Penllergare Valley Woods Photography with Fujifilm X-T3 and Viltrox 23mm lens.

It was a cold winter morning, and Penllergare Valley Woods was to be the subject of todays photo shoot. For this one I wanted to travel light, and only took my Fujifilm X-T3 and the Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 lens. My idea for the day was to simply take as many low shots as was possible, while trying to capture the cold, winter air and the feeling of discovery.

Timing was perfect, and for the first half of the morning, there was mist, frost and a general feeling of a cold, cold winter wind biting through our gloves. Of course, as it was Tuesday, it meant it was a Great Photography Walks South Wales outing that I had organised, and the day did not disappoint.

All photos were edited in Photoscape X Pro from their jpeg, but a bit differently to usual. I cropped, added a cinematic filter and that was that. No changes in exposure, shadows or highlights, just kept it as simple as I could. I also messed around with some double exposures, although these were left as was.

As I mentioned, I also tried a couple of double exposures, and these are the results straight from the camera.

It was a fantastic day. Using one camera and one lens, especially one focal length, really brings out the best in your photography. However, I must admit, I did cheat a bit and use my Huawei P30 Pro for a couple of shots that I wanted super wide angles or long exposures for. I see a mobile phone camera as an extension to your usual camera, and, at the end of the day, a camera is a camera in this day and age.

These were cropped to 6:4 and edited in Photoscape X Pro. Again, I was happy with the image out of camera, but just wanted a little something different, to show that the camera really doesn’t matter.

And there we have it. Penllergare Valley Woods is a stunning location based on the outskirts of Swansea, and within easy reach of the M4. If you travel through Swansea on the M4, you probably pass it without even knowing it is there! If you have liked what you see, please like, comment and subscribe. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed!

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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!

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Three Cliffs Gower Photography Outing

It was a Tuesday, the weather was amazing and it was time to go out with the photography group to take photographs and explore the local area. Today we explored Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Swansea. It’s a beautiful and scenic area, taking us through Pennard Burrows and passing the remains of Pennard Castle. We will explore taking photos from the castle another day, as today was all about keeping to sea level and capturing everything around us.

For this as well as my trusted Fujifilm X-T20, I made a slight change from my one camera one lens rule and I went along with my 15-45mm and 50-230mm, where I used the wider range lens on the initial journey, and swapped to the longer lens on the way back. It was a change doing it this way, but I really missed using just the 23mm and 85mm prime lenses that I have become so accustomed to.

Here are the images from today. They are mostly straight out of camera, some with just shadows being raised and just a couple with more artistic edits. I used Photoscape X Pro for today, as this is the least destructive to my jpegs and offers the most quick fixes if they were needed. As always, feel free to look at each photograph full screen, and all EXIF data is included in the photo gallery.

I just love the way the Fuji cameras render colours, and these were all shot in Classic Chrome, with no additional tweaks in camera, only for the couple mentioned in post-editing.

Very happy with the photographs from today, but the meets with Great Photography Walks NPT are enjoyable regardless of the results of the day. All images shot in jpeg and raw, with only jpegs used today. Future edits may look at the raw files.

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