Feral Goats In Dinorwic

Sometimes you just get lucky. I haven’t written anything to Say It With A Camera in weeks. Just no interest in blogging. But today I got lucky and found the goats down on the lower slopes, just minding their own business. Too good an opportunity not to share. Have I got the will to start writing again…….I hope so.

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The Winding Road

It’s a nice day for a walk in the hills. No one about and just the sound of sheep on the slopes. Clouds are getting thicker and darker. Will it rain?

Another Year Has Gone……I’m Getting Old

It’s nearly the end of the year and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite photographs that I have taken throughout 2017. It’s hard to choose though but here goes.

January started off blustery with some high seas. It’s hard to believe from this photograph that when the tide goes out I can walk around the base of this marker which is probably about 30ft high. Our tides are quite high at times; combine that with an on-shore breeze an there is potential for flood damage. That’s why we have some very large sea defences. This marker notes that underneath surface there are large rocks, the first part of our defences, positioned to break up tidal surges.

January

February saw me in Chester Cathedral which I had been meaning to visit for some years now, but just never got around to it. The cathedral is very large inside and I was thinking about how to show the scale. So I was really please when one of the clergy cam and sat down right in front of me. If you look really closely you will see two other people, but they are lost in the scale of the cathedral.

February

In the UK we are lucky to still have many of our stately homes in good preservation order thanks to the National Trust, of which I am a member. Although tripods aren’t allowed, photography is is permitted and so I’m able to get some great photographs from inside the houses I have visited. I like this one with the table set for dinner.

March

Back in Chester, this time on the streets on a cold, wet and windy April’s day. With horrible grey skies, street photography seemed the best option. A bit of Black & White, some extreme HDR and there you go….

April

Warmer climes in May, beautiful sunny Lisbon, Portugal. Walking away from the tourist paths I came across a series of street art, that was on doors, the sides of building, even the streets themselves. This one caught my eye, although to be honest I could have included any of the ones I photographed that day.

May

I am extremely luck that in summer time the sun sets out to sea. This can make for some great “big sky” sunsets. Yet in this case, here I am in town, with the sun starting to set and so I decided to go for the silhouette.

June

July caught me chasing sunsets again, this time at Talacre and the lighthouse. Only this time I was trying to capture some long exposures which give the clouds that blurred look and the sea looks as though it has gone flat and milky.

July

When I knew I was going to be visiting the South of France I was determined to get to the Museum of Photography in Chalon-sur-Saone. August was so hot with temperatures in the 40’s centigrade. far too hot to be walking around. Inside the museum it was like a sweat box but I was determined to stick it out and see the exhibits.

August

One of the things I like about Olympus, as well as the cameras, is that they run experience days, where Olympus users can get together with Olympus experts, to ask questions, borrow equipment for the day and usually get some good deals as well. It give you a chance to meet other Olympus users who are likely to be local to you area as well. So in September we were on the Llangollen Railway which is a heritage line running here in North Wales. Apart from the weather, a great day out as we had access to areas that, such as the workshops and signal boxes, that most visitors never get access to.

September

Another overseas trip, this time to Budapest. Of all the photographs I took in Berlin I had to include this one of the Parliament taken from the Buda side of the river. Such an ornate building and well-lit at night, great for photography

October

It was cold, so cold, but a gang of us decided to brave the temperature, to photograph the bridge over the River Dee at Connah’s Quay in November. I had all the gear on that I normally wear for walking in the mountains so I should have been warm, but when you are just standing around you don’t generate your own internal heat the same way. We stuck it for about an hour, then decided to move on to Flint Castle. Never did get that photograph because the snow started to fall and unusually the castle wasn’t lit, as it usually is at night.

November

Unusually for me, I’ve only been out on one photography trip through December and that was to a long-standing engagement to take a walk around the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool. It’s an industrial area that has many old buildings and warehouses; along with some great street art. What more could a photographer ask for.

December

Well that’s it for this year, for those who take part in the Weekly Challenge, here’s to some new and interesting ones in 2018.

I’d like to thank all those who follow Say It With A Camera. Your comments are appreciated and hopefully I have managed to acknowledge all of your comments over the last year. Finally I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year – Mike

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

It’s 6:55 am and I’ve just stirred. Got a lot to do today. Sort through a load of photographs I’ve took yesterday with the new Olympus Lens, the M Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II. I’ve bought it specifically for wildlife and those low flying aircraft that fly through the valleys here in North Wales. I’ve also got to start preparing my talk, with photographs of course, on “Abandoned Industrial Buildings in Snowdonia”. Strange as it may seem the National Park, known for it’s mountains and lakes also had an industrial heritage, mainly Slate mining.

Anyway time to get out of bed and get to work…..

Morning.jpg

Alright – maybe that’s not my bedroom but I wanted to show you this anyway.

I’m probably at my most productive first thing in the morning. The house is quiet, I can think and write without interruption for about an hour before my wife stirs. Yesterday I paid a visit to Conwy Bird Reserve. Like the Mach Loop it’s hit and miss what you might see in the lagoons or the estuary. The birds are wild, they choose to be there because they can find food, if there’s nothing they will move elsewhere. It’s not too far away from me so it’s a good place to practice with the new lens and see it’s limitation if any.

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Dotted around the reserve are some bird feeders, they attract the smaller nervous birds who will fly in quick, grab seeds and fly back into the trees. I was standing about 10 metres from the feeder which is surrounded by trees on three sides, making the area pretty dark. In an ideal world a good test would be to try to catch them in flight, not as easy as it sounds. I failed miserably yesterday, but that was down to me having the wrong shutter speed on the camera. If it’s too slow the wings just look a blurry mess. Thank goodness aircraft are much easier to photograph. Lock the focus, track the aircraft, fire the shutter. Easy in theory but the low flying military jet is moving pretty fast through the sky so you have to be spot on with getting that focus locked and that’s down to the lens. It has to be fast and not hunt.

Down on the estuary this junior Black Headed Gull had settled down to wait for the incoming tide which brings fish and nutrients with it. Probably about 70 metres away from me.

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Walking through the reserve woods I came upon this Green Finch sitting on a branch about 5 metres from me. I’m surprised I didn’t startle it. Hanging out of it’s mouth is the wing of some insect. I managed to take a couple of photographs before it flew off. But this was a good test for snap focusing and getting a useable photograph.

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Out on the lagoons the Little Egrets were doing their usual fishing routine about 50 metres from me. They disturb the silt by moving their feet, that’s why there are bubbles, then they dive in with that long beak and catch their food.

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At another feeder I found this Bullfinch. It’s colours are not as bright as they can be, mainly down to looking after their babies. See them in the Spring and the colours are so vibrant.

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Way across the lagoon I spotted this Grey Heron standing on a large stone. Probably trying to get a bit more height to see if there are any fish about. In reality it was far too far away to get a decent photograph

Grey Heron Far Away

but surprisingly I was able to crop in to get a photograph I could use for FaceBook, Instagram or Blogging. It doesn’t look it in the photograph because I have already zoomed in but that Heron was about 200 metres from me

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My final photograph for this morning is of a junior Green Finch. To be honest I had no idea what this was, my ability or lack of it to identify birds is well-known, I had to ask one of the reserve wardens  what it was. This was a real close-up. It didn’t seem to have any fear but I was able to get to about three metres from it.

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So there you go, the first part of my morning has come and gone. Time for a nice cup of tea and then I need to look at the industrial ruins for that talk I’m giving in September. Oh! and a heads up. I will be away at the end of the month travelling through Germany and the Netherlands for a week of  photography along the River Rhine.

Right here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Weekly Photo – Monsoon Mornings – Joel Locaylocay Photography
Weekly Photo Challenge- Morning – Liz McCafferty
Morning Menu – Laura’s Photos
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Morning
The Land Slide Photography Morning
Olssons universum Photo challenge- I feel good!
Westport lake views – Kee Wynne Photography
Mama Cormier WPC – Morning
hereisandrea weekly photo challenge- morning
Rebecca Gillum Photography See the day Begin

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