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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Similarities or Differences – Moss Wood, Gnoll Park

Next week’s featured StillWalks video is another wood in Autumn. Today is your last opportunity to see the current featured video from Penllergare Woods in Swansea.

Moss Wood is not just another wood in Autumn! Every woodland features trees but when you start looking at the detail and listening to the sounds, you will soon discover that the fact that a wood contains trees, is just about the only thing about them that can be said to be similar.

The trees of a deciduous wood will drop their leaves in the same season and grow new ones similarly. However, considering last week’s posts about how the seasons roll out at different rates according to location, each wood will look and sound different at any point in time.

Both Penllergare Woods and Moss Wood in Gnoll Park, Neath, have a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. Both have lakes and running water. In each, the leaves are turning and falling just now, and so you see similar colours. And so the similarities continue . . . and yet they are completely different.

The arrangement and prevalence of types of tree, the position and lay out of the streams, rivers and lakes – all are different. And so, inevitably, the atmosphere and sense of the two places are quite different. The weather conditions are similar in both woods as they are no more than 15 or 20 miles apart, but as the topography is different, so the sound of each place is different, and completely unique to the time and place from moment to moment.

Moss Wood Walk 1

Moss Wood Walk 2

Moss Wood Walk 3

Moss Wood Walk 4

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 – “Woodland Walk” which is from Penllergaer Woods near Swansea, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Pink – Botanic Gardens, Swansea

More questions of identity – I knew the yellow flowers in yesterday’s post from the Botanic Gardens in Swansea, but I do not know any of these. I am sure I have seen them all before but do not know their names. Somebody help, please!

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

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 – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Yellow – Botanic Gardens, Swansea

These are for my daughter who is 22 today! Happy Birthday Ellen 🙂

Identity – Unlike yesterday’s post, I know these flowers in the Botanic Gardens in Swansea, at least generally if not specifically! The first is a Day Lily, the third, a Rose and the last a Japanese Anemone.

And the second? An Aster I think! Can anyone confirm that and / or identify the Rose or the Lily?

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

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 – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Botanic Gardens, Swansea – Textures and Patterns

It seems I have a Swansea Parks theme this week! Following my visit to Cwmdonkin Park, I went down to the Botanic Gardens in Singleton Park. I had gone there to attend a Walking Forum meeting but arrived early. I had my camera with me and so took a few shots of some of the flowers in their various stages for the current season.

I am embarrassed to say I do not know the names of these particular plants – embarrassed because I probably could have made a note of them in the gardens at the time. Also because I have not been able to identify them since as I don’t have enough visual information. The photos are all details of the heads and not the foliage or the rest of the plant, making it difficult to see the context in which the plant is growing.

Being more interested in the patterns and textures than the plant  identification at the time of photography, it is not the first time I have not considered that I may be curious about this later on or, indeed, require it for a blog post such as this.

If anyone can identify these two plants, I would be very grateful.

Botanic Gardens, Swansea

Botanic Gardens, Swansea

Botanic Gardens, Swansea

Botanic Gardens, Swansea

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 – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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