These photos are more about the light than they are about Swansea, except that they were taken from the top of Kilvey Hill, an urban woodland that is surrounded by the city.
It was a beautiful evening when I took these pictures but even then the clouds were heralding yet another a change in the weather. Constant change may be something we have to accept in the weather these days, but fortunately there can be as much beauty in those changes as in the pleasure we feel in the sunshine – when we get it.
The effects of yesterdays dreich morning can be seen in that old freezer I have been photographing recently. The wet metal reflects the weather we had at the start of the day which created new colours and patterns only seen in these conditions.
And the sounds this can make? I continued working with them and here are a couple of experimental mixes. Next week I will try to explain some of my use of metal . . . watch this space!
You can click the mp3 files below or play the SoundCloud files which only appear on the blog page, not in an email. Ideally you would listen to these through headphone but it’s no big deal.
But it was a dreich day when I came down the garden to my studio this morning. So, to stay in keeping with the brightening day, I have decided to put up a few more of those colourful metallic “canvases” I have snapped recently.
Today I will work some more with the sounds I have been recording from this material but here, in the meantime, is a snippet. What does it sound like to you?
Yesterday afternoon I had the need to get on top of things. Without going into details, the answer for me was to climb our local mountain, Graig Fawr.
Even on the lower slopes of the mountain you get a great view over the valley but as I climbed higher this view got better and better. Skylarks twittered above me and I got a good close view of a pair of Red Kites. Up on top the wind was exhilarating and, at least momentarily, my troubles were blown away. Seeing the land and the weather on this scale has a tendency to put other issues into perspective.
Despite its name (fawr means big in Welsh), the mountain is only small but for all that you get a great view over four or five counties in South Wales. I had deliberately not taken my cameras or sound kit as it was the walk and the climb that I needed. However, I couldn’t resist taking one or two shots on my phone. I have not produced a StillWalk on Graig Fawr yet but I think that time is coming soon.
Sunlight or cloud, rain or mist – the weather conditions influence, no, create the available light for photography.
A few weeks ago I was at Lliw Valley Reservoirs in the rain and took some photos on my iPhone 4s of what I described as “fence post gardens”. I posted them on the Moss Appreciation Society Facebook page with the comment that I would have to go back on a dry day to photograph them properly. The response from one group member was that moss likes, and is perhaps, at its best in the rain.
The sun was shining when I was up there last week and following my interview with BBC Radio Wales I proceeded to take some photos of the same “fence post gardens” with my Canon 550D. It was difficult to say the least! Sunlight can be very dramatic – usually in the early morning or evening, but it can also be a major problem depending on the subject matter.
I have picked out four photos that I think are not too bad from those I took on the day but it seems I am going to have to wait for a more overcast day or go there at sunrise to get some decent shots of this subject.
Getting to know the subject is also important whatever medium you are working with, and I think that it was not just the light conditions that gave me a problem. It was also time and the need to figure out the best angles. Next time I will go better informed.
Update (22/03/2013) According to a friend of my sister –
“The second photo has some lichens in as well as moss- the silvery flattish ones at the front which may be a Paramelia – and probably the red and silvey grey one – also a brown cupped one in the middle- these last 2 will be Cladonia species.”
Walking into town along the River Ouse on a beautiful February day in York, 2012. Having just had a week without rain (2013), perhaps February could be called the dry(ish) season here. Hmmm, famous last words! The sky is looking very grey 🙁