You can see why this part of Shropshire falls within an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These shots were taken on the viewpoint just past Hilltop on Wenlock Edge and I’m looking south-west towards the Shropshire Hills. You can see, too, why poet, A E Housman called them ‘blue remembered hills’. They seem like a memory even if you have never clapped eyes on them before.
And so when presented with the kind of blissful panoramic views that the Edge provides, it is tempting to try to capture all of it. And that usually does not work, not unless the light is perfect, and your photographic skills are considerably greater than mine. Even this landscape view is only a small segment of the 180 degree vista. I chose it because I liked the visual flow of man-made fields towards the grassy uplands, and the here-and-there accents of hedgerow and woodland; the many shades of green. Also, despite the millennia of human intervention here, you can still discern the landscape’s natural rhythms beneath the pastoral surface.
It’s a soothing scene to look AT. But the portrait version, I feel, is doing something rather different. It invites you into the landscape as if stepping through a door; it is therefore more actively affecting. Just my thoughts anyway. Also a thank you to Paula for stirring us up to think about the different effects of landscape and portrait composition.
Thursday’s Special: Portrait vs Landscape
This buoy at Penmon Point, on the Menai Strait in Anglesey tells shipping to be vigilant – the channel between the main island and Puffin Island is too shallow for passage. The lighthouse says so too in a big notice on its topmost white stripe (out of shot):
This month Paula’s pick a word at Lost in Translation includes: branching, vigilant, pomp, hooked and continual. So I’m laying claim to them all – distantly branching wind turbines off the Great Orme, the need to be vigilant in these waters, the hooked profile of the bay, and the continual ebb and flow of the tide. And as for pomp, well I think the lighthouse has plenty of it.
But for a truly outstanding interpretation of these prompts, please visit Paula, and enjoy her Venetian gallery.
It was Monday morning, and here we were cresting the head of a sea serpent – the mighty Welsh marine worm. At least that’s what how the invading Vikings saw Llandudno’s Great Orme, and named it accordingly.
It is indeed an extraordinary craggy eminence that juts into the Celtic Sea, very much like a gigantic head. Amazingly, too, you can drive to the top, and see mountain mirages like this one. I’m looking south down the coast of North Wales, and this real-life illusion took little editing apart from cropping and reducing the brightness.
And now that I’m looking again at this still, blue scene, it is hard to believe it was blowing a gale as I took this photo.
Next are a couple of windscreen shots as we ascend and descend – rather more mythic edits this time and in keeping with this amazing slice of 300 million year old geology:
And now we come to Operation Lamb Rescue – a kind man restoring very little twins to their mother. They had slipped down the bank towards the road, and couldn’t climb back up. So this was more nightmare than illusion – but with a happy ending:
Finally, a distant view of the sea serpent, taken from Anglesey on a still, but warm day in late December, when yet again Wales was in dreamy illusion mode. Perhaps we imagined it – the Great Orme, the mighty worm, snaking its way across the Menai Strait:
In this week’s Thursday’s Special, Paula asks us for illusions however we wish to present them.
This first photo sums up our best March highlight so far – a trip to Ludlow a couple of weeks ago – a day of near summer weather where we sat out at a pavement cafe without coats, and had a delicious pasta and spicy clam lunch; followed a couple of hours later by afternoon tea and cake at the riverside Green Cafe, where we were still outside and coatless. Bliss. Ducks in companionable clumps were sunbathing on the river islands, the River Teme was teeming over the weir, the more active ducks were using it as a duck chute, and people and dogs were lazing about the place, soaking up the sun. The whole day seemed like a dream.
But now we are not dreaming, for if March came in like a lamb, then today it is definitely in lion mode – all biting, icy teeth, and I’m being a weak and feeble woman, and failing to gird myself for an allotment visit. It’s much more pleasant to assemble a gallery of warm-day-out photos. Welcome to Ludlow, South Shropshire’s loveliest market town:
copyright 2017 Tish Farrell
To take part in The Changing Seasons challenge, please visit Max over at Cardinal Guzman. The rules are simple, and you get to see Max’s photo shoots around Oslo.
And more specifically it is a view of Loch Katrine taken from the summit of a ‘small mountain’ Ben A’an. So Jo was closest guesser with Loch Lomond, which is the next big loch westwards – she is definitely a woman who knows her landscapes. But thanks to all for playing along with yesterday’s photo quiz. And since I’m guessing that many of you have no idea where The Trossachs National Park is, here’s a map. The area is basically north of Glasgow and west of Stirling, and so not even in the Scottish Highlands despite all the beguiling peaks in the photo.
Map: Eric Gabba (Sting)/Wikipedia CC-BY-SA 4.0
For more about The Trossachs from a local, see this article by Bill Kasman.
A few days ago when I was looking out the Great Zimbabwe photos to scan, I came across an envelope with this view inside. Anyone know where it is? Or where do you think it might be? Answers on a postcard please. Or if not on a postcard, in the comments box below
For this week’s Black & White Sunday Paula asks us to show her an original colour shot rendered into monochrome. It is an interesting exercise, seeing what will work in a different format; and what won’t. Here I’m trying it out with another shot from the Christmas on Anglesey archive. I’m not too keen on the dark smudges around the lighthouse that’s showing up in both versions. I think I had the camera on too much zoom; otherwise, I can’t account for them. Strange irradiating substances?
Please visit Lost in Translation for more Afters and Befores.
While I’m here, is anyone else finding WordPress incredibly clunky, or has my PC been sabotaged again by Windows 10?
It’s back to Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey for my response to this week’s prompt from Paula. Darkness and light – the stuff of fiction writing, but also the source of many diversions from the work-in-progress to play with my camera’s monochrome setting. The hazy uplands in the background are the mountains of mainland Wales. The island in question is in reality a long thin promontory heading out to sea from Newborough Beach, and has, since Dark Ages times, been associated with St Dwynwen, Welsh patron saint of lovers. You can read more HERE and HERE.
And now for a more abstract rendition of darkness and light: an early morning view across Menai Strait, taken from the fields above Beaumaris. Here on Anglesey, the sun in winter regularly puts on these mystical lightshows – shining searchlights through banks of low cloud on to the water. This particular shot was taken with quite a lot of zoom and then cropped.
Two people, three shadows.
Here is a well worn path of my daily comings and going along the margins of Townsend Meadow. The visible sign: the trail of gardening not writing.
There’s an unofficial gap in the hedge beside the first ash tree, and that’s my way into the allotment. The farmer leaves a swath of uncultivated ground on two sides of the field to soak up rainstorm run-off before it hits the houses at the bottom of the hill. For a couple of years these abandoned areas were simply left to grow, hence the nose-high grasses still standing in winter. But last summer, just before the wheat harvest, the weedy wilderness was mowed. Now the only signs of my passing are muddy boot impressions among the fallen ash leaves – not quite so photogenic.
Black & White Sunday: SIGN Paula says to interpret this prompt any way we like.