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.
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
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.
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
It’s early morning, the sun is up and I’m sitting in my study watching a rainbow form out to sea. Looks like we are going to be in for some heavy weather as the clouds are really dark and rain laden. How transient a rainbow can be. There one minute and then gone in a second. Anyway I digress. This weeks challenge is one of those WordPress ones that I hate. To me it is ambiguous, that’s a big word for so early in the morning, I prefer solid subjects.
Where better to see change than Autumn, especially on the mountains, the bracken changes from green to gold, the trees start to take on those brilliant patches of orange, reds and yellow whilst patches of sunlight breaking through the clouds dapple the slopes.
As winter approaches the landscape will change. The lake will freeze up, the tree will lose its leave sand I can guarantee that there will be snow here. Even now the heather has lost it’s brilliant purple hue as it gets ready for winter.
The night before last I went to Talacre Beach, it’s been a while since I’ve been there, mainly because of tourists. In the summer time it’s almost impossible to get a good photograph of the lighthouse or a sunset. You can forget that. because there will always be someone there clambering over the rocks or steps. You can’t stop them, the beach is open to everyone and lots stay for the sunsets. But in the late Autumn and Winter it’s totally different. For a start the sunset is a lot earlier, although not out to sea. But the other good thing, you hardly see anyone on the beach. It’s too cold for most people. Talacre is long and open with no protection from the prevailing winds which tend to be from the sea, so you have to wrap up well.
Sunsets too are very brief. The light changes so fast but at this time of the year you get those great cloud formations which make for some amazing colours in the sky when the sun sets. Finally I’d like to leave you with another Autumn scene looking down the valley towards Snowdon in the distance. Anyone could get this photograph, it’s taken from a roadside stop on the main A5 road just outside Betws-y-Coed.
So that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike
As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.
This is Another Story Color Transformation
From Egg to Sheer Beauty – Micks Blog
Doug Couvillion’s Photo Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Transmogrify
Sea Play Photography Weekly Challenge- Transmogrify
XingfuMama My little pumpkins don’t do scary
Crafting Photolog Weekly Photo Challenge- Transmogrify
Mataro Photographs Halloween Transmogrification
Nature & Travel Photos WPC – Transmogrify
Let the Images Speak Transmogrify
The Land Slide Photography Time
I suppose that “Cherry On Top” moment for me was when I realised how beautiful the Snowdonia National Park was and the amazing photo opportunities I could have there. Having moved from Somerset it was nearly a year before I first ventured into Snowdonia.
This was the first photograph I ever took in the National Park on a cold winters day, late in the afternoon. I’ve lost count of the number of photography trips I’ve made to this and the surrounding areas but it never ceases to inspire me.
Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge:
Cherry on Top – My Life as Kate
The Final Touch of a Little Red Elephant – From Hiding to Blogging
The Reluctant Photographer Cherry on Top
Weekly Photo Challenge- Cherry on Top
My Photographic Life Cherry On Top~End of the Week
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Cherry On Top
Spirit of Dragonflies WPC – Cherry On Top
Isadora Art and Photography Latte – Desserts and a Cherry on Top
Day-To-Day Photography Farmyard Decoration
Photoessayist The Blog Pink Ball Of A Cherry
Yes it’s me. I’ve found my EPIC #FindYourEpic. As part of a tourism initiative to get visitors into the area a large sign measuring four metres high by eleven metres wide was fixed to a hillside at Pen-y-Gwryd in the Snowdonia National Park. The sign is mirrored and has the word EPIC. Visitors were encouraged to share their images of the letters on social media using #FindYourEpic. Now here’s the thing, the National Park gets enough visitors as it is in the summer time so it hardly needs more, especially in that area.
There has been a mixed reception to the sign, some people like it, others say it spoils an area that has some beautiful scenery. Fortunately it’s not staying long as the sign is due to me moved somewhere else in Wales tomorrow
Knowing it was going tomorrow and despite heavy rain being predicted for all day it seemed a shame to miss getting a photograph. So off we went into the National Park to find it. Now knowing where it is and actually finding it in low-lying cloud are a different thing. Ten minutes before this photograph was taken, the road you can see in the background was shrouded in a thick mist and we were having trouble following the road. Fortunately the cloud started to lift and by the time we parked up, got the camera gear out, we could just see the sign on the hill through the mist.
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
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 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.
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.
My old favourite Talacre lighthouse looks so different in Black and White. I think I prefer colour for this…but there again.
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
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
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THE PETALUMA SPECTATOR PHOTO BLOG WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Admiration
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