Monthly Archives: September 2015

Up on the downs, Rhossili Downs, Gower Peninsula

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With the sun shining and the heather still in bloom, I decided to take the route up Rhossili Downs and avoid the more popular route to the beach. The tide was coming in anyway. The heather is in dense patches, creating areas of colour on the underlying green landscape. The contrast was quite high, so I waited for a large cloud to provide some shade as I made the above image. I find you get a truer colour and better reproduction of the plant in soft light.

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In brighter conditions I switched to the wider view with both panoramic and single frame views along the downs towards the north. The side lighting gave some relief to the texture of the landscape, so it doesn’t appear too flat in the brighter conditions.

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As the conditions were so bright, I wanted to try and simplify the colours in some images, so I retreated from the heather to make it less obvious in the frame and tried to concentrate on the white, blue and green of the surrounding landscape. I find these conditions quite challenging, as those who red my blog know, I have a bit of a dislike of blue skies and tend to avoid them when ever possible. I’m trying to learn to make images in these conditions, but still find it a bit of a struggle. I still consider the results more record shot as they don’t trigger any emotion within me as a viewer. That is the secret to any photograph; if you can engage the viewer and trigger some emotional response in them, they will view the image for longer and like it.

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My final couple of images were looking down on Worm’s Head. The backlighting silhouetted Worm’s Head and washed out the colours, making it look quite pastel. The shadows of the clouds provide some pattern to break up the very bright highlights on the water. I quite like this graphic look and I find a lot of my images are quite two dimensional, where as a lot of photographers work hard to get a three dimensional feel to their pictures.

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Wandering Oxwich Burrows, Gower Peninsula

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I always find August and September a bit of a “nothing” month for photography i.e. there is nothing really worth making an image of quite yet. The vibrant greens of spring have faded and the autumn colours are yet to appear, it all feels a bit in between something.

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Without any aim in mind it was good to wander Oxwich Burrows to see what was out there. In the more open areas of grass, the blackberry bushes were confined to being a few centimetres tall and one stem, but all had some fruit developing, which was quite surprising considering their tiny form.

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6 spot Burnet moths were all over the ragwort plants all over the burrows. They were jostling for space with the Small Brown Butterflies and a few flies. Being quite preoccupied with feeding, they allowed a close approach and gave me the opportunity to try various framing options.

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From the Burrows, I nipped over to the bird hide and tried to stay out of the way of the feeding Swallow pair, who still had chicks of the last brood to raise. A lot of the vegetation around the hide has been cut back giving a better view of the pond, but what was left was being back lit in the bright light. This really brought out the green leaves and made them look less jaded than they actually were.

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The young swallows were a bit hot and kept their mouths open to cool down. There were not far of fledging, with one venturing out onto the rim of the nest and trying a few wing flaps. Mum & Dad were flying in through the hide windows regularly keeping the supply of food up.

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