Tree Festival and Evening Sounds

This photo reminds me that StillWalks is going to be at the Tree Festival in the Botanic Garden of Wales this weekend, but actually . . .

The park at Richelieu

The park at Richelieu

. . . it’s from a small selection of images about ceilings (!) I arranged from a recent trip to France. Here a couple more of the natural ones and a sound clip to prove my mother wrong about there being no sounds at night !?!

French Evening Sky

French Evening Sky

Evening Sky over Faye la Vineuse

Evening Sky over Faye la Vineuse

And here are the real (if not natural) ceilings from the Chateau d’Oiron, an amazing place full of contemporary art and crazy ceilings. These pics were taken on my iPhone.

Chateau d"Oiron

Chateau d”Oiron

Hoofing It – A blog entry on the hoof

At the weekend I was busy again, this time with StillWalks Equestrian. Earlier this year I was asked if I would be interested in doing the photography for Clydach Riding Club and, what with nothing better to do at the weekends (ha, ha), I ventured on down to their new show field at Ynystawe.

I don’t have the best camera for this kind of work as the photography I do for StillWalks does not involve that many fast moving objects. However, I manage well enough and enjoy watching the events. Having watched my daughter riding for many years, it is very useful to have an understanding of what is going on. This also allowed me to appreciate the equestrian Olympic events that much more than I have in the past.

Here are some alternative shots from the weekend. The event photos can be seen here.

Hooves 1

Hooves 2

Hooves 3

Hooves 4

Keeping in the Cool

Keeping in the Cool

Under Abertawe Bridges

Adverse Weather Conditions led a scheduled day of equestrian photography to be cancelled at short notice. I didn’t check the website for updates before hand and so ended up down at the show field anyway. The day was dry but the previous week had been very wet. So I took the opportunity to go for a walk along a section of the River Tawe and quickly found myself under a bridge!

Under Bridges – My interest and curiosity about the underside of bridges goes back a long way now. About 14 years ago I was taking photographs of the underside of the second Severn crossing, a striking suspension bridge of the Severn Estuary between Wales and England. It was all part of my research towards designing and weaving a major tapestry commissioned for Caldicot Library in Monmouthshire.

Secret Places – Since then, I have looked at the underside of many other bridges and find them to be quite secret places, even when they are busy with people, it is the side away from public view.

These photos were all taken on my iPhone 4s.

Road and Rail Bridges

Road and Rail Bridges

Under the Road Bridge

Under the Road Bridge

Working on the Rail Bridge

Working on the Rail Bridge

Rail Bridge Structure

Rail Bridge Structure

The DVLA, Swansea

The DVLA, Swansea

Another Road Bridge

Another Road Bridge

Underside

Underside

Beautiful Brecon Beacons

Yr Allt, Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych are all on a walk I have done in the Brecon Beacons frequently in the past. That past is a long time ago now though and so when I took a day up there recently with my friend Mark, it seemed even better than my memory allowed.

Walking for pleasure was the main reasoning behind the trip but photos and sounds clips taken on the day can be considered a recce for a StillWalks production day later in the Summer.

Skylark – I actually managed to get a half decent photo of one of the many Skylarks up there and some of the sights and sounds from the day can be listened to and seen below. To view more of the photos, visit Flickr. If you can’t see the sound clips, click here to go to the blog.

Shadows on Yr Allt

Shadows on Yr Allt

Pen y Fan in the distance

Pen y Fan in the distance

On the side of Fan Nedd

On the side of Fan Nedd

Old Fencing

Old Fencing

Bog Cotton

Bog Cotton

Maen Llia standing stone

Maen Llia standing stone

Urban Birds and Babies

I got these shots the other day during a garden bird count for the RSPB. I’m just sorry I didn’t get a shot of the funniest looking young Blackbird we have frequenting our garden just now with its fluffy feathers stuck out all over the place.

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 3

Mother and Baby 3

I was also reminding people this week about StillWalks being about the urban as well as the natural environment or countryside. The photos below are from the Abertawe Walk along the River Tawe going into the SA1 area of Swansea.

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

Therapy at its Best in Scotland

Featured StillWalks – Coastal Walk Spring

For me, this is therapy at its best! Recently we had some unexpectedly good weather for the time of year and it reminded me of slightly later in the Spring last year when this StillWalk was produced.

Downloads – Coastal Walk Spring is from the South West coast of Scotland. The sample version on the StillWalks website is only 1.5 minutes of the full 6.5 but gives a good taste of a walk well worth downloading. There are some fascinating temporary sculptures on the stony beach. They can also be found in Coastal Walk Evening  where they look like sentinels watching the tide.

FREE StillWalks – If you have not already signed up for FREE to StillWalks, you will be able to download a walk of your choice FREE when you do.

Here are some of the images from the full length walk – enjoy 🙂

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

The Horses have It

StillWalks-Equestrian is a new website and service born from the interest taken in my photography for the production of StillWalks.

Bont Show

Ready and Waiting

Relaxing virtual walks for horses? – No 🙂 Maybe there will be some StillWalks made for horse riders in the future but they might require me to take along step ladders on production day in order to get the same sort of view point as the riders. In fact, many existing StillWalks routes have had evidence of horses along the way.

In Action

In Action

The sound of the show – One of the aspects of StillWalks I enjoy the most is sound recording. As yet, I have only done this at one show and I have not published the StillWalk produced. I look forward to the next opportunity as the sounds at a horse event are so distinctive. Here is a clip from the unpublished Bont Show Walk – remember, you’ll need to go to the blog to see (and hear) this clip.

Examples of photography for StillWalks-Equestrian can be seen on the website at www.equestrian.stillwalks.com with all images being available for sale at www.photoboxgallery.com/stillwalks-equestrian

Taking Off

Taking Off

Wildfire

Recently we have had some unusually hot weather for the time of year and the other day I discovered this –

Wildfire

Aftermath of Wildfire on the Marshes

Not as dramatic as the fires in canberra in 2003 which my friend, Simon, who lives there, was telling me about a little while ago. He described the incredible speed at which the fires spread across the length of this hill which he can see from his house.

Canberra fires 2003

Canberra fires 2003

The photo sent to me can also be seen on Wikipedia along with much more info.

The land in Australia is at least “designed” by nature to cope with this kind of conflagration and I am sure that nature, being what it is, will allow the marshes to recover quickly as well. However, it is still a heart rending sight to see the damage that fire can cause.

Sunrise and Robins – Having taken some photos of the results of the marsh fires, I then caught the sun coming up and enjoyed immensely the sound of this Robin which would be part of Week 9’s Marsh Wood birds recording – more available on SoundCloud. More photos on Flickr, and Facebook.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Not Such an Ugly Town

from Suburban Lakeside Walk - Middlesbrough

from Suburban Lakeside Walk - Middlesbrough

Suburban Lakeside Walk – Yesterday I uploaded a new StillWalk to Winter Walks. It is from Middlesbrough, one of those places that only ever get bad press and gets into those Ugly Towns books and programmes every time. The result is an undeserved bad and sad reputation.

There are, however, many aspects to Middlesbrough that defy this reputation. The StillWalk produced here, is, as described in the title, a suburban walk, but I have plans to go back and produce at least one more of the town itself. The images below will help to explain why.

Middlesbrough and Claes Oldenburg's "Notes"

Middlesbrough and Claes Oldenburg's "Notes"

Middlesbrough Town Hall

Middlesbrough Town Hall from MIMA

MIMA - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

MIMA - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

MIMA

Inside MIMA

MIMA – Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is one of the places I visited over the New Year. There was a great exhibition of South American Drawing and, in particular, I liked Brigida Baltar’s work. I am definitely going to go and see the Sean Scully show when I am next there.

Brigida Baltar

Brigida Baltar's work in the South American Drawing exhibition

Full Screen Samples – The StillWalks on the website are sample length only, but remember always to watch these in full screen mode. If you would like to see more, you can buy it for just £1.99 or, if you haven’t already signed up to the website, do it now and get the StillWalk FREE.

Here is one more image from the Suburban Lakeside Walk – the location of which is here.

Hemlington Swan

Hemlington Swan