A Blistering Day in Swansea Bay

The heat and dazzling brightness of the sun kept me in the shade of the woods on my walk along the cycle/foot path of Swansea Bay. This section of the path from Swansea to Mumbles allowed me to look out from the comfortable temperatures under the trees. The blurred focus in the distance of these photos is not just the result of my use of the camera – it was also pretty hazy with the heat.

Swansea Bay

Swansea Bay

Swansea Bay

Swansea Bay

The Confusing Colour of Seasons

Some of the colour I found my walk along Swansea Bay’s cycle/foot path recently was a little confusing. Autumn colours in  Summer? I discovered this young oak sapling on my walk through a wooded section of the path and although the year is passing quickly, I am pretty sure we are not in Autumn yet.

I guess it is just the colour that this particular variety of oak tree shows at this stage of its life/year. However, not long ago (in Spring) we found our amelanchier putting out a number of red autumn coloured leaves and wondered if the plant life of the planet is as confused as we are by the changing climate.

I don’t know what the red plant is in the second photo but its colour sure stood out against the green background!

Swansea Bay Plants

Swansea Bay Plants

Swansea Bay Plants

Architectural Scale – Is Perspective Real?

I like this photo largely for its composition and the perspective of the buildings,  both real and apparent. I say real and apparent because the buildings themselves are in fact taller than each other going from foreground to background – it’s not just the effect of perspective. I must make a point of taking a photo from the opposite end of the beach and see how they appear in perspective when the most distant building is the tallest!

The photos I have been posting this week were all taken on my iPhone. I seem to be doing this more often now but whether my iphonography is improving is another matter. It is a very convenient way to record observations (and sounds when I don’t have my kit with me) but in order to get effective images with the phone, you have to look at things differently. Angle of shot is probably the most important point . . . but that could be said for DSLR photography as well, I guess!

The photo below would have been grainy anyway, given the time of day and the fading light but there is a tendency for the iPhone camera to over expose when the light is dim. The image you see below is the result of post processing. Unlike a DSLR camera, you have pretty limited options in these circumstances when it comes to telling the camera what to do.

Update – Thanks to  and his iPhone Photography School, I have discovered the PureShot app which allows much more flexibility in shooting from the phone.

Meridian TowerThe buildings are on Swansea seafront – all apartment buildings, the closest being Meridian Tower. The lights in the background are those of the Swansea / Cork Ferry.

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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