Cornwall 2015

We decided to get one last holiday before the baby comes in September so we decided a few nights down in Cornwall would be an ideal break away. Laura booked us into a small holiday cottage for the first night a few miles from Weston-Super-Mare which was an ideal stop off point on the way to her aunties in Porthpean on the southeast coast of Cornwall.

Weston-Super-Mare sand sculpture

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Then on to Cornwall via a couple of National Trust properties.

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Mevagissey 

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The Tall Ships at Charlestown 

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And the Milky Way taken from Porthpean beach

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London

Me and Laura went to London for 3 nights as part of her birthday celebrations.

We got the train down there on Monday afternoon and got to our hotel around 4.30pm. The hotel was recently renovated to a very high standard and is set just off Hyde Park. Well worth a look if staying in London.

http://www.arborhydeparkhotel.co.uk/home

Poppies at the Tower of London

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Imperial War MuseumLDN-13

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Buckingham Palace

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The Thames Barrier

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Emiriates Airline

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The Shard

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City Architecture

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Summer is here with clear skies!

 

 

Summer is here and it’s the best time to view the Milky way in the UK. Luckily we have been blessed with some brilliant clear skies.

 

Penmon Point, Anglesey.

Milky way over Penmon cottages

The weather again was looking good for an evening at Aled Isaf with the tent. A few shots from here.

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Me and my wife Laura headed over to Madeira  for our summer holiday and took advantage of a sunset and stargazing excursion. Unfortunately it was a full moon so the Milky way wasn’t as visible but the views were amazing. Sitting at 1818 meters, Pico Arieiro is the highest peak on the island and you sit above the clouds. I’d love to go back there on a moonless night!

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Above the clouds

 

The radar dome.Under the domeBack home, I went for a drive to Llyn Geirionydd. Another moonless night and 19 degrees at 1 am was perfect for taking time out to marvel at the wonders of the universe.

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Comets

 

Took a drive over the moors home and thought I’d try this shot. I’d seen a few previously from America and thought this worked pretty well.

The road

 

 

And one from the other night. The ISS pass. Taken behind Abergele at an old lookout tower. 6 shots stitched together.

ISS over the tower

 

Cheers for looking!

While you are sleeping…

One of my favourite photography genres is night photography, especially the stars. In North Wales we have some cracking places to sit and watch the other worlds go by, weather permitting of course. I usually try to get out when there is no, or little moon, and as far away from the light pollution because even if you think you are somewhere dark, the sensor of the camera will pick up so much.

With my star trail shots, I started off using free software called Starstax (www.starstax.de) but now I use Photoshop to create the final image. All of the shots in this blog are taken with my Canon 550d, and most are shot on the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 lens with one exception when I used the Sigma 17-25 f2.8.

This is one of the first that I took. Its an old passenger ship that is permanently moored on the North Wales coast. The light pollution is coming from Liverpool and the Wirral.

One shot.

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110 shots stacked.

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The next shot is a small church in Cefn near St.Asaph.

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124 shots. Would have been more but the clouds started coming in.

St Marys Church star trails

A month or so back, me and a friend went to Llyn Geirionydd.

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134 shots. I actually took 170 but the lens started to fog up due to the cold.

Old lake shelter

This shot of llansylnnin church in the Conwy Valley was taken using the Sigma 17-35 at f2.8. The difference is unreal. It picks up a lot more stars. Unfortunately, the clouds came in early again! I didn’t get the shot to light up the foreground like I usually do but I think it works quite well.

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Another angle from that night using the fish eye lens.

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The Milky way is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. If you ever get the chance then do it, you won’t regret it.

These were taken on the Denbigh moors just after midnight in June.

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And this one at nearly 2am in Snowdonia in July.

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I look forward to spending some more nights searching for the milky way, watching hundreds of satellites pass above my head, and waiting for the sun to rise.

 

A Quick trip to Snowdonia

I had planned to make the short trip to Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia for a while and with the winds forecast to be still, I thought it was the perfect day to get some reflections in the lake. I planned to set of early but that didn’t happen. After picking a friend up, we set off around 8.30, stopping o the way for a quick coffee to go.

On the way up there, we detoured and stopped off at Aber Falls. A couple of quid to park and a 45 minute walk up the gentle path led us to one of the best waterfalls I have seen, and its practically on my doorstep!

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So we had an hour at the falls we then made our way down the A55. After turning off for Bethesda and heading down the Ogwen valley, we were greeted with some lovely low lying clouds.

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We arrived at the visitor center and the weather didn’t look too good but we decided to make the short walk to the lake on the off chance it would clear. And it did. Just!

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Liverpool…

Liverpool has long been one of my favorite cities in the UK, maybe the world.

It boasts some of the best architecture, some brilliant people and it comes alive at night. Its also only an hour drive for me which is a bonus! With some nice cloud movement on the day I opted to go, it was a good day for long exposures.Image

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One of Banksy’s walls. Pre plastic protection.

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We headed up to the Anglican cathedral. For £5.50 you can go to the roof to take in the views. On a clear day you can see Snowdonia. We got there for the sunset but it wasn’t that good. Once the street lights came on though, it looked fantastic!

Before heading up to the top, I got one a shot inside. A fabulous building!

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And the view!

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Then back to the docks before heading home.

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