End Of An Era

When I first started blogging “The Weekly Photo Challenge” motivated me to write at least one post each week. Sadly it has been announced that after this weeks challenge, that’s it, for some weird reason, there will be no more.

So as a final flourish I’m going to finish with some of my most popular photographs on Flickr, not that stats really mean much, as I only use Flickr to host my blog photographs.

I thought I should also point out that I’m not ceasing to blog. I’ll still be here writing posts, and I’ve got a lot to write about after my trip to Japan. But bear with me for a while. I got back and “her indoors” presented me with a list of tasks, including cleaning and refurbishing the deck, shifting two tonnes of gravel, just delivered, from the front to the back of the house (about a ton and a half done already). It’s for a project we’re working on to make the garden so much more maintenance free. Oh! and I must not forget to order the new summer-house and of course build it.

Gardening can bring out the inner child, and sometimes, especially after all that time out in the hot sun, it can bring out the inner surrealist. When the urge comes over you to construct a zucchini zeppelin or a tomato truck, give in to your muse and then document [photograph] your masterpiece, preferably against an uncluttered background. – Bart Barlow

Anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with the photographs.

2016_Reflections on Llynnau Mymbyr

Sometimes you just get lucky when you’re out and about. More often than not I have seen this lake with white caps on the water. It’s very rare to see it flat calm like this. But just look at it and with a magnificent view of the Snowdon Horseshoe. I have honestly never seen it so clear.

Lakeside Reflections

And here’s another lake that is normally not flat calm like this. I’m just so lucky……

Talacre Sunset

Talacre Lighthouse is my go to place when I want to practice new techniques with my camera or try out new equipment. I have a 1 metre canvas print of this exact photograph hanging in our lounge. Yes it breaks the “Rool of Thurds” but hey Rools are there to be broken and I like this one.

52 in 2015 Week 43 Texture

A secret place that I once visited. It’s so secret that I can’t even remember where it is.

Rhyl Harbour

Just along the coast from where I live is Rhyl. The bridge is blue…they’d just finished painting it and the sun is a golden orange. Not much more I can say about this one.

Valle Crucis Abbey

Not far from Llangollen and the Horse Shoe Pass lies the ruins of the Abbey of Valle Crucis. surrounded by hills on all sides the grounds of the abbey are a quite haven. Best time to visit is Autumn when the leaves are just starting to turn orange. best of all, at that time of the year, you have less chance of someone wandering into your photograph.

Ogwen Bank

The Ogwen Falls cascade over rocks that are so jagged you can hear the water roar from some distance away. This is only a part of the falls I’ve shown here

Kingfisher

One to cross of my must captures. For years I tried unsuccessfully to capture a Kingfisher, with little success. Then it happened. Just sitting by a lake and this lovely little bird perched on a branch within good range of my 300mm lens. I shot so many photographs to make sure that I got at least one good keeper. What a beautiful little bird.

Afon Idwal Waterfall

At the start of the path up to Llyn Idwal, there is a waterfall that flows under a wooden bridge before tumbling over rocks to join up with the Afon Conway. The water is ice-cold, it’s coming off the mountains and Llyn Idwal, and it’s probably the most photographed waterfall in all of Snowdonia. I’ve seen tourist coaches pull up, loads of people get out and all rush up to the bridge to get that photograph. But if you are a little bit more adventurous, you can cross the river a little further up from the bridge and then walk back down to get this photograph.

Ponies

When the snow falls on the mountains, the wild ponies come lower in search of food. They’re reasonably friendly, although with all wild animals you should exercise discretion, so you can usually get quite close to get a photograph.

Over The Bridge

Well this brings me to my final photograph. Taken in Glasgow, on a cold winters evening, the bridge crosses the River Clyde, near the city centre. At that time of night you need a long exposure, but if anyone walks across the bridge whilst you are taking a photograph you might as well forget it and start over. I’ve never know a bridge bounce so much when someone is walking on it.

So that’s it. The end of an era. The Weekly Photo Challenge is no more but Say It With A Camera is still going strong. Until my next post.

Over the years, whilst taking part in the weekly challenge, I have been able to read some amazing blogs and see some great photographs, whom I’ve highlighted here. This is my final ten, all of whom I’ve visited this week and liked what I’ve read or seen.

http://40again.com/2018/05/31/all-time-favourites-the-final-weekly-photo-challenge/
https://mirthandmotivation.com/2018/05/30/photo-challenge-a-few-farewell-favorites/
http://thenarrowbamboogate.com/2018/05/30/all-time-favorite-japan/
https://thereluctantphotographer2014.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/i-couldnt-decide/
http://lifeisgreat0.blog/2018/05/30/some-pictures-to-say-good-bye/
http://outofmywritemind.com/2018/05/31/its-a-wrap/
http://adogslife.blog/2018/05/24/working-from-home/
https://spiritinpolitics.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/keep-on-your-own-track-thoreau/
http://theartofdisorder.net/2018/05/31/favorite-photos-friends-forever/
http://angelafurtadophotography.com/2018/05/30/wpc-all-time-favorites/

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It’s Now Tuesday……

All is quiet in our household. Photography has taken a bit of a back seat as the weather, once again, has not been conducive (that’s a big word for Monday morning) to getting out with the camera. By this time last year I had made eight photography trips out into the National Park and yet, this year I have done just one and that was none too successful. Even outside of the National Park I have been very limited in travel for photography. Maybe it’s just me, perhaps I’m slowing down or just getting bored with photography. Even now as I’m looking out of the office window I can see nothing but grey skies, that’s no incentive to pick up the camera and go out and shoot something.

What is a good photograph? I cannot say. A photograph is tied to the time, what is good today may be a cliché tomorrow. The problem of the photographer is to discover his own language, a visual ABC. The picture represents the feelings and point of view of the intelligence behind the camera. This disease of our age is boredom and a good photographer must combat it. The way to do this is by invention – by surprise. When I say a good picture has surprise value I mean that it stimulates my thinking and intrigues me. The best way to achieve surprise quality is by avoiding clichés. Imitation is the greatest danger of the young photographer. – Alexey Brodovitch

Like last weeks challenge, which I missed, this weeks, just does not excite me. Usually in my mind’s eye I have a good idea what photographs I’m going to use but I’m sitting here at the moment with a sort of blank in my mind.

It’s now Tuesday morning, I had writers block yesterday. Last night the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the whole of the UK. However in my opinion, severe is relative. Leaves fall on the track, trains stop running, heavy rain, schools close. There’s severe and severe. But saying that, I’m sitting in my office looking out at blanket of snow which is still falling, so maybe they were right.

OK I’ve prattled (another big word) on enough, let’s get some photographs….

The Road To Snowdonia

My favourite road leading to the Llanberis Pass with a view of the Snowdon Triangle. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have stopped somewhere along this road just to take in the beauty of the National Park.

Meanwhile in the Ogwen Valley the Afon Ogwen tumbles over rocks on it way to Nan Ffrancon and the sea.

Ogwen Valley

One of the things I like about the National Park is that you can find little waterfalls in places you’d least expect them. Always fun to photograph and if the light falls right what more could you as for as a photographer.

Waterfall

Well that’s for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. Yes it’s still snowing but I suspect that as we live very close to the coast that soon it will start melting again. Too much salt in the air.
 

Oops! I Forgot

It’s 4;30 pm on a cold Tuesday afternoon, here in the UK. I’m sitting at my computer when it struck me. I haven’t submitted anything for this weeks challenge. Although to be fair, I’ve been busy testing new software and working on a new project.

Now here’s the other thing, I haven’t taken any photographs, that I can use, since my visit to Budapest nearly a month ago. For me that is really strange…….So for this weeks challenge I’m going to have to rely on past photographs, taken from almost the same spot at two different times of the year.

I’m standing at Cwm Idwal, it’s January, the lake is behind me and I’m looking over the Ogwen Valley to Pen yr Ole Wen. As you can see, there’s been quite a heavy fall of snow and I remember on the day I took this photograph there weren’t too many people about.

Pen yr Ole Wen

It’s also the same day that I and another photographer, whom I met that day, got caught in a blizzard white out. At the time it was disconcerting because you can’t see much in front of you. But despite there not being too much shelter up there we decided to stick it out and see if it cleared. and fortunately after about five minutes it stopped snowing. Time to get off the mountain as soon as possible. It’s no great panic, we were both equipped to be there, but when you can’t see where you want to go, then it gets a little bit tasty.

Then we have this photograph, from nearly the same spot. Taken just over a year later in the February. Considering the month it’s surprising there’s now snow.

Pen yr Ole Wen

So that’s it for this week. It’s a quick one and I hope you enjoyed them – Mike

A Mountain Path–Back To My Roots

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.

Old House

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

Lone Tree

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.

The Valley

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

Transmogrify–Is That A Word?

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.

Autumn Colours

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.

Llyn Ogwen

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.

Talacre Sunset

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.

Autumn

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