Sand, Sea and Wind

On a windy day in Swansea Bay, watching the movements of the top layer of dry sand getting blown across the seaweed and other debris on the beach is as entertaining as watching the sea itself.

The action of waves in the sea can be mesmerising, but so too can the patterns created by the wind on dry sand as it catches the various objects and undulations of the beach. The sculptures created can be fascinating but watching them be created is even more so.

The camera does not see in the same way as the eye but in these images I think there is some advantage to the relatively narrow depth of field. The areas of blur seem to me to emphasise the atmosphere and effect of the conditions at the time. The textures that show through in the areas of sharpness combined with soft foreground / background, feel much more like it physically was than if everything was clean and crisp and static.

I hope the second sound clip from this photo shoot helps to “put you in the picture”. Even my home made wind shield could not handle the strength of the wind on the beach, but I decided that the distortion and break up of the sound was all a part of the character of the scene.

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Rattling the Leaves – Out and About in the Wind

The effects of the weather can be truly horrendous sometimes, but when it is not so destructive, it can be exhilarating! The high winds in Swansea Bay last week, brought those people out that enjoy that wildness, at least while it is doing no harm.

Perhaps the fact that it was windy but not raining made it enjoyable not just for the humans but also for the dogs which are allowed onto the beach at this time of year. I was there as well of course, taking the photos I am posting this week and also doing a bit of sound recording.

I only had my small Edirol RO9 recorder with me which meant the strength of the wind was a bit of a problem. However, with the use of my home made foam wind shield and the gain not to high, I was able to get a couple of clips that help to bring some extra atmosphere to the photos.

The first clip was taken on the promenade near the plant with the large leaves featured in the first photo. It is the sound of the leaves “rattling” against each other that can be heard, not the sound of rain!

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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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

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Freeform Foam

High Winds in Swansea Bay High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Leaving a Mark

Swansea sea wall, like many others, takes the form of an inverted wave . . .

High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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High Winds and High Seas

The strong winds in the UK last week brought with it the opportunity to do a bit of photography. Swansea Bay didn’t get the forecast storm as badly as other places but the winds were still high.

There was a mixture of light with the sun shining through the clouds from time to time and the next moment the atmosphere was murky to say the least. I have a number of shots to post from this event and I am starting today with two that illustrate the darkness of the weather.

The wind was wild and it was almost impossible to keep myself steady let alone the camera. I could have straightened the first image easily and did so to begin with. Then I realised that the angle of the shot helped to emphasise the wild conditions.

The second shot has been manipulated. There was very little colour in the scene anyway and I felt that giving it a sepia tinge helped this aspect of the atmosphere. To further help the photo feel more like my experience of the location, I also blurred the foreground and added grain.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out this week’s featured StillWalks video at the bottom of this post – “Moss Wood Walk” from Neath, South Wales. It will be there all week.

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Sand and Wind – Public Art In Swansea Bay

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You could call these “sand sculptures”. That is surely what the wind on Swansea beach has been doing this week.

Nervous about the hazardous mixture of sand and cameras, the wind that blew those land surfers around on the beach the other day (see previous posts this week), didn’t stop me taking the risk and getting some low level shots of the public art work it was creating.

It is not in the same style as the work featured in yesterday’s post but over the years the wind and sand have blasted and changed those public art works in Swansea Maritime Quarter.

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

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IMG_8164

Watching Over the Winds

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The statue atop the Marina Towers Observatory on Swansea Seafront looks out over  Swansea Bay and was no doubt keeping an eye on those land wind surfers I posted about  yesterday.

The statue was made by Swansea artists Rob Conybear and Uta Molling and has the title “Ecliptica”. You can see many more examples of public art in Swansea here. The architect Robin Campbell was responsible for much of the architectural art work in Swansea’s Maritime Quarter where we used to have a studio – it was a great place to work!

Watching Over the Bay

Evening Over Swansea

I have been told that the thing to do is to climb Kilvey Hill at the end of the day when the sun is going down and enjoy the spectacle not only of the sunset but of Swansea gradually lighting up.

We were already half way down the hill when this was said so I will have to wait a little longer for this experience – I just need to make sure it doesn’t take me another 30 years! (see Friday’s post – Ticking the List).

In these photos you can see Mumbles Lighthouse in the background, Swansea just beginning to light up and the Meridian Tower with the bay behind. The full collection can be seen (and bought) on the StillWalks Photography website.

Mumbles

Walking down Kilvey Hill – Mumbles in the distance

Mumbles in the Background

Mumbles in the Background

Swansea Bay

The Lights are Coming On

Meridian Tower

Meridian Tower