Burry Inlet

My Walk this Week 236 – Coastal Path

My walk this week shows a small section of the coastal path along the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet in South Wales.

The soundscape for the still image video above was recorded separately and apart from trimming, I have done very little work on it. My walk started in a semi-industrial area where you can here the sounds of machinery as well as traffic. The traffic never disappears but does fade a little as the path approaches the edges of the estuary.

It was a bitterly cold morning as can be seen in the images below and my hands felt like they were going to drop off as I recorded and photographed the scene.

The quality of light excited me. Where there is a wide expanse of still water and a relatively even light in the sky, the two reflect and bounce off each other, creating subtle changes of colour and luminance that you do not see when the surface of the water is more broken or choppy. Or indeed, when the sky is more broken in its textures and with higher contrast in its areas of light and shade.

Wet, Drying and Dry – Subtlety in Sand

While the patterns in sand I have been looking at on my walk this week have been details of the beach in Swansea Bay, there are also interesting patterns and textures to be seen from longer, wider viewpoints. In this first shot today I like the gradual fading of the reflected light on wet sand as it transitions to drying sand.

In the second photo the pattern was subtle, perhaps more-so in reality than it is in the image but still noticeably there and resembling a tiger’s stripes. While I enjoy nuance within imagery and my surroundings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this pattern strengthened and converting to monochrome and increasing the contrast was one relatively quick way to do this.

Beach Perspective

Beach Perspective

Dry and Drying sand

Dry and Drying

monochrome sand

monochrome sand

There was subtlety in the sounds of the beach on this walk as well as in the patterns of sand. I got my recorder out again as soon as I heard my footsteps on top of one of the sand banks where the surface still retained water and the rhythm of my footsteps created a fizz of compressed sand and released moisture. The passing of a distant small aircraft only seemed to emphasise the peace of the beach at this stage of my walk.

Footsteps in Damp Sand

Swan, Lake

The subtle colours of the late afternoon sunset reflected in the water of this urban lake in Middlesbrough accompanied by the slow, calm meanderings of the swan and its reflection belie how cold it was at the time.

Earlier photos from this location showed the apparent confusion of some of the birds walking on water with the ice part melted just below the surface. The sunny day had caused this part thaw, but as the sun dipped below the horizon the low temperatures returned rapidly.

sunset swan

swan

Somewhere in Between – Going Black and White

At first glance these images may appear to be black and white – but of course, there is colour in there, it’s just very subtle. The view looks across Swansea Bay and towards Mumbles Lighthouse in South Wales. The weather, being wild and windy with a lot of changing sunlight and shade, made the sea a range of greys and it was the intermittent clouds that created much of the contrast.

I debated whether or not to make them monotone and I tried it out as it seemed the obvious thing to do. I made the necessary adjustments as best I could to ensure they worked, and tried out some whackier filters and balances. However, in the end I found I prefer that subtlety of colour that is there if you look closely, and gives a different atmosphere to the images than was the case when converted to black and white.

I made small adjustments to all the images. They could all have been made much more dramatic but I guess I am a lover of nuance, and so decided to stick with what you see!

Swansea Bay

Black and white sea

View to Mumbles

High Winds in Swansea Bay-35

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