I’ve Been Busy–Is There Ever Enough Time

What a hectic two weeks it has been working on two separate projects at the same time. As many readers will know I joined a local start-up camera club, which is surprising for me as I’ve always been dead set against them for being too stuffy, with the usual CanonIkon users looking down on everybody else. But this local club is different, we’re a bunch of photographers who in the main like to socialise, discuss photography and have no real fixed agenda. We’re not into getting initials after our name, like some photographers do, but we do like a bit of fun and to see how our photographs are comparing against others in the area. But I’ll talk more about that later.

Meanwhile this week I’m going to show a few photographs from around the coast and especially the stretch near me from Talacre to where I live now, Prestatyn.

Talacre Beach

First thing I can say is that post is no longer standing. It was washed away last week in a storm. It’s still on the beach but much further up.. The dog was one of those lucky shots. I’d just set up the camera on a tripod with remote control attached, getting ready to do a long exposure. Fortunately I ghadn’t attached any filters or set the camera for long exposure photography so I was able to get this one photograph before the dog ran away.

Dog on Beach

Talking of one photograph and one of the projects I was working on. Our little camera club is a member of the North Wales Photographic Association and last week I was busy co-coordinating our clubs photographs for the inter-club championship. For copyright reasons I can’t show you the photographs, they’re not all mine. But suffice to say I spent hours making sure the entries from our club members where in, preparing a slide show so that our members could vote on the ones they liked best and then getting those scores onto spread sheets which allowed us to choose the highest scoring photographs for submission to the competition.

Right back to Talacre, I make no bones about this, I visit there a lot, it’s one of my go-to places for testing and when I’m not in the mood for travelling. It’s only ten minutes away.

Talacre Sunset

Yes, the lighthouse does lean. So what about the second project? Well that one is more closer to home. My youngest son has decided to go it alone and set up his own electrical contracting company. I’ve been helping him design his website amongst other things. If you get the chance please click this link, drive some traffic to it. Catchy name huh?

52 in 2015 Week 8 SOOC

And we’re still at Talacre. This is what happens when we have an exceptionally high tide and you ignore the tide tables. You get cut-off and have to wait it out on the dunes until the tide recedes. Of course if you know the area, you don’t let the tide catch you out, but if it does, you also know that if you walk along the top of the dunes for about ten minutes you can get behind the incoming tide and safely make your way of the beach.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighbourhood - 11

If you look at the photograph below which was taken several years back and were to stand in the same spot today you wouldn’t see all those stones, nor would you see the dunes. The great storm of Dec 2013 along with higher than usual tidal surges served to destroy much of the dunes. The sand that was carried away changed the shape of Talacre beach and buried many of these stones, which were the remains of the pathway to the abandoned lighthouse. To date only a few have been uncovered by tidal action.

Ray of Light

One thing we are very luck to have here in North Wales, amazing sunsets, and with long wide beaches there’s always scope to show a mixture of both sky and beach

Reflections

…or perhaps just more of the beach, this is one of my favourites.

Purple Haze

And it’s an ever-changing scenery. Sure there are some fixed things like the groyne markers. but tidal action, weather and the sun can serve to give you a different photograph every time you visit.

Sunset on Prestatyn Beach

So that’s it for this weeks challenge. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and if you do get the chance please click the link.

It’s been a while since I visited any blogs which take part in the challenge, mainly due to other commitments, therefore there haven’t been any links to other sites on Say It With A Camera. But this week I managed to make some time, despite all the work I have on, so here are some bloggers whose work I have liked this week. Note, unlike other bloggers I have seen, I do not just spray links. I do take the time to visit and if I like an article I will say so, maybe even leave a comment. It’s only fair – Mike

Yvette’s photography Scale
Day-To-Day Photography Orange Beach, Alabama
Anvica’s gallery Scale
AEKShots Weekly Photo Challenge…Scale
Weekly Photo Challenge- Scale – Novice Photographer
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Scale
The Land Slide Photography Lone Fisherman
The Reluctant Photographer Scale

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On the Beach In Black And White

This week it’s going to be a quick one with just two photographs. Circumstances and time have caught up with me. But hopefully you will like the photographs. Sunday afternoon saw me at Talacre, I managed to break away for a couple of hours to meet up with a group of photographers who, like me, are into long exposure photography.

Now you might be asking “what is he talking about”?. So let me explain in the most simplest of terms. By sticking an extremely dark filter in front of the camera lens. I can force the camera sensor into computing that I am effectively photographing my subject at night, even although it’s broad daylight. Therefore the camera computes that to get the right exposure for the photograph it need to take a lot longer to keep the shutter open. How long depends on a few factors, but suffice to say I was looking at exposures of between 2 seconds and 70 seconds throughout the day. To ensure the photograph is not blurred I am using a tripod and a remote control.

I am lucky that I can use Live View with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 and watch the photograph develop on the rear screen. I let the camera do all the work. But other photographers have to calculate the exposure using charts, or these days, usually an app on their smart phone.

He [Brassai] times his long exposures by smoking cigarettes – when his smoke was out, he closed the shutter. – John G. Morris

First photograph. Taken as the tide was coming in. Even at two seconds you can see that the sea is beginning to be smoothed out. It wasn’t particularly rough that day, with almost no wave action to speak of.

Talacre Lighthouse

This second photograph is a seventy second exposure. It’s more noticeable in the clouds now as they have started to streak which is a characteristic of long exposures.

A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. A long exposure [creates] a form that never existed. – Dieter Appelt

It was a bit of a grey day and the colours weren’t that fantastic so to get more effect i have converted to Black and White using NIK Silver Efex.

Talacre Lighthouse

So that’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

The Truth Of Art

So let me start by saying that after this post I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a week or so, as I head off on a late holiday.

Right then to this weeks challenge. Don’t you just love shiny things? I know I do, but can you really portray shiny in a photograph? I’m not one hundred percent convinced and neither was E. H. Gombrich

The photographic enthusiast likes to lure us into a darkened room in order to display his slides on a silver screen. Aided by the adaptability of the eye and by the borrowed light from the intense projector bulb, he can achieve those relationships in brightness that will make us dutifully admire the wonderful autumn tints he photographed on his latest trip. As soon as we look at a print of these photographs by day, the light seems to go out of them. It is one of the miracles of art that the same does not happen there. The paintings in our galleries are seen one day in bright sunshine and another day in the dim light of a rainy afternoon, yet they remain the same paintings, ever faithful, ever convincing. To a marvellous extent they carry their own light within. For their truth is not that of a perfect replica, it is the truth of art.

But let’s get on with it and I’ll start with the SEC in Glasgow reflected in the River Clyde. I took this on a cold winters night, late November, 2012. I was in Glasgow to visit my father and it seemed like a good idea at the time to get out in the evening to capture some night scenes. Boy it was cold. Have you ever been out on a cold night with a camera and tripod? The metal in your equipment seems to act like a cold magnet. Being down by the river doesn’t help either, but at least it was a still night with no wind.

Glasgow Armadillo

I should say that normally I would use HDR for photographs of this type but I’ve been experimenting recently with Luminosity Masks, a technique I’ve long dabbled with. Sometimes I think I’ve got it right and then along comes a photograph that LM’s just don’t seem to work with. But I’ve been doing some heavy research and I think I know where I’ve been going wrong. So hopefully I might have cracked it this time. Why use LM’s. The main reason is, HDR for all it’s benefits, can create a lot of noise in the photographs, whereas LM’s do not. Anyone out there using LM’s in their workflow?

On The Rocks

Now this next photograph really is shiny. It’s made of metal and when the sun sets you can get some amazing colours which are reflected in the metal of the sculpture.

Dechrau a Diwedd

All right, so where’s the shine herein this next photograph. There isn’t really, unless you consider that all of those heads have a bit of a sheen.

Talking Heads

You know that photograph earlier in this post of the SEC. Well on the side of the river where I took that photograph from lies the Glasgow Science Centre and that cold winter evening when I visited the centre was open. Just as well, because when I went to get my car from the car-park, next to the centre, the machine would only take shiny £2 (2 pound) coins. Although the coin was introduced in 1998 I very rarely saw them in my loose change, so I was beginning to panic as there’s not too many shops around that area. Fortunately the nice people in the Science Centre gave me the magic code to open the barrier free of charge

Glasgow Science Centre

If you really want to see “shiny” pay a visit to Littledean Jail in the UK. But be warned if you are easily offended or of a sensitive nature then Littledean is not for you. It’s probably the largest true crime museum in Europe, but the exhibits can be politically incorrect, downright bizarre and extremely diverse.

Quadrophenia

And for my final photograph this week I’d like to leave you with a section of the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral. Did you know the cloisters featured in some of the Harry Potter movies?

Gloucester Cathedral

Right then, that’s it from me. To all those who are going out to watch the eclipse today, be careful, you only have one pair of eyes. As for me I’m going to miss it. Here in the UK it wasn’t going to be that great anyway, but the sky is overcast, it feels like winter, so I’m not even going to venture outside.

Don’t forget I’m taking a break for the next week or so, therefore, it just leaves me to say.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

This is Another Story Trip to Mirror Lake
Wanderlost For Now SQUIRREL! …wait…
Shiny Oasis – My Kitchen Witch
It’s a Wonderful World! The “stop in your tracks” architecture of Madrid
Feeding Winnie Ooh, Shiny!
Photography- Oh look! Another Flower! – Sumyanna Writes
WPC- Shiny – Let’s Visit Worcester, UK – Tvor Travels
WPC- Ooh, Shiny! – MK pix
POTW- ooh, shiny! – Did You Know-
Those Tiny Lives on Daisy – From Hiding to Blogging

Another Great Sunset

I just knew it was going to happen, a great sunset. You could see the way the clouds were forming that it might be worth taking a trip down the beach. So when the Prestatyn and District Camera Club finished last night I headed straight down there. Not Talacre this time just our local beach.

Now the only thing of interest worth photographing on our wide swept beaches are the Groyne Markers. They’re there to make sure sailors don’t run aground on the sea defences which disappear at high tide.

Not fantastic, but put them in silhouette, and you’ve got a reasonable photograph. Anyway it’s more about the sky. So here it is in all it’s glory last night.

Prestatyn Sunset

Enough said – Mike

On The Beach

I used to like walking on the beach, I still do, but I probably don’t take as many photographs as I used to. The beach at Weston and Uphill was particularly good for finding things washed up on the beach. Weird shaped tree trunks were my favourite to photograph. But for some reason you don’t often see large objects being washed up at Prestatyn or Talacre.

This Old Tree

Photography is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances it is anything ever anywhere near a beach. – Walker Evans – American Photography, 1984

Probably the weirdest thing I have seen washed up is the wooden headboard from a bed….and what always amazed me, anything washed up seemed to land in the same area of the beach.

Bed On The Beach

It’s a short one this week but as usual here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge.

A Sense of Wonder
Transient – justbluedutch Free Bird
Sexy Robot – Nes Felicio Photography
Isabel Caves Beautiful Autumn V- Coloured Leaves
Eiwawar City of darkness
Getting the Picture Weekly Photo Challenge – Transient
Penne 4 Your Thoughts Transient- Life in Klaserie
kochiphotography Weekend specials
GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Fairies and Witches and Aliens (Oh My!)
Gina Ladinsky Weekly Photo Challenge- Transient – White Rose for a Green Frog

So Much Promise…But

Last night I was in town for our camera club meeting. During a short break for coffee we all stepped outside the building to get a breath of fresh air to be met with this glorious pattern in the sky. Just too good to missed and suddenly a load of photographers are diving for their camera bags.

Sunset In Prestatyn

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

After the meeting I thought I’d take a chance and head down to the beach, maybe I’d get a good sunset. It wasn’t looking that promising but living on the coast cloud patterns can change rapidly, so you never know.

At first it was looking good. Some nice clouds forming with good colour in them.

Nova Centre

But as the sun began to set it was obvious that I wasn’t going to get anything as good as the first photograph.

It is light that reveals, light that obscures, light that communicates. It is light I “listen” to. The light late in the day has a distinct quality, as it fades toward the darkness of evening. After sunset there is a gentle leaving of the light, the air begins to still, and a quiet descends. I see magic in the quiet light of dusk. I feel quite, yet intense energy in the natural elements of our habitat. A sense of magic prevails. A sense of mystery. It is a time for contemplation, for listening – a time for making photographs. – John Sexton

Not A Great Sunset

No magic tonight! But I was happy to just be there, doing something I love, on a warm summers evening. Just as an aside. These three photographs are the first sunsets I have taken this year. I must be slipping….

The Earth Is Art, The Photographer Is Only A Witness…..

So said Yann Arthus-Bertrand  in his book: “Earth from Above, Third Edition” and I tend to agree. So this week come with me to Big Pool Wood and Talacre Beach to see what I have witnessed. Big Pool Wood is a small nature reserve managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Despite its name the pool is quite small and only really fills up during the winter. But with the addition of a new bird hide and a dedicated team of photographers we are beginning to see all that the wood has to offer.

I’ve written about BPW before, mainly about the birds who visit, so let’s go for a walk around the woods, which you can do in about 15 minutes, or if you are like me, constantly stopping to take photographs, it could take an hour. Spring is here and the Mallard Ducklings have left the safety of the reed beds to paddle in the pool. There were seven little ducklings a week or so back but it looks like predators, or other Mallard Ducks, have whittled the population down by almost half.

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Of course with Spring, comes colour and the wood is now carpeted with purple and blue flowers.

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Bluebells form the biggest carpet and the path through the woods is lined either side by them.

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And flowers bring out insects like these Orange Tipped Butterflies. Common in the UK, so I haven’t really found anything rare.

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Likewise for this Comma, another common butterfly to be found in the UK.

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Not far from BPW is Talacre Beach and it with being such a fine day it seemed a shame not to pay a visit. Now if you go onto the beach it will be busy. But take a walk amongst the dunes and you will see plenty of wildlife. But you can also photograph the lighthouse with showing people and you get a different sort of photograph from what others might take if they were on the beach.

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Whilst I was walking through the dunes I came across this little Meadow Pipit, shot at the extreme length of my zoom lens and against a very bright background I struggled to get a decent photograph, especially as I had to crop in so much but the new Olympus camera with the improved sensor has done a reasonable job at the distance involved. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not perfect by any means, far from it, but at least I managed to get it good enough to post on my blog.

 

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As you wander around the dunes you see the odd sign of man made structures. During WWII Talacre was used as a bombing range and in later years there were buildings in amongst the dunes. Nowadays all that’s left are bits of fence like this.

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I’d just got back to the car-park when I spotted a little Robin perched in a tree. It was very quiet, normally they’re singing their little hearts out but this one wasn’t. He/She (both have that distinctive red breast) hung around long enough for me to get a few photographs and then took off.

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Right that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed the photographs and as usual here’s what other bloggers have got to say about this weeks challenge.

Exploring the world Wild flowers
Shape Shifters – Wind Rush
Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – Or, The Earth At My Feet – Petchary’s Blog
The Photo Junkie Earth II- Belogradchik Rock Formations
Pictures without film. Solstice Sunrise revisited – Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
Simply Photos Here Today – Gone Tomorrow
Our Beautiful Earth – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery
The Blog of Maggie Weekly Photo Challenge- EARTH
picturesimperfectblog Synecdoche
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth