Black and White

Sometimes colour just doesn’t work. Yesterday I was down on the beach again. Same grey skies, flat even light, no shadows, no highlights. Not ideal photography weather.

Rhyl Beach

So that’s why I decided to go Black and White with this one. Hope you like it?

Black and White Photography” does more to evoke an emotion and freeze a moment in time than any other medium. Looking back over the decades at such famous photographers as, Steigletz, Weston, Adams, and others has helped elevate Black and White Photography, to a Fine Art form. The subtle tones of greys, the strong emphasis of the Blacks, and the softness of the Whites makes one look much closer at the subject and composition due to the lack of natural colour. Emotions are always much easier to portray with Black and White, because of the stark contrasts and the sharp focus on the subject. – Bob Snell

I like Black and White. Not for every photograph, for me, the B&W has to be dramatic. Not the flat grey tones that you get if you just de-saturate a photograph. Dark shady areas, pure white regions. Something to look at.

Summer! What’s That?

It’s supposed to be summer, here in the northern hemisphere, and my little part of North Wales. Yet, we have been experiencing weather which more resembles winter than summer. June started with rain and low temperatures and then settled down to being quiet. No rain, but equally, not that hot either.

Maybe it’s me but July has seemed wetter than June and the wind has been cold as well.

Which brings me to my photograph. Taken Friday afternoon on a grey windy day just before it started raining, I hope you can appreciate the irony in the photograph?

Bucket and Spade

That’s it. Just a quick photograph….Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

“My way is better”. “No! Mine is”.  Luminosity Masking, High, Dynamic Range, Post Processing, using Lightroom, using Photoshop, even the settings on your Digital Camera. Each year a new video training course comes out describing new methods of post processing your post photographs. You know the type;  “All new, my post processing techniques for 2013/2014/2015”. They’re out there. All willing to sell you training courses  purporting to be the best thing since sliced bread. I’ve no doubt they may be, in their eyes, but think of this.

If you follow these courses are you going to improve your photography? Probably not. You might improve your post processing, but you’ll adopt the trainers style along the way. What’s wrong with developing your own style of photography?

Your Photograph, Your Look…..

Ok! Rant over. This weeks challenge is to find some photographs that you have taken some time in the past that reflect half and half (excuse the pun). As usual with the Weekly Photo Challenge themes, they’re open to interpretation in many ways.

The Dee estuary is a haven for wildlife, especially wading birds. When the tide goes out, the mud flats are exposed and the birds find plenty to eat. The  estuary attracts migrating birds from other continents who winter /summer in our milder climate.

Mud Flats

Red Shanks are common on both sides of the estuary. Present all the year round,  but during winter there are lots more of them to be seen, many have come from Iceland.


Half of this photograph  shows the new BBC Scotland building in Glasgow. The other half shows the new BBC Scotland building upside down. Amazing!

If I had a picture of two handcuffed criminals being booked, I would cut the picture in half and get five bucks for each. – Weegee , Photojournalism, The Professionals’ Approach by Kenneth Kobre, Betsy Brill

BBC Scotland

Now this is much harder to capture. A Little Egret sitting on another one that looks just like it. Maybe they’re twins. What do you think?

Little Egret

It’s catching…….the Grey Heron is doing the same thing. We’ve got some strange birds here in North Wales.

Double Take

Now we’ve got an Armadillo at it. Well that’s what Glaswegians, residents of the great city of Glasgow, Scotland call this building.

The Armadillo

You may have noticed that my Half and Half seems to be more about Reflections. Maybe, you think this week I didn’t meet the theme challenge. You know when I said  “Your Photograph, Your Look….” , well, I meant the same about my blog. My blog, my photographs, my interpretation of the theme.

Anyway, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

52 in 2015 Week 28 High Key

I’ve never been a fan of High Key Photography. To me it just seems over-exposed. But this weeks challenge is High Key so I thought I better give it a proper go.

52 in 2015 Week 28 High Key(2)

One can consider/define the over exposed and under exposed portraits as High Key and Low Key Portraits. – Lakshman Iyer

The first photograph was easy, taken against a grey background of the sky. With a bit of work in Adobe Lightroom I was able to lighten up the background a bit.

Now the next one is completely different. These are flowers growing in my garden. To get the background I stuck a piece of white paper behind the flower before taking the photograph. Nothing fancy, but it works. With the sun almost overhead no shadows to worry about either.

52 in 2015 Week 28 High Key

That’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

For this weeks challenge I’m going to return to the Snowdonia National Park and the Glyderau. One of my favourites, it’s a beautiful place to walk and take photographs, even if you are only going as far as Cwm Idwal. Managed by the National Trust, you can see their symbol here.

The Glyderau

A thing is not what you say it is or what you photograph it to be or what you paint it to be or what you sculpt it to be. Words, photographs, paintings, and sculptures are symbols of what you see, think, and feel things to be, but they are not the things themselves. – Wynn Bullock

At the start of the walk, water from the Afon Idwal tumbles over rocks and right away you have a great photo-op.

Afon Idwal

Better still, walk over the bridge and take the photograph from the rocks just to the side of the path. In the winter, when there’s been lots of rain or the snow is melting, the river is a torrent, which throws up spray and mist, so make sure you take something to dry your camera with.

Water Under The Bridge

Once over the bridge follow the clearly marked path, although saying that, it’s not so obvious when the snow has fallen.

Path to Cwm Idwal

Word of caution here. In the winter the path does get icy and it’s very easy to slip and do damage to yourself. When the snow falls it’s treacherous as more and more people walk over it, creating really icy patches. Coming down is worse than going up.

52/2013 Week 4

But saying that, even in the winter it’s beautiful and worth the walk. This is the same waterfall as the second photograph above. It just looks so different with the snow and ice.

Icy Rocks

Back to the summer time again and further up the path. As we start to climb you can see, more clearly, Tryfan, the 15th highest mountain in Wales. Sir Edmund Hillary trained on Tryfan for his ascent of Everest.


The lake you can see in the distance is Llyn Ogwen, one of the most popular lakes in Wales. Maybe because the A5 runs along the side of the lake and  there are several convenient car parks. Anyway, Llyn Ogwen is bordered by high mountains, including Pen yr Ole Wen and Tryfan. compared to many of the Snowdonia lakes it’s quite shallow at only three metres depth. All in all it’s roughly about one mile long and lies at a height of 310 above sea level.

Llyn Ogwen

Talking of Pen Yr Olwen, further up the path to Cwm Idwal you get a really good photo-op of this mountain.

Pen-yr-Olwen Reflections

Not far to go now to Cwm Idwal and the lake. I like this point on the trip up. It’s a good spot to take a breather, Not that the path is that steep but it’s good to stop and take your time to look around before getting to the lake.

Cwm Idwal

Ok we are at the top now. You can walk round the lake, there’s a clearly marked path, or better still, sit and have something to eat and drink. And of course take more photographs.

Slate Bridge

Before setting of to head back down to Ogwen Cottage and the car-park, follow the path to the right and cross the slate bridge. Go through the gate and climb up towards the rock outcrop on your right hand side.  From here you should be able to get a good panorama of Tryfan, Llyn Ogwen, Pen yr Olwen, Nant Francon and the mountain that I can never remember it’s name. Foel-Goch, maybe.

Ogwen Valley Panorama

As Wynn said right at the start of this post, photographs  are only symbols of what you see and feel. But to really experience them you have to get out there, do the walk and take it all in. Don’t you agree?

As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.