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

Fungi Challenge

Walking in the woods the other day revealed a range of fungi, but I am no expert in the identification of the various species. Can anyone name all these fungi?

All photos taken on my iPhone 4S.

IMG_5847 IMG_5863 IMG_5865IMG_5871 IMG_5873IMG_5877 IMG_5883 IMG_5885 IMG_5887

The Old and the New

I discovered these three vehicles recently. Having taken a couple of shots on my iPhone of the old VW Beetle and camper van, when I saw the flashy one with the wheels a couple of days later, I had to stop and take a quick shot, again on my phone.

Ok, not it’s so much new as refreshed – but still a noticeable difference to the old one.

Old VW Beetle Old VW Camper van New Old VW Camper van

Blind Determination

Sam is blind, has only three legs and diabetes but on a hot day in this beautiful secret (see yesterdays post) woodland, he enjoyed his swim and was determined to get the sticks thrown for him.
Click the image or play buttons to view the videos.

. . .

A Well Kept Secret

Not seeing the wood(s) for the trees is another expression that would perhaps describe what I felt about our discovery of a nearby woodland at the weekend.

We have lived here almost 30 years and there are many beautiful places we have seen both near and far in Wales and the UK but still we find that some of the most stunning beauty is virtually on our doorstep. It felt like it had been a very well kept secret so I am not going to reveal its name or location, but I think it is definitely going to be the subject of a new StillWalk the moment I get the opportunity.

Most StillWalks videos have a location button on the video page – but not all! Here, anyway, is a bit of iPhonography of the place.