It was a wild and windy day . . .

. . . and it had been a dark and stormy night! But it wasn’t actually rainy when I finally went for a much needed walk around Hemlington Lake in Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day. I did two circuits because one was just not enough and was lucky to get back to my inlaws’ house in the nick of time without getting wet.

I had brought my cameras with me but had not taken them out on the walk and so relied on my iPhone 5c yet again. Watch this week’s featured StillWalks video below to see what the place is like in better weather (albeit Winter).

Hemlington Lake

Hemlington Lake

This week’s featured StillWalks video is from Middlesbrough. Although the production for “Suburban Lakeside Walk” was done in the Winter, it was clearly much better weather than is evident in the iPhone photos I took around the lake this 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 – “Suburban Lakeside Walk” which features Hemlington Lake in Middlesbrough. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Left by the Tide and Blown by the Wind

Swansea Bay Sand Patterns

Swansea Bay Sand Patterns

Swansea Bay Sand Patterns

Photos taken and adjusted on my iPhone 5c. Check out StillWalks on Instagram for more of my iPhonography.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is the introductory welcome video to the StillWalks website. On this you will meet me and see just a little of what goes into making a StillWalks video.

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. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Effects of the Sun

Taking a photo into the sun is not usually recommended if you want a half decent shot but having an idea of what was going to happen doing this with my iPhone, I went ahead and broke the rules. A very important rule in photography is first to understand the rules – and then to try breaking them.

The resulting photograph was not what you see below – that has had the darker areas adjusted (minimally) but I made no other changes as I actually like the strange light the image has. The thing that is frustrating though, is the effect of the sun itself and without lens filters, I don’t I have much control over that. I don’t mean the lens flare – I like that too. I mean the uneven edge to the white area . . . but the more I look at it, the more I like that too. To each their own – you can make up your own mind about it!

And the shell? This is a very common and fascinating object on Swansea Beach.

Swansea Bay Winter Sunshine

Swansea Bay Shell

Photos taken and adjusted on my iPhone 5c. Check out StillWalks on Instagram for more of my iPhonography.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is the introductory welcome video to the StillWalks website. On this you will meet me and see just a little of what goes into making a StillWalks video.

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. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Sea of Sand – Low Level iPhonography

Changing the angle at which you look at things may be an essential rule of life (at least in my life) – see Monday’s post – but it is also invaluable when it comes to photography and perhaps even more so when it come to iPhonography.

Justin Balog of the iPhone Photography School spoke about this recently via Instagram. It was one of his most important tips in my opinion but he has many others. I’m pleased to say that when I discovered the website, I was already incorporating much of his advice and many of his tips. There is always room to learn more though, and even if you already know stuff, the occasional reminder never goes amiss.

So if anyone got a new smart phone for Christmas and you want to learn a bit about using it for photography, the iPhone Photography School wouldn’t be a bad place to start 🙂

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

Photos taken and adjusted on my iPhone 5c. Check out StillWalks on Instagram for more of my iPhonography.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is the introductory welcome video to the StillWalks website. On this you will meet me and see just a little of what goes into making a StillWalks video.

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. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Keeping Things in Perspective

Keeping things in perspective seems to me to be so important. In order to do this I often have to adjust the angle at which I look at things and take into account the current circumstances. Standing back and being more objective can often help but this is not always easy to do.

My main strategy for doing this is walking – and that, of course, is where StillWalks came from and, I hope, may be able to take others as well. With this is mind, I have decided to feature my StillWalks “Welcome” video this week.

Swansea Bay Sea Wall

Swansea BayPhotos taken and adjusted on my iPhone 5c. Check out StillWalks on Instagram for more of my iPhonography.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is the introductory welcome video to the StillWalks website. On this you will meet me and see just a little of what goes into making a StillWalks video.

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. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Blown in the Wind

I love this tree! Blown in the wind and standing at one end of the “Show Field” by the marshes near Pontarddulais in South Wales, it is on the route of one of my regular and much loved walks.

Hendy is in the background, just across the other side of the Loughor Estuary. From another angle you could see Graig Fawr but the tree would not have this shape. To see the view of this landscape from Graig Fawr, visit the post from a few days ago – “Looking Over the Landscape”.

The photos were taken and edited on my iPhone using PhotoShop Express with some final adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Click the images to enlarge.

Pontarddulais Tree

wind blown Tree

Wind blown tree - blue

This week’s featured StillWalks video started out as an experiment to see if I could produce an acceptable video using only my iPhone 4s to take the photos and record the sound. Here is the result – Forest Walk – Summer”

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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Twisted Details – Oak Trees After Autumn

Zooming in from the Welsh landscape overview in my previous post, I can reveal some of the twisted details of our local park. The oak trees of Coedbach Park in Pontarddulais, are wonderful in all seasons, but when the leaves are gone they truly reveal their twisted, crooked forms.

Twisted Oak Trees

Photo taken on my iPhone 5c. Click the photo to enlarge.

This week’s featured StillWalks video started out as an experiment to see if I could produce an acceptable video using only my iPhone 4s to take the photos and record the sound. Here is the result – Forest Walk – Summer”

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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Swiss Valley, Llanelli

Why the area is called Swiss Valley, I do not know! It is clearly not in Switzerland but a beautiful area in South West Wales. The photos were taken on my iPhone – I love the snaking shape of the reservoir overflow but that particular image needed some work on it.

Swiss Valley

Swiss Valley Reservoir

Swiss Valley Reservoir

The Sounds of Cwmdonkin Park

There are a number of different features to Cwmdonkin Park in Swansea and if it was anything like it is now in Dylan Thomas’ time, then it is hardly surprising that he liked the place.

All the photos I have posted this week from my recce walk of the park have been take on my iPhone and I look forward to returning with my full StillWalks production kit. I had the kit in the car when I was there but neither had the time nor the inclination to go and get it!

Noise pollution – Too much of my time in the park was spent with the aural backdrop of somebody from the parks department using a leaf blower! I cannot think of a more irritating source of noise pollution.

There are two sound clips here, tell me which you prefer.

These and two other clips can also be listened to on SoundCloud.

Cwmdonkin trees

Cwmdonkin trees

Cwmdonkin trees

Cwmdonkin trees 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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Fixing Phone Photography

Fixing photographs taken on a phone is easier said than done. Having said that, there is nothing like a challenge. How far you go with any adjustments will depend on the results you want to achieve but there is inevitably going to be some compromise in the end.

Below are different versions of one of the phone photographs taken in the woods at Fforest (see previous posts). The HDR option was switched on and so I had two versions to work with – but neither one was satisfactory! Two much strength in the sunny highlights in the original and too much green saturation in the HDR version. Some darks needed lifting, others not. Some highlights needed recovery, some not.

The first image is the one I will use. The second two images are the two (adjusted) versions of the original shot. The adjustments I made in Adobe Lightroom were not enough to satisfy me. The solution was to combine selected areas of the two versions in Photoshop.

Comments very welcome on this issue.

Fforest Forest-3

Fforest Forest-3 Original and HDR combined and adjusted

Fforest Forest 2

Fforest Forest 2 HDR adjusted

 

Fforest Forest 1

Fforest Forest 1 Original – adjusted

The last two photos are the original and HDR versions of another shot which are both in their original state from the phone. They illustrate the problem quite well.

Fforest Original

Fforest Original

Fforest  HDR

Fforest HDR