Gwrych Castle

Great to be able to visit Gwrych Castle (well apart from having to get up the hill with a bad back but it was worth it).

Gwrych Castle

It’s such a tragic shame that the castle has been allowed to fall into such a poor state – seeing the old photographs of it and then comparing it to the broken, over grown structures that remain really makes you wonder how it could have been allowed to happen.

Hopefully the trust that is trying to preserve the site enjoys some success and is able to open up more of it for all to see.

Shelter S6

One of the beach shelters on Llandudno promenade

I was up early on Saturday so figured, despite it being low tide and few clouds in the sky I’d head over to Llandudno to watch the sun come up. Was lovely having the promenade to myself as a red sun rose, nearly forgot to take any photographs.

Colwyn Bay 40s Festival

This weekend in Colwyn Bay they had the 40s Festival. A good opportunity to get out and try a bit of ‘street’ photograph – albeit, I haven’t mastered the art of being inconspicuous.

Here are some of the characters we saw…

St Mary’s Lighthouse

St Mary's Lighthouse

A second photograph of St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitely Bay and probably the last of my photographs from my trip to the North East earlier this year. I really hope to get back to that beautiful coastline again sometime soon.

ND Filters – Colour Casts

UPDATED 21st April – see below
I mentioned in a recent blog post that I was waiting for a Tiffen apeX 10 stop filter to arrive through the post that was being sent to me to try out.  I had a little go with it at the weekend and noticed it had a bit of a colour cast – so I decided to head to Talacre beach last night to compare this with three other 10 stop filters I own.

This was a simple test – I setup around 7.30pm with little cloud in the sky I was guaranteed relatively consistent lighting.  I then took a test shot without filters at f8, 1/125th second, ISO 200.

I then quickly applied one filter at a time taking a single exposure – note, I changed aperture to f11 to get a slightly longer exposure – so instead of 10 seconds, these are all 20 second exposures.

The filters compared were Tiffen apeX 10 stop, B+W ND110, Lee Filters Big Stopper, Formatt Hitech Firecrest 10 stop.

I’ve merged the five exposures into a single comparison image below – these are all based on straight out of the camera jpegs from my Fujifilm XT-1 using the camera auto white balance.

 

 

 

If you click on the above photograph it’ll take you to a full size copy plus a gallery containing the five original jpegs.  N.B. inevitably when changing filters there’s a bit of camera movement so the photographs aren’t perfectly aligned.

 

UPDATED

After sharing this, I was asked to do a further comparison given I’d captured these as RAW and jpeg files. As stated above the original comparison was to see how these were captured using auto white balance – this is how I normally shoot (and how pretty much everyone who I know who does LE goes about it) so I wanted it to be a ‘real world’ test. However a valid question was raised – how would these look if the white balance setting of the original unfiltered photograph was used for the others.

So I’ve taken all four filtered RAW files into Lightroom and adjusted the white balance – both temperature and tint. No other adjustments were made – these were then imported into photoshop to allow me to merge the files into one comparison (I also saved these as jpegs)

I’ve created two versions of this comparison – the same as the original above and one just showing the lighthouse element of each photograph which someone requested of me.

For information, these were the original white balance settings listed in Lightroom for each RAW file:
Unfiltered – Temp 5100k; tint 4
Tiffen – Temp 4750k; tint 62
B+W – Temp 5000k; tint 0
Lee – Temp 6600k; tint -6
Formatt – Temp 5150k; tint 0

N.B. I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating this comparison and I hope you find it useful. I welcome this being shared but if you do, please credit the source.

Constant Flow

Part of the old mill site.

I decided to head back to the old mill site where I took a photograph that I uploaded recently – partly with a view to trying to see whether, with more experience, I could find a different angle for that subject and also to check out a couple of other spots which I’d struggled with previously.

Sadly the battery pond that the overflow was located in is now empty – I think it has cracked at the base, allowing the water to flow freely. Thankfully though the other ponds were as I remembered them meaning that the above overflow connection to the mill still enjoys a constant flow of water.

Up

A second photograph taken as a sea mist/fog hit the North Wales coast this weekend. I really wish I’d had more time to visit a few of my favourite locations but with limited time available I had a fun half hour photographing the groynes and markers from Rhyl promenade.

Neutral Density Filters – what to buy

I’ve had a few requests recently for information on ND filters and what to buy to get started.  I’m also doing some talks later in the year on the subject of Long Exposure photography.  It’s a technique that continues to grow in popularity as the end results can be incredibly evocative.  I shared some thoughts previously on why I’m so fond of the use of long exposure in a large proportion of my own output.  I’ve also provided a general overview of the kit required but here I want to go into more detail into the filters themselves.

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