Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

Well this is an interesting challenge this week. I didn’t set out today to capture these daffodils. In fact I didn’t know they existed in the location that they are, more importantly I didn’t even know that the location existed. You’ll note that I keep saying location, There’s a reason. I was asked not to publish where I found these daffodils are they are in a protected area. Suffice to say I was in the Conwy Valley, although “in the valley” is probably the wrong thing to say as I was about 850 feet up on the side of a hill.

Daffodils

The whole area is carpeted with Daffodils, This photograph doesn’t really do it justice as they just seemed to stretch on and on along the hillside. Twenty minutes before this photograph I was sheltering from the rain and hailstone shower. Not easy when you are stuck on the side of a hill but thank goodness for one of the old ruined buildings that dot the North Wales landscape. It was cold as well with a blustery wind, the remnants of the storms we’ve been having in the past few days. But as soon as I stepped into this little cleft in the hillside, the sun came out, the wind dropped, even the odd spot of rain that was in the air stopped. Perfect!

What’s the connection with Ephemeral?  These daffodils will only be there another week or so, returning again next year.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

I’m way behind this week on my blog posts. There just doesn’t seem enough hours in a day to complete everything I’m working on.

Hang a chocolate box lid and a good painting on the wall together and in a short time the first will bore, yet the painting will give more and more pleasure and satisfaction as time goes by. This is true about good and bad photographs. You cannot expect to appreciate good photography instantly. It takes time and study to appreciate the feeling of the photographer. – David Hurn

How true that is. Which brings me to this weeks photography challenge. I’m not so sure that this is a photograph that’s going to be pleasing to the eye. I happened to be in the National Slate Museum at Llanberis on Wednesday. I was there to take photographs for something completely different and as i was walking through the museum it suddenly occurred to me that I could kill two birds with one stone. At first it seemed a good idea and so I took a few photographs of the well-worn walls in the workshops but once I got home I wasn’t so sure that they were that interesting.

No Smoking

The pattern gallery wall does have some interesting features, but I don’t know, there’s something missing, and I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe you can?

Anyway, as I said, time is draining away, so I’m going to wrap this up early. I’d love to hear your comments.

Weekly Photo Challenge: New

2015, New Year and I’m trying something new with Photoshop. Previously when I had the Pentax camera and the wide angle lens attached I never really had to bother about landscape panoramas, that big old 10-20mm gave me a wide enough angle. But it’s not the same with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. .

First up is this scene from the lower Ogwen Valley. The sun is low on the horizon to my left, throwing some shadows across the snow topped peaks. Personally I find this scene quite beautiful and luckily enough was able to stop on the A5 to capture this. It consists of 4 photographs stitched together using the Photomerge command in Photoshop combining 2, 3 or 4 photographs to give an ultra wide panorama. Personally I find it rather beautiful.

Ogwen Valley

Those who find beauty in a landscape do so because it touches a place of beauty already within themselves. – Courtney Milne

Further up the valley is the walk to Cwm Idwal and that’s where my second panorama photograph comes from. Well just a little bit beyond. If you walk around Cwm Idwal to the right you can then take the style across the wire fence, which allows you to climb a large rocky outcrop overlooking the upper and lower parts of the Ogwen Valley

Ogwen Valley Panorama

Once again I have taken four photographs and stitched them together using Photoshop. From the right this takes in Tryfan, Llyn Ogwen, Pen yr Ole Wen, the lower valley, where the first photograph was taken and a mountain I can never remember the name of. Help me out here?

That about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed the panorama photographs as much as I did? Maybe you’ll consider giving it a go?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

I have often wondered if you can have a minimalist landscape. To me landscapes are so rich in detail and yet when I look through my back catalogue I can find many photographs that could qualify as minimalist depending on how you interpret the word. I hate these open to interpretation themes. But that’s the nature of the WordPress Weekly Challenges. Some are very good. I know more or less straight away which photograph I will probably use. Some are wishy-washy. I have to search through my back catalogue to find something that I think will fit the theme. And so to this weeks photograph.

Grey Day

I’m not so sure that it qualifies as minimalist, there’s a lot going on even although it looks quite simple. The waves, the clouds, the ripples in the water, the shapes in the sand all contribute to what I consider to be quite a complex photograph, but as Seyda Deligonul once said;

“The tension between nature’s complexity and the minimalist expression of it fascinates me”

Admittedly my eye is drawn to the groyne marker. It dominates the scene, maybe to the detriment of everything else. But can you see the couple walking on the beach or maybe the gull flying out to sea? So I’ll leave you with question.

Minimalist, Yes or No?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

It’s been a few weeks since I posted. Family has taken priority recently but I am back with a photograph that I hope you will like. Taken last night on Prestatyn Beach it’s a 10 stop long exposure HDR about an hour before sunset.

Purple Haze

The Weekly Challenge was to create Cover Art and I did consider adding some text to this photograph but in the end I decided to leave it as it is.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Wales has more than it’s fair share of mythological legends. Dragons, King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, Bedgelert, Tom Jones. Some of these legends derive from folk traditions developed in Wales and some comes from other sources such as the Britons or pre-Christian Britain. But here’s one that seems like a “Boys Own” adventure.

Llanbadrig Church

Now you might be asking, “what a church has to do with adventure”? If I told you this was the parish church of Llanbadrig, you’d still be none he wiser unless you spoke Welsh. But let’s look at the Welsh name, Llanbadrig, which means “Church of Saint Patrick“. Local legend states that Llanbadrig was founded around about 440 AD by Saint Patrick himself. The legend goes on to state that Patrick was shipwrecked not far from this spot on a small island which nowadays is called Ynis Badrig (Patrick Isle). See where I’m heading with this?

Now this is the legend part. Patrick is shipwrecked, he’s the only survivor, he’s stuck on an island off-shore, he gets ashore, no one knows how, and lives in a cave a little to the left and below the  present church. Better still the cave has a supply of fresh water to keep him going. Eventually Patrick founds a church on this desolate part of Anglesey. Not the one we see in this photograph. This is from around the 12th century, with additional work in the 14th and 16th centuries and extensive renovations in the 19th century.

Blue Window

The 19th century restoration introduced some interesting aspects to the altar and windows, Moorish in character with decorative tiling in an Arabic fashion, the blueness attracts your attention as soon as you enter the church. The renovations had been commissioned by the 3rd Lord Stanley who after marrying Fabia Santiago, a Spanish Muslim, converted to his wife’s faith. Lord Stanley wanted something of the Moorish architecture to be incorporated into the renovation.

So there you have it, a Christian Church, with a Muslim connection, a shipwreck….sounds like an adventure to me. Would you agree?

Abandoned Buildings In Plenty

Wales has an amazing industrial heritage and here in North Wales we have some great historical relics that you can visit. The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is one of my favourites but behind the museum is Dinorwic Quarry, which was the second largest slate quarry in the world when it was in operation. Much of the quarry is now fenced off but you can still walk around certain parts of the quarry following the Slate Trail.

Abandoned

You will get to see some of the old buildings and definitely get an impression of the sheer size of the quarry, but some of the best buildings are in the fenced off part. Strictly speaking you cannot enter this area but I’ve seen an awful lot of photographs from “behind the fence”

This weeks challenge is Fray and I think you’ll agree that this old building certainly looks frayed. But wait there’s more. I’ve been back to Parys Mountain on Anglesey. At this time of the year the heather is in full bloom and I was hoping to catch some of the fantastic colours of purple along with the yellows, oranges and reds.

Danger

Not quite as good as I thought it was going to be, maybe next week. Tell you what though. It might look sunny here but the wind was howling and cold as well. It was difficult to keep the camera and tripod steady to take this photograph.

Not far from Parys Mountain is Porth Wen, the old brickworks on the coast. Dave Sallery gives an excellent description and history of the brickworks which is well worth reading. Access to Porth Wen is prohibited due to it being Private Property but it can be viewed from the Coastal Path.

Porth Wen

Interestingly though you will see lots of photographs that were not taken from the coastal path. That’s on the hill above Porth Wen. You can see there’s lots of erosion on the cliffs so you have to be careful if you decide to visit Porth Wen by climbing over the metal gate you can see from the coastal path. Around that area there are lots of ferns and prickly gorse bushes. Anglesey Hidden Gems has some useful information about walking the coastal path taking in some of the historic sites on route.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you will agree that all of the buildings look frayed and as usual I’d love to hear your views on this post. Should you wish to use any of the photographs, you’re welcome to do so as long as you respect my licensing conditions, which are basically, use a photograph, credit me with a link back to my blog. Full licensing conditions can be found on the menu at the top of the page.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Why is it I’m nearly always late with submitting photographs for the weekly challenge? I was searching around for a silhouette photograph taken in North Wales and it made me realise that I don’t have too many. Mainly because I tend to photograph sunsets either on Prestatyn or Talacre beaches and I’m sure you’ve seen enough of the lighthouse or groyne markers to be found on these beaches. Now as luck would have it I’ve been doing quite a lot of testing of the Olympus E-M1 including a few moon photographs I took a few nights back.

Moon silhouette

Now it’s not the greatest of images. The shutter speed was 1/4 second but the ISO was 3200 which makes for a lot of noise. But hey it was just a test to see how the camera performed at high ISO settings.

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13 Steps To Emergency Help

Apparently a good way of attracting readers to your blog is to include a number in your post title. You know the type I mean;

  • 5 surefire ways you can….
  • 10 websites you must…
  • 7 steps for …..

Oh! And don’t make your post title too serious. Oops! Slipped up there. Or did I?

The Quarry Hospital

Now you can see that there are more than thirteen steps here. Probably about sixty, but I could hardly say;

60 Steps to Emergency Help

Or could I….

Anyway this weeks photograph for the Weekly Challenge is from Llanberis, North Wales and shows the Quarry Hospital Museum. Inside you can see some of the original medical equipment from the period around about the 1800’s. There’s also a ward that has been restored, an operating theatre, even an X-Ray Machine, and my personal favourite a gory display of amputating equipment along with the mortuary.

The hospital was opened to treat the men of Dinorwic Quarry, which with over 3000 workers at it’s peak had a lot of accidents. Elfin Safety wasn’t a consideration then. At least, not as much as it is now. Consequently, broken bones, lost fingers, and crush injuries were common-place and having the hospital near to the place of work meant the men could get back to work, quickly, after being treated. Interestingly the hospital remained open until the 1940’s.

Summer Lovin’–Yeah Right!

I hate summer. For photography, at least. If you’ve trekked somewhere with the backpack holding the camera, lenses, tripod, food and drink you’re usually hot and bothered by the time you get there. If you’re like me, pale skinned, you’ve got to the slap the lotion on as well and that just makes me feel icky and don’t forget the bugs which bite the hell out of you. So yeah, I hate summer. But what about you?

Shall I continue? Trying to get a decent landscape photograph in harsh sunlight is not my idea of fun either.

Llyn Peninsula

I like this photograph, mainly because of the foreground interest but I do think it lacks something, it just looks rather flat. Whereas the sunset offers more in my opinion.

Sunset

There’s detail in the shadows and the highlights, the photograph looks warm and not so harsh, more like I prefer.

Well that’s it for this week and I’d just like to finish by saying sometimes I wonder about the theme choices of WordPress. Summer Lovin’ give me a break….