The following article is a guest post by Alf Bailey, a photographer from Cheshire, UK. His series, “Diary of a Landscape Photographer,” recounts the scenarios that lead to capturing his stunning landscape photography. More of his work can be found at www.alfbaileyphotography.co.uk; and as always, we welcome your comments below.
After a somewhat wet and windy week, I finally escaped for an evening to visit another nearby landmark Perch Rock New Brighton, on the River Mersey and Wirral peninsular, by now you will be thinking I’m obsessed with lighthouses, and errm well you are quite right, I am. There is something about a lighthouse that is just like a magnet to me, I can’t resist photographing them at every given opportunity. I like everything a lighthouse stands for, the guiding light, the solid structure that will withstand all weather conditions; they all have stories to tell, and seem symbolic monuments of the bravery of countless lifeboat crews that risked and indeed sometimes lost their very lives to the sea. It was a Monday and I was in luck as there weren’t many people about at all. There was a great deal of broken cloud, but I thought to myself “hmmmm that might look good later on as the sun drops After a walk up and down the beach I took a few shots of the sea defence groynes, but nothing I could do in the current light made them look like anything other than what they were i.e. Ugly brown things! Moving swiftly on to the light house I discovered a rock pool and set up my tripod. Whilst I made adjustments to my gear I became aware of the presence of a couple of young lads, who seemed pre-occupied with looking in rock pools nearby.
[rewind: Learn HDR Photography from SLR Lounge]
Hoping they would depart quickly I thought I might be able to help find what they were looking for. I said “Alright lads, looking for anything in particular they looked at each other then both answered in unison “Crabs I replied “ooh right ok ¦well you might find some down there by those groynes, I noticed a lot of rock pools there Not to be deterred, they then went on to explain that they were interested in starting a marine life project at home with an aquarium and all the filters pumps and paraphernalia that goes with them. As it turned out they were a couple of pleasant lads. Before departing I took a few shots of them and one asked “Will we be famous now ? and I replied ¦. It’s very likely ¦ ¦Standing there with that big pink bucket and your hands on your hips, you should attract some attention They laughed and moved away at last leaving me to my clouds, rapidly incoming tide and last light of day. The pool in front of the lighthouse was filling with water fast, and I managed to finish the long exposure just in time to avoid wet feet.
Image Name: Incoming
I retreated to the relative safety of the rocks and took a few more shots, the light and cloud was changing by the second, and about 5 minutes after taking this shot, all the rocks were completely submerged.
Image Name: Mersey Tide
Saturday Night and I’m out enjoying myself again, no not partying, or drinking huge quantities of alcohol, not dancing the night away nor chatting to beautiful women. None of those things, I’m out perched on the side of a hill with the wind howling and whistling past my ears, peering into the viewfinder of my camera, and although conditions are not ideal, I wouldn’t swap places with anyone!
The first building placed at Dinas BrÃƒÂ¢n was not the castle which now stands in ruins on top of the hill but an Iron Age Hillfort built around 600 BC, Though the castle, as it is visible today, was probably built around the 1260’s.
As I walked up the steep gradient to the top, I wasn’t difficult to imagine just hard it would have been to attack a place like this. It was hard enough just to walk to the top, but trying to do so with boulders and stones being thrown at you as well as spears and arrows and anything else that would deter would be attackers, was quite a sobering thought.
For some strange reason known only to them, people that visit this site often take the stones from the walls and arrange them on the hillside to form their own names. As I wandered about the site I come to another name arranged in stones on the hillside “Ceri then later out of curiosity I looked up the name, which originates from a welsh village not far away in Powys, Mid Wales. I don’t know If it was by coincidence or by design, but there were definite connections between the name that had been arranged in stone a few days ago, and the ancient Castle. Ahh well “truth is stranger than fiction as they say.
I used some of the stones to give a sense of depth and foreground interest to this HDR image
Image Name: Castle Dinas Bran
Should you have any questions regarding this or previous postings, or require any further information regarding the above images, please feel free to contact me through my website www.alfbaileyphotography.co.uk