Posts Tagged squall

A little lesson in monochrome

Hello one and all!

..or at least my regular subscribers. Thanks for dropping in. I suspect that anyone nearby in Wales will be having a hard time getting online as the weather is “unseasonably windy” of late, in the words of Carol Kirkwood on the BBC Weather. This affects broadband. Everything affects broadband in Wales….sun, rain, temperature, wind, cars passing by, butterflies coughing. You get the idea.

I have just returned from a walk along the lane to exercise my knackered knee (as per the order of the doctor) and it was hard to stay in a straight line. I felt sorry for a few cats I saw struggling to stay upright! However, I am glad that I rode my bike last night instead of this evening as a headwind on a push bike is no fun. It was damp and murky but rather that than wind. I was upset to see some lovely flowers I was looking to take pictures of have been all but obliterated by the breeze 😦

There have been a few big things on of late, hence the pause. Fear note, I am still here, I have both arms, both legs and a (portion of my) brain. At least I think so.

Anyway, I return with a fe images I thought I would pop on in homage to a photographer I very much love the work of, Ansel Adams. I have a book of his images that will adorn a coffee table that I own…as soon as I own one….and as soon as I own a place to put the coffee table in. I digress. Essentially, he almost made black and white photography what it is today and it’s due to him I think, that it still looks good and is still so widely accepted and many modern cameras have an option to change any image to black and white. He helped develop a system to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of a final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterised his photographs. Adams also used primarily used large format camera images (like we would opt for a bigger sensor in a DSLR) because their high-resolution helped ensure sharpness in images. One of my favourites can be found here. Google him…I will put money on your recognising his pictures from a calendar or poster.

But now, on to my pictures, which are by no means as good and should not be compared! The trick is to get a subject that has a clear demarcation of light and dark on it on a bright sunny day ideally. Now, I live in Wales. The first one might be hard but the second one is by far the hardest! However, I took a trip to the local estuary to try my luck….

CSC_0078

Not bad. Some reflection too. It is worth examining a little more to keep on until you find a subject that suits. If this was my job, I’d be spending weeks doing this kind of stuff. However, it is not, so I just move further down the estuary…

CSC_0105

Again with the reflection. Alas, I missed the rib in the top right when composing the image, so it kind of spoils the antique effect I was going for. But, hey, I’m not selling it, so I’m none too fussed. I quite like it actually…this mystery hulk.

I’m sure those who know me wonder where the cloud pictures are. Yes, I tried the monochrome things with them too. This is even harder as you need a lot of contrast in the sky, which is not always the case. However, I did attempt it with a squall and some cumulus to get this….

CSC_0454

So, what does one of my trademark sunsets look like in just black and white? Well, black and white of course! Less, Ansel Adams, more of a silhouette image I think; interesting aside here, the term comes from the name of Etienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister who forced austerity on the French people. Because of de Silhouette’s austere economies, his name became linked with anything done or made cheaply. Prior to photography, silhouette profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person’s appearance…there you have it. Anyway, this image is super cheap, in fact it’s free!

CSC_1164

However, fear not. I shan’t leave this post with no colour. Here’s a quick panorama towards the Preseli Hills at sunset with a nice cirrus cloud catching the last light of the day…

CSC_0848

Hope you enjoyed. By they way, I’ve entered the Weathernet competition for the 5th year running this year. I don’t hold out much hope to be honest but I may be surprised. A 4 year prize run is pretty good going I reckon, so I shouldn’t complain if I don’t win again!

Well, until next time, take care. Thanks for dropping in again

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Further Winter wetness (Part 2)…plus competition news!

News? Indeed!

For those who don’t know…that’s pretty much all of you bar my girlfriend and my Dad, I got an email yesterday informing me that I have, once again, managed to get two pictures included on the Weathernet calendar. So, that’s an image (or two) for 2013, 2014, 2015 and now 2016. Once again, the email arrives just in time as I’m away on hols as of Tuesday so I can send the originals for them this evening.

Pretty good huh? As I’m finishing off the Winter wetness blog, I shan’t post the images on here just yet to break the theme, I shall do it some other time. So, what’s next? My own business?! I doubt it, but it’s nice to think that the images are enjoyed elsewhere. I’ve not been out too much of late, as the last time I went for a walk I managed to overstretch my knee ligaments (again…this is an old injury) so I have been limping around like an old carthorse. Once I have had a proper rest, I shall be on the bike to build that joint back up, I can assure you!

Anyway, on to this load of images from last year of the flooding a bad weather we had in the area…I’ve managed to move away from flooding and include some clouds in this post…love my clouds. Firstly, does anyone remember the BBC news story about the bus being washed off the road in Newgale? If not, you can read about it here to refresh your memory. Below is a set of images from the aftermath….sans bus;

Who would think that down there is a main road and a large campsite...?

Who would think that down there is a main road and a large campsite…?

Still, no bus, but it’s pretty dramatic isn’t it? You can see the power of the wind in the foreground by the amount of rubbish strewn over the undergrowth. Usually, this kind of stuff never sees landfall. In the distance you can see the local pub that had been flooded…again! Quite how they get insurance I will never know……or maybe they don’t.

I then took an image down the road (this is one of the main roads to St Davids, the smallest city in the UK) which shows the road disappearing under the gravel bank and water. To the right is, believe or not, a camping ground. Somehow, this always manages to dry out in time for the holidays. Quite amazing. It’s either that or a very efficient drainage system!

Er...can I borrow your tractor? I need to get along there...

Er…can I borrow your tractor? I need to get along there…

Now, a closer image showing what used to be the road and the camping ground with people walking where cars would usually be passing, probably so they could pop some inane comment on their Faceboobs status like “walking in the middle of the road, lol” or something similar. If you hadn’t gathered, I’m not a fan of that stuff!

A pebble bank that used to be a road!

A pebble bank that used to be a road!

Moving on, quite literally, as this following image was after a drive away from Newgale, Dad and I moved over to Broadhaven, a little further along the coast. Normally the small road to the left in the first picture would lead there but, obviously, that was now impassable for rocks and water. That is not quite the world that a Ford Focus should inhabit!

As we approached, I remember squeaking at Dad to stop as I spotted one of the best formations of mammatus clouds I have seen since we have lived here…

A very impressive outbreak of mammatus over Broadhaven

A very impressive outbreak of mammatus over Broadhaven

The defences at Broadhaven (well, a wall) had meant that the front of the village wasn’t affected as badly as Newgale but there was a good few pounds of sand and gravel around, I can tell you! The local council was actually in the process of cleaning it up as we arrived, so I took another image of that mammatus as it slid inland..

Mmmmore mmmmammatus

Mmmmore mmmmammatus…very nice

Finally, a few days later, the sun and a passing squall came together in a lovely shot as I was out having a walk. A famous photographer (can’t recall who) once said that good pictures are all about fortuitous timing and this pictures demonstrates this quite well. After all, if the sun wasn’t there, would you even have the contrast and colour you have here? I doubt it.

A winter squall and a sunset conspired to make a lovely snap

A winter squall and a sunset conspired to make a lovely snap

There we go, a winters flooding in a dozen pictures or so. A whistle-stop tour you could say. I am sure that there will be more to come and I will be ready to take pictures! Who knows, there could be bigger calendar entries in the future…

Thanks again for dropping in and continued support, much appreciated and like the lady who emailed me from Germany a while back saying she liked a picture I had taken, if you want an image, feel free to ask. I can only say “no”…but I probably won’t, because I’m a thoroughly nice bloke. Go on, try me.

See you soon!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Some random garden and weather pictures for the weekend

Hello All,

I return. Been a bit busy of late and with the weather getting better by the day, they has been quite a lot of riding of my new bike to be done. Also, when I had it serviced recently I opted to fit gel inner-tubes to protect against punctures, so I am now more confident riding the paths around here that seem to be strewn with thorns for some reason.

Also, my work colleagues have decided that being single is a source of lunch hour amusement for them and have put me on a site called Plenty of Fish…probably to take the mickey even further, but it’s quite time-consuming! I was also persuaded to attend a singles night locally the other day; little did I know that I would be the only person there. No, not the only man, the only person. I even got let down by people who promised to come with me! The barmaid was very apologetic, but it was super embarrassing…

Anyway, what a difference an hour makes in South West Wales weather? When I got up the wind was blowing and the rain was horizontal but now, I’m squinting against the sun as I type! Mind you, there has been a lot more of interest in “space weather” of late as you may have seen on the news lately? If not, there was a “supermoon” (which saw some amazingly low tides around the beaches near here), the partial eclipse and a sighting of the Northern Lights over Pembrokeshire. Should you want to see the local cover, please refer to the local paper…

Read about the eclipse over Pembrokeshire here

See some pretty awesome (although not as you see them in Norway, unfortunately) Aurora pictures here

Anyway, I shall start popping my own pictures on now! As I said, this is a bit of a random collection of mainly weather, as it appears that my travels were somewhat curtailed and these were more local wanderings. Firstly, a spider that caught my eye in the garden, wrapping up his next big meal it appears..

Looks like this guy is wearing his desert camouflage...

Looks like this guy is wearing his desert camouflage…

That is a pretty funky spider tattoo down his back, isn’t it?! I fully admit that I am no fan of spiders, but will concede that they are amazing little creatures. I am quite thankful that I live in a country that just has small ones though, not like the tropics. Eeek!

Moving on to the skies, as I quite often do, a nice dusk that I took a few pictures of. I have included these as I noticed on review of the images that there was a little aberration in the latter picture…not sure whether I noticed this at the time though…

Notice the ripple effect in the cirrus towards the top of the picture; could this be Kelvin-Helmholtz forming?

Notice the ripple effect in the cirrus towards the top of the picture; could this be Kelvin-Helmholtz forming?

In the latter image below, just above and to the left of the trees, you will notice a line of Kelvin Helmholtz instability. Now, I don’t know whether this is some optical illusion or something as the earlier pictures shows some “waves” in the high cloud. I can’t say for sure, but I’d like to think I caught the creation of the waves over time 🙂

A small line of Kelvin-Helmholtz (I think) in the orange dusk

A small line of Kelvin-Helmholtz (I think) in the orange dusk

Next, a common occurrence over Pembrokeshire, some mild asperatus. This is the only place I have ever seen the regular appearance of this cloud, that is similar in age to me. In that, I mean that it wasn’t really officially recognised as a type of cloud until 30 or so years ago; I’m sure it has been around for donkeys years. In the textbooks and such, this is a precursor to rain or is on the rear edge of a front that was just carrying rain (this I can testify to). So, if you see clouds like this, get a coat….

Some mild asperatus in advance of rain overnight (which did happen, I'm not making it up)

Some mild asperatus in advance of rain overnight (which did happen, I’m not making it up)

As the sky got a bit dimmer, there was a nice watery orange sunset so I snapped a quick image of that with a little of the asperatus in…

A watery, orangey, asperatussy sunset. All technical terms, you understand

A watery, orangey, asperatussy sunset. All technical terms, you understand

A few days later, things had turned a bit squally again. This again seems to be a theme here, there are times where we have weeks of squally heavy showers and because of the position of the house and the hills in the distance, we get a pretty good grandstand view. In the first instance there was this little cell struggling to make itself into an anvil shape over the estuary to our north, bless it…

Must...create...anvil...shape. Nicely lit by the sun though

Must…create…anvil…shape. Nicely lit by the sun though

Alas, wind blew this little cell apart and it died away to be replaced by three of four layers of “scud” which were whipping along in the wind at quite amazing speeds. I took a picture of these as they passed, as the colours and contrasts of the different levels were pretty cool, I thought…

The type of clouds you avoid if you are in a glider, I suspect

The type of clouds you avoid if you are in a glider, I suspect

For every cell that falls apart there are a few that succeed in dropping their rain. This one and the following picture are from a day where things were a little less “lumpy” so they are much more streamlined and pleasing to the eye, even though in looking at them you would have got wet! From this angle, you can see what I mean in me getting a good view as the weather moves from left to right (from the Irish Sea inland)…

A windswept squall over the Preseli Hills

A windswept squall over the Preseli Hills

And to finish, a rainbow! Everyone loves a rainbow. No particular structure to this one as this was a fleeting one that passed by in the clouds as the rain flew around in the air. Again, this is something which happens quite a lot in the Spring around here, very pretty…

Rainbow! One of the plus points of rain in my opinion

Rainbow! One of the plus points of rain in my opinion

Well, there we have it, I hope that the fact that the sun is (trying to come) out and the flowers are blooming has cheered you up and these picture may have raised a grin too. Don’t forget the clocks go forward this weekend too!

Next week, I see that I was out and about when there was fantastic display of cirrus “mares tails”, basically windblown cirrus clouds very high up in the atmosphere that also seem to show themselves in advance of heavy weather which I also manage to capture, so I shall be posting those images. I have others from my wanders that week too so if you are good, I might post some more moving water…

Well, that’s the lot for this post, cheers for dropping in and taking a peek, see you soon. I will also update you on any decent single life news in the next entry 🙂

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

..and now, the weather

Hello all,

A great British obsession, the weather. I think, personally, that the forecast is infinitely more interesting than the news programmes that come before it most days seeing our news is mainly pestilence, famine and war or a mixture of, most of which we are involved in.

It’s been quite a wet winter here in Wales, but apparently, we shouldn’t worry as it’s going to be drier over the next few days. But it’s going to get colder. Yay! I keep wanting to wash the car but not much point if it’s going to be sprayed with salt again as soon as I venture out!

Anyway, enough of my gibbering about cars, I should get these pictures up. These are just a few random ones from recent walks and I will confess that I have smoothed them all for your viewing pleasure as there is quite a lot of cloud that doesn’t focus very well when you take a snap! The first image was an interesting “stepped” cloud formation over the nearby refinery in Milford Haven that’s visible from a hill a short walk from where I live. Yes, it’s not pretty but it creates a bit of context.

I think a friend who visited this area referred to the stacks as "industrial beauty" especially at night, but I'm sure some would disagree

I think a friend who visited this area referred to the stacks as “industrial beauty” especially at night, but I’m sure some would disagree

Moving further down, I went on a few trips to Newgale and I think the next two images were only a day or so apart, just shows how different the sky can look in a short amount of time. In the first instance, you can see a towering storm cloud (I think I know the name but won’t embarrass myself by getting it wrong) that has been lit by the sun going down; a bit hazy and not as pretty as some I have seen but nice none the less, particularly in black and white as I have posted it here.

This towering cloud was too far away to give any rain but still looked imposing

This towering cloud was too far away to give any rain but still looked imposing

Moving on, same beach a few days later but a different set of sky and a different set of colours. Over to the left, you can see a few ships in the queue for the Haven deep water channel, probably dropping off some materials for the refining process. On stormy days I do feel sorry for them, bobbing around out there!

I do like a good set of sunrays, me

I do like a good set of sunrays, me

Finally, one of those famous squalls over the hills I quite often see just from the house. This one didn’t really amount to much, you can see some light rain on the left in the distance but the mix of colours from dark to light once again caught my eye, as it always does.

Been seeing quite a few of these this winter...makes the season seem very long!

Been seeing quite a few of these this winter…makes the season seem very long!

Looks to be a little brighter here today so I may try to just go down to Port Lion and explore the woods. This is if I get the tide right as if it’s high I have to take a long diversion instead of the direct approach along the beach. Here’s hoping for a little sun to make any pictures a bit brighter!

Stay tuned for the results in a few weeks following uploads…and don’t forget my YouTube channel, just search “Luke Johnson” and choose the channel search from the filters; the more views, the more videos I will post. Thanks!

, , , ,

Leave a comment

A Coastal Path walk and some weather..

Hello everyone,

Well, well. I had 36 views the other week, I reckon that’s a record for me, although I note with some sadness that nobody wants to “follow” me, which is a shame because the updates are ummm, fairly regular at the moment. However, I am due to be working out of Aberystwyth for a bit so, it may be a week or so until the next one.

It’s raining here now after some recent snow, so I though I’d quickly post a few pictures I took when walking the Coastal Path near Newgale when the weather was somewhat sunnier. It’s my fave beach for a number of reasons, mainly the easy access and oodles of room to park (without using the pay and display machines which I use every day at work, so I’ll be damned if I do it at the weekend too) as well as the acres of room at low tide for beachcombing. The beach faces directly west too, so it was one of the first I went to and took sunset pictures from when I moved here and it’s a nice drive as well to be honest.

Anyway, moving on, this are a couple of pictures from the beginning of the walk where it is a touch up and down so those with weak knees need not apply.

On the way up from Newgale looking over some of the lovely beaches that Pembrokeshire has to offer

On the way up from Newgale looking over some of the lovely beaches that Pembrokeshire has to offer

I must admit, the dead ferns and bracken in the foreground worked quite well when taking these pictures. As you walk along, there are a number of steep drops down to lovely little beaches that would have no footprints on and are very tempting prospects to climb down to. Mind you, I wouldn’t give much for your chances once the tide came in, as the rocks may knock you about a bit; possibly to the point of a good list of broken bones and a free helicopter ride.

On my way back from my turning point, the sun was still out, so I took a shot of the entire beachfront

On my way back from my turning point, the sun was still out, so I took a shot of the entire beachfront

A couple of weeks later and the weather had got back to the usual with little showers and squalls travelling in from the hills and the sea. I know I complain about the weather, but the pictures I get are pretty awesome and these were some of my favourites, actually both were taken on the same day too so it just goes to show how quickly the cloudscape changes.

A very photogenic squall over the house. If you look closely it's almost green at the bottom left corner

A very photogenic squall over the house. If you look closely it’s almost green at the bottom left corner

Now, I do need to make two apologies here; firstly, I did promise I would post my best storm picture ever to a couple of people. I haven’t, as I felt I should take the pictures I wanted off the older card first. As the storm is a more recent image, I will do them shortly.

Secondly, I do say that I don’t manipulate images on here, but with these last two I have as, mainly due to my lack of skill, the exposure was a bit pants and the finished image was a teeny bit blocky. I noticed early, so they had a very useful tool set upon them…thank you Corel Photoshop for the Digital Noise Reducer Tool. I know that it may be a cheat but believe me, you would have noticed the difference and the images here look so much better for it.

A lovely little cell of rain travelling along the Preseli Hills about 30 miles from where I live

A lovely little cell of rain travelling along the Preseli Hills about 30 miles from where I live

Well, that about covers that memory card for this post so, next time I’m onto a new card and then will be revisiting the old one as I see fit or remember the stories associated. Hope you enjoy this weeks lot and also hope to see you soon!

, , , , , ,

2 Comments

A few weather photos for a change

Hello everyone…well, the 3 or 4 people I know who look regularly!

I thought that the castles and such would be wearing a little thin in my posts now so I am opting to intersperse a few of my recent weather photos into the mix, just to keep things a bit interesting. Obviously if weather doesn’t interest you, then this will be boring, but I hope that I have managed to get a good cross-section here.

If any of you know or remember where I live as I have mentioned it before, you may realise that we have a bit of snow at the minute. Alas, the amounts aren’t fantastic so no pictures I’m afraid..the large falls have happened further east of me and I’m not making a special journey, seeing no-one seems to know how to drive in snow in the British Isles. By the way, if that Polo driver who followed me to work is reading this, I’d recommend a bit more that 3 feet between my bumper and your car when driving in snow and sleet. Eeejit.

Anyway, moving along to more pleasurable things. Piccies. Firstly, they are in no particular order, just the order I chose them in. The first picture is of the regular autumnal squalls we get here. I can get myself ready to take pictures as you can see them coming from the coast or the hills and they are quite spectacular.

A squall with a touch of a rainbow in it. Looks nice as long as you aren't under it!

A squall with a touch of a rainbow in it. Looks nice as long as you aren’t under it!

Secondly, my favourite thing to take pictures of, apart from storms and such. A nice pink sunset. This didn’t look like much at first but I found a new vantage point and managed to get a nice line of silhouette from the trees. If you look closely to the right, you can even see some shadow from the sun on the clouds themselves, which is a nice little touch that I didn’t see when I took the image 🙂

A high, pink cloud deck over Milford Haven

A high, pink cloud deck over Milford Haven

Next, an image I couldn’t not take, although I was caught out by the fact I was inside the house on the PC at the time, hence the lack of foreground and composure. These are some pretty high clouds (a type of cirrus per chance?) caught by a setting sun that look like brush strokes in the sky. I don’t see this very often but when I do, I think it’s lovely. It got pinker but I screwed up my shutter speed and they came out too dark so I’m not posting them!!

I imagine if I were going to attempt to sell this kind of picture, I would entitle it "Brush Strokes"

I imagine if I were going to attempt to sell this kind of picture, I would entitle it “Brush Strokes”

Talking of cloud shadows as I was earlier, this is one of the best I have seen for a while. A number of things just came together at the same time I would guess…a storm to the west with some pretty awesome clouds and colour, sunset and the sun at just the right angle shining through the gap. And there was also me standing waiting in the middle of a field too; man, it was cold that day. Never mind….got a good picture!

Sometimes, the timing of taking a picture can be just right...

Sometimes, the timing of taking a picture can be just right…

Lastly, a regular wintry icy sky sunset for you taken from the fields out the back of the village. These are quite a common occurence around here when the sun is actually out this time of year…something which hasn’t happened for a while around my neck of the woods!

If there had been a little more of the ice somewhat high this would have created an ice pillar. Bummer :(

If there had been a little more of the ice somewhat high this would have created an ice pillar. Bummer 😦

Mind you, things seem to be settling down now. Once the BBC decide that the country isn’t going to go into complete meltdown for a half-inch or so of snow, it will start warming up and things will be back to normal. I’m planning a hike up the Carmarthenshire Fan to get some nice geologically themed landscapes for you all when the weather is better (for better, read warmer as I’m quite thin and need my heat if only just in single figures!)

Well, that’s me for the time being. See you in a week or so for another post of what I do not yet know. TTFN!

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment