52/2013 Week 34

52/2013 Week 34

52/2013 Week 34

I’ve just come back from a relaxing 4 days in the Peak District. Some rugged country (more on that in a later post), but just as equally some great little towns with beautiful and ornate parks.

For example, I found this colourful flower decoration in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, which were designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and his pupil Edward Milner and first opened in August 1871.

Buxton is a spa town in Derbyshire, England. It has the highest elevation of any market town in England. Located close to the county boundary with Cheshire to the west and Staffordshire to the south, Buxton is described as “the gateway to the Peak District National Park.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

There’s an old joke in the UK about waiting a long time for a Number 7 bus and then three come along at the same time. This week has been rather like that for Say It With A Camera. Photography has taken a back seat this week to things that needed doing around the house, so it was great to get out yesterday with the camera and capture the sunset which I have already written about.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

This weeks photo is from my back catalogue. Taken last summer at Llandudno, just along the coast from me, it shows the pier and holiday makers enjoying themselves.

At 2,295 feet (700 m) the pier is the longest in Wales and the fifth longest in England and Wales.

A British Tourist Authority report in 1975 said of it: ‘…. It zooms out of the sea…. in a spectacular Indian Gothic style rather like a Maharajah’s palace floating on a lake. Cast iron, brackets of iron lacework, an outstandingly pretty balustrade like an enlarged fish net, ogee roofs curling away to the sky, all add up to a totally pleasurable experience.’

Next week I am on vacation, with limited access to internet services, so it’s more than likely we will have a Number 7 situation again.


Prestatyn Sunset

Right Place, At The Right Time

Prestatyn Sunset

I’ve been busy all week so it was nice to get out last night for a short while. I desperately needed to get a photograph for my 52/2013 challenge so it was looking like a sunset might be an easy option. However, as skies go it wasn’t looking too good. Very overcast, dark brooding clouds, all the way to the horizon. Not exactly sunset weather.

One thing I have learned over the years of taking landscape photographs, the sky and available light can dramatically change very quickly and so I set off to the beach anyway. Couple of minutes and I’m on the seafront, and, as hoped, the horizon was clearing. Suddenly it’s starting to look interesting, those dark clouds still looked menacing but now they were on fire, my sunset photograph was taking shape nicely.

By some special graciousness of fate I am deposited — as all good photographers like to be — in the right place at the right time. Go into it [photography] as young as possible. Bring all the asset you have and play to win.

Margaret Bourke-White – written after she was stricken with Parkinson’s disease.

In many ways photography is about taking a chance. I’ve gone out in all sorts of weather conditions thinking I wont come home with much to work on…and yet, I’ve rarely been disappointed. A quick break in the clouds, a patch of light shining through, and I’m lucky to be in the right place at the right time.



Young Herring Gull


At this time of the year the gulls who have been dive-bombing us in our gardens, whilst protecting their chicks,  move down to the shore. They’re not us aggressive now and you can get closer to take photographs.

An adult Herring Gull can weigh over a kilogram, have a wing span of almost five feet and possess a formidable bill. So when Herring Gulls protect their nests or young by swooping over an intruder it can be quite frightening. Generally, it’s a purely protective measure and very rarely does the bird make contact.

Traditional nest sites are on sea-cliffs, islands and other inaccessible locations. Unfortunately, Gulls have also adopted roofs for nesting, bringing them closer to us.

Whilst photographing the sunset last night I took the opportunity, without getting dive-bombed, to capture this young herring gull standing on rocks.


52/2013 Week 33

52/2013 Week 33

52/2013 Week 33

This would probably have been suitable for this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge but I already earmarked it for 52/2013.

I was down on the beach photographing the sunset when this pair walked right across the front of the camera, despite me asking them to wait a few seconds whilst I finished the long exposure.

Anyway, they climbed onto the slippery rocks and proceeded to start fishing. I’ll qualify that. The father started fishing, the kid looked like he didn’t want to be there. Look at the way he’s standing.

Now although I don’t claim exclusive rights to the shoreline I do find it annoying when someone walks right in front of the camera, especially when you ask them to wait just for a moment.

Have you ever had a photograph ruined by someone walking into the frame? Or, maybe they’ve walked in and you’ve used it to your advantage?


Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

Normally if I’m shooting a landscape photograph I’ll orient the camera, err, in landscape mode. Sort of makes sense…..

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

—or does it?

Sometimes, what I’m really after is to show the clouds and now it makes sense to shoot in portrait mode

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

However, the big problem is that I lose some of the interest from the side of the photograph. In this instance I’ve compensated by making the foreground interest considerably larger, but in all honesty I prefer the landscape version.

What about you, landscape or portrait?



Change Of Direction


With effect from today I am happy to announce that all future photographs  appearing on “Say It With A Camera” will now be licensed Creative Commons, and in addition, will no longer be watermarked.

Previous watermarked and copyright photographs will remain the same but you may use them as though they were Creative Commons licensed. In essence I would spend more time changing the license details for the hundreds of photographs that appear on “Say It With A Camera” than I would taking new photographs and I know what I’d rather do

What does this mean to you? Nothing actually, unless you want to use one of my photographs. However, should you wish to do so I am in effect giving you a license based on the sample acceptable use policy as defined by the Creative Commons License.


With Creative Commons you are free:

  • To Share: Copy, Distribute, and Transmit the image
  • To Remix: Create Derivative works of the image

Under these conditions:

  • Attribution: Attribution to Mike Hardisty and Say It With A Camera must be made along with the image.
  • Non-Commercial: The image must not be used for commercial purposes under any circumstances.

Examples of Non-Commercial acceptable use;

  • Blog Post describing a trip to North Wales or any other location
  • Online article discussing the growing popularity of photography
  • A website for a school project about the use of light in art
  • An individual using an image as a desktop background for the computer monitor

For the full scope of the license and what defines commercial use of my photographs please read the Licensing page.



There's A Storm Brewing

There’s A Storm Brewing…

On our way back from the lakes I decided to take Elaine home via Nebo and the Denbigh Moors.  To get there we had to descend from the lakes into the Conwy valley via Llanwrst and then follow the B5113 over the moors.

There's A Storm Brewing

From this view-point (53.114966,-3.73988) we are at a height of 365 metres or 1198 feet looking across the Conwy Valley towards the Snowdon mountain range and a build up of storm clouds.

Now for those of you not familiar with the UK road system a “B” road is a numbered local route, which has lower traffic densities than the main trunk roads, or A roads. The classification has nothing to do with the width or quality of the physical road, and B roads can range from dual carriageways to single track roads with passing places. On the moors it’s nearly always the latter with road surfaces that can sometimes be the worse for wear.

I had no intention of being stuck on the moors if it did rain heavily. Beautiful scenery, but they’re isolated, desolate places at the best of times, so with a storm coming it’s time to get down off the moors.

Needless to say it never rained, as we got lower and near the coast the sun came out, and we ended up driving home in beautiful hot sunshine.


52/2013 Week 32

52/2013 Week 32

52/2013 Week 32

Llyn Crafnant is a lake that lies in a beautiful valley in North Wales where the northern edge of the Gwydir Forest meets the lower slopes of the Carneddau mountains and, more specifically, the ridge of Cefn Cyfarwydd. The head of the valley offers a profile of crags which are silhouetted at sunset, and many people regard the lake as one of the most beautiful spots in North Wales. At 63 acres (250,000 m2) it is the best part of a mile long, although it was clearly once much longer – its southern end shows the evidence of centuries of silting.

Crafnant takes its name from “craf”, an old Welsh word for garlic, and “nant”, a stream or valley. Even today the Crafnant valley smells of wild garlic when it flowers.

The lake can be reached by car only from Trefriw in the Conwy valley, though many visitors walk there from the village or from the neighbouring lake of Llyn Geirionydd, which runs parallel to it, but a mile distant, the two being separated by Mynydd Deulyn – “mountain of the two lakes”. The lake can also be reached on foot Capel Curig.

Areas around the lake have been used for location shots in Hollyoaks, Tomb Raider II, the 1981 fantasy movie Dragonslayer, and the lake also appeared briefly in the 1966 film Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment.


Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd lies in a valley in North Wales where the northern edge of the Gwydyr Forest meets the lower slopes of the Carneddau mountains. The lake is almost a mile long and covers an area of 45 acres (180,000 m2), but is never any deeper than 50 ft (15 m).

The lake has a car park (with toilets) and the location is very popular in the summer. This car park site was once a waste tip site for the Pandora mine above, and indeed the planting of conifers in the area of the lake has considerably softened the effects of mining. There are few, if any, fish in the lake, and this, it is believed, is the result of the poisoning of the waters from the adjacent metal mines.

The current road follows what some believe to be part of Sarn Helen, the Roman road which ran southwards from the fort at Canovium (Caerhun, between Trefriw and Conwy) to the fort at Tomen y Mur (near Trawsfynydd), and beyond, ultimately reaching Moridunum (Carmarthen).