Monthly Archives: April 2013

Glamorgan Heritage Coast Day Course 2013 – Dunraven Bay

Compared to two weeks ago the weather couldn’t have been much different. No rain, clear horizons and even some sunshine. Thanks go to Malcolm, Jeff, Sue, Paul, Martin and Clive for joining me at Dunraven Bay. The day started bright, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds but as the morning progressed the cloud thickened up and the conditions got a bit harder as it was quite bright, with some glare, but with overall flat lighting in large areas.

We were able to get some good overviews of the coastline and were helped as the tide retreated to expose the great rock formations. The lighting remained bright with more contrast in the afternoon, so after a lunch break we went to explore the rock at the west end of the bay.

After an hour or two of bright conditions, everybody was all photographed out due to the limited opportunities, so we retreated to the car park for a coffee and ice cream for two of us. A quick wonder around the gardens and folly gave a nice change of scenery, but it still looked a bit hit and miss for a sunset image. The tide wasn’t helping either as it was one of the highest of the year so we only had a limited area to photograph in plus other photographers were around and trying to get into position as well.

The group fragmented at this point due to other commitments and travel needs so Paul and Clive stayed with me to see what happened later on. The horizon had been clear all day and looked good for a sunset. A few large clouds arrived and it looked as if it would be spoiled with no reason to hang around, but then about an hour before sunset the clouds lifted, clear sky appeared with just enough cloud left to give some interest. After finding our position and photographing till it was not worth it anymore we packed up for the day. We had only been out and about for 12 hours! We did contemplate some star photography as the sky was quite clear, but after 12 hours, I think we had done enough for the day.


Carreg Cennen Castle Day Course 2013

A few days before the day course the weather forecast wasn’t looking good, with heavy rain and high winds forecast. It proved to be fairly accurate but luckily the heavy rain held off till the afternoon. Thanks to Nigel, Malcolm, Jeff, Chris and Sue for joining me at the castle with such a poor weather forecast. We broke up the morning session with a retreat to the coffee shop for cake and coffee.

I’m afraid Malcolm had to endure taunts of “red kite” from all of us as he had brought his 100 – 400mm zoom lens and was trying to photograph one of a pair that flew around the castle. Every time he wasn’t quite ready the kite would fly over us, with members of the group bringing it to his attention that he needed to be photographing it asap. At least Nigel didn’t have to get the usual Buzzard jokes that have become a bit of a running joke when he has his telephoto zoom with him.


When the heavy rain arrived in the afternoon, we retreated back to the coffee shop and  discussed location planning, with how to read maps and use google earth, a sun position compass and the photographers ephemeris to help visualise a location and plan the best photographic position. There was a good discussion with the group with everybody learning a few things, especially with the use of digital maps, tablets or phones with GPS modules.

The final session was a run through of basic RAW file processing in Adobe Lightroom. I like to keep my processing fairly simple as for me the challenge of photography is to photograph the conditions that I see in my mind’s eye. Once I have captured that previsualised image in camera, hopefully only basic RAW editing is then required. I find that I need less editing tools now, so Photoshop is used less and less. It still has a few things that Lightroom doesn’t have, but hopefully with future developments of Lightroom these will be added as well.

It’s Dunraven Bay on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast next. I just hope the weather is a bit more photographic friendly and so far the forecast seems to be improving which is good news.