Part two of this series of images from Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.
It was a hot and bright day and there were various activities going in different parts of the bay. I particularly like the middle one of these three photos because it seems to me to show the blinding heat of the day so clearly. Virtually the only way to differentiate the sea from the sky is the change in texture.
It is similar in the third shot but I was more intent on bringing in the foreground and the subsequent pattern layers in the scene.
Coming down from the hills at the end of the day and heading into the sunlight can provide some remarkable views of the landscape – dependant, of course, on the weather conditions and time of year.
The end of my journey home from Felindre brought me down from the hills towards Pontarddulais in South Wales where there is a vast network of metal giants criss-crossing the land as part of the National Grid.
Electricity pylons seen against the light and the land need not be a blot, but rather a fascinating part of the composition, creating patterns and networks of lines that may not be natural, but are something we are happy to live with in order to have the power we need for modern life.
Still enjoying the short journey home over the hills from Felindre, the local Welsh landscape is beautiful and it’s got nothing to do with the current good weather, honest!
My work over the years has taken me all over South Wales and although this has meant a lot of driving, it has also given me the opportunity to see different aspects of the landscape in all sorts of conditions. Whether it is local or more distant, you have to be there to really appreciate it. Photography can do only so much. Artists can capture moods of a scene with which you can best identify if you have been there or somewhere like it.
I do not describe the photography I do as landscape photography. Although much of it involves the landscape, the photography I do for StillWalks, I describe as environmental – natural and man-made. If you google landscape photography, you will be presented with any amount of spectacular photographs produced by a range of more or less well known photographers who have done all the “right” things in terms of framing the shot and finding the right angle, waiting for the light, etc.
Some of the scenes from around the world (both near and far) are truly amazing . . . yes, there is a but coming . . . but, some of the shots I see seem to me to be almost unreal or super-real, a bit like photo-realism in painting – it’s almost beyond belief. It seems as though there is no texture in the scenes and texture is something I am interested in, no doubt due to my other life as a tapestry weaver. It may be that in these textureless images, there has been some over-use of pixel smoothing techniques but I know of one photographer who does not make this mistake, if it can be called that.
Victor Rakmil is a photographer whose work I greatly admire and he writes an excellent blog much of which I would entirely agree with and learn from regarding technique. Take a look to see the texture that remains in his landscape scenes as well as the other photographic genres he covers.
I took the shots below on my way home over some of the lower lying Welsh hills. It was a hot a hazy day and for me, give a true (photographic) representation of the landscape as it was at that time in those conditions. Tomorrow I’ll have some more!
During a quiet time in the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside exhibition (see previous posts), I started looking around in more detail at the exhibition space (not the exhibition itself).
The sun was not shining and so the patterns of light on the floor in the room were not there (see previous post). Over the next couple of days I am going to put up what I found instead. NB This is not b & w photography – the images are a little darker than reality but I thought they were more atmospheric this way. I tried them in b & w but preferred this white balance.
These photos are more about the light than they are about Swansea, except that they were taken from the top of Kilvey Hill, an urban woodland that is surrounded by the city.
It was a beautiful evening when I took these pictures but even then the clouds were heralding yet another a change in the weather. Constant change may be something we have to accept in the weather these days, but fortunately there can be as much beauty in those changes as in the pleasure we feel in the sunshine – when we get it.
Light plays an important part in all art work and its display. Despite the display and this photograph revealing the shadows and surfaces of this piece of work by Duncan Ayscough, when seeing it last week at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, it was difficult to describe just what the ceramic form was doing with the light in the gallery other than absorbing it – like a Black Hole.
The photo cannot do it justice – the matt black surface seemed to negate the existence of light and in other pieces (not those shown here), the form seemed to be a “normal” vessel but when taking a closer look, we realised that the black surface of the interior was deceiving us! If I had taken a closer look still, I fear I too would have been absorbed into that Black Hole.
Fascinating work and well worth a visit if you’re in the area – or even if you’re not! This work must be new as it does not appear on his website yet.
The first photo here is not an exhibit at the second gallery we visited last week – the Howard Garden Gallery at Cardiff Met University. The video below the photo was an installation art work which had to be viewed in a dark room. If you want to be able to see the video, I suspect you will also need to darken your room.
Personally, I liked the crack in the dark by the entrance more than the piece itself but I enjoyed the rest of this exhibition by Avtarjeet Dhanjal. More info on the show can be found here – hmmm, just discovered it finishes today so here is a quote from I’m on that web page.
“When growing up in the Panjab, India, I was not aware there was such a thing called ‘Art’; though my mother decorated our house with beautiful wall murals using clay. It was never called Art. One could find many other examples of beautiful objects of daily use; those enhanced the quality of life. To hold a beautiful object on your hand, or to stand facing a unique work of art, one feels a delight whether one has any formal education in aesthetics or not. This is considered the intrinsic worth of a work of art” – Avtarjeet Dhanjal.
Crack in the Dark
This trough was half filled with water but because the blue plastic itself was shiny and reflective, it was almost impossible to see the water. The installation shown in the video above also used “invisible” water.