Aberavon Sunset From The Top Of The Beach

You never know what type of sunset you will get at Aberavon, so the fun is just turning up and taking photographs of the sunset and seeing what happens. For me, I can never get enough of this beach, as it has the most beautiful sunsets in the area. Tonight was no exception, although I tackled it from the opposite side of the promenade that I usually take my photos from.

Tonight my gear was my trusty Fujifilm X-T20 with my Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8 lenses. Along with this I also used my Huawei P30 Pro mobile for some photographs, although this blog entry will focus just on the camera photographs. One day I will do a side by side comparison of a shoot, photographed both with the camera and the mobile phone.

Photographs were shot in MGA Leica-Like film simulation (which can be found in the Fuji section of this website) and processed in Darktable, where they were simply straightened and cropped where needed. The couple of monochrome images were converted in Darktable and set to the Fuji Monochrome setting.

As always, please click on the photos to see them full screen, and you can also see full EXIF data.

I’m really impressed with the performance of the camera and lenses in the night time. Of the 200 photographs I took (I done a few panoramas which I will look at later, plus a few burst shots of joggers), only 3 of them suffered camera shake or missed focus. I am more than happy with that result!

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— I am always learning with my camera, and sometimes I push it too hard. I set a minimum shutter speed on my camera to 1/60th and a maximum ISO of 3200, and for 90% of the evening this worked perfectly, however with the 85mm lens on I could see I was sometimes having shake, so I have now adjusted the settings to 1/100 and maximum ISO of 6400. I’m more than happy with the limited noise these settings produced when pushed to that limit.

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!

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.

If you like this blog, the photos, the story behind the day or just want to help me out, please feel free to Like and Comment on this blog, and feel free to look around the rest of the site where there is plenty more to see!