Night Time–Who’s Out There?

I am, at least I was on Wednesday night. After a busy day in Stockport I rushed back to get out with a group of photographers from the Prestatyn & District Camera Club for an evening shoot in Rhyl. If you want to look at some of the members photographs, just follow the link to our public Facebook page. But going back to that night-time shoot, “How convenient that this weeks theme is Glow”.

So let’s get on with it and show a few of my photographs from that evening. It was a cold night in Rhyl with the wind blowing off the sea. We were down by the sea-front, there’s no real shelter from the wind, so it’s a case of wrap up well, especially as you’re going to be standing around quite a lot.

Keep Still
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 with Olympus M 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens – f2.8, 0.6s, ISO 200

Just to the left of this picture is the sea. That evening I could hear it but the light drops off dramatically as you get away from the promenade, I just couldn’t see it. With gulls crying out it’s quite eerie, even although I’m standing in a well-lit area. The blue shelters have changed to red now and the Sky Tower to purple.

Shelters
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 with Olympus M 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens – f16, 60s, ISO 200

At the harbour it was just as cold. This is an area that has been re-generated so it’s well lit, but quite lonely. Not so sure that I would go down there on my own at night.

Rhyl Harbour
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 with Olympus M 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens – f18, 13s, ISO 200

Whilst everyone stayed at the harbour I decided to walk up to the roundabout on the opposite side of the river. It’s only a short walk and it helps to keep warm. I was looking for something different; light trails from cars.

Roundabout Light
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 with Olympus M 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens – f6.3, 1s, ISO 200 using Live Composite Mode

Just up from the roundabout is the bridge over the river, the harbour is to the right of this photograph, and it’s here I was really looking to capture some light trails. Luckily enough a bus came along whilst I was taking the photograph, adding some extra colour to the scene.

Light Trails
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 with Olympus M 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens – f6.3, 1s, ISO 200 using Live Composite Mode

So that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

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I’ve Been Busy–Is There Ever Enough Time

What a hectic two weeks it has been working on two separate projects at the same time. As many readers will know I joined a local start-up camera club, which is surprising for me as I’ve always been dead set against them for being too stuffy, with the usual CanonIkon users looking down on everybody else. But this local club is different, we’re a bunch of photographers who in the main like to socialise, discuss photography and have no real fixed agenda. We’re not into getting initials after our name, like some photographers do, but we do like a bit of fun and to see how our photographs are comparing against others in the area. But I’ll talk more about that later.

Meanwhile this week I’m going to show a few photographs from around the coast and especially the stretch near me from Talacre to where I live now, Prestatyn.

Talacre Beach

First thing I can say is that post is no longer standing. It was washed away last week in a storm. It’s still on the beach but much further up.. The dog was one of those lucky shots. I’d just set up the camera on a tripod with remote control attached, getting ready to do a long exposure. Fortunately I ghadn’t attached any filters or set the camera for long exposure photography so I was able to get this one photograph before the dog ran away.

Dog on Beach

Talking of one photograph and one of the projects I was working on. Our little camera club is a member of the North Wales Photographic Association and last week I was busy co-coordinating our clubs photographs for the inter-club championship. For copyright reasons I can’t show you the photographs, they’re not all mine. But suffice to say I spent hours making sure the entries from our club members where in, preparing a slide show so that our members could vote on the ones they liked best and then getting those scores onto spread sheets which allowed us to choose the highest scoring photographs for submission to the competition.

Right back to Talacre, I make no bones about this, I visit there a lot, it’s one of my go-to places for testing and when I’m not in the mood for travelling. It’s only ten minutes away.

Talacre Sunset

Yes, the lighthouse does lean. So what about the second project? Well that one is more closer to home. My youngest son has decided to go it alone and set up his own electrical contracting company. I’ve been helping him design his website amongst other things. If you get the chance please click this link, drive some traffic to it. Catchy name huh?

52 in 2015 Week 8 SOOC

And we’re still at Talacre. This is what happens when we have an exceptionally high tide and you ignore the tide tables. You get cut-off and have to wait it out on the dunes until the tide recedes. Of course if you know the area, you don’t let the tide catch you out, but if it does, you also know that if you walk along the top of the dunes for about ten minutes you can get behind the incoming tide and safely make your way of the beach.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighbourhood - 11

If you look at the photograph below which was taken several years back and were to stand in the same spot today you wouldn’t see all those stones, nor would you see the dunes. The great storm of Dec 2013 along with higher than usual tidal surges served to destroy much of the dunes. The sand that was carried away changed the shape of Talacre beach and buried many of these stones, which were the remains of the pathway to the abandoned lighthouse. To date only a few have been uncovered by tidal action.

Ray of Light

One thing we are very luck to have here in North Wales, amazing sunsets, and with long wide beaches there’s always scope to show a mixture of both sky and beach

Reflections

…or perhaps just more of the beach, this is one of my favourites.

Purple Haze

And it’s an ever-changing scenery. Sure there are some fixed things like the groyne markers. but tidal action, weather and the sun can serve to give you a different photograph every time you visit.

Sunset on Prestatyn Beach

So that’s it for this weeks challenge. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and if you do get the chance please click the link.

It’s been a while since I visited any blogs which take part in the challenge, mainly due to other commitments, therefore there haven’t been any links to other sites on Say It With A Camera. But this week I managed to make some time, despite all the work I have on, so here are some bloggers whose work I have liked this week. Note, unlike other bloggers I have seen, I do not just spray links. I do take the time to visit and if I like an article I will say so, maybe even leave a comment. It’s only fair – Mike

Yvette’s photography Scale
Day-To-Day Photography Orange Beach, Alabama
Anvica’s gallery Scale
AEKShots Weekly Photo Challenge…Scale
Weekly Photo Challenge- Scale – Novice Photographer
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Scale
The Land Slide Photography Lone Fisherman
The Reluctant Photographer Scale

A Museum For Photography–Let Me In

If I were to ask you who was Joseph Nicephore Niepce was you’d more than likely, like me say “Who”. Yet as photographers we should know his name and sing his praises. Why? Because good old Joseph was the man who first invented photography. Maybe not as we know it today,  but what Niepce did was to lay down the foundations for modern photography. Using a technique called heliography Niepce created a photographic process by making a print from a photengraved printing plate in 1825.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce

And so on to today and modern photography. How things have changed. Digital is the new medium. Modern cameras can be extremely complicated but ridiculously small compared to the early days of photography. Come with me on a short journey through the Museum of Photography in Chalon-sur- Saone, the birthplace of Joseph Nicephore Niepce. I should say at this point that most of the exhibits, descriptions were in French only, the museum was extremely hot and not very well-lit. I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod, either.

The journey through the museum starts with early examples of cameras and equipment. As you would expect, all of these exhibits are in glass cases, meaning that the reflections from lights around the room and even myself are shown in the glass. I did manage to get around most of these problems by reducing the highlights and using the dehaze slider and making it positive in Lightroom. Not too heavy, just enough to take out some of the glare and reflections

Old Camera

It’s just a wooden box but look at the brass work, it’s a thing of beauty and precision mechanical engineering.

An Early Camera

Of course, early photography used chemicals, some of them quite nasty, and lots of them to get the final results.

Developing Fluid

I loved this door, small windows,  with lots of examples of early photographs. Of course nowadays with modern software we can simulate some of those early style of photographs.

Window

Moving through the museum, did I mention it was really hot, we come to a more modern era. We’ve moved a way from single plates to rolls of film as this advert for Agfa film shows

Advertising Material

Equipment has moved on as well, cameras are much smaller and developing film is not as messy. Chemicals are still involved, though.

Glass Cases

Now we are starting to move into the Kodak zone, as I call it. In 1962 the Eastman Kodak Company established a production plant in Chalon-sur-Saone. At it’s peak the factory employed about 2500 employees mainly specialising in the manufacture of photo-sensitive surfaces used for consumer photos, cinefilm for the cinema and products used in medical radio.

But then in 2004, with the accelerated arrival of digital products, particularly in consumer photography, Eastman Kodak announced major cuts to the group and workforce. Then began a period of intense layoffs cutting the workforce and by 2006 there are only about 100 employees on the site. This was later cut to about thirty and by 2010 there is no one working for Kodak.

Kodak Colorama

You know I’m really impressed with the photograph above, or should I say my camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 and the 12-40mm Olympus PRO lens. This is hand-held at 1/15 second in a darkish sort of room. The in-body stabilisation has kicked in to give me a reasonably sharp  focused photograph.

Small Panoramas

One of the Kodak Coloramas projected onto the wall. I really liked being in this room, looking at all of the photographs and the good bit. I had the place to myself.

San Francisco Colorama

Last photograph and you can see another projected photograph of the Taj Mahal in the background.

Kodak Gallery

I spent hours in the museum, looking at the exhibits and taking loads of photographs. Best of all it was free entry, if only it wasn’t so hot. But you can’t have it all so I’m grateful that I was able to visit the museum.

On the Beach In Black And White

This week it’s going to be a quick one with just two photographs. Circumstances and time have caught up with me. But hopefully you will like the photographs. Sunday afternoon saw me at Talacre, I managed to break away for a couple of hours to meet up with a group of photographers who, like me, are into long exposure photography.

Now you might be asking “what is he talking about”?. So let me explain in the most simplest of terms. By sticking an extremely dark filter in front of the camera lens. I can force the camera sensor into computing that I am effectively photographing my subject at night, even although it’s broad daylight. Therefore the camera computes that to get the right exposure for the photograph it need to take a lot longer to keep the shutter open. How long depends on a few factors, but suffice to say I was looking at exposures of between 2 seconds and 70 seconds throughout the day. To ensure the photograph is not blurred I am using a tripod and a remote control.

I am lucky that I can use Live View with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 and watch the photograph develop on the rear screen. I let the camera do all the work. But other photographers have to calculate the exposure using charts, or these days, usually an app on their smart phone.

He [Brassai] times his long exposures by smoking cigarettes – when his smoke was out, he closed the shutter. – John G. Morris

First photograph. Taken as the tide was coming in. Even at two seconds you can see that the sea is beginning to be smoothed out. It wasn’t particularly rough that day, with almost no wave action to speak of.

Talacre Lighthouse

This second photograph is a seventy second exposure. It’s more noticeable in the clouds now as they have started to streak which is a characteristic of long exposures.

A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. A long exposure [creates] a form that never existed. – Dieter Appelt

It was a bit of a grey day and the colours weren’t that fantastic so to get more effect i have converted to Black and White using NIK Silver Efex.

Talacre Lighthouse

So that’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

Sur Le Pont D’Avignon

Despite what the traditional French song says, the dance actually took place under the bridge. To be honest, for all that it is famous and immortalised in a song, the bridge didn’t really impress me that much. To give the bridge it’s correct title it is Le Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Historians have argued whether or not the Romans managed to span the River Rhone between Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. There is evidence both for and against. However, it is known that the original bridge with a span of 900 metres (980 yards) was built during the years 1177 to 1185, but that bridge was destroyed in 1226 by Louis VIII of France during the siege of Avignon. Around 1234 work started on rebuilding the bridge and it was used until it fell into a state of disrepair in the 17th century.

In 1644 the bridge lost four arches, then a flood in 1669 swept away most of the structure. Today only four arches remain.

Le Pont d'Avignon

Avignon is a great place to wander around with quaint narrow passageways, shuttered windows on the houses, some amazing architecture and the Palais des Papes. In English the Papal Palace. But once again I was disappointed.

The Pope's Palace

The palace has been turned into a museum. Apart from the walls there are not many of the original features left as you will see in this next series of photographs. But here’s the rub. The very few original features left, you are not allowed to photograph. But the building is large and impressive.

From the cloisters you look out to one of the towers. The other tower, the bell tower doesn’t even have the original bell. It was replaced some time ago

The Tower

Nice statues. I thought maybe they were off the walls or from inside a church somewhere. Nope! Modern day made.

Stone Figures

To be honest I gave up thinking about the history behind the building. Everywhere we went our guide kept telling us things were not original or the original artefacts had been removed. So I stopped listening to the guide and just went around looking for photographs of the more impressive features that I could take.

Grand Audience Hall

Of course, no tripods allowed and in low light that makes for difficult hand-held shots. You just can’t get away from people so they are included as well. Some look like blurred ghosts because my shutter speed was so slow.

Modern Art

Back into the daylight and the heat. It was hot, hot, hot, hotter than Arles. So wandering around some of the narrow passages in the shade was a bonus.

The Passage

The locals have shutters on the windows, keeps the heat out, whilst letting some light in. Can you see that little stone plaque bottom left of the photograph. The building’s not that impressive, but it was here that the Montgolfier brothers who are best known as the inventors of the hot air balloon made their first experiments in 1782.

The House Of Invention

Earlier I mentioned the architecture. Look at the theatre. I would have loved to have a walk inside but it was a strict “non” from the gatekeeper.

Theatre

Tourists are everywhere, heck I’m one myself…and where there are tourists there are tourist shops. Surprisingly, this one a bit off the beaten tracks did have some items at reasonable prices

Tourist Shops

And of course, you can’t get away from the inevitable painting seller. Don’t know if he painted them but I wasn’t tempted after seeing the way the one worked in Arles.

For Sale

Well that’s it from Avignon. I spent a lot of time on this visit waiting for people to move out of my line of sight so I could get a photograph but in the end it was impossible.

The Truth Of Art

So let me start by saying that after this post I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a week or so, as I head off on a late holiday.

Right then to this weeks challenge. Don’t you just love shiny things? I know I do, but can you really portray shiny in a photograph? I’m not one hundred percent convinced and neither was E. H. Gombrich

The photographic enthusiast likes to lure us into a darkened room in order to display his slides on a silver screen. Aided by the adaptability of the eye and by the borrowed light from the intense projector bulb, he can achieve those relationships in brightness that will make us dutifully admire the wonderful autumn tints he photographed on his latest trip. As soon as we look at a print of these photographs by day, the light seems to go out of them. It is one of the miracles of art that the same does not happen there. The paintings in our galleries are seen one day in bright sunshine and another day in the dim light of a rainy afternoon, yet they remain the same paintings, ever faithful, ever convincing. To a marvellous extent they carry their own light within. For their truth is not that of a perfect replica, it is the truth of art.

But let’s get on with it and I’ll start with the SEC in Glasgow reflected in the River Clyde. I took this on a cold winters night, late November, 2012. I was in Glasgow to visit my father and it seemed like a good idea at the time to get out in the evening to capture some night scenes. Boy it was cold. Have you ever been out on a cold night with a camera and tripod? The metal in your equipment seems to act like a cold magnet. Being down by the river doesn’t help either, but at least it was a still night with no wind.

Glasgow Armadillo

I should say that normally I would use HDR for photographs of this type but I’ve been experimenting recently with Luminosity Masks, a technique I’ve long dabbled with. Sometimes I think I’ve got it right and then along comes a photograph that LM’s just don’t seem to work with. But I’ve been doing some heavy research and I think I know where I’ve been going wrong. So hopefully I might have cracked it this time. Why use LM’s. The main reason is, HDR for all it’s benefits, can create a lot of noise in the photographs, whereas LM’s do not. Anyone out there using LM’s in their workflow?

On The Rocks

Now this next photograph really is shiny. It’s made of metal and when the sun sets you can get some amazing colours which are reflected in the metal of the sculpture.

Dechrau a Diwedd

All right, so where’s the shine herein this next photograph. There isn’t really, unless you consider that all of those heads have a bit of a sheen.

Talking Heads

You know that photograph earlier in this post of the SEC. Well on the side of the river where I took that photograph from lies the Glasgow Science Centre and that cold winter evening when I visited the centre was open. Just as well, because when I went to get my car from the car-park, next to the centre, the machine would only take shiny £2 (2 pound) coins. Although the coin was introduced in 1998 I very rarely saw them in my loose change, so I was beginning to panic as there’s not too many shops around that area. Fortunately the nice people in the Science Centre gave me the magic code to open the barrier free of charge

Glasgow Science Centre

If you really want to see “shiny” pay a visit to Littledean Jail in the UK. But be warned if you are easily offended or of a sensitive nature then Littledean is not for you. It’s probably the largest true crime museum in Europe, but the exhibits can be politically incorrect, downright bizarre and extremely diverse.

Quadrophenia

And for my final photograph this week I’d like to leave you with a section of the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral. Did you know the cloisters featured in some of the Harry Potter movies?

Gloucester Cathedral

Right then, that’s it from me. To all those who are going out to watch the eclipse today, be careful, you only have one pair of eyes. As for me I’m going to miss it. Here in the UK it wasn’t going to be that great anyway, but the sky is overcast, it feels like winter, so I’m not even going to venture outside.

Don’t forget I’m taking a break for the next week or so, therefore, it just leaves me to say.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

This is Another Story Trip to Mirror Lake
Wanderlost For Now SQUIRREL! …wait…
Shiny Oasis – My Kitchen Witch
It’s a Wonderful World! The “stop in your tracks” architecture of Madrid
Feeding Winnie Ooh, Shiny!
Photography- Oh look! Another Flower! – Sumyanna Writes
WPC- Shiny – Let’s Visit Worcester, UK – Tvor Travels
WPC- Ooh, Shiny! – MK pix
POTW- ooh, shiny! – Did You Know-
Those Tiny Lives on Daisy – From Hiding to Blogging

They Are Going To Get Wet

I don’t know if it’s because we are an island nation but we British do love the water. Get a nice hot sunny day and people will go for a paddle at the beach. The really brave will go swimming, even if the water is cold. Watersports abound. I have lost count of the number of people I have seen using the rushing white waters of our Snowdonia Rivers. Not so far from me is a Surf Centre. An artificial lake with a giant wave machine were people can go surfing. We like our water.

Just last weekend the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) held a charity event in Rhyl Harbour. Build your own raft and race it against others around the harbour. And for added fun do it against an incoming tide which rushes into the harbour at Rhyl.

Build Your Raft

With dark, ominous clouds some of the contestants get started in building their rafts. Nothing fancy here, Some barrels, tie pallets to them and you’ve got yourself a raft. Not the most stable of platforms.

Meanwhile, the RNLB Lil Cunningham enters Rhyl Harbour and will tie up against the jetty.

Bridge Up

During the time RNLB Lil Cunningham was tied up children were invited to “come on board and have a look around”

Alongside

Whilst we were waiting for the races to start a water version of Gladiators was fought in the harbour.

Gladiators

Soon it was time for the first race to start. Launch from the slipway, paddle to the bridge, go around the bridge support and then paddle back to the slipway. I was standing on the slipway when I took the photograph of RNLB Lil Cunningham entering the harbour. It doesn’t look far to paddle there and back but against an incoming tide it was going to be hard work getting to the bridge.

They're Off

The crowds were really out in force by now, lining the harbour wall, both sides, standing on the bridge as well.. And soon they were off, at this point organised chaos comes to mind.

Paddle Paddle

But it soon settled down and this is where “the ringers” came to the fore. Remember I said right at the beginning, turn up, build your raft and  how unsteady they looked. Seems like some built their rafts in secret. This is a craft of beauty. It looked very stable in the water and they seemed to be powering along. Of course once they get around the bridge you’ve got the advantage of going with the current as the tide comes in.

Working Hard

Another one. I think this was the RNLI’s entry.

Keep Paddling

For safety’s sake the RNLI inshore craft were on hand to help any team that got in difficulties.

Around The Bend

Meanwhile RNLB Lil Cunningham had moved out into the centre of the harbour and to help the crews along and add to the fun. They were using the hose to provide a little water borne encouragement to the contestants.

RNLB Lil Cunningham

Well that’s it for this week. As you can see my element was water, here’s a few bloggers, who have written about  this weeks challenge and I have liked.

Elemental – Jodie Pages Waterfalls
Gwyncurbygodwin’s Blog BUTTERFLIES
O’Neill Photography & Design Misty Morning Surf
This is Another Story Exploring the Elements
New Goal – The Unkempt Wife
Sue’s words and pictures No fire!
Weekly Photo Challenge – Elemental – Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist
Fueled by Chocolate The Elemental Muskrat – Reshaping the Banks of Their Watery World
Seek the Colors of the Harvest – From Hiding to Blogging
Funky Weather – tybeetabby