I Should Have Got There Early

Spur of the moment decision but I decided to head to Bodnant Gardens this morning before the flowers in the Laburnum Arch decay. By the time I walked the dogs it was 10am before I set off. Bodnant opens at 9am. It’s only a short drive away but by the time I got there I could see the car park was already jam-packed. And to make matters worse six large touring coaches in the coach park.

So what is the arch? 55 metres of beautiful yellow flowers hanging down from a pergola walkway created by Henry Pochin 140 years ago. It is thought to be the oldest and longest arch in Britain.

Olympus E-M1 Mk 2 1/80s | f11.0 | ISO200

The arch gets photographed by about 50,000 visitors during a three-week period around late May and the beginning of June. To catch it with no one there, you have to be early, although that doesn’t always work, because one of the Rangers told me that 4 coaches were waiting for the gardens to open this morning.

I hung around for a while and finally managed to capture this one with just a few people at the end of the arch. Generally though it’s busy and if it does become sort of clear most people will let you get the photograph before carrying on with their walk through the arch. Most people that is!

Olympus E-M1 Mk 2 1/15s | f11.0 | ISO200

There’s a camera technique that seems to have become popular recently called Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). Looks like I got one here, except it wasn’t intentional. I’d just lined it up for a normal photograph with people, hoping to get them ghosted a little. Hence, the slow shutter speed. Into the frame steps this guy, bumping into me just as I press the shutter. Inconsiderate “bar steward” didn’t even say sorry or excuse me.

In the end I gave up, kicking myself for not getting there early, but I had a plan B in place. There’s another Laburnum Arch, not that far away either and it’s not as well-known. So off I set to a secret location, well, actually it’s Happy Valley, a sheltered hollow on the eastern side of the Great Orme Llandudno.

Olympus E-M1 Mk 2 1/100s | f11.0 | ISO200

Not as long as the arch at Bodnant but in full bloom the golden flowers looked fantastic. Best of all there was no one there. I had this part of the park to myself, so I was able to photograph from both ends of the arch.

It’s a fair old climb up to the arch….

Olympus E-M1 Mk2 1/250s | f11.0 | ISO200

….but the views from the upper level are quite worth it.

Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

15 thoughts on “I Should Have Got There Early

  1. “bar steward”… I’ll have to remember that. 🙂 Lovely photos, and the movement one IS interesting, so there’s that. May I ask what size do you shoot your original photos (not aspect, but pixel x pixel numbers)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shoot RAW, pixel size is 5184 x 3888. For blogging I resize to 1600 pixels on the longest edge because I read somewhere that you need to double your column width for photographs to take into account Retina displays, so that’s the size i post to the media gallery now that I am no longer using Flickr. WordPress for some weird reason resizes those images to about 1140 pixels on the long edge.

      I will quite often crop before resizing in the 16:9 format

      I should qualify what I said. WordPress inserts the image to fit the column and when I look at it in editor it says image is 1140px wide. However, if you click on it to see it full size. WP displays the 1600px image

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much. I do a lot of virtual photos (taken in Second Life) and the principles are the same as real life photography. For some reason, a large portion of SL photographers insist on shooting a minimum of 6000 pixels on the short side, which seems like overkill to me. Your RL info helped. I’ve never heard about the double column width thing before, but it makes sense.


    1. It’s Laburnum, Cornelia. Flowers in the UK between late May and early June. It only has a short period when it’s in flower and it’s best between those times. It all depends on what sort of winter and spring we have when it starts to flower


  2. Lovely photos, despite the interruptions. I was thinking of going too but with those crowds I think I’ll head to Llandudno instead. Very pretty laburnum there. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know the one at Llandudno existed Isabella and I’ve just found out that the Bodnant gardeners advised the gardeners at Llandudno how to care for the Laburnum. That’s where I will be going next year

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a beautiful place. You are lucky to be able to watch nature spill itself in full glory. I know it was a downer to not get that perfect shot. Next time?

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: