Exercising the Body and Mind

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!

Cycle Path

Cycle Path

Reed Reflections

I love the effect the moving waters of Tennant Canal has on the reflection of the reeds along its banks – painterly or impressionistic! You can see from the photos that it was a good day for a walk along this canal at Jersey Marine near Swansea.

The “brush strokes” of leaves both in the water and against the canvas of the field make these grasses some of the most attractive plants in this enclave of nature surrounded by the habitation and industry of man.

There will be another photo of reeds against the sun to be seen later today on Monochrome Madness 41 at Leanne Cole Photography.

Complementary images are posted on Instagram through the week and can also be seen on the sidebar of the StillWalks blog.

Reed reflections

Reed reflections

sunlight and reeds

Reeds and field

Reviewing the Week

Whether or not you have been looking at the StillWalks blog over the last week, here is a chance to look through the sequence of images that I have posted on the subject (mostly) of the wild, wet and windy weather that can be experienced at this time of year on the Mawr uplands near Swansea in South Wales.

 

Misty Walk

The StillWalks video below is not from the place I have posting about this last week but is nearby on the Gower Peninsula. The weather forecast for the production day of this video was good – in reality it turned out as you will see in the video, more in keeping with the atmosphere of the misty hills, if not as wet and windy.

If you are looking at this in an email, please click the image below to be able to watch the video on the blog.

Misty Walk screenshot

Mood Photography

The two images below were taken through rain streaming down my car window. The first is rather dark but, having tried some adjustments, I decided not to use them but to leave the original as you see it.

The grass in the foreground is very dark, smeared and blurred by the heavy rain running down the car window. The image had an impact on me when I first looked at it and evokes a mood wholly consistent with the atmosphere in that environment at the time.

I wound the window down and took another shot. In keeping with the atmosphere of the first, I held back on any adjustments.

Another photographer/artist whose work I like and sometimes uses movement and double exposure in her work to create some very effective moods is Karen McRae – you can see her blog at Draw and Shoot

Click the photos to enlarge.

rain

Rain

Driving Rain

Driving through driving rain is not a pleasant thing to do but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any views worth photographing. I took these shots before setting off on my return journey from the Mawr hills and decided not to do anything with the smudge of rain water on the lens which can be seen to the right of the horizon line.

The weather was bad, the atmosphere gloomy and the landscape dark. The grass on the road verges was perhaps not as dark as is shown in these photos, but the presented atmosphere is certainly accurate to my memory of the scene.

upland road

upland road

Wind and Mist

The blades disappeared into the cloud and it was difficult to see even the nearest of these wind turbines through the wind and rain. Whatever you think of wind turbines, you would have had difficulty seeing the Bettws Wind Farm on top the Mawr in weather conditions like this.

Bettws Wind Farm

 

Bettws Wind Farm

Going Slow on a Misty Mountain Road

This should not be described as a mountain road as the Mawr uplands are not a mountain. Given the conditions at the time, however, there is no way to tell where this road is or where it is going. The only clue is the language on the road – SLOW, or in Welsh ARAF.

mountain road in mist and rain

hill road in mist

Seeing Through the Rainy Season

If last week’s photo series was about changeable weather, this week’s is about the apparent permanence of moisture during one of the rainy seasons in Wales – there is certainly more than one!

I was recently up on the hills of the Mawr ward near Swansea to assess the conditions for a scheduled project production day . . . what a joke. I couldn’t believe the weather on my journey up there but thought “the weather is so changeable these days, you never know, it might clear“. Ha! Wishful thinking indeed.

Having said that, I had my waterproofs with me and decided it would be good to try and capture something of the atmosphere of the place in these wild conditions. So here is a short accurately descriptive sound clip to accompany the first two images of the week.

Mist and rain on Mawr

Mist and Rain on Mawr

Celebrating Dylan Thomas

In celebration of the centenary of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, I thought I would post a second time today with a link to my StillWalks video “Cwmdonkin Walk – Autumn”. The park in Swansea was a significant feature in Dylan’s life and has seen some notable improvements in the last year to celebrate his centenary.

I have upgraded the normal sample version of the video to the full length at a higher resolution and hope that you will enjoy it as much as those people using it on a daily basis.

Click here or the image below to watch the full video (8 minutes).

Cwmdonkin Park