Monday, 8 February 2010
"Pulled" Anglesey © Glyn Davies 2010
Mondays! This is the day of the week when I am supposed to get the chance to just get out with my camera, or occasionally surf board, bike or Dad, and just do my own thing. So why is it that every Saturday when I am working in the gallery, the sun spills in from outside, but whenever Monday arrives the weather goes grey ?
Carol and I got out for just an hour on Sunday afternoon, because she had not been feeling well all weekend, and so we just ambled around Beaumaris but my God it was cold! There was a bitter North East wind blowing and a succession of short, fast wind-waves chattered down the Strait from Puffin Island, but on the West coast and the reason we didn’t go to Rhosneigr instead, there was an enormous weather front which resulted in dense widespread fog, clinging and cold. We seemed to be in the eye of the weather at Beaumaris, with blue sky above and sunlight just catching the waterside edge of the town, but sitting outside the wonderful Pier House Café really wasn’t as wonderful as it should have been, with butt cheeks frozen to the iron chairs :-)
So Carol braves it to work this Monday morning, her head still spinning and her speech affected, but having eight customers she doesn’t want to let down. No amount of persuasion to stay at home and rest would change her mind, so I prepared to go to Newborough and make use of the low-tide to get to Aber Menai Point. All I had to do first was get my VW T5 Van to Pentraeth Garage to check out some strange grinding noises I’d noticed in Beaumaris yesterday, from the front wheels. Of course when I showed John Gordon the Van Man (the most important man at Pentraeth!) there was NOTHING to hear ! On leaving the garage forecourt, I saw that the island had gone dull-as-dishwater with heavy cloud everywhere and not a glimmer of light – so I went home and washed thick layers of road salt off the van, only to discover there was still a splattered residue of salt all over the paintwork even after washing it! I broke open my new bottle of Auto Glym and proceeded to polish the whole vehicle to get rid of millions of these little stars in a black sky – by which time, the sun was poking it’s nose out over on the West coast, so I just chucked my cameras in the van and headed for the sea!
"Clean Explosion" Anglesey © Glyn Davies 2010
The surf forecast at West Coast Surf said that it was as good as it gets on the Llyn Peninsula, way overhead height and clean as plate after a Pizza Express ! I had no idea what it would be like on Anglesey’s West Coast but as I parked up my van, high above the dunes, I could already see a colony of surfers out on the sea, bobbing around like penguins on the waves, which were looking amazing! Of course, this being Glyn’s day off, the skies had already gone grey again but at least the sea was exciting - not exactly a Cornish swell but hey it was something!
For a second time I had brought my Wellies, something I am really keen on now, not in a fetishistic way of course but as an aid to seaside photography which makes perfect sense! The only downside is that they are colder than hiking boots and when you scramble around on the rocks the soles are so thin you feel every blade of stone. I soon got bored of watching the surfers flounder for waves, so concentrated instead on the perfect clean waves slamming against the reef. There were occasional breaks in the sky and I tried to incorporate them into the compositions but it was actually all rather hard going today. I think I’ve just had enough of grey photo-days for a while, and pondered on whether I should have gone surfing instead ! As a last resort, I left the reef and headed for the beach as the sun dropped really low on the horizon. I deliberately stood in the wave line so that I could justify wearing Wellies, and within minutes suddenly realised that waders are in fact a better bet for my sort of photography as one Welly filled with cold sea water!!
I can’t get over how quickly the light levels dropped so I shot off a few frames as two holes in the sky closed in on each other. I was fascinated by the patterns the water made on the ‘outgoing’ pull rather than the incoming push and the EV values meant I was able to use shutter speeds of around 4 seconds at maximum apertures before the evening drew to a close. My hands were frozen to the tripod when I got back to the van and as I turned the heater up to full, heavy sleet threw itself in front of the headlights as I turned onto the A5.
All words and images are strictly copyright © Glyn Davies 2009
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