Carreg Cennen Castle

One of the final days of a beautiful Summer found us at Carreg Cennen Castle in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. It is a magnificent ruin sitting atop  a crag of rock looking over to the Black Mountain on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons.

The first image was taken on my iPhone and the second on my Canon 550D. The first needed some cropping and both needed some light adjustment.

Carreg Cennen Castle

Carreg Cennen Castle

Going to Seed

Thistles – another irresistible subject for photography!

These photos were taken on my Canon 550D with a Canon 70-300mm IS USM lens. However, it is also important for me to keep developing my skills with iPhone photography or iPhonography as it is often my phone camera that I have with me when out walking.

With so much to see, I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity, yet at the same time, it is not practical to always have heavy camera slung over your shoulder.

thistle

Thistles

iPhonography at Lliw Reservoir

Some alternative iPhone shots of Lliw Lower Reservoir. Having finished the new video collection, “StillWalks at Lliw Reservoir“, I recently had a walk there and did some iPhonography at the same time.

The photos were taken using the ProCamera app and edited in the PhotoshopExpress app on the phone and have also been posted on Instagram and EyeEm.

Shiny Green

I am not a motorcyclist but there is something about the aesthetics of motorbikes that has appeal – or perhaps it is the romantic notion of “riding into the sun”. The bright green of this Kawasaki does not have the same appeal as the shiny red of the Ducati in yesterday’s post but it is still, somehow, a fitting colour for the machine.

Kawasaki

Kawasaki break disc

Urban Abstract

Black and white / monochrome? You might expect these images to have been produced in monochrome but in fact the last one is the only one that I felt merited the change from colour.

I like the subtleness of the colour in the first two and although I tried the third in B&W and made the necessary adjustments, I found the blue at the bottom of that tyre well to be just right along with the a-concentric curves of the layered rubber.

All images taken on my iPhone with ProCamera.

Tyre Treads

Tyres

Tyre abstract

Tyres

Before and After – Post-production in iPhonography

Earlier this week I posted the images on the left of those below straight from my iPhone without any post-production adjustments. I hope you will agree with me that the adjusted versions are an improvement.

The photos were taken pretty much as snapshots. I did not spend any time in setting up the shots and next to no time looking at different angles or alternative compositions. The best work you’ll ever do in post-production will always be with those images that need least doing to them. It is useful, however, to be able to make some improvements to shots taken on the fly.

The photos were taken with the iPhone app ProCamera. Initial adjustments were made on the phone using the same app and further adjustments made in Adobe Lightroom followed by some sharpening and noise removal with Google’s Nik software.

before and after - railings

before and after - reservoir

before and after - overflow

 

Slow Shutter Effects – iPhonography

My day to day photography is often done using my iPhone and lately I have been experimenting with one or two different camera apps. The set of images below were taken using Slow Shutter Cam which, if you can be sure to keep the phone steady is nifty little app.

Fountains

The problem with long exposures being used to achieve that misty / ghostly effect or smoothness in flowing water, is that everything else gets the same length of exposure. There are various ways of dealing with this but the Slow Shutter app simply uses thevideo setting on the phone camera rather than the stills setting. It is, however, a still image that is saved.

It is a clever answer to the exposure issue and there are options to take images up to the full resolution of the camera (8 megapixels). I have had a few issues with the handling of colour which can be seen above but I suspect this is something that I will be able to manage better with time and practice. These images have had some post production adjustments applied but the main issue in taking them was that I did not have a tripod with me and had to rely on keeping the camera steady with the aid of the railings round the fountains.

The fountains are in the centre of Middlesbrough in the NE of England which is, according to some, one of the ugliest towns in Britain – I disagree and suggest they take another look, this time with their eyes open and no prejudicial blinkers!

 

Retreating from the Hurricane

Yesterday we felt the last remaining vestiges of Hurricane Bertha in the form of a brief sandblasting on the Millennium Park footpath on the seafront at Llanelli.

We were not long out of the car before we changed our minds about a place to go for a walk and headed for the woodland walk up to the reservoir in Swiss Valley instead.

The sand being blown off the beach felt like needles on the skin and although it wasn’t raining at the time, the locals clearly knew not to venture on the seafront when the wind is up as the place was empty of people. Swiss Valley on the other hand was relatively busy!

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