Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

I’m not a stats orientated person, I very rarely look at the stats that WordPress but as of 18:50 UK time the number of views today has been about 340. Checking through the stats it looks like on a normal day it averages about 40. So what has caused this sudden surge? It’s all due to my blog post about Ansell Adams being featured as an Editors Pick on Discover. It’s been manic. My email has been pinging constantly all day with notifications about new followers and a lot of comments requiring moderation. I am trying to acknowledge the comments as soon as I can and I’d like to say “thank you” to you all for making my life so busy today. If I don’t get around to replying to your comments today I will tomorrow.

Right onto this weeks challenge which is Earth. Interesting choice and I was debating which way to go with this one. In the end I decided to stick with what I do best – landscape photographs – so here’s a selection.

Long, long time ago I used to live in Weston-super-Mare or Weston-super-Mud. Great beaches, beautiful sand but venture beyond those danger signs, and people do, and you are taking your life in your hands. Thick, cloying mud, combined with one of the highest tides in the world and a tide that comes in fast means that if you get stuck out there, you better hope they can get to you fast. Fortunately after several deaths they now have a specialised rescue team that carries equipment to get anyone stuck out of the mud fast.

Danger Sinking Mud

Take the historic Steam Railway out of Porth Madog which winds it’s way through parts of Snowdonia to Blaenau Ffestiniog and you will have to cross the Cob. Don’t you just love these beautiful Welsh place names? I know I do. I never pronounce them right, although I’m slowly getting the hang of some of them, but that’s another story. Anyway crossing the Cob you get this great view into the Snowdonia National Park.

From The Cob

On the North Coast of Anglesey, South Stack Lighthouse sits on a small rocky island  called Ynys Lawd. To reach the lighthouse you need to go down a switchback stairway of over 400 steps which go down the cliff face. Of course, what goes down must come back up so that’s another 400 steps. Not easy if you are carrying a load of photography gear and it’s a very windy day.

South Stack Lighthouse

The groyne markers at Prestatyn Beach, where I live, are pretty uninteresting to photograph. But throw in a dramatic sunset and they become something else, especially in silhouette.

Sunset At Prestatyn

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this photograph of a lone tree in a field of yellow rape seed flowers. I took this photograph about six years ago and every year I watch the field to see if the farmer will plant it again, but he never does. Shame really because I don’t think I did it justice first time round and I’d like to have another go at it.

Field Of Yellow

Next week I will be away from North Wales for about ten days with limited internet access. I’m off in search of castles and rivers on the North East coast of England, right on the border with Scotland. I might even venture, if I have time, into my home country, but who knows. So of course that means I probably will not be posting for a short while until I get back.

That’s it for this week. As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – Up And Gone
Photos By Goldie Skyward
Behind The Willows Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
Mother Earth · Best Places Of Interest
Wednesday Lensday- Earth’s Underdogs – Aloada Bobbins
Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – imyesterdaysgirl
Earth – Life is Great
XingfuMama For the beauty of the earth
everyphototunity WPC- Earth
Annika Kellner foto Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

Colour or Black and White

At the weekend I met up with a gang of photographers and I must admit I got some really interesting sunset photographs from Crosby beach.

On The Beach Colour

Out there on the mud flats on my own wasn’t exactly fun but the colours are very dramatic and worth the wait, even if I was sinking into the mud. But when I got home and started to look at the photographs I started to think maybe it would look more dramatic and give a sense of loneliness if it were in black and white.

On The Beach

What do you think? Colour or Black and White.

Another Place

Spent all day at the beach yesterday with a bunch of photographers photographing the amazing sculptures of Sir Antony Gormley. The day out was organised by ShootMirrorless.com with the view to getting photographers together so we can share and discuss our art and techniques.

Another Place

Another Place is a piece of modern sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley. It consists of 100 cast iron sculptures of the artist’s own body, facing towards the sea. After being displayed at several locations in Europe, it has become permanently located at Crosby Beach in north-western England. The work was controversial in the local area due to issues such as possible economic gain or environmental damage from tourism. A meeting on 7 March 2007 by Sefton Council accepted proposals that would allow the sculptures to be kept permanently at Crosby Beach in place of being moved to New York.

The cast iron figures face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands. Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lb). In common with most of Gormley’s work, the figures are cast replicas of his own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea.

The figures were cast at two foundries, Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry[4] in West Bromwich. Another Place was first exhibited on the beach of Cuxhaven, Germany, in 1997 and after that in Stavanger in Norway and De Panne in Belgium. – Source Wikipedia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration

Without a doubt I have admiration for one of the great landscape photographers, Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984), an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park have inspired me to take photographs of the Snowdonia National Park, here in Wales. I mean take this photograph below that Adams took of the Tetons and Snake River in 1942. The range between Black and White is amazing and something I can only hope to emulate

Adams The Tetons and the Snake River Ansel Adams [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Adams was a master of his art and with Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. Remember these guys worked in the darkroom and didn’t have modern digital cameras. But Adams was also forward thinking as we can see from this quote he made in 1983

I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop. – Ansel Adams

Although Kodak had developed a form of digital camera in 1975 it wasn’t until 1988 that Fuji unveiled the first truly digital camera that could be used by consumers. Unfortunately it never went into production but more importantly, in conjunction with Toshiba, a removable memory card to be used in the camera was also showcased.

Over the next few years various models of digital camera came out but they were extremely expensive and way beyond normal consumer use. Then in 1995 came the Casio QV-10, the first digital camera with a 1.8-inch color LCD that could play back images and function as a viewfinder. And the price? Considered to be a bargain at $750 the Casio produced photographs at 320 x 240. My modern digital camera give me resolution of 4608 x 3456. Interestingly the Casio did not have a removable memory card, instead the photographs were saved to internal memory and to get them off of the camera you had to connect a cable to the RS232 port of your computer. Don’t know what the RS232 port is? Way, way back the RS232 port was once a standard feature of all personal computers. It was used to connect peripheral devices like modems, printers and even your mouse.

Enough of the history lesson….on to the photographs and inspired by Ansell Adams they are all black and white landscapes.

Cwmorthin

Cwmorthin is a secluded valley I have visited several times now. Once the site of a thriving industrial slate quarry and mine it now has an air of peacefulness and tranquillity. No one lives in the valley and the only visitors are cavers and walkers. Oh and the sheep. I’ve been the only person in the valley and to hear the sheep calling can be quite eerie.

Tryfan in the Ogwen Valley has a distinctive shape and quite often when the sun is shining through the clouds patches of light and dark can be seen.

Tryfan

What do you think about showing these in Black and White?

Now to my next photograph, Pen Yr Ole Wen. It’s one of those mountains that looks impossible to walk up and yet I’ve seen people doing it. Probably following well-worn sheep trails. Too much like hard work for me. I prefer the easier trails.

Pen Yr Ole Wen

My old favourite Talacre lighthouse looks so different in Black and White. I think I prefer colour for this…but there again.

Talacre Lighthouse

Another view of Pen-Yr Ole Wen, this time from further around Cwm Idwal. You can follow that path all the way round the valley and lake before getting back to the descent to the Ogwen Valley and Llyn Ogwen

Mountain Path

Well that’s it for this weeks challenge, as usual here’s what other bloggers are saying.

Cerita Riyanti WPC – Admiration of the Asian Heritages
LONDON PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration
Jude’s Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration (2)
AEKShots Weekly Photo Challenge…Admiration
Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery I love music…
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration
Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration – Ann Edwards Photography
THE PETALUMA SPECTATOR PHOTO BLOG WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Admiration
Sassy Ethnic Bohemian (stylestar at large) Weekly Photo Challenge- Admiration

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

I’m sitting in my nice warm office whilst outside the sleet and hail are coming down. I suspect by now the snow in the National Park will be quite thick, especially on the higher slopes. So it’s probably best right now to avoid the area. Just as well this weeks challenge is Abstract which means I can maybe work from my back catalogue rather than venturing forth into the wild weather. But what is Abstract Photography?

There has been no commonly used definition of the term “abstract photography”. Books and articles on the subject include everything from a completely representational image of an abstract subject matter, such as Aaron Siskind‘s photographs of peeling paint, to entirely non-representational imagery created without a camera or film, such as Marco Breuer‘s fabricated prints and books. The term is both inclusive of a wide range of visual representations and explicit in its categorization of a type of photography that is visibly ambiguous by its very nature. – Source Wikipedia. In other words, anything goes, or that’s how I choose to interpret it.

So without further ado, here’s the first of my photographs. It’s the side of a triangular build with one side lit by the sun and the other side in shade.

Abstract

Now I have to say I’m not a fan of abstracts in photography, I prefer structure, a definitive subject but hey ho…..

Not sure if you could call this one abstract or not. If I tried to create this normally I would have probably failed. But sometimes from a mistake comes something you can use. Quite simply I had too slow a shutter speed and I was moving and you can see the results here. Yeah! Let’s call it abstract.

Dark and Gritty

Abstraction in photography is ridiculous, and is only an imitation of painting. We stopped imitating painters a hundred years ago, so to imitate them in this day and age is laughable. – Berenice Abbott

Abstract 2

Black and White, Let’s try everything and because I liked the first one I thought I would do it again. Both of these are weird structures in the city of Berlin but I like them both.

Abstract 3

Are they abstract? Who knows? Tell me what you think.

Right, that’s it for this week. Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

My Wonky Life WP Photo Challenge -Abstract
Can You Believe This Is NOT Photoshopped- – Invoke Delight And Inspire
Weekly Photo Challenge- Abstract – Nancy Merrill Photography
Murtagh’s Meadow Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract
HIP Photography WPC- Abstract
Weekly Photo Challenge- Abstract – Compass & Camera
Photo Editing- Abstracts – Beyond The Brush
Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract – Redstuffdan
Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract – Ann Edwards Photography
PI Photography And Fine Art Weekly Photo Challenge- Abstract