Human interest never ceases to entertain me. Venice didn’t disappoint in this respect.
Despite the weather being rather disappointing and cool, the remainder of my last full day of walking about enabled me to play and have fun with a 70 – 400 mm lens. In fact, as the afternoon arrived the sun also appeared and the sky eventually turned blue.
Before this happened, I walked along the Grand Canal, observing bridges and passing water traffic. The featured image amused me as the boat in the foreground came close to being cut up by the speeding taxi with its passengers oblivious to the unfolding drama.
To think of the hours I had carted around tripod and filters…. The last time I had used the telephoto was for wildlife and the odd landscape! Now I had found a new lease of life documenting human behaviour.
I had travelled to Venice with fixed images in mind and I left with souvenirs I had not expected.
On the last day of my short stay in Venice, the sun finally appeared after – what seemed – days of drizzle and drab sky.
I lived in a Pac-A-Mac and walked the narrow alleyways and bridges to scout for potential compositions… I dragged myself out of bed really early and left the hotel in search of inspiration at Realto Bridge, St Mark’s Square and The Bridge of Sighs, but there was no colour to be found for what I had in mind. If it had not been for my stubborness and ‘well-I’m-here-now’ attitude, I might have banged on the hotel main entrance at 5 am to be let back in and climbed back into bed.
My impressions of the great city were mixed – perhaps influenced by the weather – as age and grottiness extended beyond my hotel, beyond the rabbit warren of hemmed-in waterways, along the Grand Canal. The only location in the rain that stirred a ‘wow’ was the Piazza San Marco.
My first scouting trip was during the afternoon where, on arrival, I became consumed by other tourists with selfie sticks and umbrellas. I stayed long enough to decide the kind of compositions I might get and left determined I would return early the next morning.
The next morning there were very few people about when I arrived. It was cool for May and the wind had an edge to it. Despite being a popular composition, I could not resist the swaying gondolas!
The story to this small chapel nestled in the cliff, Pembrokeshire, is a tale woven in legend and record. The tale tells of a mature holy man of Irish descent who came to Wales. However, the true purpose of his mission is not really known as St Govan’s story – according to the Diocese of St David’s – could have involved a mission to meet with a Welsh Abbot or trace the descendents of a much loved teacher who had originated from nearby Solva….
The purpose of his journey was interrupted by pirates who attempted to capture him. In those times, an Abbot could attract a good ransom but, St Govan appraently evaded capture, saved by ‘…the cleft in the rock at St Govan’s Chapel [as it] opened miraculously for Govan to hide in, and closed over him – opening miraculously for a second time after the pirates had gone away.’
‘If St Govan was chased he probably found the fissure a safe hiding place. As he saw the pirates leaving he was filled with a sense of shame at his cowardice and
decided to remain so that in future he might convert the pirates. Or possibly he was aware that the local people were much troubled by the marauding of pirates and he decided to remain as a watchman, teacher and protector to them.
What we do know is that St Govan apparently stayed for the rest of his life in his cell, worshipping, preaching and teaching here in South Pembrokeshire.
His saintliness was marked by the Church, which designated March 26th as St Govan’s Day, and by followers who built the chapel in the cliffs. Tradition says that St Govan lies buried under the altar in the chapel which bears his name. He died in the year 586.’
The back story to this image is a bittersweet one as the day before the visit to Pembrokeshire and this location, I was involved in a car accident through no fault of my own. Fortunately I had sustained no physical injury but my mind was in a state of unease which, as I walked part of the coastal path and set up a shot at this location, I felt that the Pembrokeshire landscape had miraculously opened up and sheltered me… if only for a short while I found some peace.
I have found myself browsing through folders of unprocessed and forgotten images. Portland Bill is one of those locations that attracts hoards of visitors. The image featured was captured during August 2015.
My first visit was an attempt to photograph the lighthouse set against a colourful sky but it wasn’t long before the weather closed in and all hope was abandoned as the rain set in.
Did I return? I did return but my plan on the second visit was to capture the lighthouse in better light and for sunset / blue hour and again I walked away with the majority of images consigned to the ‘perhaps-I’ll-do-something-with-these-images-one-day’ folder.
It’s been a long time since my last post. I abandoned photography for a while – or so it seemed as life started a new chapter and my attention was taken elsewhere.
I found that I didn’t have much time to plan photo trips and what images I captured, I didn’t really know what to do with them except save them for another day in the hope that I could see potential and find my photography mojo again.
When I first captured the lifeboat station in Tenby, West Wales, I had a 3 megapixel bridge camera and took an image from the beach. Yes, it was that many years ago! I thought I was lucky as it was not planned. The tide was out and the landscape with its wet sand reflected interest in the sky above the lifeboat station which was still in use then.
It is one of the most photograpjed lifeboat stations thanks to its location and the grade II listed building featured in a popular television programme, Grand Designs (2011) as a home conversion project for a couple from Cardiff.
On the outskirts of Brecon during a recent trip to the manmade reservoirs in the Elan Valley, Mid Wales, my fellow photography companion and I noticed a couple of fields with late August straw bales.
‘Perhaps we’ll be able to grab a few golden hour shots on the return journey’, I remarked as we flew by.
On our return the original field I had in mind was no longer a possibility as the bales had already been taken. There was only one field left with an open gate as the fast sinking sun hastened our approach loaded with backpacks and tripods. I might have preferred more time to consider the stronger compositions, but I was as excited as a child in a sweet shop and my eyes were distracted by a particular backdrop. So many mistakes have been made by doing this, unaware of the potential behind my back. I experimented with shots one way with a sky devoid of cloud before facing the direction you see in the featured image. For me, the series of images recorded from this location represented late summer and were totally unexpected. Sometimes, in photography, it is the unexpected opportunities that provide the most satisfying memories of the day.
The featured image was captured in Alcúdia, Mallorca whilst exploring the Walls of Alcúdia Route. I took my camera and an old 35mm telephoto zoom lens. Although the views are quite spectacular over the town, it was this cloud formation that really caught my eye and yes, it did herald an approaching storm which, thankfully, I managed to avoid.