The Grain of Woodland Details

Starting with a close up, this first photograph is a very close crop of the second shot. I particularly liked the grain effect of the exposure with a very high ISO. It seemed to suit the atmosphere of the dark place in those ancient woods by Cwm Green on the Gower Peninsula.

Most of my photography in these woods needed a high ISO as much of this environment was quite dark. Whilst I have both a monopod and a tripod, when carrying the field recorder and mic as well as kit bag and two cameras, it is just not practical to take a tripod as well and on this occasion I had not included the monopod.

However, as I say above, I think the graininess of some of the shots I took are very appropriate for the subject matter and I would be happy, as with this first shot, to emphasise it.

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Moss

Cwm Green Moss and Ferns

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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

Light is Everything

Sunlight or cloud, rain or mist – the weather conditions influence, no, create the available light for photography.

A few weeks ago I was at Lliw Valley Reservoirs in the rain and took some photos on my iPhone 4s of what I described as “fence post gardens”. I posted them on the Moss Appreciation Society Facebook page with the comment that I would have to go back on a dry day to photograph them properly. The response from one group member was that moss likes, and is perhaps, at its best in the rain.

The sun was shining when I was up there last week and following my interview with BBC Radio Wales I proceeded to take some photos of the same “fence post gardens” with my Canon 550D. It was difficult to say the least! Sunlight can be very dramatic – usually in the early morning or evening, but it can also be a major problem depending on the subject matter.

I have picked out four photos that I think are not too bad from those I took on the day but it seems I am going to have to wait for a more overcast day or go there at sunrise to get some decent shots of this subject.

Getting to know the subject is also important whatever medium you are working with, and I think that it was not just the light conditions that gave me a problem. It was also time and the need to figure out the best angles. Next time I will go better informed.

Update (22/03/2013) According to a friend of my sister –

The second photo has some lichens in as well as moss- the silvery flattish ones at the front which may be a Paramelia – and probably the red and silvey grey one – also a brown cupped one in the middle- these last 2 will be Cladonia species.

Moss Garden

Moss Garden

moss

moss

Peristomes

Ghostly Tree

Ghostly Tree

Old Fences

Lliw Valley in the rain – the last of my images this week on this subject, these photos seem to prove the resilience of wood over metal.

The first two along with a number of others taken recently, can also be seen on the Ambiguity of Fences blog. Other Fence Post Garden images from Lliw Valley can be seen on Facebook at the Moss Appreciation Society.

old fence

Succumbing to time and the rain

old fence

Hanging Around

fence post garden

Fence Post Garden

Active / Inactive weekend

Active? Inactive? Which was it? Actually I had a very active weekend but still found time for a walk at the Botanic Garden of Wales and got to see some great moss and fungi which I shared with the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook. Gonna have to update my iPhone if I’m going to take photos with it!

soft moss

Soft Moss

moss & fungi

Moss & Fungi Friends

fungi city

Fungi City in the country of Moss

Saturday morning had a bit of a spectator sport going on – the spectators and the competitors were starlings. Check this out –

and this

And then on Sunday morning we had some peace . . .

A Blank Canvas (Our Garden)

When we first moved into our current house, the garden was almost a complete blank. A flat rectangle of grass with a straight path down one side, an unused greenhouse towards the bottom end with about 30 – 40 feet of brambles and rubble all banked up behind it and chain-link fencing down the sides.

We spent our first Winter planning how we wanted it to look – not too ambitious to begin with, we simply wanted to get some plants in there and take away some of the straight lines. We dug borders and changed the shape of the path and my mother gave us a Flowering Cherry tree.

We were pleased to find out that, until about 12 years earlier, what was now grass had been filled with roses. This must have been quite something – the garden is approximately 50 metres long from the yard and about 5 metres wide and 50 – 75% of this was roses. Anyway, they must have done the earth a lot of good, and the earth kept that goodness all locked up until we came along and started planting. The result was that it seemed like anything planted grew like crazy. Actually, there are some things that don’t do well and, of course, some of the things that do grow well, we would prefer them not to.

Over the years we have managed to reclaim all of the area behind the greenhouse as well as using the greenhouse itself for a number of years for tomatoes, cucumber, basil, aubergine, etc. However, the greenhouse is no more – taken away when we built a studio at the end of the garden. We still try growing fruit and veg but these days the british Summer is more suited to moss cultivation than anything needing a bit of sunshine. Speaking of which, why not visit the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook.

There are always improvements and changes we want to make to the garden but whether or not we get round to doing anything about them doesn’t matter to me, I still love our garden the way it is – never too much under our control!

. . . and the birds . . . I used to play birdsong recordings in the background on the computer sometimes in our previous studio – now I don’t have to. Even without StillWalks, they are always there in the garden, right beside me.

The Cherry Tree

The Cherry Tree in full bloom through the patio doors