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

Carmarthenshire Countryside

On my way home from a new StillWalks production location in Carmarthenshire last week, I had to stop a couple of times to let other vehicles pass on a narrow single track road.

Despite having already spent the day taking photos and  field recording near Llanpumsaint, I took the opportunity to get one or two more shots of this beautiful part of Wales.

Country Road Carmarthenshire Cowbane Carmarthenshire Campion Carmarthenshire Campion Carmarthenshire Carmarthenshire Countryside Carmarthenshire Countryside Carmarthenshire Countryside

Affected by Atmosphere

Walking out along the Loughor Estuary last Sunday morning, the weather was still but overcast and the sound of the M4 motorway was even more evident than usual. I love the marshes on the estuary and the old St Teilo’s churchyard, and I normally find that I suppress the sound of traffic in my head and listen instead to the birds, sheep, cattle and wind along with the sound of my footsteps in the grass or mud and the rustling of the reeds.

These are some of the sounds recorded in the StillWalks I have produced here. I did not do any sound recording on Sunday but I got a few shots of the area and thought about how much the sounds we hear are so unique to the time and place we are in. They are the result of things like the weather conditions before and during our visit as well as the activities of others, like driving along the motorway on a Sunday morning to go shopping or visit family or whatever. Twenty five years ago there was virtually no Sunday morning traffic on the M4 but even now the traffic sound can seem distant if the wind is in the right direction or other environmental aspects such as a high tide, rain or time of year change the conditions.

This is something we’ll be looking at on the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project which you can find out about here or follow on Facebook.

The StillWalks website is offline at the moment due to malicious hackers but you can see 480p versions of two StillWalks from the Loughor Estuary on Vimeo – After the Tide and the Old Churchyard Walk. They will be available to buy in full HD when the site is back up and running.

Here are some photos of the Loughor Estuary and the marshes. Image prints can be purchase at PhotoBox.

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Crowd Funding – Sights and Sounds of the Countryside

StillWalks Sights and Sounds of the Countryside Project – Crowd Funding

The StillWalks Crowdfunder pitch for outstanding funding towards the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project is now live and looking for sponsors / investors.

This is a brilliant project that I hope, in future, to replicate with many other schools and communities.

Only £10 – Invest anything from as little as £10 and get a reward for your support.

Please take a look at the Crowdfunder pitch and help me promote the project and pitch by passing on this publicity to your network of contacts and friends.

I have personally guaranteed to cover this shortfall if the funds cannot be raised as I feel the project is so important not only to the schools and groups taking part but also to StillWalks and its development to say nothing of our natural environment.

All or Nothing – All the funds required through the Crowdfunder pitch must be raised if anything at all is to go towards the shortfall in the project funding. If the target is not reached in the time allowed (30 days), then you pay nothing and my guarantee comes into play.

All details of the project are on the pitch.

Production Day

Production Day

John Muir Award Training Day

I had a great day in Singleton Park, Swansea this week where I and about 20 others enjoyed a day of training in the delivery of the John Muir Award (see pics below). John Muir’s environmental philosophy and the award criteria fits perfectly with the ethos of StillWalks.

Appreciation and understanding of the natural environment is at the top of the agenda with StillWalks as are other features such as stress relief, health and wellbeing – these elements are also a part of the John Muir philosophy.

Town and Country – StillWalks, however, does not exclusively feature the natural environment and wild places. Indeed, the urban environment is of as much relevance to StillWalks as the countryside – and in fact this is the case with the John Muir Award as well. The young and the old, school children, teachers, families and individuals are all encouraged to look at and listen  to, explore, discover and appreciate the wild places within urban areas as much as those in our countryside.

And the news is – StillWalks is going to be carrying out a project with schools and communities over the Autumn and Spring called Sights and Sounds of the Countryside. The project will tie in closely with John Muir Award work also being delivered to schools by Tim Orrell and Swansea Nature Conservation Team (hence the training day). StillWalks has successfully applied for funding for the Sights and Sounds project from Swansea’s Countryside Connections,  Sustainable Development Fund and Literature Wales to work with an artist and writers to produce a collection of videos similar to those made on the Josef Herman project.

The training day was interesting, useful and great fun. Fortunately it was good weather and we were able to get out and about in the park for some fun and games.