My Walk this Week – Keeping To the Footpath, Following the Rules

My walk this week follows the rules and my local marsh footpath down to the old St Teilo’s churchyard. It is a walk I love and have done (and posted about) many times. But there is always something new to see as the the conditions are always different. One of the first things you come upon when leaving the park above the marshes is this metal gate notice telling you to “KEEP TO THE FOOTPATH”.

keep to the footpath

I’m not one for sticking to the rules but I am sure that, like me, most people walking here do keep to the footpath because it takes you were you want to go and follows a very attractive route.Continue reading

Taste of Gower Oxwich 5 – Breaking the Rules of Photography

couple on beach

During this Taste of Gower walk at Oxwich I had conversations with a couple of people about photography and the “rule” of not taking photographs into the sun or keeping the light behind you.  It’s not a bad rule in general and particularly useful for holiday snapshots. Apart from any tricks of the trade which can be used when you need to shoot into the light, deliberately taking a shot against the light can give some very interesting results and indeed, if you want silhouettes this is the way to get them.

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Seat with an Evening View

It was very cold (for Wales) on this Winter afternoon walk and I didn’t sit on this perfectly placed seat, but I did enjoy the last of the light. I know I posted shots of this sky at a slightly earlier stage of its cycle yesterday, so please excuse me, but I could not resist posting again as the light faded and the colours deepened.

I met my friend David Wibberly – Photographer just after taking these photos and he was commenting on the bad light for photography. I explained that as my intention is to try to present what you would see and hear on a walk, whenever it is taken, the issue of light is something I just have to deal with.

Penclawdd seat

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Proportion, Perspective and Atmosphere

Talking about images rather than roads, it is up to you whether or not you stick to the “rules”, but it is so often said that “rules are made to be broken”, it is almost a rule in itself that you shouldn’t stick to them!

I have used the “rule” of thirds (approximately) in the first two images below and each presents to me a different atmosphere and perspective. My personal preference is for the second shot but “to each his own”. Do you have a preference?

The “thirds” rule is broken in the third shot but the focus is on (or at least my attention was drawn to) the arc of a dog’s paw prints across the beach. I hope I have managed to frame the shot successfully. The eye follows the arc of prints and is brought neatly to a stop with the change in direction of the horizontal structure on the beach and the punctuation mark of the man – who presumably owns the invisible dog! The small proportion of land and sky simply to give the scene some geographical context.

Swansea Beach

Swansea Beach

Swansea Beach

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.

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