Welsh Moods

Monday was supposed to be a bright sunny day in Snowdonia. It was just that as I arrived at Conwy for my morning coffee, a perfect mix of puffy clouds and bright winter sunshine. There’s a saying though that the mountains make their own weather. As I headed inland the clouds got thicker and more continuous. The tops were engulfed. The valleys were grey. Continue reading

The ambience of a real fire

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Ambience

Last christmas-but-one we spent some time at my brother’s house in the New Forest. He and his wife have a lovely rambling cottage that they’ve restored over many years. It’s a small-holding with, at various times, sheep, chickens, horses, cats and a dog. We don’t often see them but we always have a good time when we visit. This time we spent an evening outdoors enjoying their outdoor pizza oven. Leona’s a good chef and made lovely pizzas and we sat shivering and enjoying beer underneath the dark sky, staring into the dancing flames and feeling content.

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Beddgelert sunset

Some shots taken last week looking toward the end of the Snowdon range, with Lliwedd and Yr Aran prominent. Lliwedd is the double headed peak, and part of the famous Snowdon horseshoe.

The location is a relatively small but very rugged hill immediately south of the lovely village of Beddgelert, supposedly named for being “Gelert’s grave”, Gelert being “the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great.” Whatever the history, it’s great walking country, wild and difficult of navigation. The weather was changeable, which makes for dramatic photography.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10

Finding Names

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Names

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I wasn’t looking for names today. I just came across it by accident. I went out chasing the sunset at a beauty spot outside Macclesfield called Tegg’s Nose. It’s a high spot right on the edge of the Peak District escarpment and faces out across the Cheshire plain with amazing views. Shooting conditions were “challenging”, with very high winds making it difficult to stand up straight, let alone hold the camera still. I walked around the hill looking for the best views and some shelter. On the lee side I found this piece of industrial heritage next to an abandoned gritstone quarry.

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The blue machine is obviously a crane. The smaller cream/white machine is a stone cutting saw. The shapes and colours would make an ideal subject for an introductory photography workshop group but it was the name that caught my eye. I didn’t have anything to submit for this week’s Daily Post challenge and this was a very obvious candidate.

There’s a fair bit of information on-line about John Smith, Makers, Keighley. Just put that into Google and you’ll get some interesting results. The particular machine seen here is intended to cut large blocks of gritstone into thin slabs. It wasn’t originally sited here but someone (the council perhaps) has gone to the expense of installing this machinery by the quarry here as a sort of museum installation piece.

That’s annoying…

…you can apply a preset to all your shots when you import them into Lightroom, such as, oh, let’s say your favourite monochrome treatment which you don’t use very often as you’re mostly a colour photographer. Lightroom then remembers this and has it selected as default on your next import so your lovely sunset shots are all turned into black and white. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that the conversion to monochrome step isn’t a separate step in the develop history so you can’t undo it…

Fortunately, I still had the originals on the card and could re-import – without the monochrome step…