A Mixed Bag This Week

A bit of a mixed bag this week for the challenge. It’s strange how we all interpret a theme differently but this is how I see security. Weston-super-Mare has some fantastically wide and long beaches but it has one major failing. The tide goes out such a long distance and after the sand ends horrible thick cloying mud is exposed, the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the seafront. Trust me you don’t want to walk into it. you sink quickly and can immediately be up to your knees. Now here’s the worrying part. The tide that went out so far comes back in at a really fast speed and it’s unforgiving. If you’re stuck in the mud, and each year people do, you’d better hope the Rescue Team get to you in time, because Weston-super-Mare has one of the highest tidal rises in the world as much as 48ft (14.5m).

So for people’s own security and safety there are signs all along the beach warning of the dangers of sinking mud, and yet they are often ignored.

Danger Sinking Mud

Still in Weston-super-Mare. Because of those fast, incoming tides it is all too easy to get caught out. Take a look at the photograph below. On the causeway between Knightstone Island and WSM the tide often surges over the top. Now Knightstone really isn’t an island anymore. There is a perfectly good road which loops round the sea-front and is not much longer than the causeway. So there’s no need to put yourself in danger by walking across when the tide is coming in. Remember, it’s a fast tide that rises a considerable height. Look at the little dog on the lead. it’s been turned around by the waves. At this point she was halfway across and fortunately she made it safely……..

Washed Away

……and here’s the same causeway on a wild and stormy night.

Stormy Night

Further along the coast is Uphill Beach. You can walk from WSM to Uphill and it’s a really nice walk with sand dunes and of course long sandy beaches. Here they have a similar problem with mud, but there’s also an additional problem on the beach – boy racers. You can drive on Uphill beach and often the idiots will come on and start tearing up and down at a fair old speed. Supposedly there is a speed limit of 15mph but they don’t pay attention to that. So there are signs warning beach goers about the mud and speeding cars.. The local farmer makes a small amount of money each year towing cars out of the mud before the tide comes in. I’ve even towed a family car out that got stuck in soft sand.

Uphill Beach

I took this photograph a long time ago and it’s an old lighthouse at Burnham-on-Sea. further along the coast from WSM. Since I took this the steps have been repaired but it’s a long time since I’ve been to Burnham- so I can’t really say if the lighthouse is still in good repair.

The Tower

Although they have weapons, I think these guards are more for show than anything else. This is a popular tourist spot – Prague Castle.

On Guard

Anyway that’s it for this week and like I said a bit of a mixed bag which hopefully convey some meaning around security.

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

Margaretakirken – artishorseshit
By Tram, Escalator and Ferry- Hong Konging it – psychologistmimi
phoetryartwrasana Catalyst
This is Another Story A Special Necklace
Hot Dogs and Marmalade New Use for an iPod
This, that and the other thing Weekly Photo Challenge- Security…the One
Half a photograph Security
Weekly Photo Challenge- Security – nancy merrill photography
Weekly Photo Challenge. Security. – The Digital Teacup
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Security

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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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

The Snowdonia National Park boasts areas of natural beauty; it’s I shoot most of my landscape photographs. The park has an area of roughly about 838 square miles.

Snowdonia National Park

Boundary Markers for the park can be seen all over and surprisingly the park not only encompasses the beautiful mountains and rivers I photograph, it also includes farmland and forests.

Within the park though there are natural boundaries. Flowing rivers. This one is pretty quiet just now, but when winter and the rains come it will be a flowing torrent.

Afon Nant Peris

Mountains also act a natural boundaries. Only the fit and sometimes foolish are prepared to tackle them and each year we hear of someone being killed or seriously injured whilst on the mountains. The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, who are all volunteers, were called out 34 times in August this year. In total they spent 750 man hours helping people who were in trouble on Snowdon and the surrounding mountains.

Have a look at this video showing one of the most dramatic  and dangerous walks in Snowdonia, the knife-edge track over Crib Goch. I’ve been walking down at the lake you can see in the video, watching people walk Crib Goch high above me, when the clouds have rolled in, completely covering the summit.

Dramatic. I couldn’t do it. Or maybe I should say I wouldn’t do it. I’m not experienced enough and I know my limits.

Of course in the park there are also man-made boundaries, gates, stone walls and barbed wire fences. Mainly they are there to keep the sheep in, not the walker and climber out. It always amazes me though when you see a stone wall which almost runs up to the summit a mountain in the National Park. The amount of effort which must have gone into, not only building the wall, but getting the stones there in the first place.  Look closely at this photograph you can see the wall stretching into the distance.

The Gate

Fortunately, there are many paths through the National Park and to save damage to the walls, wooden styles are provided for walkers to climb over.

Gate and Steps

Weather of course can act a boundary. Whilst I’m happy to walk up to Cwm Idwal, one of the easiest walk in Snowdonia, I’d think twice about doing it in bad weather conditions or heavy snow. Not entirely true. I have been up there when it was snowing. Not fun and I was glad to walk back down again.

52/2013 Week 4

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

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge. Pay them a visit, you won’t regret it.

https://vannillarock.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/boundaries-flags-and-national-identity/
https://thewishfactor.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/weekly-photo-challenge-boundaries/
https://gottatakemorepix.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/wpc-boundaries/
http://asawyersdaughter.com/2015/10/05/weekly-photo-challenge-boundaries/
https://corleyfoto.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/weekly-photo-challenge-boundaries/
https://asnappshot.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/manhattan-bridge/
http://susielindau.com/2015/10/05/unlock-your-imagination-photo-essay/
https://dspda.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/weekly-photo-challenge-boundaries/
https://senkaustav.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/boundaries-and-a-breakthrough/
https://pictorailmotions.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/2/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Doesn’t time fly? I’ve been busy this week, what with a trip into the National Park combined with a one to one photography session, a good walk and then working through some lessons on Luminosity Masks.

So busy that I’ve not been checking emails and I suddenly realised that it’s Friday morning and I haven’t even started this weeks challenge post. So what inspires me? Nowadays it has to be the beautiful scenery we have in the Snowdonia National Park.

Pen yr Ole Wen

A this time of the year the grass is nice and green and the heather is just starting to bloom. Walking trails become eroded and dry out, the white stones stand out from the lush green grass

Steps to Tryfan

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. – Man Ray

Padarn Tree

I chose nature photography as a way of capturing and sharing the beauty, power, and fragility of wild places and the life that inhabits them, so that those who have become mired in the man-made chaos may open their eyes to the real world. – Guy Tal

I love nature photography, fresh air, sun (sometimes), a good walk accompanied by a camera. What more could you ask for?

Heather

Whilst I’m out walking, it gives me time to think, to achieve an inner calm, to appreciate nature. The remoteness, especially in parts of the National Park always amaze me. Hard to think that not much more than 15 minutes walk from where I’m standing to take this photograph is a busy main road which cuts through the National Park.

My goal as a person and, consequently, as a photographer, is to witness, participate in, and hopefully share the delicate beauty of wilderness – those moments in time when nature and spirit transcend the make-believe world of politics, economics, religious squabbles, fleeting fashion, mass “entertainment,” and other means of wasting the precious gift of thought and inspiration we are each endowed with. – Guy Tal

That’s it for this week. A bit later than I intended. I said I was busy. It’s now late afternoon and I’ve just got back from another photo session on Talacre Beach, site of my favourite lighthouse, so now I’m really behind schedule.

Anyway, here’s what other have said about this weeks challenge.

Elizabatz Gallery Weekly Photo Challenge- Inspired by Monet
Life in the Foothills Inspiration – A WordPress Photo Challenge
Wishing My Life Away Weekly Photo Challenge- Inspiration
My Photographic Life Inspiration- Friends
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Inspiration
Half a photograph Variety
Sky Blue Pink Design Weekly Photo Challenge- Inspiration
Anything for the Photo My Secret to Happiness
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Inspiration – Light Painting
Annika Kellner foto Weekly Photo Challenge – Inspiration