botanical colours galore

My Walk this Week 159 – Botanical Beauty

My walk this week looks and listens to some botanical beauty in Swansea’s Singleton Park. It is late Spring and new arrangements have been made in the formal garden and the colours abound in the less formal areas.

Swansea Botanic Gardens

Swansea Botanic Gardens

The hot-house is exotic with the blooming of enormous bright flowers and the sound of running water accompanies the humidity in one section while fading away in the cactus house. The twisting paths both inside and out give a sense of exploration and discovery as you round a corner or enter a “tunnel” and find another colourful viewpoint or vista.

Swansea Botanic Soundscape

Sitting in the peacefulness of the arranged beds, listening to the birds and the gentle hoeing of the gardeners, Continue reading

My Walk this Week 150 – Weathering at the Botanic Gardens

My walk this week is at the National Botanic Garden of Wales where there was some weathering they could not control. Outside the Great Glasshouse the sun and rain, heat and cold have taken their toll on this metal plant label and the paint has cracked and peeled into a most interesting, map-like pattern.

weathered label

Inside the Great Glasshouse they can and do control the weather conditions for the different parts of the world represented there. So while there are times of year when everything in there seems so busy with growth, there are always fantastic colours, patterns and textures to enjoy whatever the time of year.Continue reading

My Walk this Week – Botanic Colour

Red tulips at Swansea Botanic Garden

My walk this week is perhaps less of a walk and more of a showcase. We had a slow amble round Swansea’s botanic gardens in Singleton Park on a day that was dry but could have been brighter. Well, I say brighter but I mean sunnier as there was plenty of brightness Continue reading

A Visit To The NBGW

Towards the end of September we visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) – it is a place we go whenever the opportunity arises as it is so beautiful and has a wide range of environments. The weather was excellent on this particular day, so I hope that you will join me on this week’s walk posts and enjoy some of the details of the gardens.

The gardens are visited by many photographers, professional and amateur alike, as it gives such a good opportunity to photograph the wide range of plants both in the grounds and in the Great Glass House. My photos this week are a selection of those I took on this September visit and although they are mostly shots of plants and flowers, you can see a wider view of the gardens through their film or virtual tour on their website.

peeling tree bark

white flowers at NBGW

Day Lily

Witch Hazel – Keeping Information (Lossless and Lossy formats in iPhone Photography)

That new app I have on my iPhone (PureShot) allows HI_Quality and MAX_Quality  jpeg photos and also TIFF lossless photos. The TIFF format in this case is not only lossless but is dRAW which means there is no in-app post processing done and no compression applied.

For those of you unaware of the ins and out, ups and downs of formats in photography, suffice it to say that the JPEG format takes away information gathered by the camera to a greater or lesser extent, thus the photographic information is compressed. TIFF is a lossless format which, although giving bigger file sizes, means there is no loss of information and, therefore, greater control for the photographer over how the finished image looks as well as (theoretically) a higher quality of image (at least in terms of the number of pixels used).

The image of the Witch Hazel below was taken in TIFF dRAW format and the close up of another Witch Hazel in the Botanic Garden of Wales was taken in JPEG format. Obviously you cannot make a straight comparison between the two formats here because the images are different but one thing I would say about the PureShot app and the Apple Camera app is that whilst it may be true that PureShot allows more control at the shooting stage (and I was very pleased with the results I got with PureShot), the Camera app is also very good.

There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when taking photographs but as far as the kit and applications are concerned, having a decent lens is probably the single thing that makes the biggest difference. Apple (and I am sure other high end smart phones with which I have no experience) made the right decision when they installed a decent lens in the iPhone.

Witch Hazel at NBGW

Witch Hazel at NBGW

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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The Rough and the Smooth – iPhonography at the Botanic Gardens

Last week we had a walk at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), taking advantage of free entry during January. It is easy to think that there is not so much to see in a place like the Botanic Gardens at this time of year but, of course, that is not true – it is just that things look different.

I had downloaded a new app for my iPhone 5c, namely PureShot, and I was keen to try it out. This camera app allows more control than the standard iPhone Camera app as well as having options to use TIFF images and different quality JPEGs. The photos below were both taken using PureShot and it gave good results. However, as will be seen through other shots I will be posting this week, it is not always the best app to use.

I discovered PureShot through the a post by Emil Pakarklis and the iPhone Photography School and would recommend his website as an excellent aid to anyone interested in improving their phone photography.

Another discovery I made when looking at images of Silver Birch bark was esdesigns – I liked the silver birch bracelet in particular!

Silver Birch Bark

NBGW Jan 2014-1

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Pink – Botanic Gardens, Swansea

More questions of identity – I knew the yellow flowers in yesterday’s post from the Botanic Gardens in Swansea, but I do not know any of these. I am sure I have seen them all before but do not know their names. Somebody help, please!

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Lillies on the Pond

Moving further along on the Lakeside Walk at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

This walk was a sunny one but we have been there in all weathers and enjoyed the gardens and the biggest single span glasshouse in the world.

It is very attractive to photographers, amateur and professional alike, and whilst there must have been thousands of photographs taken of the plants and other aspects of the gardens, when you take your own they are yours; and if you are anything like me, you will take photos of the same things again and again and never get tired of it 🙂

Click the images to enlarge. They are available for sale here Photo Sales.

Lillies Hostas Lillies

Autumn at the Gardens

The Green Fayre at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea on 24th and 25th November is the next event for StillWalks. Last weekend’s Christmas gift fair at the Botanic Gardens went OK overall as long as I remember that it is about meeting people and getting StillWalks seen as it is about making direct sales.

Having said that, Saturday wasn’t a bad day for sales – Sunday was a better opportunity for taking some more photos of the gardens myself . . .

. . . here are a few – more are on Flickr and if anyone is interested in buying any prints, you can do so through the website by clicking on the Photobox Prints button or going direct to Photobox Gallery here.

NBGW Great Glasshouse

NBGW Great Glasshouse

Inside the Great Glasshouse, NBGW

Inside the Great Glasshouse, NBGW

NBGW

The heating grill inside the Great Glasshouse, NBGW