You spend all week stuck in doors with the sun shining outside.  You wait for the weekend for a few hours in the fresh air.  Weekend comes - and it rains.  To make things even worse you (well….me) make a complete balls up of the development of the film taken the previous weekend.

I was really excited to see what the pictures I took in Tenby on the Medium Format camera last weekend.   But I made a real school boy error in ordering C41 development when it should of been E6 - if you don't know what that is, don't worry as neither did I until I had an email from the film developing company pointing out my mistake (AG Photo).  Hopefully these will arrive next week which means I can give my new film scanner a real test (Epson V600 bought from WEX last week).

Tenby - Pembrokeshire

So in the meantime I thought I'd share a few pictures from last weekend taken during a walk with my family along a sunny Tenby beach.  It was a real bright and sunny day which is great for family days out, but not always for taking photo's.  But what I love to do in these circumstances is take pictures with the intention of converting them into black and white.  I find this works well because of the huge dynamic range and high contrast you naturally get when shooting in these conditions.

Tenby is a fantastic place to visit.  It was the first place I went to stay on a school trip about three decades ago without my parents.  The place reminds you of all your childhood holidays rolled into one.

If you haven't visited recently, its worth the trip back.  The road between Carmarthen and Tenby is now excellent and gone are the days when you crawl along single lane A road.  Even the multi-storey car park in town is having a facelift.  Its a great place for street photography too.  Although I didn't take any this time, you have old school ice-cream parlours, fruit and veg shops along with the "kiss me quick" type gift shops.  There's a real mix of people here too.  I'm still kicking myself for not getting a picture of a hen party pole dancing on a road sign to impress a group of Harley Davidson bikers parked up on the high street.  

But the main draw to the town are the beaches.  If the sun is shining you can enjoy some of the best beaches in the UK if not the world.

I have posted a blog before with a few pictures of Tenby South Beach before - LINK.  But this time as the tide was out, we went for a walk below the lifeboat launches on the North beach.  If the tide is out enough you can walk all the way around to the harbour which at this time was completely dry (except for the puddles and quick sand that my lad kept managing to find).  When I eventually get them, I really hope that my boat and chain pictures come out OK on the 120 slide film and that the vivid colours do it justice.

The lifeboat launches are fantastic concrete structures covered by barnacles that produce a beautiful texture.  These are taken with the superb FujiFilm XT-1 with the equally lovely 35mm f1.4 lens.

The next few shots have been taken over the last three years all with different cameras on Tenby beach.  I like the picture of the man walking his dogs - just going about his daily life, and the old couple having a picnic on the beach.

A Photographic Journey…...

This next bit hopefully doesn't sound too pretentious. I don't mean it to.  But it probably will.

I think I'm a typical non-educated photographer.  It appears that many of us are on the same journey where the equipment and toys are equal to, if not more important than the photo taking itself.  I think we all start here.  I haven't kicked the buying new gear habit yet, but now more of my time and effort is spent reading and researching other photographers and how their techniques are used to create more of a story than just a nice picture.

I've had my eyes opened by the likes of Kenna, Brandt, Bresson and McCullin.  All have different styles and subjects but really inspiration stuff that gets me thinking how I want to grow and develop.  I appreciate these are household names in photography terms, but they have seemed to influence many of us and a lot of work has tried to copy their style with limit effect.

After watching many channels on youtube covering the wide subject of photography, I've seen both the good and the bad.  Certainly where I am today in my "journey" the Art of Photography channel is one of the best.  Ted Forbes (@tedforbes) once was a lecturer in photography now delivers high quality content on his your tube channel.

I especially enjoyed his series on composition in photography covering - 

  • the use of shape
  • simplification and negative space
  • rule of odds
  • rule of thirds
  • rule of space
  • sub framing
  • rhythm
  • tempo
  • use of line

If you want to learn more about what makes a photo a great photo, then watch these short videos - its a good place to start. In addition to Ted Forbes, I also recommend watching Ben Horne's content.

Ben Horne's youtube channel was recommended to me recently and I have been hooked ever since.  Ben primarily uses a large format camera with sheet film.  His many trips to the canyons in the United States are well worth watching.  His creative journey is inspiring.  His fantastic website can be found here - LINK 

I really hope I don't catch the large format bug, but it's tempting given the potential results.  One thing I am trying to learn from Ben is to slow down. If you follow one of his trips, he may only take a dozen shots over a week.  Although this is partly down to the limitations of storing and transporting the film, it means that he needs to make every shot count and therefore he takes his time to make sure he gets the shot he wants.

Clearly I'm very early on my "journey" but keen to find a direction and a style of my own.

The week ahead…...

Next week, specifically the 1st of April, sees the start of the Sewin (Sea trout) and Salmon fishing season on the Towy here in Carmarthenshire.  The Coracle fisherman on the tidal stretches of the river have started to catch, so the fish have already started their journey to their spawning grounds in the tributaries of the Towy like the Gwilli and Cothi.  I doubt coracle fishing is something that many would of seen before. Hopefully I can get a few pictures to share with you over the coming months.

As a bit of a tradition for me and others, that I will be out and about on the river on the first of April with the vague hope of catching one of these fish.  But I have no expectations other than to enjoy my time back on the river.  The next coming days will see me sitting in front of the fly tying vise.  No doubt lots of swearing after breaking the thread after the 100th time.

Also, I am hoping that my black and white film developing kit will show up after a mix up with the delivery.  This could be dangerous.

Thank you for reading.  As usual if you have a comments or questions with regards to this blog or about any of the work on my website, please don't hesitate to email/tweet or Facebook me.  Knowing that someone reads this means a lot to me, and if you enjoyed this…then that's just amazing.  Diolch yn Fawr!

e:  t: @caerwynt_loops  f: towyphotograhy