Same Country, Contrast In Living Style

I’ve visited Hong Kong several times in the past few years and it’s always struck me how different parts of the Special Administrative Region vary in living styles. Sprawling across Lantau and Tai O Islands is a well-known village called Tai O which  is definitely a must-go for photographers. Home to a community of fisher people, who’ve built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats, Tai O has become a bit of a tourist must-see. Through generations, this tightly knit community, which literally lives on the water, have built unusual structures which are all interconnected.

Tai O Stilt Houses

Wandering around Tai O is a dream. No traffic, a lazy way of life, well at least for me anyway, and peace to stop and look at what’s for sale, mainly fish. I think I prefer this life-style. What about you?

Walking round Tai O I found this gentleman sleeping on a bench in a park. It seems to be catching…..


…..because the cats were taking it easy as well.


Contrast that with down town Kowloon. Here the apartment blocks rise ever higher and higher but are still very tightly packed.

Hong Kong Streets

Over on Hong Kong island there are more and more high-rise buildings, still tightly packed. Space is at a premium in the SAR and so the only way to build is up. The sound of traffic is almost continuous and every time I have visited air pollution has always been evident. Nearly every photograph I have shows grey skies. If you live in or have visited Hong Kong SAR is it ever any different. Maybe you could let us know?


And yet there is plenty of wildlife in Hong Kong. A photographer I know from the New Territories manages to get some fantastic bird and wildlife photographs. Check him out.

That’s my contrast for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and let me know what you think.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

How do you decide which photograph to use for the weekly challenge? Once I see the subject I usually have a good idea which one I might use. The next thing is to retrieve it from my back catalogue. Fortunately I use Adobe Lightroom to catalogue my photographs and collections so retrieval is pretty easy.


Now the kind folks at Automatic give us 3Gb of storage space for photographs but my personal choice is to load all of my blog photographs to Flickr. Try clicking on a photograph and see where it takes you.

Anyway this is the lighthouse at Penmon Point. It stands at the northern entrance to the Menai straits, between the coast of Anglesey and Puffin Island and might never have been erected but for a tragic accident in 1831 involving the Steam Ship Rothsay (Rothesay) Castle.

The Rothsay Castle should have left Liverpool at 10am on the 17th August 1831. Due to bad weather conditions and the late arrival of a passenger she didn’t leave until midday, carrying 150 passengers. Once out into open sea the Rothsay Castle experienced strong winds and a rough sea. One passenger asked the captain, a seafarer call Atkinson to return to port in the Mersey Estuary, but Atkinson refused. By the evening of the 17th August the Rothsay Castle had only reached the vicinity of the Great Orme and still had to negotiate the difficult passage through the Menai Strait. By now the Rothsay castle was in difficulty. There was two feet of water in the stokehold, the pumps weren’t working and they couldn’t bail out because there wasn’t a bucket available. Worse still, the only lifeboat had a hole in the bottom and there were no oars. Round about 1am, the inevitable happened. Rothsay Castle ran aground on Dutchman Bank at the entrance to the Menai Straits. A little later the Rothsay Castle broke up with the loss of many lives and bodies were washed up over a wide area of Anglesey and the Welsh mainland. Only twenty three passengers were rescued.

In 1832 a lifeboat was established at Penmon Point and sometime between 1835 and 1838 the present lighthouse, standing 29 metres tall and designed by James Walker was built.

WhooHoo I’m Back

Having taken a good rest, just over 3 months, I’m ready to start writing again on “Say It With A Camera”. I’ve finished the project I’ve been working on which was taking up all of my time. Well almost, one church to go, but that’s looking a bit doubtful at the moment. Now I can go back to what I do best. Landscapes..

Sunset over the Llyn Peninsula

And what about the camera. well that’s changed too. After years of using Pentax DSLR cameras, I’ve gone mirror-less and switched to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens. The lens is small, compact and one of the best pieces of glass I’ve ever had on a camera. Sure I won’t be able to capture wildlife or aircraft any more but when you are walking up that steep hillside in the Snowdonia National Park you do appreciate how light the camera and lens combination is.

Typhoon Meanwhile my passion for HDR photography has not abated and last week when I was visiting Harlech I managed to get to Goodness Gracious Corner for some amazing sunsets.

Which-Way Finally, what about those churches I have been so involved with. I have taken thousands of photographs for this over the last six months. Not all will be used, but on average I was spending about two hours in each church taking photographs, once or twice per week, usually doing two or three churches each time. As an example of what I have been doing it has ranged from interior photographs of the churches

Saint Sannan - Light Beams

through to photographing the ancient records.

Page from the 1538 Register 1232

This particular set was held in the County Records Office and I was allowed access to photograph them without flash and only natural light. At first I thought the language was Welsh but on closer inspection it appears to be Latin. Look at the date, 1613. That’s over four hundred years old.

So there you have it. I’m back, feeling refreshed and ready to tackle blogging again. I hope you’ll join me as I start to revive “Say It With A Camera”.

At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands before our camera, to honour what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect–a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known. – Robert Adams

It’s Time To Say Goodbye – The Last Post

It’s been over a week since I’ve last made a post on Say It With A Camera. OK I’ll admit it, I’ve been a bit lazy but in my defence I have been busy with other things. That’s why it is with regret that I have to announce that this will be my last post on WordPress. It’s time to announce that I am closing down my blog.

To keep from going stale you must forget your professional outlook and rediscover the virginal eye of the amateur. – Brassai

Now whilst I was never a professional I do feel that I and Say It With A Camera have gone a bit stale, but giving up on a blog that has over 2000 followers and been Freshly Pressed does seem a bit drastic. So why am I doing this?

Although I’m an amateur, Photography is my real passion and that’s why

  • I have been working solidly on a project to photograph some of the historic churches that we have in North Wales.
  • I’ve been looking out for all those yellow fields of flowers that are so abundant now; they photograph so well.
  • I’m going to concentrate more on night photography. It has it’s own challenges and I really do need one. Actually I probably need more than one.
  • The Snowdonia National Park is a beautiful place. I’m going to visit it more often with my camera.
  • I’ve got to make some money to buy a new tripod, along with the new camera and a whole load of new gear.

Say It With A Camera will in effect lie dormant. I won’t delete the blog because there is some interesting information and a lot of great photographs there but this will definitely be the last post.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who followed, commented and liked my posts over the years. Without you Say It With A Camera would not have been as joyful to contribute to as it was, but it’s time to move on. Who knows maybe we will meet somewhere else on the internet?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

First of my apologies if any of you were inconvenienced by test emails sent out whilst I was trying to correct the problem with Windows Live Writer bein unable to download my blog theme. The problem has not been resolved but the Happiness Engineers seem to think that it’s a problem with WLW. I on the other hand think the problem lies within WordPress, especially as all the error reports point to WLW being unable to download content from the WordPress servers. I suppose it will never be resolved as they keep directing me to Microsoft to resolve the problem. Great idea but as WLW is no longer supported by Microsoft, there is little chance of finding a fix. Anyway I digress…

Not far from Prestatyn is the village of Dyserth which has extensive quarrying remains, waterfalls, a disused railway line (now a footpath), and mountain (Moel Hiraddug). The oldest industry in the village and surrounding area was mining, with lead, copper and limestone just some of the minerals being mined locally in the past. The quarries are still visible and form a major part of the village’s geography, though mining ceased when Dyserth Quarry closed in 1981.

In the 19th century one of the biggest problems for the local mines and quarries had been how to transport the materials they produced. The existing solution of carting the material over land to the River Clwyd at Rhuddlan was proving to be costly and not an ideal solution.


In 1848 the Chester to Holyhead rail line opened, ten years later saw the opening of the Vale of Clwyd railway which ran from Rhyl to Corwen. But the mining and quarrying companies who had started using these lines still had to get their materials to Prestatyn for the Holyhead line or Rhuddlan for the Vale of Clwyd line.


The coming of the railways in many ways helped the companies who operated around Dyserth. But just as equally it caused problems because their competitors who were closer to the new railway lines had a commercial advantage. Concerned about this disadvantage the Dyserth companies held a public meeting in November 1860 in Prestatyn to consider constructing a railway from the LNWR main line at Prestatyn to Cwm via Dyserth.


It wasn’t until 1869 that a solution was finally found to the problem  when the LNWR opened a branch line from Prestatyn to Dyserth. The Branch Line was two and a half miles long  and carried the London and North Western Railway on a single track with stops at five intermediate stations, Chapel Street, Woodland Park (to be Meliden Road, but Rhuddlan Road until 1923), St. Melyd Golf Links, Meliden and Alt-y-Craig (altered to Allt-y-Graig during 1929). Initially it carried mineral traffic only. In 1905 a passenger service was opened but it only lasted until 1930, eventually being withdrawn by the LMS but the line still remained open to serve the quarry at Dyserth until it was closed in 1973.

Sea View

Nowadays most of the old line is now used as a footpath and recently it was paved. It’s one of my favourite walks with the dog if I’m not on the beach but even if you are walking you get glimpses of the sea, from it’s reasonably high position on the hill.


When you walk along the line you come to some caves at the base of Craig Fawr which are closed for safety. Prehistoric tools found in these caves have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this short walk along the old branch line with me.

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