52 in 2015 Week 16 Contrast

This week we were asked to show a photograph which displayed Contrast. Such an open subject but as usual the guidelines are “pretty clear” what is expected. It can be any form of contrast, colour, light, shadow, texture and this is the bit I like, any creative way I see fit. Now that’s an open subject if ever there was one. But undaunted i set off on Saturday to capture my Contrast photographs.

52 in 2015 Week 16 Contrast

Lot’s of contrasts in this one. Blue and yellow, or how the lively bloom of the daffodils and the almost lifeless tree. can you think of any other contrasts in this picture?

My second photograph may not be obvious what the contrast is but this is where the being creative comes in.

52 in 2015 Week 16 Contrast

When I was walking around Birkenhead Park it sort of struck me how odd this scene looked. First of all you have the old boathouse, built about 1847 and in contrast you have modern man doing an ancient task with all the modern accoutrements. Warm flask, nice easy lightweight collapsible chair, carbon fibre rod. Well they did say I could be creative.

You might not know this but in 1850, American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted arrived by ship in Liverpool. The town of Birkenhead is just across the river from Liverpool and it is known that Olmstead visited Birkenhead Park during his stay in England, probably using the Mersey Ferry to get across the river.Olmstead noted Birkenhead was “a model town” which was built “all in accordance with the advanced science, taste, and enterprising spirit that are supposed to distinguish the nineteenth century”. Now here’s the good part. In 1858, Olmstead and Calvert Vaux won the competition to design a new park for the rapidly growing city of New York.  I wonder if Olmstead took inspiration from his visit to Birkenhead Park?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

I was looking through my back catalogue today and realised that I have only one or two sunrise photographs but loads of sunsets. That got me to thinking, why? The answer is simple. I don’t do mornings. Or to be more precise I don’t do photography in the mornings. With a sunset it’s predictable. You can see if you are going to get a good one by looking at the sky, seeing the cloud formations and in my case looking at the horizon to see if the sun will be blocked by mist or low-lying cloud out to sea.

You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either. – Galen Rowell

So why don’t I go for the sunrises. Mainly because it’s unpredictable. You don’t know what you are going to get until the sun actually starts to rise. I’d hate to get up at dark o’clock only to find that I can’t see the stars because the sky is totally overcast. If it’s like that I’m not going to see any sunrise that’s for sure.

But just occasionally I have been up early with the camera and managed to capture something….


A good few years back I was staying in the Yanchep National Park, near Two Rocks, Western Australia. Although not quite sunrise it was early in the morning, you can tell by the long shadows of the trees. Beautifully calm and no one about. That’s how I like it for photography. Don’t you?

Anyway my second photograph was also taken in the National Park. I just like the line of boats all tied up waiting for someone to use them.

Blue Boats.jpg

Right, now that the building work is finished and I’ve completed the decoration of the new kitchen and dining room I might be able to spend more time on the blog. I missed last weeks challenge, there was just too much on but thankfully we are almost back to normal. Well not quite. I’ve still both sets of decking to clean and then renew the protective coat. New wooden garden furniture also has to be treated before we can start using it but I’m getting there….

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52 in 2015 Week 15 Rool of Thurds

Regular readers will know my thoughts on the so-called Rool of Thurds. But the 52 challenge this week calls for Rool of Thurds so I suppose I must comply.

52 in 2015 Week 15 Rule of Thirds

Normally I would position a bird flying like this in the way you see it now. I’d move it down a bit and wouldn’t have as much space to the left hand side for it to fly into. But the Rool of Thurds is a rool I’ve got to stick to this week so that’s how I’ve cropped the photograph. Would you do different and still conform to the Rool of Thurds? Just for info there was open water all around the gull.

The next photograph is slightly better. Taken on the Albert dock in Liverpool from inside a Tapas Bar it’s the ideal way to practice a bit of street photography.

52 in 2015 Week 15 Rule of Thirds

In general it conforms to the rool, especially as far as the silhouette is concerned. The tea and coffee should maybe have been higher or lower but you can’t win them all. Although once again I’m open to suggestions.

52 in 2015 Week 14 House Of Worship

I have been a bit remiss in not including the 52 in 2015 posts to Say It With A Camera. Week 14 required a House of Worship an easy choice for me this week as we have more than our fair share of historic churches in North Wales. But let’s not make it too easy so I decided it was time to pay a visit to Llangelynnin church considered to be the remotest church in Wales. I’ve shown photographs from there before but I like the drive up the narrow lanes and at 900 feet you get a marvellous view over the Conwy Valley from a hill just to the side of the church.

LLangelynnin Church

As you can see the weather wasn’t that great. On the drive up to the church it was raining quite heavily with low-lying cloud but by the time I parked and started the walk to the church it had almost stopped raining. Llangelynnin is remote and I like it for that. You can hear the sheep on the hills, the wind moving the grass, even the rain falling. Best of all you don’t often see people, maybe the occasional walker and to me that’s perfect.

Standing up here on the hill away from all humans seeing these Wonders taking place before one’s eyes so silently it is queer to feel that beyond the hills there are Humans astir &  just the reverse of what one feels in watching the silence of Nature. No school no church is as good a teacher as the eye understandingly seeing what’s before it. I believe this more firmly than ever. – Alfred Stieglitz

The church is dedicated to Saint Celynin, who lived in the 6th century and probably established the first religious settlement at Llangelynnin.

Inside Llangelynnin Church

I love the simplicity of the church, no ornate stained glass, or a fancy altar. Just a stone floor, some wooden benches, plain glass windows and a few flowers, it’s one of my favourites of all the historic churches in the Conwy Valley.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

Short one this week. There still doesn’t seem enough time in the day to fit everything in.

When I first started trying to photograph people in the streets I used to end up with a lot of photographs I could throw away. Why? Because I didn’t want confrontation and so I’d keep the camera at chest height, suspended round my neck by the strap and just press the shutter button as I walked along the street. Not ideal as I found out when I got home.


Sometimes they would be blurred, sometimes I would get them in focus but I hadn’t captured the full scene. i.e. I’d chopped someone at the neck.

A shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. A little blur in a moving subject will often aid to giving the impression of action and motion. – Alfred Stieglitz

Of course I never really throw anything away so I can still pull them up from my back catalogue, ideal for when we get weird subjects like this for the weekly challenge. Not only that I live in hope that one day Adobe will develop a plugin for Photoshop that takes care of blur and really works.

Do you keep every photograph you take, even the blurred ones?. I’d love to hear from you.

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