Llanrwst And I Got Wet

Now you might have noticed that I’ve changed the blog theme and there’s a reason behind that. I had a conversation the other day with a new reader to Say It With A Camera and after a while it became evident to me that somehow the aim for my blog had sort of gone by the wayside. Say It With A Camera was always intended to be about the photographs and yet there was I using a theme that spent more time advertising how I’d been Discovered, Freshly Pressed and in the Top 100 Blogs. You know I can’t even remember if that was photography or not. Worst of all, the photographs were small.

So I’ve gone back to a simple theme called Plane, taken out all the Widgets to give me a single column that hopefully will show the photographs so much better. Talking of photographs. All of these are 3 shot HDR using the Olympus combination of the OM-D E-M1 Mk2 and the 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens which is hardly ever off of the E-M1.

Anyway it’s that time of the year when the “little house” by the river in Llanrwst becomes probably one of the most photographed buildings in North Wales.

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont
1/180s, f11, ISO 200

The building does have a chequered history but it’s a tea room now and a very popular one at that. Oh! and the getting wet. First of all the river is in full flow, higher than normal. I came along the river side and had to wade across a large puddle were the river had burst it’s banks. Then to cap it all. I’d just got the tripod set up, the camera was on the tripod and suddenly the heavens opened. Driving rain and where I was standing there is just no shelter.

Not really that productive down by the river, so whilst I was in the area I decided to pay a quick visit to the church, more to dry out a little before going back to the car, than actually taking any photographs.

But seen as I was there, why not? The light wasn’t too bad, late afternoon sun, breaking through the clouds, giving some nice patches of light and shade, ideal for a bit of HDR. Just as a matter of interest the church was built in the late 15th century, although there have been more modern renovations to the church which were carried out in the 1840’s.

Church of St Grwst
2.0s, f11, ISO 200

Next door to the church is a small chapel which was built in the 17th century by Richard Wynn of Gwydir. Inside the chapel you can find 17th century stalls, a lectern and a communion table. Several stone monuments, dedicated to members of the Wynn family, as well as a 13th century stone coffin, supposedly that of Llywelyn the Great can be found.

Gwydir Chapel
1/40s, f8, ISO 200

So that’s it. All in all I got wet and to add insult to injury, walking back to the car the heaven opened again. Then to add even more insult. As soon as I left Llanrwst, the sun came out, the skies turned blue, with those beautiful white wispy clouds. It would have been perfect down by the river, especially with the sun starting to dip. But that’s the weather in Wales for you.


52 in 2015 Week 46 Motion

Well I must be doing something right as my photographs for Week 44 Abandoned and Week 45 Street Photography got the most votes each week and became the groups header photographs.

And so to this weeks challenge Motion. Once again I managed to get two photographs for this  challenge more by chance than design.

First up is this photograph taken at the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen, North Wales.

52 in 2015 Week 46 Motion

We had gone specifically to photograph the falls but I had spotted a Grey Heron fishing from a small island in the middle of the river, so I switched to my 150mm lens to get a close-up. Then these guys appeared from nowhere, paddling like crazy. Perfect! My first motion shot in the bag and with almost no effort.

The Horseshoe  Falls weren’t that interesting – I think I shot more of the heron and these guys paddling than I did of the falls.

Not long after this the gale force winds and heavy rain predicted for later in the day started  earlier than forecasted. So we decided to head home. But on the way back we stopped off at Llyn Aled and Aled Isaf. These are two isolated reservoirs out on the moors. It’s desolate but can be quite peaceful. Not today though, howling winds, whitecaps and driving rain. We could hardly get the car doors open, the wind was so strong. But i got my second motion photograph.

52 in 2015 Week 46 Motion(2)

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

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


Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Way

Yesterday the weather finally changed. Brilliant sunshine, a light breeze, blue skies and light puffy clouds. Perfect for a photography walk in the Snowdonia National Park.

Regular readers will know I am again taking part in a 52 challenge which is hosted on Flickr. So on the way to the National Park I decided to kill two birds with one stone and stop off in Betws-y-Coed to photograph the waterfall using a 10 Stop ND Filter which will give me a nice long exposure.

Flowing River

Well that didn’t happen. Too many people around, at least 3 school parties, being silly as well and I was worried that my camera and tripod might be knocked over. Have you ever had that happen to you? You visit somewhere with full intentions of taking a specific photograph and change your mind . So instead I just photographed the river before it went tumbling over the larger rocks a bit further on and decided to head on into the National Park.

On the way back to the car-park I came across this nice young man who was busy blowing bubbles. He was kind enough to let me photograph him and it really was too good an opportunity to miss


That’s it for this week. As usual feel free to comment on anything you have seen or read here.

Here’s what others are saying about this weeks photo challenge


A Walk in the Olive Groves

Last week I was in the picturesque town of Alhaurin el Grande which is located about 30 Kms from the capital city of Malaga on the Costa del Sol in Spain. Alhaurin is situated 239 meters above sea level and is one of the most picturesque villages in the Guadalhorce river valley, situated between the river Fahala and the stream of Blas González.  Almost all the town streets are narrow and winding which these days causes some traffic congestion. The town is nestled within rolling hills and wide open spaces that give a real feeling of space, the area to the north consists of plains, where agriculture is the main type of farming. To the south and southeast are the mountains.

Late one afternoon I took a walk in the olive groves of Las Lomas and then followed the old railway line down to the river. At this time of the year spring flowers are bursting out all over and it’s the same in the olive groves. As I was walking up the hill I came across these trees with a carpet of buttercups beneath them.

Continuing my walk over the hill I came across this old track lined with olive trees and another great carpet of buttercups.

I’ve heard so many stories about these buttercups. Some Spanish farmers will leave them alone and won’t touch them. They believe that the buttercups provide nourishment for the olive trees and also protect them. Others do take them away and many Brits who live in Spain do not allow them to grow below their trees. As a photographer I suppose I am selfish and hope that they stay because in my opinion they do make for a good photograph.

Right back to this track. Now tracks don’t appear for nothing, they usually go somewhere, so I decided to follow it over the hill. I’m glad I did because I found this old ruin perched on top of the hill.

In the backgroundyou can see the town of Alheurin el Grande….however, it wasn’t always called that.

There is evidence of neolithic settlements in the forests and hills nearby. By the time that the Romans arrived, the tiny Iberians settlement in the Sierra de Mijas was already well established, but if it had a name the Romans chose not to record it. Instead they gave it one of their own. The village became Lauro Nova. It was a spot apparently blessed by the gods: fertile, temperate, and surrounded by hills riddled with valuable mineral deposits. Roman villas popped up around the centre of the village and the hills are still dotted with their remains. Somehow I don’t think my ruin is an old Roman villa, not from what I found inside it. Later when the Moors arrived they built a fortress on a hilltop called Torres de Fahala .The Moors also gave it a new name: Alhaurín (Garden of Allah).  Anyway, I digress….

Coming down off the hill, I started my walk to the river, hoping to pick up a sight of the old railway line and the bridge over the river. It’s a reasonably nice walk at this time of the year, temperature’s not too bad and I was comfortably warm. As I continued my walk down the hill I came across some really nice fincas, including this one called Finca La Motta. If you look really closely you can see two dogs which seems to be a feature of many Spanish houses out in the country.

Talking of dogs, they are really crazy. In the morning you can hear them barking across the valley. It’s like a bush telegraph, with each set of dogs checking in with the others. During the day when it gets hot the quiten down and then in the early evening they’ll start again. It’s not obtrusive and you soon get used to it. They also act as a good warning signal that someone is about as they’ll bark at any passing cars or people on foot…..and they have a handover system as well. Dogs in house one will pass you onto house two further down the road, they’ll  then stop barking, house two will start and then pass you onto house three etc etc.

Right where were we? Oh yeah I remember, walking down towards the river. Where’s the road gone, suddenly I’m walking on a dirt track, which is also typical of many Spanish country roads, One minute you’re on solid tarmac, the next it’s either rough pebble stone (good for the tyres) or dirt track, fine when it’s dry but you better have 4 wheel drive when it’s raining.

Almost there, I can hear the river and see the ruined bridge now. It really is in a bad state of repair since I last saw it. I was hoping to take some landscapes from the bridge but i don’t think it’s too safe.

That bridge really is dangerous and there’s no way I’m climbing up to it to see if it’s good for photographs. I’m now back on solid tarmac but I suppose it has to be to allow the cars to cross the ford across the river. Most of the time it’s quite sedate and it’s easy to cross, but last week due to the heavy rains it was a raging torrent and almost impassible

Well, that’s it. I’m going to follow the river a bit more and see if it has anything more to offer