Woodland wandering on my walk this week at The Waterside-Felindre was like doing some “forest bathing”. This is something I have been aware of for some time now but the term is not one that I like very much – to me it sounds a little bit corny (no offence intended to forest bathers, or tree huggers for that matter). Whatever the name given, there is no doubt in my mind about the benefits of walking in woodland but I can imagine it would not suit everybody.Continue reading→
My walk this week is on Aberystwyth seafront and from the overcast weather depicted you would not believe that half an hour earlier the sun had been shining and the sky blue. Neither was it raining at the time these photos were taken – but I still got soaked as I walked along the beach!
The sea fret or mist stuck around for a while on my walk this week on Aberavon seafront in south Wales and contributed to this first image which I think is my favourite in this selection for today. I was there to visit the Health and Wellbeing fair in the Aberavon Beach Hotel and in the interest of that subject matter thought that I would go early and take a walk. The weather may have been dark and damp in the early morning but this is a fantastic place and lost nothing for all that.
My walk this week is from a couple of weeks ago when I went to join in the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk on the seafront. Starting at the Junction Cafe at Blackpill, it was originally planned to walk to mumbles and back but for whatever reason the route was changed and we walked in the opposite direction dn headed for the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre instead.
It was a short walk, less than four miles there and back but plenty of people came along, some from the Taste of Gower walks but many more besides.
Lliw Reservoir is a popular place with people of all ages these days. There is evidence below of the fact that it is as popular with children as it is with adults. And the fact that there is a nice cafe there is no doubt an added attraction but many go there for walks and never get a cuppa.
Whether people are there for a walk or a cup of tea is not really important – I simply like the fact that people get out there and enjoy the sights and sounds of the place. It is certainly a change of environment from the city or even to village.
I have only ever made one New Years Resolution and I have always kept to it – never to make a New Years Resolution. However, I have recently been thinking that despite much of my work being focused on walking, too much of my time is spent sitting at a computer. Production and post production, image and sound processing, writing and administering projects and seemingly interminable fund raising.
I have decided (resolved!) to make my health and fitness a higher priority and have been taking a decent walk every morning. I have taken the same walk with minor variations almost every morning for the last ten days or so, and only once have I taken my camera. The purpose is to walk, not to stop and take photos every other step. That said, I cannot go about the place without looking and listening to the things around me and so my iPhone comes in very handy both for images and sound.
Most of the photos I will be posting this week were taken on my iPhone and some of the sounds clips were also recorded using the RODE app on the phone. My Edirol sound recorder also fits easily into my pocket and so I have used this too.
These photos were taken at the highest point of my walk where I can catch the sun rise behind the trees.
And you can listen to some of the forest birds below as well.
Which do you prefer – cycling, walking, jogging, running? Walking would be my preference if I want to focus on my surroundings and observe the sights and sounds around me. However, for this very reason, I may not get as much exercise as I tend to start and stop a lot in order to look and listen, photograph or record. Then again, I am sure the benefit I gain from enjoying the observation makes up for it, mentally at least!
Following the production walk for the “Breakers Walk” StillWalks video (see yesterday’s post), I recently spent a day with three of the other artists involved in the research project “Walk and Draw for Health and Wellbeing”. The project, led by Cathy Treadaway from CARIAD, involved us on this occasion, all going for a walk through Cwm Nash woods down to the seashore and the cliffs on the South Wales coast and spending some time drawing.
I took a small sketchbook and an iPad. I have been working with drawing and iPads on the recent Josef Herman Art Foundation Schools Award project for 2014 and wanted to continue with my assessment of the iPad as another instrument for drawing. I have not reached a clear conclusion about this medium yet, other than to say it is quite different to other methods of recording observation.
The one thing the iPad has in common with all visual recording methods is that you still have to look. You can, of course, use the iPad camera to take a photo and then use that image to “trace” aspects of the subject but, to my mind, with that approach you lose the advantages gained in looking . . . or do you? After all, observation has to be used in order to decide on the photograph to be taken and that is an essential element of StillWalks.
What are the advantages of visually recording observations? What are advantages of the different methods of visually recording observations? And what are the disadvantages of not recording observations?
The ruined stone wall hidden in amongst the trees of Cwm Nash Woods was a surprise find – for me at least. The wall belongs to an old mill beside the Ffynnon Marl river. The StillWalks production walk I did with Dr Cathy Treadaway as part of the “Walk and Draw for Health and Wellbeing” research project, was done without a recce walk beforehand.
I had been asked to go along with a completely fresh eye (and ear). I don’t normally do this because there are distinct production advantages to checking out the lie of the land beforehand. However, whether the walk is done as a recce or as a production, new surroundings are always exciting to explore and Cwm Nash absolutely “came up to the mark” for me as a new discovery.
Following my re-focusing photos in yesterday’s post, I would say that time is also needed to see different view points and understand a given situation.
In slowing the shutter speed and giving time for the water to flow past, the bike becomes clearer – and all because a little more time was given. I try, these days, not to get into a panic if there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything – there is only so much you can do.