It’s Saturday–Time For Black And White

The last three weeks have been pretty hectic with not much time for photography. A quick trip to Big Pool Wood and Talacre lighthouse to test the new camera and last Saturday I managed to arrange a day In Chester to take some photographs….and as usual the best laid plans etc. It was raining, dark grey skies, really overcast, but “plans is plans” and off I went. A good few weeks back I did a post about Chester Cathedral and Saturday was supposed to have been the architecture, Chester has some amazing Black and White buildings and covered walkways, called The Rows. The E-M1 Mk2 is weather-proof, so rain doesn’t really matter too much, apart from getting spots of water on the lens front, guaranteed to happen if you are shooting architecture, so Plan B, I always have a plan, was dusted off and brought into action. Street Photography.

The lovely thing about street photography is the best of is absolutely no way you can stage or even think of – it just like – it happened and isn’t it weird and it is gone.. I think the crazies stuff is the stuff that is generally real and the stuff you can make up is less impressive. – Matt Stuart

If you understand what Matt was saying, let me know.

Wet Chester

See what I mean about those lovely Black and White buildings, another day, maybe. I found a good spot to stand, it’s directly opposite me just to the left of the steps and two windows in. One it was out of the rain, you can see the dry spot on the street, and two it was ideal for catching my victims unwilling subjects as they came round the corner.

No matter what city you are in, at least here in the UK, Saturday is always good for Hen and Stag parties as the next two photographs show.

Strange People

Here comes the bride, can’t understand why she has shut her eyes, maybe it’s a surprise

Bride To Be

Chester is one of those town, they see so many tourists and photographers that they really don’t pay that much attention to another fool with a camera…..

I'm On The Phone

…..and those Black and White buildings are really fantastic to photograph. Just a shame people get in the way.

Friends

I’ve heard of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, even been and visited it, but this is some serious lean. Ooops! It’s me. I haven’t got the horizon straight.

The Tower

Coffee time, at this point in the day I could do with one myself. This is another nice spot to take a photograph. People seem totally unaware that I’m standing there.

Coffee Time

On the same street, just a little bit further up and another convenient spot to take photographs.

Street photography is a renewable resource. If you don’t like what you see wait 5 minutes or walk a hundred feet. – Craig Coverdale

The Two Of Us

Watch out! They’re coming. On a wet day like Saturday he was doing a roaring trade in selling umbrella’s.

Smoke Time

….and there were lots of them about. Big ones, small one, all designed to poke your eye out. I’m tall and when I walk about in areas where there are lots of umbrellas I have to keep a constant eye, excuse the pun, for someone with their head down, scurrying along, underneath an umbrella.

Tourists

In Chester, there is a great area called The Rows. It’s a series of covered walkways with shops on one side that allow you to get about without getting wet. Well that’s how I look at it….

The Rows - Chester

Of course there are those who don’t mind getting wet, I other the other hand do like to keep dry, so this was taken from that nice little sheltered spot I mentioned earlier.

Happy Clappy

My final photograph for this week . I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did taking them – Mike

The Two Of Us Again

Advertisements

A Mountain Path–Back To My Roots

Regular readers will know that I am a great fan of Ansel Adams and his amazing Black and White photographs taken in the Sierra Nevada’s, his spiritual home, and in America’s great State Parks. You might also have noticed that in the last few weeks I’ve been doing a bit of bird photography, which I have a bitter-sweet relationship with.

Like Ansel Adams, I’m more at home in the mountains taking landscape photographs….and so that is my path for next year. Go back to my roots and spend more time in the mountains. Now obviously I can’t go to the Sierra Nevada and in a country the size of UK there really isn’t any great wilderness left. There are some areas where you could go walking and not see anyone else but in truth you are never really that far from civilisation.

However the Snowdonia National Park has some great areas to photograph and that’s where I’m going to be next year.

Old House

I’ve photographed many places in the National Park but this time I’m going to be looking at it differently. For a start I want to try to get it right in Black and White, medium that I’ve dabbled with before, mainly for street photography

Ask yourself, “Why am I seeing and feeling this? How am I growing? What am I learning?” Remember: Every coincidence is potentially meaningful. How high your awareness level is determines how much meaning you get from your world. Photography can teach you to improve your awareness level. – Ansel Adams

Lone Tree

Ansel Adams once said “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer”, and I want to you to see what I see, the stark beauty that can be found in the National Park.

This lone tree in the photograph above sits at the side of Llyn y Dywarchen. Why is it there? When you consider the landscape all around it’s amazing that it has grown to such a size and survived especially through it’s early years as a sapling. This is sheep country a tasty morsel like a new sapling would have gone down well to the sheep that roam this terrain. Yet it survived because it is growing against the side of a wall which stopped the sheep gaining access to it.

The Valley

Of course it means I have to be more prepared for walking the hills and getting off the beaten path. Where previously I would visit several locations in a day I think I need to research a location and stick to it. It’s all too easy in this digital age to press that shutter button and just keep taking photographs. But a more refined approach is called for.

The ‘machine-gun’ approach to photography – by which many negatives are made with the hope that one will be good – is fatal to serious results. – Ansel Adams

So that’s my path for the coming year. I hope you will join me – Mike

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.

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: One Love

Short one this week. I’ve been so busy with everything but photography. Whilst on my Berlin trip I came upon this man and his dog. From the way he dresses he looks like he could be down on his luck, but the dog looks well fed and very muscular. Who am I to say though? I don’t really know his circumstances.

One Man And His Dog

Anyway he hangs around Alexander Platz in the centre of Berlin and for a donation he will get the dog to sort of perform on the skate-board. Or you can buy a bratwurst from one of the street vendors who frequent this area which he shares with the dog.

That’s it for this week. Here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge

The Photographer Smiled… Souvenir of a love
One Love – Where I Ought To Be
Michelle Lunato Photography Family. Together With One Love
Hot Dogs and Marmalade First Grandchild
Ain’t Mine No More Weekly Photo Challenge- One Love
Street Art- Don’t Hate! – Susan Rushton
Jonathan Dudley Photography WPC – One Love
Anna Begins One Love
Jude’s Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- One Love
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- One Love

52 in 2015 Week 45 Street Photography

Street Photography. What a great choice for this weeks challenge.

Street photography is a renewable resource. If you don’t like what you see wait 5 minutes or walk a hundred feet. – Craig Coverdale

That’s what I did on Wednesday. Just had a walk around Llandudno with my camera strung around my neck. It’s amazing how people just don’t notice you are there.

52 in 2015 Week 45 Street Photography

Llandudno pier is always good for street photograph. People are busy playing the games so there’s always an opportunity to press the shutter without getting noticed.

Pavement cafe’s are always a good source for photographs., especially in Llandudno which seems to have more than it’s fair share of them

52 in 2015 Week 45 Street Photography (2)

I caught this old gentleman have a smoke outside the cafe. It’s not allowed inside any more so there’s always a chance you’ll find someone having a quick drag totally unaware that you have just pressed the shutter.

Well that’s it for this week. Once again I hope you enjoyed the photographs.