Some people get nervous, uncomfortable, even angry when they see a photographer taking shots in the street or other busy public place. However, as I walked along Mumbles Promenade at the start of the Gower Peninsula the other day, I not only had my camera but also my sound kit with its “dead cat” furry cover on the microphone windshield. It’s the dogs that take exception to this, wondering no doubt, what strange creature it is.
People tend to be more interested and wonder what programme I am making and smile or ask if I am from the BBC. I am not sure that I will be able to get a StillWalk from this impromptu stroll along the promenade but if I need to do a full production day there, I’ll make sure I have the StillWalks logo printed on my T-shirt first.
The interest of dogs in the “Dead Cat” is understandable!
Time to Pause – This is largely what StillWalks is about – taking the time necessary to keep calm and not get too stressed. Whether it be relaxing at the end of the day or taking 5 minutes out in the middle of the working day, StillWalks can be both enjoyable and a useful alternative to actually getting out there for a real walk.
The queue of things to do – There never seems to be enough time to do all that I want or is necessary. So, considering what I have just said about StillWalks, I have decided to make a priority completing the four or five StillWalks that are half way through the post production stage by the end of September. The production days for these walks date back to the middle of March and completing them should be a priority because this is work I enjoy doing and, like taking a real walk or watching a StillWalk, has it’s therapeutic value.
Current explorations – In the meantime I have been enjoying finding a new place to produce a StillWalk – Singleton Park in Swansea and its botanic garden. I joined Martin Humphreys and others last Wednesday for a Bees and Butterflies walk through the botanic garden – it was very enjoyable and relaxing. The walk will take place again next Wednesday at 10 AM – anyone interested should meet at the botanic garden entrance in the park. Enjoy the photos from my phone below.
Two weeks ago I went did a recce walk on Ryer’s Down on the Gower. Starting just along the road from Burry Green, the weather was misty but the sun just about got through at one point – though not quite!
Then, at the beginning of this week, I took some exploratory shots near the mouth of the River Loughor – the light was particularly difficult in the early afternoon because the sun was only half managing to to push through that same mist. This Little Egret is one of many on the Loughor Estuary.
Little Loughor Egret
I went ahead with the planned production day later in the week in the hope that, if I started out in mist, there was a reasonable chance I would finish in some sunshine – fat chance! The StillWalk that will be produced from that day will have to be titled “Misty Gower Walk” I think. It was still a beautiful walk however, and the Skylarks sang for me as well which would lift the heart of the most miserable soul. You can listen to them on SoundCloud and find out about them on the RSPB website.
Looking up Ryer's Down, Gower
And here are a couple of images that describe the different state of weather on the recce walk and the production day.
Looking down from Ryer's Down, Gower on the Recce Walk
Looking down from Ryer's Down, Gower on Producton Day
More photos from the recce walk can be seen on Flickr as well as many more from other explorations.
The Ryer’s Down production day was the first one where I used the full sound recording and photography kit simultaneously throughout the walk but I am going to write a separate post about the more technical aspects of the kit and production. Suffice to say for the moment, that I was very tired by the end of the day.
Finally, remember, anyone interested in the weekly recordings and photos I am getting down on the marshes can find them on SoundCloud and Flickr. Better still, download a StillWalk or two from the website and enjoy virtual walks in many different places at different times of year.