Monthly Archives: January 2014

A dark day at Millwood, Penrice – Gower Peninsula


The recent weather has been a bit of a challenge. Dark, rainy conditions fail to fire the imagination normally, so I considered it a bit of a challenge to try and create some images. With my new wellies fitted (a very welcome Christmas present), I ventured of to Millwood in Penrice to explore the woodland.

While trying to photograph the small weir, the autofocus started to hunt and ended up locking on the branch in front of the  small waterfall. I thought it represented the barren, dark, feel of the wood with the increased levels of water due to the rain perfectly. A repositioning of the camera removed some unwanted elements from the frame and with a few exposure to changes to the shutter speed to get some variation in the appearance of the water and the image was done.


The small weir produced some great variations in texture and colour. Considering that it is only about 2 feet tall, you wouldn’t expect such variation. The water levels in the streams was much higher than normal, so it probably helped give the greater variation, it just came down to finding a pleasing composition from the water. The reflections caught my attention first. An attempt to saturate the colour with a polariser just killed the feel of the image, so I dialled it back and kept the reflections.


With the light finally going I headed back to the car park, capturing the darkness of the evening with this final image. It was a fairly monochrome image, so a convertion to black & white was called for to get the full effect of the tones.

WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales

WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales20131228_NCD3486

I’m hoping that this year isn’t going to be quite as demanding on my free time as last year. I was hoping to get some posts up on the blog at my previous rate. Well so far I have failed on that resolution already!

Between Christmas and New Year, I realised that I hadn’t been to the WWT National Wetlands Centre for a while to make some images and that I hadn’t used my 800mm lens for ages. It was time to put both right with a visit to the centre.

WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales20131228_NCD3539

The light was quite dark when I arrived, but there was a brighter patch on the horizon above Gower as the sun tried to burn through the cloud. This produced some interesting and subtle backlighting. The British Steel hide isn’t the best place for photography in high contrast lighting situations, as faces directly into the sun, you are forced to try silhouettes only. Luckily with the cloud blocking the sun, it produced a softer backlight effect, allowing some detail to show on the front of the birds.

WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales20131228_NCD3573

A switch to the Sir Peter Scott hide in the afternoon produced similar light to the morning, but gradually the cloud dispersed and blue sky prevailed. A quick wonder of the Millennium wetlands was in order to see what flocks of birds were feeding in the trees. The blue would now provide a better background than the earlier grey.

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WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales20131228_NCD3664

WWT National Wetlands Centre Wales20131228_NCD3705

It was great to blow some of the cobwebs off after little time for personal photography, visit the centre and lug around the hefty 800mm. Hopefully this will be the start of more personal photography sessions to come.