Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons

Goodness me! I’m early. For weeks I have been completing the challenge post late on a Friday afternoon but this week I finally have some time to get on with it. So here goes. Spring is my favourite time of the year, more so than summer so let’s start with a nice Spring photograph.

Field of Daffodils

Daffodils are grown around here in abundance. The first time I saw this and many other fields like this I thought they were for St David’s day. He’s the patron saint of Wales and it’s traditional for many Welsh people to wear one or both of the National symbols of Wales to celebrate St. David: the daffodil (a generic Welsh symbol) or the leek (Saint David’s personal symbol) on this day. But when I looked into it I found out the daffodils are grown to be used in Medical Research and modern uses include extracting galantamine from the bulbs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Still in spring mode I’m now going to take you to the North Cornwall Coastal Path, 141 miles (227 km) of rugged walks many of which are along cliffs. The views are stunning and throw in the start of sunset. what more could you ask for.

Spring Flowers

Staying on the coast but back in North Wales. We have some great cliff walks as well but in my neck of the woods it more flat beaches and sand dunes. Great for summer and we are in the right position that during summer our sunsets are out to sea.

Sunset at Prestatyn Beach

Ever since i moved to North Wales we have had an annual air show during the summer. This year it could be in doubt due to new “elfin safety” regulations which have been imposed on air shows held in the UK.

Red Arrows

Autumn is probably my second favourite season. As the colours start to turn in the trees we get amazing reds and oranges to photograph. It looks so peaceful in the photograph below but earlier this year that river burst it’s banks and flooded that cottage causing a lot of damage.

Cottage in Llanwrst by the side of the Afon Conwy - Photograph ny Mike Hardisty.jpg

Further up-stream the river flows quite slowly giving some great reflections of the autumn colours that we can see in the trees.

Autumn Colours

Winter in the Ogwen Valley, well in this case Nant Ffrancon just below the Ogwen Valley. You can always guarantee to get some snow here, which forces the ponies down from the upper levels to near the roadside. If you are lucky enough to see them you can usually approach slowly. Don’t startle them, approach side on, that’s where a horse or pony sees best. A horse has a sort of blind spot right in front of it’s nose.

Wild Ponies

OK! Ogwen valley this time and a frozen Llyn Ogwen with Tryfan in the background. An easy spot to photograph as the main road runs along side the lake and there’s a car-park about 50 metres behind me. That’s if you can get it in, as it can often be full, especially at weekends.

Llyn Ogwen

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs, and as usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Some Photoblog Seasons
by marion A little touch of spring
There is a season – turn, turn, turn – TRAVEL WORDS
He Feeds The Birds This is Winter Where We Live
The Shady Tree WPC- Seasons
The Photographer Smiled… Tree on ice
Frozen Leaf – ChadLynn Photography
HIP Photos Seasons
Michelle Lunato Photography Season. Time to Love
Sara Zancotti Seasons

Weekly Photo Challenge: Art Imitates Life

I have searched through my back catalogue of photographs and managed to find absolutely nothing that I could use. Maybe I just don’t have any imagination. Then I had another thought. Why don’t I just twist everything around and create some art imitating life.

Carnival Queen

Everything you see in this weeks post originally started life as a photograph shot at the Weston-super-Mare Carnival several years back. But then I decided to have a little play in Photoshop with some of my favourite plugins


“They . . . asked me:
“‘How do you make your pictures?’ I was puzzled . . .
“I said, ‘I don’t know, it’s not important.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson


It’s been a while since I did anything like this. I’d forgotten how much fun it can be to just do something different and it makes a change from trying to master those pesky Luminosity Masks.

Doctor Evil

Photoshop is useful in many ways but must NEVER be used for the altering of photographs. My assistants and my agency do whatever Photoshop work for me that may be required as it is too complicated for my brain. – Elliott Erwitt

The Clown
I’ve always liked the one above, notice I don’t call it a photograph because it no longer is. I don’t know what you would call it now. Any suggestions?

The Red Hood

…painting is something you do. You make a painting. You don’t make a photograph. You see a photograph. Photography is seeing only, you see it, you release the shutter, you use your aperture, your machine and once you’ve seen it, that’s it. It’s done. – Jurgen Schadeberg

The Mask
That wraps it up for this week, I hope you enjoyed the artwork? Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge….

Life imitates art – the walking pencil
The Imitation Game – Story of My Life
LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art
Glass Manifestations Dog Imitates Art
Art imitates life – A Journey Called Life …
Life Imitating Art – Mostly Monochrome
Mama Cormier Life Imitates Art
Life Imitates Art …. – Rose Bay Letters
Jennifer Nichole Wells Life Imitates Art
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- Life Imitates Art

Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Doesn’t time fly. I’ve been so engrossed in trying to master these Luminosity Masks to the detriment of everything else. Suddenly it’s Friday afternoon. I have a stack of emails that need answering and I haven’t written anything for this weeks challenge. But I finally think I am beginning to get the hang of LM’s

Ogwen Boathouse

However it does seem to be one step forward and two steps back. Look on the bright side though. I am learning a lot about Photoshop along the way.

Photoshop is not a verb. It is a noun. It is the means to an end, not the end itself. – Vincent Versace

Why am I spending so much time on this? Well, at one time I was a confirmed, dyed in the wool, flag  carrying HDR user. But times have changed. I know longer use HDR as much, especially for landscapes. But I still want to get as much Dynamic Range as possible from my photographs.

Penmon Point Lighthouse

Luminosity Masks seems to be the way to go. But why is it taking me so much time to learn how to use them correctly?

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about Time

Time – Travel Frame
Tea Time – A Year of Sunshine
Riley Central
Fueled by Chocolate Time – So Late So Soon
Jennifer Nichole Wells Time
Time – Shadows – Zero Creativity Learnings
fennbradley Weekly Photo Challenge- Time
What Time Allows – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
Endless Frame Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- Time
The Shady Tree WPC- Time

52 in 2016 Week 5 Shadows.

I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress at the moment, but in the last week every comment notification has ended up in my Junk Mail. But it’s not only that. In some case I’m not being notified that a comment has been posted on my blog.

So I’d like to apologise if it takes me a while to answer. This really annoys me because I’ve never knowingly not replied to comments made, good or bad.

Rant over. Normally, for this challenge, I would go out and find a nice sunny scene with lots of shadows being cast. But with the weather we’ve had recently, there’s not been much sun around. So I’m going for a bit of a literal interpretation of this challenge.

52 in 2016 Week 5 Shadows

The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is a great place to wander around. They openly encourage photography and on a cold winters day it’s nice to stay out of the rain and still get to do some photography. The museum is set in the old workshops of the Dinorwic Quarry and has been left as though the workers had gone home for the day.

Wandering around the workshops, you will find some dark shadowy areas where the dim lighting hardly reaches. I told you it was a literal interpretation this week.

One area I like, is the Pattern Loft. Here there are genuine shadows cast by the natural light shining through the dusty windows. Look closely at the window and you can see the cobwebs.

52 in 2016 Week 5 Shadows_0002

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

52 in 2016 Week 4 What’s Inside

I had all sorts of ideas for this weeks challenge but events rather caught up with me, leaving me little time to implement those ideas. So when in doubt retire to the abbey. It’s my favourite spot when I want to try out something new for photography indoors. Well it wasn’t exactly something new when I use the camera. More what happens when I post-process the photograph when I get home. Regular reader will know I’m a fan of HDR, but in recent months I have been trying to move away from this; instead, I’m trying to master Luminosity Masks.

52 in 2016 Week 4 What's Inside_0002


I know, I know. “What the 8&$% are Luminosity Masks” I can hear you asking. In simple terms it’s a method of …….Aaah, you don’t really need to know. It’s not easy to explain either and implementing the masks in Photoshop can be confusing at times. Look at the photograph above there’s no blown out highlights. Previously  I would have achieved this using HDR software, Now I’m using Luminosity Masks. Yep! That makes sense. I hope?

In the photograph below I used LM’s to balance out the lights. believe it or not, this is not someone’s house. It’s a quaint cafe in Llandudno. Great isn’t it? And so relaxed.

52 in 2016 Week 4 What's Inside_0001

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. and if you want to know more about Luminosity Masks follow this link