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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Light and Shade – Morlais Patterns

On a sunny day the patterns are easy to find, particularly around mid morning when the sun is at its most creative angle in this respect.

I was taking photos of fences last Sunday morning . . . not these ones though. These are from the end of my walk along the River Morlais. I had been thinking ahead and wondering how I was going to get good photos to finish with, knowing that the short section of footpath that returns to the road is not the most attractive feature in the area.

However, the sun was shining, it was mid morning in July (I started at 5.00 AM), and the patterns created left me in no doubt as to how the video for this walk would end!

Morlais Patterns

Morlais PatternsYou can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks, pay what you want and receive a download of the completed StillWalks video from this area – “Troserch Woodland Walk“, this week’s featured walk.

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Tunnel of Trees

Looking for the light in the Ynystawe woodland before going to photograph the dressage riders at the Clydach Riding Club show last weekend, I peeked out from the trees to the fields and the River Tawe and finally headed back to the show field through a tunnel of trees. The dressage show photos can be found at StillWalks Photography.





Soggy Seeds

The woodland at Ynystawe through which I was walking last weekend really was wet! The day was nice but the rain from previous days had had its effect on the plants at the end of Summer.

The colours of flowers are on their way out and we have not yet reached that stage of Autumn that brings so much colour again in the leaves. But there is still pattern and texture and light (perhaps less of the light) – you just have to look around you 🙂

Ynystawe-9 Ynystawe-10 Ynystawe-12 Ynystawe-14

Ynystawe-15 Ynystawe-17

Dragonfly Hunt – People and Paths

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Those dragonflies from yesterdays post were hunted and found in two places – Three Crosses Community Woodland near Swansea and Gelli Hir Woodland on the northern side of the Gower Peninsula.

Both places are beautiful and the weather was perfect for finding what we were after. I wasn’t doing any sound recording on this visit but I will be going back, so yet again, watch this space!

StillWalks is about promoting a sense of health and wellbeing, enjoying the sights and sounds of your local environment. Both the Three Crosses and the Gelli Hir woodlands are places that I will be visiting again with the assurance that, whatever the weather, I will enjoying a sense of wellbeing while I am there.

Images from this series are available on the StillWalks Photography website.

Three Cliffs Bay – Step 2, People and Beach

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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.

All photos are available for sale on the StillWalks Photography website.

Three Cliffs Bay Three Cliffs Bay Three Cliffs Bay

Pylons in the Hills

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.

These and more photos can be seen and purchased at StillWalks PhotoShelter.

Bont Landscape Pylons Pylons detail

Landscape Photography – A Personal View

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!

These and more photos can be seen and purchased at StillWalks PhotoShelter.

Bont Hills Bont Hills