Aberavon Seafront Sunset Photography Shoot

On September 29th I decided to pop out for some sunset photography with a couple of friends. I also wanted to try out my Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and 85mm F/1.8 lenses out in the evening and on the darkness that followed. I shot a lot of images that night, mostly because I bracketed a lot of images using exposure bracketing, but I learned a lot from doing that which I will explore in a future blog post.

I’ve chosen 16 images from the evening that I like. Of course, if you’re a photographer you should always like your images where possible. On this night, although the sunset wasn’t perfect, I had images that interest me. There’s a saying that if you have one image you like each time you go out you should be happy, but I think that was said by some bad photographers, as there’s always something to photograph, and if you don’t like what you’re taking photos of, then why bother taking the photograph in the first place?

These images were edited from the raw file of my Fujifilm X-T20 in Luminar 4. If you are interested in trying Luminar 4, or any Skylum products, then if you click here you can have exclusive free trials and money off. If you decide to buy any product from Skylum (Luminar, Aurora etc) then use code GPWNPT at the checkout for £$€10 off the product. You’ll be helping me by visiting the link, or using the code, as it gives me the opportunity to try their new products to try and review.

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Please view the images full screen for the best experience, you’ll also find full EXIF data for each photo.

These images were taken at Aberavon in Port Talbot, South Wales. Aberavon is a coastal area, with mountains within a mile or two behind the sea. It has some of the best sunsets Wales has to offer, with a variety of landscape opportunities, a small town, great architecture and much more. It’s close to the market town of Neath, and the large city of Swansea

A lot of my photography is based in this area as I live right next to the sea, a few hundred yards from where some of these were taken. I never tire of the opportunity of photographing the area, documenting it at every opportunity.

— As usual, if you like what you see, please like, share and comment. It inspires me to carry on with my photography and my blogs. I am an affiliate for Luminar 4, so just checking out the links in the article will help me promote this great software!

Clydach Canal Photography Outing

It’s always good to get out and about, especially in the climate we are currently facing. Meeting a group of friends from Great Photography Walks NPT we re-visited the Clydach Canal in Swansea, this time heading north instead of south through this idyllic part of the country.

I thought I would use this outing to try out two film simulations that I have been working on, in the real world. There was a of green, oranges and browns today, so it’s difficult to judge the Leica-Like recipe, however I’m really happy with the J-Street recipe. I will use older raw files to look at the results of Leica-Like and judge how I feel about it, but from the images here, I really do like it.

Shot with the X-T20 and Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8, these images were placed into Photoscape X Pro where they were simply straightened or cropped. We had various lighting conditions, and both lenses perform slightly differently, so here are the results of todays meet.

As well as countryside and the canal, I did take photographs of some of the people who were at the meet with us. Here are a few of these people, I’ve tried to choose photographs which show the colours.

There we have it, it was a great day today and many photos were taken. As a side note, I also used Performance mode on the camera all day, and managed for the first time ever to get through a battery! I actually didn’t really notice much, if any difference using this mode to the standard mode, so may just switch it back over.

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*** Note: The Leica-Like film simulation was shot on White Balance custom setting 1 in these shots and these are the jpegs. When run through Fuji X Raw Studio and using Auto WB, the green shaded images change colour slightly as they are not in sunny conditions. This has been a great eye-opener in creating film simulations using custom white balance. Usually I haven’t seen much of a difference, but conditions today forced them.

Kilvey Hill Photography Outing – Straight From Camera

Today we had an outing with Great Photography Walks NPT and we ventured to the landmark hill that towers above Swansea. Kilvey Hill is famous for hosting the masts that supply the area with TV, Radio and communications. We parked in Pentrechwyth, which lays at the bottom of the hill, and made the 2 mile journey through narrow lanes, through forests, on rough terrain and an incline which was like walking up a flight of stairs!

For this journey I knew I needed to travel light, and I knew I needed focal lengths from as wide as I could, to as long as I could. For this reason I took both my Fujifilm 15-45mm and 50-230mm. On the way up I was to use the wider lens, and on the way back the longer lens. Weather forecast had been good, so this plan was perfect!

For a change I shot in Astia Film Simulation. The weather was pretty hazy to start, but we had a little break in the weather. The black and white shot was shot in Acros+R, as I shot a couple of film simulation brackets. As well as the shots here, I shot a number of panorama shots, which will hopefully be in an upcoming blog, along with a huge amount of bracketed exposure shots. Please click on the images to see them full screen. All EXIF data is included in each photo.

Just as we were finishing the day, the rain, against all forecasts, started to pore down. We headed back though, knowing we had seen great views of Swansea City, Swansea Bay, Port Talbot, Mumbles, Neath and the valleys and so much more, including the remains of a 17th centaury windmill!

There are not many places I visit where I still get the “wow” factor, but this was one of them. In every sense of the word, it was mind-blowing. All the years I’d lived below this hill, I’d never been to the top! It was a day we will all truly remember.

— Today was about the experience, I took a total of 335 photographs (which included many bracketed shots) and it was just nice to be out. Edited shots, as always, will be put on Facebook and other sites over the coming days.

Mumbles Photography Shoot (From a different perspective)

I’ve been back and forth to Mumbles in Swansea for as long as I remember, taking photographs looking out to sea at the stunning views so many times that I have lost count, so today I decided to try and differ from my usual shots there as much as possible. It’s not easy, as Mumbles is a beautiful and popular area of South Wales, where visitors come from miles around to visit. It’s infamous for Mumbles Lighthouse, Mumbles Pier and The Mumbles Mile (a stretch of pubs that you could drink at while being on the front).

Today’s task was simple, and due to the fact that my love for landscapes is at an all time low, I wanted to capture it differently to normal. We visited Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles Promenade, up to Mumble Pier and Lighthouse and back again. I sneaked in a couple of shots out to see, but for the most part kept to my brief for the day.

All photographs are simply the jpeg from the Fujifilm X-T20, with the majority of them only being resized. I shot in various film simulations, hence the difference in colour to some of them, and as usual I only used my Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8 lenses. All images we put into Photoscape X Pro where they were resized, straightened and sometimes cropped.

Hopefully these are a little different to what you usually see from this area, and hopefully interesting! Please click on the images to make them full screen and enjoy them a their best.

The weather was pretty horrible, with low visibility, drizzle and generally appalling conditions. Thankfully I was with a group of people who joined me, all with similar interest from the group that I run named The Great Photography Walks NPT. We meet up once a week to take photos, and that is what keeps me going and keeps my interest in photography!

If you’ve got this far and enjoyed what you’ve seen, please like and comment, all comments are answered and I enjoy the feedback. Also, please take a look around the site, as there’s a lot more to see!

The Perfect Sunset (Aberavon Photo Shoot with the 23mm Viltrox lens)

I think it’s human nature to love sunsets, and here in Aberavon, Port Talbot, we get some of the best sunsets you will ever see! Thursday evening on September 3rd what started out as looking like a dull evening, with clouds coming in and a load of haze, turned out to be one of the most spectacular sunsets we had had for a very long time!

While the others in the group took their usual array of lenses, I decided to just take the trusty Viltrox 23mm F/1.4. There’s a number of reasons I wanted to use this, mainly because it’s a damn amazing lens! 35mm (which the Viltrox is in full frame terms) is the perfect focal length for everything, and during the evening I used the lens not just to capture the wonderful landscape and seascape, but also take portraits of the members that had joined me.

I shot the sunset in Classic Chrome, although todays photographs are edited raw files using the latest version of Photoshop. They have the Classic Chrome film simulation re-applied to them to keep the look I was after. Please click on the images to make them larger!

There were also a number of shots that I only used jpeg for, mainly of the people around me. Here is a little selection of those shots.

Hopefully from these photographs you can see just how versatile the 23mm (35mm) lens is for photography. It renders beautifully, and captures everything as needed. The last four images are totally unedited other than resized for this website.

If you like what you see, please like and comment and take a look around the rest of the website for more photographs!

— These photos were from a last minute meet that I arranged for what looked like a brilliant sunset. When we got there it was awful, but as you can see, things changed!