light and shade

My Walk this Week 249 – Altered View

On my walk this week I had an altered view of my surroundings and the differences can be seen in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th images below.

I had been to the ophthalmologist for an eye check up following laser treatment and, as always, they put drops in my eyes to open the pupils as wide as possible. The result of this is that a lot more light gets in and this can be difficult to cope with. But I had my sunglasses with me so that when I went for a walk in the park afterwards the sunny day was not a problem but I had to rely on my iPhone to set itself correctly for the photos I took.

The photos below are what the camera saw except for numbers two and three. No.2 is an approximation of what I could see through my shades and No.3 is what I would have seen without the shades.

Sight, however, is not needed for sound and so I was able to capture snippets of conversation, the birds and the children, with only a small distortion from the wind which I was able to deal with in post production.

I must say that it was frustrating not to be able to see properly on my walk but that did not stop me focusing on some of the things I find interesting there – the “Whomping willow”, the shrub hugging the balustrade, the textures, if not the colours (which were distorted), and it’s good to see the effects of light and shade in the photos, albeit after the fact so to speak.

morning mist and sun

My Walk this Week 247 – Misty Marshes

My walk this week is really my walk last week when I ventured down to the misty marshes early one morning before the day warmed up and enjoyed capturing this beautiful place with stills, video and audio.

Any environment differs according to the weather conditions, but this can be perceived in different ways. Visually (and in a tactile way) the misty marshes are exciting to me. Even though the river is moving ever so slowly, the fog in the air is mysterious and the atmosphere is dank or clammy to the touch.

An excess of moisture is literally hanging in the air and this changes our experience of sound as well as vision. The short video clip above shows the this moisture and also transports the sound of traffic on the motorway very efficiently. The result of course is that on this day, at that time, the marshes were noisier than usual – not only with the busy road but also with the birds shouting over it.

In the soundscape below I have been able to focus more on the birds than on the background traffic and we do this with our ears (or rather our brains) as well – filter out or dim down the sounds we do not want to listen to and focus on the those we enjoy most. That, for me, is not only the birds and in this instance includes those wonderful gates as well.

And then there are the stills, an opportunity to capture a moment in time, a snippet of what is seen and felt, both of the broader landscape and also some of its details, textures, patters, nuances.

I hope you can enjoy the different aspects of this little corner of Wales as much as I did on my walk. Click on the first image and look through the carousel on a larger scale while listening to the soundscape.

Llyn Llech Owain

My Walk this Week 239 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my StillWalks® followers and visitors. My walk this week is a hopeful one that takes you out of the woods and into the open.

The sound track for this short video was not going to be as it is. When recording the short clip in the woods at Llyn Llech Owain a helicopter flew overhead (as you can hear) – this prompted me to record a separate sound clip after it had passed.

However, it occurred to me that the helicopter might be considered symbolic of the past year in that it was likely to be an emergency flight taking someone to hospital. I doubt very much that we are out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Even with the vaccine it will take time to immunise the population and we need to keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine will do the trick.

So out of the woods and into the open . . . Llyn Llech Owain is a local country park on one of those currently rare bright cold days, we and other families carefully kept socially distanced as we enjoyed the sounds of the geese on the lake, the peace of no traffic in the background, and the moon rising as the sun set (at the end of the video in the top left corner). 

Burry Inlet

My Walk this Week 236 – Coastal Path

My walk this week shows a small section of the coastal path along the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet in South Wales.

The soundscape for the still image video above was recorded separately and apart from trimming, I have done very little work on it. My walk started in a semi-industrial area where you can here the sounds of machinery as well as traffic. The traffic never disappears but does fade a little as the path approaches the edges of the estuary.

It was a bitterly cold morning as can be seen in the images below and my hands felt like they were going to drop off as I recorded and photographed the scene.

The quality of light excited me. Where there is a wide expanse of still water and a relatively even light in the sky, the two reflect and bounce off each other, creating subtle changes of colour and luminance that you do not see when the surface of the water is more broken or choppy. Or indeed, when the sky is more broken in its textures and with higher contrast in its areas of light and shade.

Mumbles lighthouse

My Walk this Week 233 – The Sea The Sea

On my walk this week I was mesmerised by the susurration of the sea, the sea. It was the light and colour that really caught my eye, but when looking at its gentle, repetitive movements and listening to its rhythmical shush and liquid intricacies I couldn’t help but be enamoured of the full expanse of Swansea Bay at high tide.

Still using my iPhone I am frustrated by the effect even a slight breeze has on its microphones – but the distortion in the audio in this video is not what is in my memory.

Being in Mumbles to run an errand with my daughter (Hannah Duncan Creations), we took the opportunity to walk along the seafront to the pier. The sunlight caught the outcrops of rock, made islands by the high tide, on which the lighthouse is built and the sharp edge made me think of the shot of Catalina Apple used for the operating system of that name. Looking at that system image afterwards, I was less convinced of any similarity.

I only took a few photographs and short video clips but the walk was a very enjoyable and welcome break from the darkness the seemingly interminable rain brings. It’s not so much the rain I dislike as the lack of light that comes with it.

waves and wind

My Walk this Week 227 – Visual Wind and Audio Calm

My walk this week contains contradictions, wind in the visual but calm in the audio. Two walks really, both from Scotland – one where photos were taken and the other where sound recordings was done.

light and dark

The image above demonstrates a change in temperature while we were in Scotland, and of course that was preceded by wind. The strange rays of light sneaking through the cloud formation looks to me as though it might be an error in photo development, but this is a digital shot and anyway, I saw it with my own eyes, and it was weird. There’s nothing like nature to hold you in fascination and awe.

The effects of wind can be seen in the images below but the sound I recorded was from a cal walk along the shore, listening to the lapping of waves on the sand and amongst the rocks. So if the images leave you feeling flustered, hopefully the audio will keep you calm.

Perhaps it may be best on this occasion to look and listen separately – not something I usually prompt.

Calm Sea Soundscape

You might find using headphones worthwhile for this soundscape.

The curlew is perhaps the one natural element that is keeping its calm in the face of the wild wind and waves.

Scottish Sunsets-8

My Walk this Week 226 – Spectacular Sunsets

On my walk this week I want to share some of my favourite photos of spectacular sunsets from the two weeks I spent in Scotland. The videos I posted while there could not follow the ever changing light for more than a few moments and the atmosphere created by the setting sun on successive evenings was literally awesome.

Scottish Sunsets-3

From the pastel tints and shades looking in one direction to the drama of a fiery sky in another, the reflections on clouds above and water below never ceases to amaze me.

However, I couldn’t photograph one of the most impressive evening skies I have ever seen. I was driving home at the time and as we crossed the border into Wales the sunset was unbelievable, unrealistic even! Yet it was real and will be one that lives on in my memory – it was a good way to arrive back from a much needed and, in spite of Covid-19, much enjoyed holiday. And we were back just in time for another lockdown!

Evening Soundscape – Curlews Calling

A couple of the curlews calling in the soundscape above are from one of the videos I posted previously – the others were separately recorded and are a natural (and phenomenal, to my mind) part of the evening landscapes/seascapes in the photos.

Click the play button for the soundscape and then click the first image below to see the full images larger.

 

My Walk this Week 224 – Away with Peace and the Birds

My walk this week comes from Scotland and it is not so much a walk as a simple record of the stillness, peace and quiet we have been experiencing in this first week away.

Three short iPhone videos tell the story – listen out for the cries of curlews in the evening – there is nothing else like them.

 

Post and all videos/images created on my phone.