Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Way

Yesterday the weather finally changed. Brilliant sunshine, a light breeze, blue skies and light puffy clouds. Perfect for a photography walk in the Snowdonia National Park.

Regular readers will know I am again taking part in a 52 challenge which is hosted on Flickr. So on the way to the National Park I decided to kill two birds with one stone and stop off in Betws-y-Coed to photograph the waterfall using a 10 Stop ND Filter which will give me a nice long exposure.

Flowing River

Well that didn’t happen. Too many people around, at least 3 school parties, being silly as well and I was worried that my camera and tripod might be knocked over. Have you ever had that happen to you? You visit somewhere with full intentions of taking a specific photograph and change your mind . So instead I just photographed the river before it went tumbling over the larger rocks a bit further on and decided to head on into the National Park.

On the way back to the car-park I came across this nice young man who was busy blowing bubbles. He was kind enough to let me photograph him and it really was too good an opportunity to miss


That’s it for this week. As usual feel free to comment on anything you have seen or read here.

Here’s what others are saying about this weeks photo challenge



52 in 2015 Week 22 Birds

Right! I’ve got some time to devote to this subject so I’ve managed to get a couple of photographs.

At this time of the year the chicks have left the nest and are being taught by their parents to find food. They are still reliant on their parents in many ways but the can now fly and forage.


Starlings are voracious. This fat block along with 6 fat and seed balls were gone in less than two hours. A flock of starlings descended on my garden and during the time they were there all we heard was noisy squabbling as they fought for possession of the food.

Here you can see an adult bird and three young ones having a go at each other.

Yesterday I was on Talacre beach practicing long exposures, for next weeks challenge, with a 10 stop ND filter attached to the 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Although most people say you can’t focus through a 10 stop filter – you have to do it before you add the filter, I’ve found the Olympus E-M1 does in LiveView. Not only that I don’t have to calculate the exposure times either. I just watch the histogram, as the photograph builds, until I have the correct exposure.

Anyway, I digress. This is all about birds, not lighthouses but underneath the lighthouse I found this little Turnstone.


It was badly injured, I didn’t hold out much hope for it. We do have Marsh Harriers hunting along the estuary and I’m wondering if it had been attacked by one of them, or perhaps a gull.

That wraps it up for this weeks challenge. As usual feel free to comment.

52 in 2015 Week 21 In Full Bloom

This was a grab shot this week and I haven’t really done the challenge justice but it was taken whilst I was on a short break in Shropshire

52 in 2015 Week 21 In Full Bloom

In the small market town of Ludlow I was walking down one of the back streets when I saw this Clematis Vine with those lovely pink flowers.

Sure I could have zoomed in but I don’t think you would get the full extent of how much this vine can spread once it gets going.

Llandudno Air Show 2015

My first time at this Air Show and I went with the intention of not specifically concentrating on the aircraft. Seems a bit silly when you think about it – Airshows are all about aircraft. But when you’ve only got an 150mm lens you aren’t going to fill the frame with that thundering jet as they fly past you.

For those of you who don’t know, Llandudno is a seaside town with a wide bay enclosed at either end with two rather large hills, the Great and Little Orme’s.

In the town you will find a mix of all types of shops, department stores, cafes, cake shops pubs and of course tourist shops


The Rock I’m talking about here is not a stone or anything like that. It’s a traditional sweet candy stick, usually pink on the outside, white inside with the name of the town running right through the entire length. Originally it had a minty flavour but over time it has been developed and now comes in all types of shapes, colours and flavours.

Although it was still early the crowds were starting to gather on the seafront for what was promising to be a good display, coupled with entertainment along the seafront and in the bandstand.


The airshow was just beginning to start with the first display inbound over the Little Orme

The Old Buckers

A nice slow start to the show with a pair of Bucker Jungman Bi-Planes allowing the photographers to get some practice in, zooming, panning and using our rapid fire shutters, before the fast boys put in an appearance.

Next up was a BAC Strikemaster which is a  British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft.

BAC Strikemaster

Like I said earlier I can’t fill the frame with the aircraft as I don’t have a big enough lens but I hope you can see it enough to appreciate it’s size. It really is small and with the Little Orme behind looks rather delicate

Unlike the Rhyl Air Show which I usually attend Llandudno has music performances on the seafront as well.


Helen Wyn Pari is a well-known harpist and she gave us a really good performance in between some of the flying displays.

Meanwhile on the beach a photographer was getting ready for the next display

That's A Big One

Which happened to be a Catalina decked out in the livery of the US Air Force

Catalina On Approach

Great plane and the pilot really gave us a brilliant display, even changing his flight path at one point so that the photographers amongst the crowd could get a top shot.

Can you spot that lone photographer up there on the Little Orme? I hope he got a good photograph of the Avro Anson as it flew over him on it’s way to start it’s display.

Avro Anson

Back on the seafront the Siren Sisters had started their musical performance

The Siren Sisters

Now this I really liked. The girls are so photogenic, better still the music is my style and I could have listened to them all day. Judge for yourself.

Back to the airshow though. There were some extra displays including the Red Arrows but unfortunately I had to leave early to catch a train. so I couldn’t stay to watch.

Oh! I almost forgot. I like Jazz as well so it was a surprise to see a Jazz Band performing as well

Jazz Band

Unfortunately I didn’t catch their name but I might see them at the Llandudno Jazz Festival in July.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

What an interesting subject for this weeks challenge theme. Having a rich industrial past, North Wales has lots of broken things just lying around. You see them in the old slate quarries, long since abandoned, along the side of rivers, way out in the country where the only residents now are sheep and the occasional mad photographer who happens to pass by.

Porth Wen Chimney

Porth Wen Brickworks is typical. Situated on Anglesey, it’s still considered Private Property, but it’s been photographed often enough by intrepid photographers. Getting to Porth Wen is not the easiest task. For a start it’s not signposted and the path down the side of the cliff goes through some really rough vegetation. On site you have to be careful where you put your feet. you can see that from the photograph. But if you’re like me, fascinated by old buildings then it’s a photographers dream.

Minera Lead Mine

Minera lead mines ceased work around 1914 and is now part of a country park near Wrexham. The first records of lead mining at Minera date back to 1296 and over the centuries there were intermittent attempts to remove lead from the workings. Some successful, some not. The final decline of Minera was caused by the price of lead and zinc falling, whilst coal, used by the steam engine to pump water from the working, had risen. By 1909 the engine had stopped working and in 1914 the owners of Minera sold off the mines and it’s assets.

Miners Barracks

Near the base of Snowdon and on the shores of Llyn Lydaw lies the ruined crushing mill of the now defunct Britannia Copper Mine. Never really a successful enterprise, seven companies tried their luck in just over a hundred years, the mine closed in 1916.

Weekly Photo Challenge Object

You can always tell when you are near a copper mine. The rusty-red colour of the stones is a sure giveaway.

What do you think? Am I showing enough photographs this week?

Talking of copper. On the island of Anglesey is a really good walking, and of course photography area, called Copper Mountain.


Mining started here about 3500 years ago in what is known as the Bronze Age. But it was the industrial mining of the 18th and more particularly the 19th century to make Parys mountain as it is also known the largest copper mine in the world, in its time.


By the way, that tower you see on the hill is the one in the photograph above. It contained an engine to pump the water out of the lower workings of the mine.

We’ve had brick, lead, zinc, and copper. Next up is slate and where better to show old industrial broken things than Dinorwic Slate Quarry in Snowdonia. At it’s height it was the second largest slate quarry in the world, second only to another quarry just over the hill.

Dinorwic Quarry

Dinowic is a great place to wander round and relatively safe if you stick to the marked paths.

Dinorwic Quarry

It’s when you start to wander that you need to take more precautions. There are some really dangerous areas in the quarry, sheer drops, deep lakes, risk of falling stones.


This tunnel goes right through the mountain and is used by many who visit Dinorwic to get to some of the upper levels. But you need a torch “to see the light at the end of the tunnel”, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Experts recommend a blog post should be no more than 250 words too maintain interest, I’m nearly double that now. Hopefully the photographs help to maintain interest?

One more place I’d like to show you. Not far from the lighthouse at Talacre is the now disused Point of Ayr Colliery, which closed on the 23rd August 1996. . The coal field extended northwards under the Irish Sea. Nothing now remains of the colliery, not even a memorial plaque. Well, not quite, these tracks, which were a siding of the Holyhead to London Rail line, are all that is left on the site…and they really belonged to the rail company.

Gas Terminal

In the background you can see the gas plant where natural gas from the Celtic gas-fields comes ashore to be processed for use in the power station at Connah’s Quay, further up the coast.

There you have it, I’ve covered brick making, lead and zinc extraction, copper mining, slate quarrying and finally coal mining. All broken industries.

Please take some time to see what others are writing about this weeks challenge


Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped

I’ve been away all week on a short vacation. As always I choose places where I’m not tempted by t’internet. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all but the downside is the massive amount of emails I have to respond to when I get home.

So this weeks challenge is Enveloped. I hope you will agree with me that the photo I’ve submitted fulfils the challenge.

National Memorial Arboretum

Taken in the National Memorial Arboretum, this is one of the walls honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation here in the UK.

Covering 150 acre, with over 50,000 trees planted and more than 300 dedicated memorials serve to make the Arboretum a living tribute acknowledging the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of the United Kingdom.

But it’s not just for our military. There are memorials dedicated to the Police,  Fire and Rescue as well as Ambulance Services.

Also included are National Charities representing people, including children, who have died in particular circumstances.

Have a look at what others are writing about for the Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly photo challenge: Enveloped


52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalism

Minimalism, always subjective and highly controversial. There are those who hat in and conversely those who love it.

But that’s what the challenge is this week and here’s how I’ve interpreted it.

52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalist (2)

Rightly or wrongly this is how I see minimalism. I purposely kept the photograph in Black and White. I like it that way.

We are allowed to submit two photographs, although only one can be submitted for judging. My final photograph is also a Black and White but with a touch of High Key as well.

52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalist

Now you might have also noticed that I haven’t followed one of the more conventional aspect ratios for these two photographs. That’s because I didn’t think either of them would benefit from that setting. What do you think? Was I right to go for a more square look?

As usual, feel free to comment.