Push The Boat Out

I’m still struggling with the new schedule for the Weekly Photo Challenge. It just does not fit with my weekly schedule and so this week I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you.

I don’t know which is the more predominant colour here, that bright orange or the even brighter green of the benches in the shelter. What do you think? Green or Orange?

Beach Shelter

Now this is definitely green. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Tai O stilted village on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. you will see these little tourist boats running around. Personally I preferred to walk around the village, mainly because there are far better photo opportunities.

Tourists

Still in Hong Kong, if you get the chance visit the bird market, it’s right next to the flower market so you can kill two birds (excuse the pun) with one stone. Anyway, these are green birds with a little bit of red.. I’m very good at identifying birds as regular readers well know.

The Birds

Looks like I’m on a Hong Kong roll this week. This you definitely have to do. Catch the Star Ferry across the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It’s a quick trip across Victoria Harbour, lasting about 15 minutes. Push the boat out (not another pun?) and pay extra for the Upper Deck. HK$ 2.50 or about UK£ 0.25p, US$ 0.30c.

Celestial Star

My last one today. I’ve been playing around with compositing photos. The model is a stock photograph courtesy of Marcus Ranum

The Sword

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

Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site Photo Challenge- Green
New Shoots – Beyond the Window Box
A Texan’s View of Upstate New York Oh So Green
嘗試 Try – Lived in UK, Living in Taiwan
Welcome! It IS easy being Green! Photo gallery
It IS easy being green- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge…..GREEN
simply.cindy Gallery of Green
“Snotgreen Sea” – Beach Books Blog
through the luminary lens Spring has Sprung

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Upstairs, Downstairs Part 2

Better late than never as they, although due to circumstances beyond my control I had to delay writing this post. Now that I’ve finished the unexpected re-decoration of our bedroom at home I can finally get around to writing this post. Sage green, nice colour, once you get used to it.

Continuing the story of Attingham Hall, In later years Attingham Hall was used as a hospital between 1914 and 1918 for wounded soldiers from World War 1. After the Second World War, Attingham was used as an Adult Education College for 23 years so not a lot remains of the downstairs furnishings. Room that you see are typical of the time but I’m not sure how accurately they reflect actual life below stairs. So let’s get started.

This is the kitchen and of all the rooms below stairs this is probably the most truest representation. The lady was actually putting together the ingredients for a carrot soup when we visited.

The Kitchen

The smell of fresh lemons permeated this room. Attingham has an education program for school children and it looked like they had just finished a lesson in cooking. Pancakes I think….

Training

This room could have been the scullery it’s very close to the kitchen and would be where the pots and pans would have been washed and cleaned. No modern aids in here. Hard work and elbow grease was the only way to get anything clean.

Scullery

This room was laid out as the staff dining room. The plates you see on the table explain who would sit where. For instance on the nearest plate is the inscription

Head Coachman Frederick Nash, the highest ranking servant wearing livery. Employed for his skill driving and caring for horses. 35 gns per year.

A guinea was worth 1 pound and 1 shilling in old UK currency before we became decimalised. Nowadays that would be 1 pound and 5 pence. So in todays currency GBP £36.75 (USD $46).as an annual salary.

Staff Dining Room

Just behind and to my left from where I was standing, there is a set of stairs that lead straight up to the front door of Attingham . The dining room windows also face the driveway and the front of the hall so staff would be able to see any callers to the great house.

Right that just leaves the Silver Room which has a large vault like door to secure the house silver which you can see in the cabinets

Silver Room

That’s it. The rooms are not as ornate or decorative. Plain and functional as you would expect for an downstairs in a great house.

Shadows And Highlights–A Study In HDR

This new schedule, Wednesday to Tuesday, for the weekly photo challenge, is playing havoc with my diary. With the old one we’d be told on the Friday, I use the weekend to plan and usually go out on a Wednesday. Write the new blog post on a Thursday. But that’s not to be, anymore. Nevertheless I need to get a blog post out so here goes. Wednesday saw me in Chester Cathedral. I’ve visited before but never with the camera so I felt it was time to rectify the situation. The cathedral has some great places to photograph. the Cloisters, Gardens, Lady Chapel and Quire Stalls to name but a few. So let’s start with the cloisters. I was hoping for some better shadows, but the light outside was just dull grey, so very little light was cast through the stained glass windows. It didn’t help that the cloisters were also lit by spotlights and those wall lights you can see, throwing a very orange cast over everything. Sure I can compensate for this, either in the camera or in post, but it’s one of those extra annoying things to deal with.

Chester Cathedral

I have to say that in most of the photographs you will see today I resorted to using HDR and my trusty old friend PhotoMatix. Now there’s a piece of software I haven’t used for some time.

I’ve swung far from the straight and narrow path of straight photography… I’ve done some hokus pokus that would make the shadow of Daguerre haunt me for a heretic. – Anne Brigman

Wandering around the cathedral I found this room with very high arches, Same thing again, a lot of lighting, it was giving me the shadows and some nice highlights, but once again, maybe a bit too severe.

Chester Cathedral 1

 

Still you work with what you’ve got

If the lighting in a scene is non-uniform or if there are shadows, the lighting will, in general, appear more non-uniform and the shadows darker in the picture than in the original scene. This is purely a visual effect having nothing to do with the photographic process as such. – Ralph Evans

Anyway, moving on. Chester, like many cathedrals, attracts lot od visitors, some come to pray, some to look at the architecture and stained glass, some to photograph it, like me. What I like is that during services, they ban photography and ask for silence, as a mark of respect, so I left my visit to the Lady Chapel until later in the day.

Chester Cathedral 1_2

 

At the rear of the Lady Chapel is a stone monument, the Shrine to Saint Werburgh, patron saint of Chester. Originally the shrine was located at Hanbury in Staffordshire, but continuing Viking raids in the late 9th century prompted it to be moved to the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. (Now the site of Chester Cathedral). During this period and before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 a monastery was established. Later, under the Normans a Benedictine Abbey was founded. Under the Normans the shrine continued to be a site of pilgrimage.

Then in 1540 came the dissolution of the Abbey, which later led to the creation of Chester Cathedral. Want to know more about the Dissolution Of The Monasteries, one of the most revolutionary events in English history, follow this link. Note this will take you to Wikipedia and open a separate page.

The Shrine was broken up during the dissolution and Werburgh’s relics were lost. In 1876 what was left of the stonework that survived was reassembled and put on display at the back of the main nave in the Lady Chapel.

Chester Cathedral 1_1

You know I took so many photographs whilst I was here, this blog post could have been 5 times as long, maybe I’ll do a second one with another batch of photographs. Meanwhile,

Chester Cathedral 1_4

Now this was really hard to photographs. There was a constant procession of people and it wasn’t so well-lit, so I was having to take a lot more bracket sets than I intended..and in everyone, someone would walk through the scene. So In desperation I dug out my trusty 10 stop ND filter and went for an extremely long exposure instead of an HDR. Don’t ask me the science behind it, but a long exposure will remove all moving objects, i.e. people from your photograph. Better still if you can get a really long exposure, in the region of several minutes you should be able to “make disappear” those who tend to walk slowly or stand still in your photograph.

That’s some nice stained glass so I went in for a closer look.

Chester Cathedral 1_3

Well that’s it for this week. Just a few photographs from my wander around Chester Cathedral. I hope you enjoyed them.

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

Shadow of the Lake – Progressing into Solitude
Visions Of A Daydreamer Weekly Photo Challenge- Shadow
IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT – A Penny For My Thought
Shadows 1, 2 & 3 – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Sue’s words and pictures Shadow selfie
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Shadow
Schatten photo – writingindevizes
What Rings Like a Bell But Makes No Sound- – Nes Felicio Photography
Shadows – Are you still reading-

Something’s New

Last week I mentioned that I was changing the software I would be using for processing my photographs. This week I’ve changed the theme I use for Say It With A Camera. This will probably be the last post where I embed the photographs from Flickr. For some time now I have been worrying about the forthcoming deal between Verizon and Yahoo, who own Flickr. Verizon are a telecoms company. Are they likely to want a photo sharing site? I’m not so sure but I’ve got to start hedging my bets because if they were to drop Flickr I would have an awful lot of broken links on my blog. Just about every previous post would be without photographs.

So I’ve got to start forward planning just in case.Right then, Ambience. It’s been a while since I’ve featured any of the historic churches that we have here in North Wales. I like photographing them, especially using HDR and then in final processing softening the focus just a little. So here’s a few just for fun.

Many of these old churches are quite ornate, look at that organ in the photograph below. The design of the pipes, Victorian workmanship at it’s best.

Saint Mary - The Organ

A simple church in some ways, but the wooden rail is exquisitely carved. Look at the floor tiles as well.

Pulpit

This is a side area of another church. It’s a dedicated family area, not for families, I mean paid for by a single family, the local landowner and this is where they would worship.

Stained Glass

Yet compare those churches above with the simplicity of this one. I know what I prefer.

Llangelynnin Church

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

An Adventure A Day Friday Foto- Ambience
Ambience – Captivate Me
A Taswegian in Finland Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience
This is Another Story Weekend Retreat
Ana Linden Winter Moments – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience – Ingrid Dendievel Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Photo Challenge – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience – Marco’s Photoblog
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Ambience
The Snow Melts Somewhere Fading Light in Venezia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

Regular readers will know that I’m very fond of using HDR with my photographs and I’m always happy to be experimenting. Trying new looks or styles.

This week I have been testing a new software with some very good results. Whilst I say “new” it’s been around some time but just not in the mainstream of HDR software.

Any  way as usual I’m digressing. So where is my Happy Place? It’s got to be the Snowdonia National Park and if I have to be specific I’d say the Ogwen Valley and Nant Ffrancon.

Ogwen Valley Panorama

In the panorama above you can see the Ogwen Valley with Llyn Ogwen to your right and Nant Ffrancon, also a valley, to the left. I’m standing very close to Cwm Idwal at this point. It’s right behind me.

Llyn Ogwen

Llyn Ogwen is surrounded by mountains but luckily the A5 road runs right through the valley giving easy access to the lake and the mountains. Visit here during the summer, especially at weekends and there will be lots of cars parked in the various parking areas set aside for walkers and climbers.

At the far end of Llyn Ogwen lies the drop down to Nant Ffrancon, which is almost at right angles to this photograph. Go left at the far end and you will be at Cwm Idwal.

Let There Be Light

In this photograph we are looking the other way. Llyn Ogwen and the Ogwen Valley lie up there nestled between the mountains to the left of this photograph. Cwm Idwal is to the right of the photograph, also hidden behind the mountains.

Can you see why I have this area as my Happy Place?

Of course visit in the winter and you will see things differently. This is the same road that you can see in the photograph above. Fortunately it’s not the main road. That’s the black line you can see  to the left of the photograph about 2/3 rds of the way up. Where it meets the black clump of trees, that’s where the road bends to the Ogwen Valley.

Icy Road

Incidentally that’s where I got stuck on the ice. Even with 4 wheel drive I was just slipping and getting closer to the edge. Thankfully my fellow photographers where able to guide me back to safety. A hairy moment at the time.

Ponies

Snow brings the wild ponies down from the higher slopes almost to the edge of the road. Although they live wild, I’ve always found them pretty friendly. Too friendly sometimes.

Water tumbles over rocks, I love to hear that sound, during the summer it can be just a trickle, but once the rains come or when the snow melts, it’s a different story.

Waterfall

Then there’s that bridge, I’m never quite sure if it lies in the Ogwen Valley or not as it’s at the start of the path to Cwm Idwal. One thing I’m pretty certain of. It must be the most photographed bridge and waterfall in Snowdonia. I’ve seen coach loads of tourists dropped off just to see this bridge……and they think they have seen the real Snowdonia

Wooden Bridge

So there you have it. My Happy Place and I hope you have enjoyed it with me?

Here’s what others bloggers are saying about their Happy Place

https://hikingmadness.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/happy-place-hiking/
https://racheldesaintpern.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/my-happy-place/
https://petalumaspectatorphotoblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/wordpress-weekly-photo-challenge-happy-place/
https://thestoryofmylifebyterismile.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/weekly-photo-challenge-happy-place/
https://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/weekly-photo-challenge-happy-place-10-9-15/
https://emiliopasquale.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/my-happy-place/
https://marthakennedy.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/my-tree/
http://2812photography.com/2015/10/09/woodshed/
https://mariajanssonphotography.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/weekly-photo-challenge-happy-place/
https://snaphappi.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/happy-place/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

This is a really quick post this week as I’ve been busy all week and suddenly realised it’s Thursday and I haven’t submitted anything.

Ogwen Bank

This is Ogwen Bank on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. The river is in constant flow and the rapids can vary in size depending on the rainfall in the mountains.

Sunlight streaming through the trees create ever-changing patterns on the rocks and the river.

That’s it this week. Sorry it’s short but I’ve got a wedding to go to.

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

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/10/01/more-on-change-day-and-night/
https://girlsjustlikeus.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/change/
https://shantanuchandra.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/sports-photography-toshiba_india-day110/
https://whenthedoorcloses2014.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/to-everything-there-is-a-season/
http://jennifersawicky.com/2015/09/29/photo-challenge-change/
https://awakeariseablaze.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/change-on-the-ridge/
https://smswsf.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/weekly-photo-challenge-change/
https://yearonecamera.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/day-124-i-didnt-move-the-camera-the-earth-did/
https://elleturner4.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/weekly-photo-challenge-change/
https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/change/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate

One of the reasons I like photographing old churches is that you see many intricate patterns in the floors, stained glass windows, the stone and wood carvings.

Gloucester Cathedral Cloister

They often prove a challenge to photograph and sometimes I much prefer the simplicity of the simple old stone churches that can be found here in North Wales.

Photography has an amazing ability to capture the fine detail of surface textures. But far too often these intricate patterns are loved by the photographer for their own sake. The richness of texture fascinates the eye and the photographer falls easy prey to such quickly-caught complexities. The designs mean nothing in themselves and are merely pictorially attractive abstractions. A central problem in contemporary photography is to bring about a wider significance in purely textural imagery. – Arthur Tress

On my travels in Gloucestershire I found this amazing little 12th century. Quite simple inside with paintings of saints, coats of arms and hunting scenes from the 13th century.

Hailes Church

Although they are simple paintings there are many intricate patterns to be seen but compared to the photograph from Gloucester Cathedral above or Tewkesbury Abbey below, they really are very simple.

The Abbey Floor

I love the tiled floor at Tewkesbury but as Arthur Tress says it’s all too easy to get caught up by the intricate patterns and ruin a good photograph.

So I’m going to ask you a question…”what captures your eye the most in this photograph?”

Related Articles – See what other bloggers are writing about Intricate

Weekly Photo Challenge – Intricate
https://svetlanagrobman.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/weekly-photo-challenge-intricate/
https://maggiecarlise.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/weekly-photo-challenge-intricate/
https://thegreenwichmummy.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/weekly-photo-challenge-intricate/
https://emwell2.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/intricate/

Erenee: The Intricate Handbag

https://sillarit.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/daily-post-photo-challenge-intricate/
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https://shootngo.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/weekly-photo-challenge-intricate/