This week Amy at Lens-Artists has set us a fine task – the pursuit of natural light. It’s one of the aspects of photography that fascinates me most; especially when it’s in short supply. Anyway, I instantly thought of the strange light effects that happen across the Menai Strait between the North Wales coast and the island of Anglesey, caught here during various December sojourns on the island. All the views are looking towards the Welsh mainland and Snowdonia.
Lens-Artists: Natural Light
Winter light over the sea can make for some mysterious monochrome images. The first photo was taken early one morning, above the small town Beaumaris on the island of Anglesey (Ynys Mon). In the foreground is Menai Strait; beyond it the mountains of Snowdonia in mainland Wales.
For several years Anglesey has been a favourite place for family Christmases. There have been times of hair-raising gales, but also days of brilliant sun and unexpected warmth. This searchlight-sun effect over the Strait is a particular local phenomenon, and you quickly understand why the Celtic Druids, and later the early Welsh Christian saints were so drawn to the place. Landscape as transcendental meditation.
You can hardly see the Strait in the next photo (below the tree silhouettes), and it was anyway just going dark. But even so there’s a luminous glow on the field slopes of the far shore – a reflection off the water? And then there are the snow slopes making their own light. I like seeing how much of an image can be gained from the least amount of light. At the time I was using my little Kodak EasyShare ‘point and shoot’ camera. It was interesting what it could come up with.
The morning we visited Plas Newydd it was broodingly gloomy – as if the sky gods had forgotten to switch the lights on.
But some sunnier days on the beach at Newborough:
2020 Photo Challenge #46 This week’s assignment from Jude: make sure you have contrasts in your image(s). Clear whites and strong blacks will add impact and create attention.
And another Christmas Day snap taken from Penmon Point, Anglesey.
January Light #5
Early morning sky over Menai Strait looking towards the mountains of the Welsh mainland from Beaumaris, Anglesey, 27 December 2019.
January Light #2
On Christmas Day we went to Penmon Point in Anglesey, North Wales – fair weather and good winter light on the lighthouse.
Happy New Year Everyone
January Light #1 This month Becky says ‘let there be light’, however we choose to conjure it so long as it’s squared. Please pay her a visit. Better still, join in. We cannot have too much light in 2020: lots of issues requiring full-beam illumination.
Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey is only an island at high tide. Mostly it is a narrow spit reaching out across Llanddwyn Bay to the mountains of the Welsh mainland. It is named after the early 5th century Christian mystic, Dwynwen who, unhappy in love, is said to have retreated to the island, living out her days there alone. Later she became known as the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and in medieval times pilgrims would flock to the island in hopes of divining the faithfulness of their own loves at Dwynwen’s well. In fact so much revenue was raised from the pilgrims’ quest for true love that in the 16th century a substantial chapel was built on what was believed to be Dwynwen’s own place of sanctuary. You see the chapel ruins if you go there today.
The lighthouse was built in 1845 to guide shipping entering the Menai Strait from the south. Now it serves mostly as a very striking landmark, viewed here on a blustery Christmas morning a few years ago.
Lens-Artists ~ Seascapes
Wrought by sea winds over many seasons.
Time Square #21
This one was on Newborough Beach, Anglesey, one late December morning. You can just see the mountains of Snowdonia on mainland Wales in the distance.
But not to make light of those who suffer bad black dog days, and there are very many of us who do, intermittently or full-time, here is a hopeful little video from the World Health Organisation:
Lens-Artists: Splash Please visit the Lens-Artists to see their spirit-raising photos.
You cannot beat the Menai Strait for magical light shows, and especially in December when there can be perfect days like these. These photos were taken on Anglesey near Beaumaris, looking across to mainland Wales: the first at midday, the second in the early morning from behind the town, and the third at Penmon Point in late afternoon.
Lens-Artists #19: Magical Light
For more inspiration please visit Amy and the other Lens-Artists to see their take on magical light.