My walk this week may have been from a different year but that winter was almost as mild as this one has been. Had these photos been taken in 2015/16, there would probably have been more rain than mist but hopefully that would not have stopped me doing the walk. I am, however, looking forward to some drier walks in the coming year!
Try listening to this soundscape of the walk while viewing the images in sequence – click the play button and then the first thumbnail below.
Misty Walk Soundscape
If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.
The mist is still there as I climb back up the bracken covered side of Ryer’s Down on the Gower Peninsula. It could be said that yesterday’s magical atmosphere in the woods has come with me into the new year – mist can certainly have a mystical effect on things (sorry about the pun).
The landscape can look very different depending on the conditions. Trying always to look at things with a fresh eye helps me see what is there and appreciate the subtle differences.
The StillWalks video below is not from the place I have posting about this last week but is nearby on the Gower Peninsula. The weather forecast for the production day of this video was good – in reality it turned out as you will see in the video, more in keeping with the atmosphere of the misty hills, if not as wet and windy.
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This week’s featured StillWalks video is “Misty Walk”. The title tells you a bit about what to expect.
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 – “Misty Walk” which is at Ryers Down on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.
Misty Walk is a new stillWalk which was actually produced at the end of last winter. There are several more StillWalks in the pipeline but it has proved difficult this last year to complete the post production on these. This is largely because of the project work I have been doing – see Projects.
I have uploaded two versions of the Misty Walk to the Winter Walks page. Both are high quality but one is in HD (720p) and the other is small scale at 480 x 270 pixels. (see also below).
StillWalks should be viewed, if possible in full screen mode and these videos will show the difference between the two versions. The HD button is in the top right of the first video and the full screen button is on the bottom right of each video.
It was supposed to be a dry, sunny day for this production but it turned out otherwise! This misty walk is on Ryer’s down on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales and was very enjoyable and atmospheric (small scale). Walk location
Last week’s production day on Ryer’s Down on the Gower in South Wales was a challenge. The weather suggests that the StillWalk to be produced will be “A Misty Gower Walk”. Fortunately, rain covers were not needed for the cameras but I was glad to have the waterproof case for the recorder.
I had all the sound and photography kit with me and alternated between them throughout the walk. This still meant that, for a relatively short walk, I was out recording and taking photos for 6.5 hours.
All this plus a small collapsible stool (essential piece of kit), food, water, spare batteries, filters, etc. all in a great Lowepro kit bag, meant I was pretty weighed down. The trick is to be patient, take your time and not try to fit too much into the day. The recce walks are essential to ensure this can be achieved.
The mist never lifted as I had hoped it would, and the day was not as peaceful as on the previous recce visit when the Skylarks sang for us and traffic was non existent. Instead, normal farm life was ever present with the sound of tractors and other farm equipment in the distance. The Larks, however, sang through it all and their sound was as beautiful as ever.
Virtual Walks – I hope, with StillWalks, to provide realistic virtual walks. We don’t always want to wait until a beautiful Spring day to go for a walk and sometimes the sights and sounds around us are not what we would wish. However, these things don’t stop us, and wherever or whenever we decide to go for a walk, there are always a multitude of fascinating things to see and hear. Producing StillWalks helps me to recognize and focus on these things and enjoy the surroundings wherever I may be. I hope that they do this for you as well.
Technical Problems – During the Ryer’s Down production day I came up with a problem on the Fostex recorder and had to temporarily revert to the Edirol. I can only guess that the problem was electrical interference of some sort. The problem is illustrated in the sound clip and image below. I tried switching my phone to airplane mode and then off altogether but to no avail. I checked all my settings in case I had inadvertently knocked something but found everything as it should be.
Fortunately, I was able to use the Edirol instead – it’s not as good but very useful as a back up recorder. The problem, however, was temporary as, when I tried the Fostex again about 15 minutes later and another 100 yards further on, there was no problem at all and I was able to continue using it for the rest of the day.
Spectral Display – When viewing the sound files afterwards I find the spectral display a valuable element in Adobe Audition when it comes to identifying various aspects of the sounds I record. The image above shows the pattern created by the sound of what I guessed was electrical interference – the bright, gentle curve of the sound at the higher frequency is inaudible to the human ear but the broader curve downwards into the lower frequencies and then up again is easily seen and heard.
Skylark Song – The image below shows the pattern revealed through spectral display in Audition by a Skylark – and, of course, you must listen to the 10 second clip to which the image relates – enjoy 🙂
Ryers Down Lark Spectral Display
More to come in the future about both the production and post-production element of StillWalks.
Two weeks ago I went did a recce walk on Ryer’s Down on the Gower. Starting just along the road from Burry Green, the weather was misty but the sun just about got through at one point – though not quite!
Then, at the beginning of this week, I took some exploratory shots near the mouth of the River Loughor – the light was particularly difficult in the early afternoon because the sun was only half managing to to push through that same mist. This Little Egret is one of many on the Loughor Estuary.
Little Loughor Egret
I went ahead with the planned production day later in the week in the hope that, if I started out in mist, there was a reasonable chance I would finish in some sunshine – fat chance! The StillWalk that will be produced from that day will have to be titled “Misty Gower Walk” I think. It was still a beautiful walk however, and the Skylarks sang for me as well which would lift the heart of the most miserable soul. You can listen to them on SoundCloud and find out about them on the RSPB website.
Looking up Ryer's Down, Gower
And here are a couple of images that describe the different state of weather on the recce walk and the production day.
Looking down from Ryer's Down, Gower on the Recce Walk
Looking down from Ryer's Down, Gower on Producton Day
More photos from the recce walk can be seen on Flickr as well as many more from other explorations.
The Ryer’s Down production day was the first one where I used the full sound recording and photography kit simultaneously throughout the walk but I am going to write a separate post about the more technical aspects of the kit and production. Suffice to say for the moment, that I was very tired by the end of the day.
Finally, remember, anyone interested in the weekly recordings and photos I am getting down on the marshes can find them on SoundCloud and Flickr. Better still, download a StillWalk or two from the website and enjoy virtual walks in many different places at different times of year.