Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue reading

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading

Round Robin

Approaching the Great Glasshouse on my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire, I came upon this little round and seemingly very young robin. It was bobbing around some tall grasses as though it wanted its photo taken. I suspect it may have been looking for its mother which may have been doing the same thing from the rim of the water feature set at the top of the beautiful twisting path leading up from the entrance to the gardens.

Robin

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The Wallace Garden

Within the Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) where we were walking in September, there are a number of other gardens. My photos today are from the Wallace Garden and although they do not show the double helix arrangement of the paths, as this was not as easy to see as it is sometimes due to the content of the beds, it seemed less important to try and capture it.

It seems there is something different in the garden every time we visit and what you see below is some of what was there on this occasion in September – it will be different now and then again in Spring.

Wallace Garden exit/entrance

Wallace Garden exit/entrance

Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace

Dilys Jackson sculpture

Sculpture in the Wallace Garden by Dilys Jackson

plant in the Wallace garden

flowers in Wallace Garden

Flowers and Water

When visiting the Botanic Gardens (NBGW) the natural course to take on a walk is up the main path from the entrance towards the fountain at the end of a small lake. From here you have a number of options in terms of direction but if you have children with you (or even if you haven’t), the temptation is then to follow the twisting miniature stream set into the centre of the walkway.

Eventually, at the top of the path, you reach the simple but attractive water feature that feeds the meandering stream and you can look back down the way you have come and scan some of the other areas of the gardens.

water feature

All but one of the photos I am posting this week are from our walk here near the end of  September. However, I had to look to my archives for a shot of the twisting footpath stream and this one is from June 2011. My youngest daughter once said a few years after the gardens opened in 2000 that this was her favourite place in Wales – I am sure that this magical twisting trickle had something to do with it.

NBGW entrance walk

flowers and grasses

Incredible Fungi in the Ghost Forest

The Ghost Forest is a permanent external exhibition at the National Botanic Garden of Wales which features huge tree stumps and their roots from the rain forest.

The trees in the Ghost Forest, most of which fell naturally in storms and have their roots intact, are ‘ambassadors’ for rainforests worldwide,” said Ms Palmer. “The absence of their trunks is a metaphor for the absence of the planet’s lungs through deforestation.

It is clear from the exhibits how majestic the trees were when standing in their natural environment. Their contribution to a natural, sustainable environment, alongside those others in the rain forest, must have been as substantial as the trees themselves.

Hopefully, the attention that this exhibition attracts to the issue of tree felling in the rain forests and other woodlands around the world, will grow and spread like the fungi that has now appeared on the stumps in the exhibition. They are amazing objects, both trees and fungi and of course, one would not exist without the other.

These are my final iPhone photos this week from the Botanic Gardens in Carmarthenshire. The first shot was taken using the iPhone Camera app and the fungi shots were taken with PureShot. very little pst production adjustment was made to any of these photos.

NBGW Ghost Forest

NBGW Fungi

NBGW Fungi

NBGW Fungi

NBGW Fungi

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 – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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The Great Glasshouse – Contrast in iPhonography

More photos from my iPhone using both the phone’s Camera app and PureShot.

Controlling exposure and white balance can be difficult in certain situations, most especially when there is significant contrast in light within the frame. One way to adjust this with the Camera app is to try out different angles and points of focus until you find a reasonable compromise and then make further adjustment to shadows and highlights in post processing with an app like Adobe Photoshop (the phone version) or Lightroom on your computer.

PureShot allows easy adjustment on screen of the area within the frame that is sensitive to the light when taking your shot. This means that it is much easier to use the angle and composition that you want with little compromise to white balance and contrast. And of course further tweaking is possible in post production. I like the mobile Photoshop app for post production on the phone but another good app I use is SnapSeed.

The first photo (of The Great Glasshouse at NBGW) was taken with the Camera app. Although there was significant contrast between the light coming through the glass roof and the “landscape” inside, it was easy to adjust the angle satisfactorily to allow a good distribution of light or white balance.

The second and third shots were both taken with PureShot as TIFFs, with its exposure control making it possible to handle the contrast between sky and land and inside the glasshouse, “table” and darker plants surrounding it. For detailed info on using either app, I refer people to Emil Pakarklis’ iPhone Photography School.

Botanic Gardens

NBGW

NBGW

Memorial to the project architect of the Great Glasshouse

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 – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Plants in the Glasshouse – Absorbed in iPhonography

I was absorbed in taking the photos and absorbed by the look of the plants but I made a mistake, one I make too often! I forgot to get all the information I would want about the things I was photographing – information I would want when writing this post.

I would like to be able to tell you what these fascinating and exotic plants are but all I can say is that they are in the Great Glasshouse in the National Botanic Garden of Wales. I can also tell you that the first photograph was taken in JPEG format (see yesterdays post for info on formats), and the second in TIFF.

Unfortunately that probably doesn’t give you information that you really want whether you are interested in photography or not, so I must apologise for the omission of this information and ask if anyone knows what they are, to post it in the comments. Thank you.

NBGW

NBGW

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 – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Woodland Walk

Watch the “Woodland Walk” video below, if you haven’t already done so, and enjoy Pont Felin Gât at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It is in the Summer collection of StillWalks but the video title says Spring . . . it was late Spring and felt like Summer!

Below are the last available photos from the video. These are available for sale at the StillWalks PhotoShelter site.

Buttercup Meadow National Botanic Garden of Wales