The Shard and Other London Fragments

Looking at a recent post about London on a blog I follow, I was reminded by a photo showing the Shard in the distance, of a visit to London I made when that structure was still being built.

Half the tube stations were out of action in preparation for the 2012 Olympics but the StillWalk I produced from the photos and sound recording I did on the day does not reflect my frustration with this. Watch the video below.

StillWalks – London Tate Walk from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

My StillWalks often use the natural environment as the location, but not always. StillWalks are primarily about relaxation and stress relief but they are also about seeing and hearing all that is around us and I am as interested in the sounds of the city as those of the countryside.

Here is one of the images from that walk.

London

Football in the Park

They say smell is one of the best memory triggers. Sound, I would say, is another.

Whilst walking through our local park on Saturday morning, the local school football team had a match on. I don’t know who they were playing but the scene took me back to my own early years when I too played football on the school team. My memory tells me I didn’t do much else for a while – either football or riding my bicycle. Happy memories ūüôā

Football in the Park

Singing in the Rain

The sound of a Song Thrush singing in the rain in Lliw Valley – what more can I say!

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Lliw Valley

Lliw Valley in the Rain

River Torrents

There was plenty of water flowing at the Lliw Reservoirs recently and during my walk in the rain I took a number of shots of the fast flowing rivers, trying out different settings and shutter speeds.

I have never been a great fan of slow shutter speeds and the “smooth water” effect it gives with flowing water. However, whilst using a fast shutter speed may show the explosive nature of fast moving water, slower shutter speeds will certainly help to represent the flow.

River Torrents

River Torrents

For the shot above the ISO had to be super high (6400) to allow a shutter speed of 1/1250 at f4.

River Torrents 2

River Torrents 2

Whereas with this shot the ISO was 100 and shutter speed 1/25 at f4.5.

River Churning

River Churning

Again, the shot above was taken ISO 6400 with a shutter speed of 1/1250 at f9.

River Churning 2

River Churning 2

And this one was taken at ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/25 at f7.1

The camera was a Canon 550D and the lens was the Canon EF70 – 300mm IS USM.

And for those who are interested, the changing sounds of the river as the flow varies  alongside the footpath (4:22 mins).

Looking and Listening . . .

. . . seeing and hearing, that’s what StillWalks is all about.

As I walked through the woods on Sunday on my way towards Upper Lliw Reservoir, it was quite clear that the birds were perfectly happy with the rain. Although they were hard to spot, they were very easy to hear.

Can anybody identify the birds or the fungi?

tree growths

Tree Growths

Tree Growth

Tree Growth

Winter Lakeside Walk – see the video

This is the last post featuring this StillWalk. I am not sure how WordPress delivers video posts by email and so if the link below does not show up in an email, then clicking the image will take you to the web page where you can play it.

At just 6.00 minutes long, a typical length for a StillWalks video, it won’t take too much time out of your busy lives and may be just what you need. Just remember to put other things aside (phones, etc.) and allow yourself to be absorbed by the sights and sounds of Llyn Llech Owain (pronunciation in the previous post). Maybe it will prompt you to take a local walk yourself and listen out for all that is around you. Full scale high definition versions of StillWalks can be purchased online, just contact me through the StillWalks¬†website.

IMG_2902

Boardwalk – Sounds from Llyn Llech Owain

The sounds in my StillWalks are at least as important as the images. I particularly like the creaking movement of the raised boardwalk in “Winter Lakeside Walk”.

Here is a short clip (1 min) from the sound files for this walk plus the spectral display image and the boardwalk itself.

I will include the video itself in the blog at the end of the week but you can see it on the Winter Walks page of the website now if you would like to. If your internet connection is not very fast, you may have to wait for the video to buffer in order for it not to stutter – or you could always buy the download. See the Sales page for prices and instructions.

boardwalk spectral display

boardwalk sound clip spectral display

boardwalk

Boardwalk

Llyn Llech Owain

Llyn Llech Owain