Marsh Grasses

A Focus on Marsh Grass

One of the things I like most about  my walk this week on my local salt marsh is the marsh grass. It’s not the only thing I focus on when there, but using the camera to look at different aspects of the grass by adjusting the focal length allows me to investigate some of its different textures and patterns.

Marsh grass

The two images below with the fence half hidden amongst the grasses are ones that each have a different depth of field and which I like for different reasons. The one with the fence and background grasses blurred gives me a better sense of being there while the other seems to me to be more diagrammatic, though I like the complex texture it presents.  You may see them differently, but neither of them are realistic insofar as the camera lens cannot see in the way our eyes do but only recreate a sense of a place which we, ultimately, respond to according to our individual perception. Perhaps, if you are unfamiliar with this kind of landscape feature, the images may mean nothing to you. Our connection and response to the things around us, images included, is strongly influenced by our own experiences.

Dark Skies and Sunsets

Dark sky

The photographs in my posts for my walk this week from the past (2009) were taken on my old Fuji compact camera – they are not monochrome as such but the camera has a “chrome” setting on it which in the high contrast light conditions that these photos were taken, gave a quite interesting and dramatic effect. Continue reading

Seeing Snippets with a Photographic Blinker

I like to think that I would spot different details or snippets of my surroundings regardless of the photographic blinker provided by a camera. But I also think that using a camera over the years has helped me to put a mental frame around aspects of my local environment that has allowed me more easily to focus on certain details.

On my walk this week along Aberavon seafront I took many photos, both detail shots and wide angle. Thinking of using them and my field recordings for a StillWalks video of this time and place, it was important for me to view the bigger picture as well as the details. The “bigger picture” shots below reveal that the sea fret that had lifted a little for a while, had descended again to mask the details in the distance.

sea wall snippet

Continue reading

Walking Resolutions

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.

Morning Sky

Morning Sky

Fforest Birds 1

 

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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Spotted Being Sheepish

I was sitting quietly on my collapsible stool in amongst the bracken with the tripod and camera set up in from of me. Having mooched around the spot a bit, I had noticed that the camera nestling in the surrounding vegetation was not easily spotted.

This arrangement was not in order to hide from the sheep but simply for my own comfort in my endeavours to get some good shots of the landscape I have been posting about the last couple of weeks.

Waiting for the sun to rise and come round in the hope that the light would be good for the shots I wanted proved frustrating as the conditions never developed in the way I was hoping for. However, I won’t be sheepish about going up again any number of times – oh dear, sorry about that 😉

sheep on Graig Fawr

Two sheep on Graig Fawr

This week’s featured StillWalks video shows another representation of the woods in the previous featured video – the woods at Fforest in a snowy Winter.

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 – “Forest Walk – Summer” which is at Fforest, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Phone Photography Close-Up

Still working with the iPhone without any add-on gadgets (see previous posts). Without a clip on macro lens for the iPhone camera, there is a limit, as with any lens, as to how close you can get to a subject before the subject blurs. Whilst you can get pretty close with the phone camera, with a subject like this, it can be difficult to tell what is going to be within the depth of field and what is not.

This first shot is the best I could do with the phone and yes, there have been adjustments made in adobe Lightroom. The second shot is a close crop of the third image shown here. The heavy cropping was necessary because I didn’t get the camera focused on the right area of the subject. The third shot is unedited in any way.

The last shot is of the same plant in another location earlier in the year at 6.00AM but the photo was taken on my DSLR camera with my zoom lens . . . say no more!

Fforest Forest Close-up 1

Fforest Forest Close-up 2

Fforest Forest Close-up 3Troserch DSLR Close-up