Saturday, 2 January 2010
"Brushed by the Full Moon" St Faelog, © Glyn Davies 2009
I was working in the gallery New Year's Eve, and I had been really busy, but when Carol rang me at about 3.00 to say "Come on Glyn, I want to see the sea before it get's dark" I threw all my rich customers out of the gallery, put a big sign up saying "It's my Birthday and I shouldn't be here anyway" and went to collect Carol :-) I chucked my camera in the van "just in case" hoping Carol wouldn't notice and off we headed for Cable Bay (nice and quick to get to in a short time). On leaving the van I couldn't move, I was frozen to the spot ! It was bitterly, bitterly cold with an icy North Easterly wind blowing, so although I took the rucksack, I was quite happy to leave my cameras safely packed away. I knew I should have worn over trousers for extra warmth but Carol was in a healthy hurry to get going, so I realised I'd be too cold to get the kit out anyway!
The light was dull, just a hint of warmth on the distant horizon, but a leaden grey sea and dirty, sharp waves shattered across it's surface. Quite rightly, I never bothered to think about photographing it, just enjoying being outdoors instead. We peg-legged around the slippery muddy cliff path and stilted down to the beach, where we briefly explored the slippery reef in a vain hope of finding something dramatic to look at, but it was not to be. We returned to the van and headed for Rhosneigr and the sumptuous rich warmth of Sullivan's Bistro. We chatted to the lovely owner, Bernie, over hot waffles, maple syrup and cream, washed down with a hot fresh pot of tea, and felt a million times better afterwards, no exaggeration :-)
We were off out for the evening as not only was it New Year's Eve but it really WAS my birthday as well, so at about 5.30 we left the cosy glow of Sullivan's and their preparations for New Years Celebrations, and hit the road. Within 2 minutes we were in Llanfaelog and the most spectacular view presented itself, a full moon right behind an amazing flood-lit church of St Faelog. Even though we were in a blinding hurry, even Carol said I should stop the van and shoot the scene, so I did. Actually the moon and church weren't in the ideal alignment for the composition I wanted but by bracing my tripod over the steps of the church, I could just create a composition that worked. I shot about four exposures at varying shutter speeds to get the right cloud coverage of the moon (so much more interesting than the moon alone) and as I was making the last exposure, a huge silent white Barn Owl glid across the scene in front of me, straight out of a Tim Burton film :-) Of course with 20 second exposures there was no chance of me recording this beautiful creature, but it will always be there in memory and will always remain magical. There were other movements in the graveyard, rustles, snaps and slithers but I couldn't actually see anything. At one point I felt something brush against my trousers but still saw nothing.
Anyway 15 minutes later I was back in the warm van, where a now panicky Carol was getting anxious to go home and get ready to go out, so we high-tailed it for Menai Bridge and a lovely evening out. Definitely an amazing evening all round, and perfected by such a fun image from such a bitterly cold evening.
All words and images are strictly copyright © Glyn Davies 2009
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