I’ve been playing around with the Nik filters collection which Google has now made available free. This original colour shot was adjusted using the black and white Silver Efex Pro 2 filters and is posted as part of the WordPress weekly photo challenge, Landscape.
This weeks photo challenge is “Half-Light” and in this landscape the sunlight was flickering in and out of the cloud cover.
This reminded me of the track “Halflife” by Grasscut from the album “Everyone Was A Bird”. A band who take much of their inspiration for their music from the landscape.
From the liner notes by Robert Macfarlane
‘Halflife’ is the most haunted of all the tracks here. The ‘he’ of the lyric is the Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who like Sassoon joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers, who was killed at Passchendaele on the last day of July 1917, and who had been born and brought up near the village of Trawsfynydd – which in 1959 became the site of a twin-reactor Magnox nuclear power station. Anyone who has been to Trawsfynydd will know the huge cognitive dissonance of the area: out on the island in the lake stands the decaying concrete castle, with its lethal treasure still inside, while above and behind it rear the Rhinog mountains, wild and catastrophic.
‘Halflife’ imagines Wynn as a post-nuclear apparition trapped in an 8mm film-loop by the shores of the lake: ‘a loop he makes / through silver birches flickering / by concrete towers he disappears / disappears’. It’s a track that works its way under the mind’s skin. It flickers itself, moving in and out of clarity. The language of decommissioning and unknown futures haunt it, and fragments of the past fly through it – like the ‘shells by the roadside’ which recall the nosecap shell that struck Wynn in the stomach as he crossed the Pilckem Ridge advancing on the Iron Cross stronghold. ‘I saw him fall’, remembered a fellow Fusilier, ‘I saw him fall on his knees and grab two fistfuls of dirt. He was dying, of course.’
This February has been the mildest and warmest we have known since moving here. Usually it can be very cold with periods of -5C to -9C overnight and sometimes much colder. A few days ago it was 20C during the afternoon, so it’s no surprise that the garden is a bit advanced and we have primroses in full bloom.
These are also some of the first photos I’ve taken with my new phone (Moto G 3rd gen.) and I’m really pleased with the results, a great improvement on my old iPhone 4.
The challenge this week was “orange” and I took the opportunity of a countryside walk to pick out suitable subjects. What soon becomes clear are the many shades of orange trending from the edges of yellow and blending into red. I had hoped that the local brickwork and tiles would offer some good shots and I was not disappointed , but orange can be found in many places, even sitting on a bridge!
This weeks challenge is “Minimalist” It should “illustrate a moment in time, or an artistic perspective, with simplicity and grace.”
I decided to work on a photo which for me just didn’t work as it stood. The original photo is below, however I prefer the cropped version above, focussing on the terracotta roof tiles. I love the repetitive pattern though in fact each tile is completely different.
The roof is part of an old mill, down on the Doulon river just outside our village of Vals le Chastel. Its unoccupied now, except for once this year when an elderly couple stayed in part of the mill for a couple of days. The son of the original owners maybe?
Heading down into Horton in Ribblesdale from Pen Y Ghent
This weeks topic gave me an opportunity to look through the many photos I have of walks in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. I’ve been using Lightroom for over a year now and these were all still in iPhoto, which now seems a complete pain to use! I also always shoot RAW files nowadays and these were all jpegs, mostly from a small Canon Powershot, so I’m quite pleased with how they have turned out with a little tweaking in Lightroom.
Descending Pen Y Ghent
Leaving Great Gable and heading towards Styhead
The restored path from Sty Head to Seathwaite
Descending from Helvellyn via Swirral Edge, with Catsycam in the distance