Photographers Don’t Shoot In The Middle Of The Day

I’m going to say it again. Are you like me trying to find a photograph to fit this latest theme? Summer Lovin, what’s that all about? Personally I hate summer for photography because the sun is shining brightly.

Teachers don’t work in the summer, and photographers don’t shoot in the middle of the day. – John Loengard

When I look at many of my landscape photographs I realise that the best ones are those which I have taken as the sun is setting. In the summertime the sun is overhead and the light is harsh, providing little contrast. between the shadow areas and the highlights.

The Ruin

In both of these photographs I can try to compensate by getting some good foreground interest and luckily the skies add some interest , but there’s no real shadows or contrast and everything looks kind of flat.

The Peak

Compare that to the sunset below where the highlights and shadows on the rocks nd the low setting sun casts a warm glow over the clouds and the sea

Sunset at Harlech

So, Summer Loving, not in the heat of the day, give me a sunset anytime. Do you agree?

Out Of The Box

This weeks challenge happens to be container. Now there’s a theme that’s open to interpretation if ever there was. Yet, I struggled this week to find a suitable container to show you. Over on Photography From North Wales I did a very tenuous link to the theme, using a castle as a container. Sometimes you’ve just got to think “out of the box” as they say.


Now you might be thinking…. “what has this got to do with containers?” Simple really. The planes are flying out of a box and a box is a container.

The aircraft picture here are from the RV8tors Display Team.  Flown by professional display pilots at combined speeds of 230 mph (370 kmh) and performing close formation aerobatics the RV8tors creat an amazing and very dare-devil show in the sky.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks challenge photograph and as usual I’m always open to comments. Feel free to download any of my photographs if you want to use them for desktops or for your own blog or artwork. Just remember my License requirements which are pretty simple. Mention me and if possible link back to my blog.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike license.


If you are like me and use a combination of Windows Live Writer and Flickr to write and store your blog photographs I have some good news for you. Tim Heuer has updated his excellent WLW plugin called Flickr4Writer to take account of the new API restrictions imposed by Flickr and he has also now included the ability to add original size images from Flickr.

Previously when I used the plugin, I always chose the option to use the LARGE size image which inserted a photograph from Flickr which had a maximum size of 1024 pixels on the widest side. That was fine as long as your blog theme didn’t go above that size. But my new theme does. I can insert photographs up to 1200 pixels wide allowing you to see them in greater detail.

Parys Mountain

So there you have it. If you’re like me you can download the updated plugin from Tim by following this link

A Relic From Another Era

First of all I hope you like the new theme which I need to customise a bit more. Why did I go for this one. Simple really, it allows me to show my photographs at 1200 pixels wide if viewed in a browser on a PC. But it’s also tablet and mobile compatible as well. All I need to do now is save my photographs at 1200 pixels wide to take advantage of the new theme. And so to this weeks challenge which is Relic. Suits me as I’ve been photographing almost nothing else in the last 6 months, so here are some from the parish church in the village of Tremerchion.

This beautiful church is the only medieval one in Britain which is dedicated to Corpus Christi. Its oldest parts probably date from the late 12th century, including the south wall and part of the north wall – both shaped to resemble a ship’s sides.

Corpus Christi

Before we go inside the church I’d like to show you the Tremeirchion Cross which stands in the in the churchyard  and dates from around the 14th century. It was known as a ‘Miracle Cross’, and pilgrims would pray at its foot.

Tremeirchion Cross 1232

In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell and his followers regarded such monuments as symbols of superstition and many were damaged or destroyed during the Civil War. It’s thought that the head of the Tremeirchion Cross was knocked from its shaft at that time. In 1862 an archaeologist called Youde Hinde found the cross-head in the churchyard and, disappointed by its neglect, bought it for five sovereigns. He offered it to the nearby St Beuno’s College, where it stood until returned to the churchyard in 2004. Today, it is one of the focal points for visitors and walkers following the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

Inside the church the floor slopes down towards the altar for good visibility, another hallmark of early churches. There are two stone effigies dating from the medieval period.

The Altar

In a side wing of the church underneath a beautiful stained glass window lies this carved depiction of a knight in armour, thought to date from around 1300. There are no inscriptions but his clothing provides strong clues to the date.

The head and chest appear to be covered by chain mail, but other parts of his torso are protected by a quilted jacket or ‘gambeson’ of leather stuffed with wool or cloth. Over the jacket is a long surcoat. Leather gauntlets cover the hands. A lion is depicted on the shield, and the knight grasps his sword with both hands. Originally the effigy would have been brightly painted. Although there is no name associated with the effigy it is thought the knight may be Sir Roger Pounderling, Constable of Dyserth Castle during King Edward II’s reign.

Corpus Christi-Stained Glass(7tcs)

When I was asked to photograph the “Vinegar Bible” my first thought was they were playing a joke. But there actually is a bible, first published, Oxford 1717, where the word “vinegar” appears instead of “vineyard” in the title of one of the parables. Throughout this edition there were many other mistakes and it was christened a “Basketful of Printers Errors” If you look to the top left of the bible you can see where I have highlighted the mistake using Photoshop.

The Bible 1232

For centuries, antiquarians have speculated about the subject of a well-preserved stone effigy, which rests on a richly ornamented altar tomb. The inscription clearly records the name Dafydd ap Hywel ap Madog, and we can see from his clerical clothing and the effigy’s position within the church that he was a holy man .

A legend has grown around the identity of the effigy, suggesting that it depicts Dafydd Ddu Hiraddug who was known as a poet, grammarian, scientist and philosopher, and even as a practitioner of the Black Arts. Unfortunately there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the effigy is Dafydd.

Stone Effigy 1232

That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed some of the relics which I’ve spent the last 6 months photographing in churches throughout North Wales. As usual feel free to leave a comment and if you want to use any of the photographs, which are Creative Commons, just follow the license procedures which are really simple. If you use one mention me with a link back.

Dark and Grungy

In their time the workshops for Dinorwic Quarry must have been dark and grungy places. Poorly lit, smoke and dust in the air, tremendous amount of noise from the machinery and blacksmiths furnaces, all must have contributed to the dark and grungy atmosphere. Nowadays those same workshops have become the National Slate Museum and on Wednesday I was in the museum because the weather wasn’t that great in the mountains, where we had planned a landscape shoot.

I shot everything for HDR, using brackets of 3 photographs (-2 , 0, +2), all hand-held and to get a dark and grungy look to the photographs I really pushed the sliders in PhotoMatix, with some series after processing with NIK Color Efex in Photoshop.


Now I know that HDR is not to everyone’s taste, especially this extreme effect, but hey, “my photograph, my vision” but I’d love to hear if you like them or not. The comment box is at the bottom.

This little corner of the workshops is quite dark and the only real splash of colour is that green door, just about everything else is grey or black. And it’s even worse at the blacksmiths forges.

Blacksmiths Workshop

The light shines through the big windows, which are quite grimy in places, throwing shadows against the walls and the forges. Extreme processing? Yes! But I like it.

You could spend a whole day in the Slate Museum, wandering round taking photographs, watching the demonstrations. Normally I would say they are happy to let you use a tripod but in the summertime it get busy so you might find you have people getting in your way. That’s why I shot everything hand-held this time.

OK! That’s it from me. As usual, you are welcome to comment or download any photograph for personal use. If you use them on the web, don’t forget to mention me, that’s part of the Creative Commons License I have applied to my photographs.