Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration


Without a doubt I have admiration for one of the great landscape photographers, Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984), an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park have inspired me to take photographs of the Snowdonia National Park, here in Wales. I mean take this photograph below that Adams took of the Tetons and Snake River in 1942. The range between Black and White is amazing and something I can only hope to emulate

Adams The Tetons and the Snake River Ansel Adams [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Adams was a master of his art and with Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. Remember these guys worked in the darkroom and didn’t have modern digital cameras. But Adams was also forward thinking as we can see from this quote he made in 1983

I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop. – Ansel Adams

Although Kodak had developed a form of digital camera in 1975 it wasn’t until 1988 that Fuji unveiled the first truly digital camera that could be used by consumers. Unfortunately it never went into production but more importantly, in conjunction with Toshiba, a removable memory card to be used in the camera was also showcased.

Over the next few years various models of digital camera came out but they were extremely expensive and way beyond normal consumer use. Then in 1995 came the Casio QV-10, the first digital camera with a 1.8-inch color LCD that could play back images and function as a viewfinder. And the price? Considered to be a bargain at $750 the Casio produced photographs at 320 x 240. My modern digital camera give me resolution of 4608 x 3456. Interestingly the Casio did not have a removable memory card, instead the photographs were saved to internal memory and to get them off of the camera you had to connect a cable to the RS232 port of your computer. Don’t know what the RS232 port is? Way, way back the RS232 port was once a standard feature of all personal computers. It was used to connect peripheral devices like modems, printers and even your mouse.

Enough of the history lesson….on to the photographs and inspired by Ansell Adams they are all black and white landscapes.

Cwmorthin

Cwmorthin is a secluded valley I have visited several times now. Once the site of a thriving industrial slate quarry and mine it now has an air of peacefulness and tranquillity. No one lives in the valley and the only visitors are cavers and walkers. Oh and the sheep. I’ve been the only person in the valley and to hear the sheep calling can be quite eerie.

Tryfan in the Ogwen Valley has a distinctive shape and quite often when the sun is shining through the clouds patches of light and dark can be seen.

Tryfan

What do you think about showing these in Black and White?

Now to my next photograph, Pen Yr Ole Wen. It’s one of those mountains that looks impossible to walk up and yet I’ve seen people doing it. Probably following well-worn sheep trails. Too much like hard work for me. I prefer the easier trails.

Pen Yr Ole Wen

My old favourite Talacre lighthouse looks so different in Black and White. I think I prefer colour for this…but there again.

Talacre Lighthouse

Another view of Pen-Yr Ole Wen, this time from further around Cwm Idwal. You can follow that path all the way round the valley and lake before getting back to the descent to the Ogwen Valley and Llyn Ogwen

Mountain Path

Well that’s it for this weeks challenge, as usual here’s what other bloggers are saying.

Cerita Riyanti WPC – Admiration of the Asian Heritages
LONDON PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration
Jude’s Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration (2)
AEKShots Weekly Photo Challenge…Admiration
Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery I love music…
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration
Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration – Ann Edwards Photography
THE PETALUMA SPECTATOR PHOTO BLOG WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Admiration
Sassy Ethnic Bohemian (stylestar at large) Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration

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144 Comments

  1. I think that the black and white gives a very particular feel to these photographs. They are very reminiscent of Ansel Adams, and the black and white gives the photos a timeless feel. It’s truly amazing at how easy it is for us to take and publish photographs today.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Compared to the early photographers and even several years back we have it too easy. I can publish direct from Lightroom to Facebook, Flickr etc with ease now.

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  2. Many thanks for the pingback Mike 🙂

    I also loved that first image – what a vista! And also the last picture with the stony path, which makes one want to keep walking.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I am a big fan of B&W. Your photos are wonderful. I think hearing the sheep baa is like hearing the call of the wild in the area where you photographed. Can you put some sheep in some of your photos. And do the sheep farmers use any guardian dogs as flock protectors? I know they use Border Collies to move the sheep at least I believe, that is the primary dog that is used in the UK for sheep herding. Lots of number one Border Collie breeders here in the states import their breeding stock from Wales.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ve got a good few with sheep in Yvonne. I will post them soon. Here in North Wales, no flock protectors or guard dogs, The sheep are either in fields or in the mountains where they are allowed to roam at will. Mountain sheep are only brought down for the winter, but as soon as spring arrives off they go again. Border Collies are the dogs of choice for sheep herding.

      We can get very close to sheep as throughout the UK we have Rights of Way or public footpaths. In England and Wales a public footpath is a path on which the public have a legally protected right to travel on foot and in some areas public footpaths form a dense network of short paths. It is probable that most footpaths in the countryside are hundreds of years old. These paths cross fields, roads, mountains, and in some cases through peoples gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not sure that I have any of Border Collies, Yvonne, but a photographer friend of mine has two. A male called Rex and he has just got a new puppy girl that he’s called Luna. Ian takes Rex walking on the beaches/high mountains and does put a lot of photographs of Rex when they’re out together. At the moment he’s showing a lot of videos and photographs of Rex and Luna getting used to each other. If you have Facebook you can see them here

          https://www.facebook.com/ian.allington.7

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  4. You’ve chosen my ultimate photography hero. Ansel’s work continues to inform and inspire photographers to this day. The tones and composition of your images pay homage, Mike. Always terrific work. Great post.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. What a tribute to A. Adams. Thank you for sending these out. I looked at them on my phone first and was able to increase the photo and scan pieces of each at a time. My phone was so much better at bringing them to life than my desktop monitor. I saw the light reflected off stones, off the pathways, off a solitary boulder, off the edge of the chapel’s wall at Cwmorthin, Is that lichen on stone fence posts? I couldn’t tell if they were stone or petrified wood.
    Whatever they are, the light almost shimmers off the spots.

    The path’s stones at Tryfan are enticing. I don’t know if I could make it to the top, but that path makes me want to. There’s a perfectly stunning white square/rectangle in the dip between the two mountains but I can’t tell if it’s a roof or a boulder. Pen Yr Ole Wen looks far too rugged for me to climb, but I like the edge of reflected clouds in the stream.

    I love black and white. It mysterious and captivating. And I looked at each a long time moving over the surface of the photo. But then, I’ve wanted to visit Wales for most of my life. It’s on a bucket list.

    The lighthouse is of course lovely, but I am a rock and land woman.

    Thanks, Mike.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello Janet. The fence posts are made of slate and where there have been slate quarries you’ll often find the fences use that material, makes sense in a way. It’s proof of the longevity as those fences are still standing today. It’s lichen on the slate. The walk up from the Ogwen visitor centre to the edge of Cwm Idwal is about 900 metres. It’s not a steep climb and is very popular with families who bring their children walking in the National Park. It’s a well worn path and any day of the week it will be busy because Cwm Idwal is glacial and schools and colleges visit the area to study geology. It’s also used by walkers who want to go up to the Devil’s kitchen and walk the peaks of the Glyderau and Tryfan. The military do rock climbing here as well. You can walk all the way around the lake, most of the path is pretty flat although there are a few steep parts but they don’t last for long.

      It would be a rock, between the two mountains, there are no buildings there. It amazes me how people get up mountains like Pen Yr Ole Wen. I once sat at Cwm Idwal drinking coffee and watched someone slowly but surely make their way to the top. They look like tiny ants when you see them and it’s only because of their bright jackets that you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous photos. I walked through Snowdonia in December one year (1961) on a school geography expedition to examine the effects of glaciation. We stayed in the Youth Hostel at Llanberis for a week and explored everything we could reach. So many memories flooding back: Cymru am byth.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I can imagine those school visits continuing … ours was very special and gave me a life long love for the region. Thanks for the photos and the memories.

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    1. That lighthouse is in my back yard, about tem minutes drive away. It’s my goto place when I want to experiment with new techniques, new equipment etc. Thank you for your comment

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    1. My backyard. Always good for a photograph now matter what the weather or time of day. Although I must say standing on a wild and windy Talacre beach with the sand whipping up is one of the few times I don’t like being there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Mister Adams too. You did a good Job. I need to work on my landscapes as mine are never what I wanted. I should probably read his books properly that I have on the shelf 😉

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You are probably right. BTW I have a Casio QV-700 (640 x 480) not the first but pretty early and still worked last time I tried 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Although we were caught with full colors today with digital photography, looking at these black and white pictures is remarkable. I was born in the 70’s and can totally relate to the black and white era. Plus, black and white photos like these are such so relaxing to eyes.

    Thank you for collecting these photos and sharing with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was born in the 50’s and my first photographs were black and white film. Even did a bit of developing on my own but I always found that messy. Took me ages to adapt to the digital age but when I did I never really looked back

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your take on Ansel’s work. The black and white adds a nice mood to your pictures, will follow to see more of your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing photos. I prefer black and white photos. It gives photos more emphasis than what colour tends to. I like your use of quotes and the history lesson was great. I had no idea.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like to try and get a relevant quote in sometimes. Fortunately many of the great photographers had a lot to say and even better still someone took the time to catalogue them

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for the history – I find it fascinating and awe inspiring that the olden day great photographers produced such art without the luxuries we have available today. I’m a sucker for black and white and I have to say I think these images are beautiful – especially the light house although I know you said you prefer it in colour…..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow. These photographs are absolutely breathtaking. The fact that they’re black and white gives them so much character and mystery. It bares the soul of the landscape. The hide and seek that the light plays with the dark makes every nook of the picture tantalizingly attractive.
    Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As a child I never appreciated our family trips to Wales…wisdom comes with age and so do regrets.
    I neglect the wonderful camera I have sitting in a draw and grab my cellphone ten times a day. Your photos inspire me to open the draw and explore what that camera can do, something I keep promising myself I will do.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I moved to North Wales it wasn’t specifically for the photography. But I’ve come to really appreciate what I have in my back garden, especially with the Snowdonia National Park a short drive away

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Black and white feels so peaceful especially when it comes to being by the water! I have to print some of my shots soon! Thanks for sharin!

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  15. Black and white to me presents a sense of nostalgia and an introverted understanding of ourselves and the world around us. You have created for the world a gallery of your appreciations and it is amazing

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  16. Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing them. Wales looks beautiful. Over the past couple of years the New York Times has had a few great articles about walking in Wales. Sounds like a walker’s paradise. I love black and white!

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    1. It is a great walkers paradise and Mount Snowdon is one of the busiest mountains in the world, mainly because of it’s accessibility. But it’s also a photographers paradise, not only on the mountain but in the surrounding National Park. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. ….and thank you for commenting. Sorry about the delay in commenting. For some reason the notification from WP that you had commented was treated as junk by my email filter. Yet other messages came through OK

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