Saturday, 19 December 2015

Lovers in an "Enchanted" woodland - Latest DPS in HE Naturist

“Enchanted”
(From my major exhibition project, “Landscape Figures”)



My latest double page spread in H&E Naturist Magazine is "Enchanted", one of my images from last year's major exhibition "Landscape Figures"

The words are a little difficult to read in the magazine itself but conversely, the print quality is excellent in the magazine and there is so much detail and richness of colour to be seen and enjoyed. So here are the words:

"In an old woodland deep in the heart of ancient Britain, a young couple lie together upon deep, lush moss, under a delicate winter canopy of spindly trees. The air is cold and the sunlight weak, but in it’s low rays the lovers hold each other close, sharing body warmth through intimate touch. As they make the closest connection possible in this magical, enchanted forest, silently observed by the spirits of people and community gone by, they don’t feel the cold, only life, love and peace".

Words and picture are copyrighted to © Glyn Davies.com

Copies of the magazine can be ordered direct online HERE

Original signed prints of this image are available direct online HERE

Thursday, 3 December 2015

"Studied" - First nude with the Fuji XT1

During what seems to be almost a fortnight of darkness, rain and gloom, I have decided to upload one of my latest images "Studied" from my "Landscape Figures" project, this time shot on my new mirrorless Fuji X-T1 camera.

The weather was dreary with mist in the valleys and low cloud cladding the summits, so the light levels were low. This image was taken late in the day as even worse weather approached. The air was cold and clammy but the pale, isolated boulder in the middle of this mountainside moorland was crying out for a naked figure. Fortunately, at that moment, a beautiful naked woman walked across the hillside and without a word, gently stepped up onto the stone.



It was pulpit-like, and the woman stood as if facing a crowd, but she chose to place her hands in front of herself, covering her womanhood, making her seem vulnerable or defensive but I loved the ambiguity it created. In one way she is standing tall and proud, the wind blowing her hair, and vast open views ahead of her, yet equally it's as if she's aware that she is being watched or studied. The openness of the moorland means there's no hiding but nevertheless, it still seems like her place and her land. As I walked away having taken a photo, she turned to look at me but only for a few seconds, before she turned her head to the dark clouds now sweeping in from the sea.

Prints of this image are available HERE

Tech notes: The little Fuji was connected to a tripod so that I could use a slower shutter and a smaller aperture to retain depth of field. The image is grainier than files from my 1DSMk3 but the graininess and minimalism of tone thankfully lends itself to the subject. The print of this image is quite unusual because at one level it seems 'soft', but when you study it closely it's actually showing masses of detail - all part of the quirkiness of this fun little camera.

Words and images are copyrighted to © Glyn Davies 2015

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

"Heaven's Below" - Brand new image - Immediate Edition sale

Back in February we witnessed one of the most amazing temperature inversions in years and for me, perhaps the most spectacular inversion ever. It was almost literally like an 'ocean' of cloud below me as I stood in brilliant, ultraviolet-rich sunlight on the summit of Mynydd Mawr, the other peaks and ridges appearing like islands across the sea of fog.

Perhaps the most ethereal sights are to be seen in the transition zone, where you exit the dull, drizzly weather below into the clear sky above. Here the backlit cloud swirls around, dropping and rising constantly, one minute affording heart-pounding views into the void that opens up below you and the next cloaking you in thick impenetrable cloud - now you see it now you don't!


I shot perhaps eight frames of this view but this is the only one where the distinctive peaks of the Nantlle Ridge came into view, creating a more vivid idea of the sheer depth of cloud below, and the distance between the mountain tops. This is the moment that epitomised the magic, visual spectacle that I was humbled to see.

It's a bit weird therefore that around ten months later I still hadn't even re-visited my little folder of RAW images shot on that cracking day in the hills with my mate Ken Latham. As a gallery owner not just a photographer, work, customers, business and administration all take priority over, which always tends to be the lesser part of my working week, sadly. So during a rare quieter day recently, with winter rain lashing at the gallery window, I found myself dropping into that February folder and becoming captivated once again by what I'd seen. I was annoyed with myself for not having perused these files much sooner.

I really enjoyed converting the camera file from the early-morning orange light to a neutral black and white, reducing the image to monochrome tones, just varying levels of black and white, with plenty of white in this case. In the end I added a subtle warm colour wash as it just seemed a closer representation of my visual and emotional response to the scene at the time.

I 'Facebooked' it straight away and my small group of regular followers responded immediately. I then printed the image to 2ft x 3ft and framed it, placing the print in my gallery window and posted it on Facebook one more time. Within just three days one of my customers made a beeline for my gallery, being so keen to see it and after a quick chat she bought it, just like that! I am now printing more copies of this edition, and one will be for my own house as I've really taken to this image. Fortunately, although she's disappointed she wasn't with us on the day, my lovely partner Jan also seems happy that we'll have a print of this on our own wall.

Further prints are now available online HERE or by calling me at the gallery on 01248 715511

All words and images are copyrighted to © Glyn Davies (2015)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

"The summer that never was" - H&E Magazine - My first non photography article in ages

I have written several books in addition to numerous interview articles over the years but this is the first time in ages that I have submitted an illustrated article on a subject other than my work and photography, and had it published in full. It was a real thrill to receive my copy of H&E Dec 2015 and see not just my images, but my words also.

Writing about one of our last chances to get to our favourite beach was never going to be my Daphne Du Maurier moment of vivid description, but it was fun to be writing again.

You will have to buy a copy of H&E Naturist (WH Smith stock it) to read the full article and see all the images clearly but here are a few snippets in chronological order!



"This was the summer that never was for us in North Wales, especially for those of us working full-time who even missed the occasional spills of broken sunshine, as overall we experienced weeks of high winds, cold air, blankets of cloud and rain. Retailers benefited as thousands of weather-beaten tourists made for the towns and attractions seeking shops, cafes and activities as they were unable to sunbathe, swim and barbecue as planned. During rare appearances of glorious warm sunshine, beach lovers swarmed to the coast for maximum exposure, trying to absorb two weeks worth of rays in a few hours. Of course melancholy groups of sunburned tourists would return to the towns again the next day"

"It was sheer joy to start the engine and head off. As we drove over the 189-year-old Telford’s Suspension Bridge connecting Anglesey to mainland Wales, intense sunlight bounced off the rapid tidal waters of the treacherous Menai Strait 100ft below. The day felt good and positive and only the most delicate clouds could be seen to the south-west. For September, the roads seemed surprisingly quiet so unusually we were able to slip through the historic castle town of Caernarfon"



"There is sunlight streaming into the van, music playing and now a sense of urgency to be on the beach, so as not to miss much-needed rays for our vitamin D-hungry bodies! We catch glimpses of the vast sand dunes of Harlech beach to our right, the northern sisters to the even larger dunes of our Morfa D to the south. We climb the steep hill past the imposing, medieval Harlech Castle, built in the 13th century by Edward 1 during his invasion of Wales, but this September there seemed to be no invasion of Wales by anybody"


"There was heat, but not the usual baking June and July heat. There was a sense that this might be our last chance for a hot beach day before a long winter. Interestingly we took two fleeces with us, ‘just in case’. I carefully strapped our windbreakers and bags to the trolley before we squeaked our way over the sun-warmed timbers of the boardwalk that leads to the vast Morfa Dyffryn beach. Every now and then, carried by the breeze, came the cries of children playing on the beach and an occasional bark of a dog"

"There is something utterly liberating about being alone and naked on a huge beach, almost like the world is your oyster and all you can really do is watch, meditate and feel completely at one with the landscape and the planet. We just sat together, a man and a woman, and we kissed, and felt close, and watched nature do its own thing. No sounds of cars or planes or people, just the gently lapping sea and the sound of the birds. We were completely at peace and for me at least, part of being a naturist, the best part, is feeling closer to the earth – and this solitude helped us both to feel at one with our rotating planet"

James Kirby - new EP Cover by Glyn Davies - shot in Menorca

Finally I can proudly say that James Kirby's new EP is out on sale so I can now publicise my photography for it's front cover :-)

I posted a blog story about my Menorca shoot HERE but it's good to see the actual CD cover now a reality, oh, and the music is fantastic so what a bonus!



Will be interesting to see if any more of my images are used in the future as we'd captured some beauties on our holiday commercial shoot.

It looks like James is now booking a date or two here in North Wales where his incredible talent will be enjoyed by many new listeners hopefully.

Congratulations James!

If anyone else wants a bit of Glyn magic for their music PR then contact him HERE

Detail of the cover

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

10th International Spider Awards - Honourable Mention for "Life in Rock Pools"

The last Award competition result for this year!

I have just heard that one of my images "Life in Rock Pools" is in the winners gallery of the 10th International Black & White Spider Awards having gained one of 15 Honourable Mentions from the 1000s entered internationally.


I entered 6 images and five were nominated for an Award but I am delighted that one of them, "Life in Rock Pools" was finally rewarded with the recognition I'd hoped for it, as although it's caused the most polarised opinion from my series, I love it's mood, strength and darkness, both physically and metaphorically.

The five nominated images were

"Life in Rock Pools"
"Waiting For Spirits"
"Swallowed by the Lake"
"Before Darkness"
"First Flight"

Prints of all my images are available from my website - just search the image galleries and click the "Add to Cart" option below the image text accompanying each image, simples :-) A drop down of sizes and prices will appear before adding to cart.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

2nd live Radio Interview with the sage Rhys Mwyn - Mon FM

One year ago, almost to the day, I nervously sat in the small sound proofed radio studio at Môn FM waiting to be interviewed by the very wise Rhys Mwyn, archaeologist, historian, punk musician, music oracle and now TV and radio presenter. That day he made me feel at ease within minutes of going live, and we were soon chatting intently about my new exhibition and major project “Landscape Figures”, discussing nudes, naturism, attitudes, landscape, art and shifts in photography, all interspersed with Welsh music tracks selected by Rhys.


So today I felt easier when waiting for us to go live, and we just chatted about other fascinating projects he has in the offing, and this time Rhys had asked me to select some tracks of my own, it felt like “Desert Island Discs”! It was a surprise request for me and I thought it would be a 2-minute job, but when I sat in front of my main system and opened up 1000s of tracks on iTunes I was suddenly daunted. How on earth do you choose just 4 or 5 tracks that mean so much to you but that would also ‘represent’ times in your life? Well I burned 18 tracks to two discs and even then it was VERY random as without listening to all 1000 tracks or whatever which would have taken weeks, I mostly went by memories and those that have stuck in my mind from different times in my life. Ideally, it should have been a more classically biased selection but that would have been at odds with what the listeners were expecting during the chat show.

I find Rhys fascinating, his brain ticks over at a pace; he draws together so many pathways that could easily lead you off over the horizon but instead channels them forward to a varied unification, a rich journey. I like that approach as it seems to be close to the way I think, I’m not easily routed or linear, my mind jumps to so many other interesting adjuncts that I feel are relevant to a thought process. So we found ourselves casting our lines but both reeling in the same wonderful fish and hopefully the listeners will have enjoyed our fishing!

I mentioned the follow up to my exhibition that has included many of my nudes being given awards and honourable mentions, and the exhibitions they have, are and will appear in. Notably, “International MONO Awards”; “International COLOUR Awards”; “SUN” (Shot up North Awards); “IN:SIGHT” Competition - shortlisted; Castle Galleries “Summer Show” (Birmingham); “People’s Choice Awards”, Washington Green Fine Art; MOMA Wales – “Open” Competition; SUN Exhibition, Leeds, and the forthcoming Chester Arts Fair on 21 and 22nd November. I also talked about the keynote speech I gave for the "John Muir Trust" at the Galeri in Caernarfon, for their 1st Welsh AGM.

However for the most part, we chatted about photography and music and meeting people, about networking and promotion and the ‘reality’ of being self employed and the rewards it can bring personally and spiritually to counter the pressures and demands. I was happy to mention my singer / songwriter friend James Kirby, who I met in Menorca and ended up doing a shoot with me using my new little Fuji camera (see previous blog post HERE) as one of my images has just gone live online on his home page, ahead of his forthcoming CD "The Night Is Young". I felt so at ease that I might as well have been in Rhys's kitchen and after about 30 minutes of the two-hour programme I had forgotten I was even live in front of an audience! We think we should makes ours an annual chat

Oh, so which tracks did he play from my 18? "Casta Diva" by opera singer Maria Callas, "Sweet Llangenith" by my singer/songwriter friend James Kirby, "Golden Brown" by the Stranglers, "Cars" by Gary Newman, "Graffiti on a Train" by Stereophonics and to finish, "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd, my all time favourite non classical track.

Môn FM is run entirely by volunteers, on a shoestring budget, but they assure me that all of Rhys's interviews are recorded and will be uploaded to MixCloud as soon as possible, enabling those who who were unable to listen live to catch up at a later date. As soon as I know that my recorded interviews are online I promise to post the links here for all my followers. Many thanks to Môn FM for contacting me today to inform me of progress.

Monday, 2 November 2015

1st real test for my Fuji X-T1 - in Menorca, with singer/songwriter James Kirby

Whilst on holiday in Menorca last month I was testing out a brand new type of camera kit, new for me at least as it’s a tiny, small sensor and mirror-less Fuji X-T1 camera, a camera I’d bought to be inconspicuous in South Africa next year. I’d had no chance to use it beforehand so I didn’t have a clue about the little idiosyncrasies of it’s set up or it’s potential. It didn’t matter as I was on holiday, and for basic, ‘manual everything’ landscape and travel photography, it would be fine.


And then we met James Kirby, performing live one evening in a warm side street alongside the harbour in Ciutadella, an incredibly beautiful, unspoilt and history-rich town, once the capital of this small island. Even from the other side of the town we could hear the crowd, applause and powerful melodies of guitar and voice oscillating through the night air. I thought that whoever was singing they MUST be famous. We found ourselves drawn towards the music, and from the street above we could see a large crowd surrounding the singer, some sitting and drinking, others just stopped in their tracks, mesmerised by his music. We wangled a seat that had been reserved for diners, and found ourselves right opposite James. We drank cocktails as we sat there, becoming emotionally uplifted by his music. When he’d finished his set in front of this predominantly Spanish and Catalan crowd, I went over to him, got chatting easily and had no hesitation in buying his three CDs. We invited him over for a drink and having sung for over an hour in the baking evening warmth, he readily accepted.

We discovered that he was originally from the Wirral but lived in Canterbury for much of his life, and now lives and gigs all over Europe - a seasoned traveller as well as a committed and passionate musical artist. I showed him my “Landscape Figures” project on my iPhone and also my website. He was blown away by my work as much as we were by his musical talent. By the end of our drinks we’d decided to do a publicity portrait shoot with him, all free of charge and just for fun. James would simply pay for image usage if we shot anything he wanted to use, meaning no risk for James and fun for both of us.

As the day of the shoot drew close however I started panicking about whether my little camera would produce the results required. I was equally aware that I wasn’t familiar with night shooting with it, the selective focus points, noise reduction options and other settings - I also knew that I had no additional lighting to employ. We started off easily enough, standing him on vertical cliff tops 300ft above the clear blue Med below, backlit sunshine, exposing for shadows and my only task to ensure that his poses were relaxed and believable, even if unavoidably posed. It was amazing to hear him play for real in such an extreme position, the gentle melodic sounds wafting in the breeze so that soon other holiday visitors were also starting to gather around just to listen.

We changed location three times before going for a fantastic evening meal in Ciutadella old town, where we cooked fresh fillet steak on hot-stones, and drank refreshingly chilled white wine. After that we found ourselves wandering around the back streets looking for potential backdrops for his portraits. We found several superb historical alleyways and although the compositions and ambient lighting were superb, I struggled with not knowing how to adjust the focus point on this camera (easy on the Canon) so that I could focus on James whilst the camera was attached to a carefully positioned tripod, and therefore I had to use a workaround of using a focus-lock approach, as well as balancing almost imperceptible amounts of fill-flash from the minuscule flash unit, but at 1.40 am we ended up at an unusual and distinctive clock in one of the town’s many squares, a clock James had always been fascinated by, and so the last frame of the ten hour shoot was of James under ‘his’ clock with his guitar.

The flash unit simply didn’t have the throwing power needed for the distance at which James stood from me, so I just used natural light with the ISO ramped up to 800, and of course the camera on my lightweight carbon fibre 190 tripod. This is a straight shot, (well lighting wise). I used PhotoShop to partially correct the leaning verticals resulting from shooting on a wide angle lens, but the light, colours and noticeable (but fun) grain were as shot on camera RAW.

James was very taken with this shot and has agreed a licence with me to use it for publicity, both online and on his new EP cover out shortly. Although grainy (digital noise), I am as delighted with this shot as he is and I’m looking forward to seeing it on his EP. When we reviewed the other images from the shoot the following day, we knew that loads had worked brilliantly which James could use for further publicity.

For me, the most creatively exciting part of this holiday was getting my teeth stuck into this mentally stimulating portraiture, adding creative spice to 14 relaxing days on the beach and crystal clear waters ☺

Check out James's music at www.jameskirbymusic.com

Friday, 23 October 2015

“Mist Touches” Double Page Spread in Nov Issue of H&E Naturist

“Mist Touches”
(From my major exhibition project, “Landscape Figures”)


“It’s the season of mist and fog, as remnants of warm air linger throughout autumn and into winter, caressing the cooling, softened landscape. Yet the weather can still be uplifting for those who are aware, for the gentle flow of condensed air carries resonant memories of sunny days, laughter, friends and cold wine. Ahead we look forward to the new life that spring brings and we build powerful and positive dreams for hot days to come and another clothes free summer.

So winter is neither frightening nor negative, though understandably will be for some poor souls, but in it’s own way it’s a dramatic and wonderful cleansing, wiping the slate clean for the year ahead. For those of us lucky enough to be healthy & able, we should revel in the sensuous conditions of autumn and wrap ourselves in its elemental cloak to truly feel connected to the changing seasons.”


© Glyn Davies / www.glyndavies.com
PRINTS OF THIS IMAGE ARE AVAILABLE HERE

Saturday, 3 October 2015

FOUR of my nudes are winning entries in "SHOT UP NORTH” Awards 2015 - Judge, Brian Griffin

It has been many years since I entered the "Shot up North" Awards but having being honoured to help judge the Awards last year, I thought I really should make the effort to re-enter the competition myself this year after more than a decade of not doing so.

I am therefore absolutely thrilled to hear that FOUR of my landscape nudes have just been selected as winning entries in this year’s "SHOT UP NORTH” Awards, judged by famous portrait photographer, Brian Griffin

One of my four winning entries is "Suffering Needles" from my 'Landscape Figures' project


SUN is a group owned and run by professional photographers, "celebrating and rewarding the best professional photography in the northern regions of the uk

The overall 1st, 2nd, 3rd and ‘merits’ from all the winning entries will be announced at the launch in Leeds on Nov 3rd - fingers crossed :-)