pontarddulais, and we are just waiting for the official opening on Wednesday 3rd July.

In the meantime, as well as the carnival photographs I took yesterday, I have been getting one or two extra shots including these from the exhibition room on the top floor.

Carnival Day

Today is Carnival Day in Hendy and Pontarddulais and I am going to try and get some photos and recording of the event.

Everyone not directly involved comes out to watch the parade go past and follow it up to Coedbach Park to enjoy the atmosphere, fancy dress and thematic floats. Come rain or shine, people support the event but it is always better if it is dry and sunny.

Project Exhibition – Some of the children of Pontarddulais Primary School took part in a StillWalks project last Autumn and there is now a full project exhibition in Pontarddulais Mechanic’s Institute (top floor) which can be seen by anyone who cares to climb the stairs or take the  lift.

The exhibition will be open throughout Carnival Day and is open Tuesday to Sunday 10 – 5.00 until 10th July.

The project involved the children doing the photography and sound recording to produce a bespoke StillWalk video of a walk through the woods in Coedbach Park. Production Day was a bit wet!

These are just a couple of the photos the children took. The project videos can be seen here.

Pontarddulais Exhibition

Pontarddulais Exhibition

Pontarddulais Exhibition

At C Turn Left – the sound of dressage

On Tuesday evening I was doing some equestrian photography of a small dressage show at Clydach Riding Club.

The judges of the dressage sit in their 4×4 to watch the riders and blow their horn to indicate that the rider should start. Every time they do this I jump out of my skin. On Tuesday evening I was recording some of the sounds of the show. These include the background sound of traffic from the A4067 but this could never drown out the birds.

I am sure the judges had a laugh when, with my headphones on as they beeped their horn, I very visibly jumped. I have toned it down in this recording.

And for the field recordists out there, you can hear more on SoundCloud.

The equestrian photography can be found on PhotoShelter.

field recording kit

IMG_2989 IMG_2782 IMG_2777 IMG_3001

riding conversation

Show Time

Actually it’s not show time yet, not for the Pontarddulais Show anyway – that happens at the end of August and we have the Carnival before that in June.

I have put up this StillWalks video and photos because it was the starting point for the equestrian photography which I am doing again this year for Clydach Riding Club.

Here’s looking forward to a good Summer with fingers crossed.

show horse

show bull

Waiting and Watching – Riding Club Extras

Doing photography almost invariably involves time spent waiting. If others are involved in any way, this is inevitably the case and even if they are not, you often have to wait for the conditions to be right – the wind to drop, the sun to come out or whatever.

The extra shots I took on Sunday morning at Clydach Riding Club show jumping reflect some of that time – I wasn’t the only one waiting for the next event!

My horse show photography, including extras, can be seen and is for sale on the StillWalks PhotoShelter site.

Watching

Watching Legs

Walking the Course

Walking the course

Messing Around

Messing Around

Waiting their turn

Waiting their turn

Waiting their turn

Waiting their turn

Full Bloom

Full Bloom