The light in September was fantastic! Its a time of year when its not too difficult to get up and catch the sun rising and a mist lingering in the valley. But it is the sounds I recorded during this month that I really love. Below is a short clip from a soundscape I am reserving for the first day of the New Year. It features my footsteps on the forest floor with leaves underfoot and the passing of early morning traffic in the background.
It seems the sweet chestnut is one of the trees that sheds its leaves earliest in Autumn. This one is on its way but the stage I like these leaves best, after they have fallen, is probably into the Spring when they have been lying on the ground for months and have gone thin and papery. Their structure breaks down and their colour becomes pale, almost bleached. I have photographed them like this in the past and you can see the results in one of my previous posts here.
The dawn walk I have been posting about this week took me through woods I have often posted about on this blog. Unlike yesterday’s underexposed images this first photo is much more like the reality of the place. The second, however, is again underexposed – the effect of the morning sunlight and shade of the trees on the footpath highlighted the forms and patterns of the leaves and the warmth of colour from the just risen sun produced a real sense of the place at that time.
I don’t think this can be described as an event horizon, but it is definitely an event taking place on the horizon! Of course the actual light in the sky at this point (as in the previous post) is greater than is shown here but the photographs being somewhat underexposed represent more accurately the sense of drama, the emotion of the event as it happens in real life.
The horizon is that of Cefn Drum, one side of Cwmdulais, the small river valley just to the east and a tributary of the river Loughor. Cefn Drum and its neighbour Graig Fawr are two more walks I would count among my favourites in this area.
Almost there! No, I’m not talking about the imminent arrival of planes at Cardiff or London or wherever they are going – I’m talking about the sunrise which the passengers will have seen significantly before I did.
Early morning inbound flights can be quite a nuisance when field recording if you happen to be on one of the main flight paths for Wales and southern UK but I guess they are a fact of life these days. On this occasion they were not particularly noticeable and that would be due to some of the other sounds of the morning (traffic) and also the atmospheric conditions – wind direction etc. I never cease to marvel at the difference in the environmental sounds around me which are the result of different conditions from morning to morning.
On a positive note, the sketches on the sky drawn by the airplanes can bring something extra to a composition (disregarding the pollution of course).
During the nice weather at the end of September I made a point of going for a morning walk slightly earlier than usual in order to catch the rising sun. The sky was just beginning to lighten when I arrived at my viewing point and the atmosphere with the clouds and mist lying along the valley floor and amongst the trees was almost eerie.
Looking north up the river Loughor valley the distant Betws wind farm could be seen through a gap in the clouds while looking east across the valley the sun is clearly on its way as proven by the vapour trail glinting in the lightening sky.
You will also be able to see the second photo in monotone on Wednesday at Leanne Cole’s Photography blog post – Monochrome Madness 2-28
This final photo of the week was again taken with my iPhone but shows the view looking north east up the valley before I enter the woods to climb up to the top of the hill and look south towards the Gower Peninsula in the distance.
Click on any image in the gallery to view them in a carousel. The sound clips posted this week can also be found below. These will not be visible in an email – you will have to listen to them on the blog.