Today is Monday, just two days after last Monday. I have no idea why but had absolutely NO desire to go out photographing today. Maybe that's because I had such a fabulous couple of hours alone on a foggy coastline yesterday ! All I wanted to do today was get to the office to check out the pictures and write my blog :-) Ironically, I had several visitors to the gallery today and even sold a Limited Edition of "An Evening Colour Wash" so actually I sort of felt less guilty about NOT being outdoors on such a glorious day.
Faces in the Fog © Glyn Davies 2010
After a day of spring cleaning the garage and trips to the recycling centre, I finally grabbed the opportunity to race out to the Ucheldre Centre to collect the Artist's Proof No.1 of "Bitten by the Full Moon" which you may remember I sold recently, and then off to Rhosneigr to collect another four framed images from a shop selling my prints but now undergoing refurbishment and change of direction. Of course the LowePro was also chucked in the boot "just in case".
I left Menai Bridge in sunshine, bright clear intense and beautiful late afternoon sunshine, but by the time the van flew down into the dip on the A55 near Llangefni, it had disappeared behind mist, not thick, but it was as if the day had aged by three hours. The Ucheldre Centre was shrouded in heavy grey mist when I arrived but the car park was heaving with visitors to some performance or other, the only sign of life in the whole of Holyhead at that time it seemed, all locked away in the old church.
By the time I'd reached Rhosneigr and collected my other prints the whole West Coast seemed dreary and grey, the mist now looking very thick indeed. I hazarded a guess that I could make use of this weather and an incoming tide to shoot some images of the Church in the Sea at Aberffraw. Above is the video of what the general scene looked like, a bit lighter and airier than reality as it was shot on automatic on my hand held iPhone ! What was amazing me was the sheer abundance of wildlife around me, from low flying Whimbrels, incessant, shrill Oystercatchers and silent but twitchy Plovers to the most amazing sight of Gannets, about six of them, dive bombing fish literally 15 meters off the reef right next to me! I guessed there must have been some rich pickings as there in the lead grey choppy sea in my small cove, were three seals, bobbing up and down but very obviously monitoring me on the shoreline.
The mist was now full blown sea fog and the gannets appeared and disappeared from view as the wind funnelled the saturated air around the headland. My camera condensed the warm air immediately, leaving a thick coat of water droplets right across the lens necessitating constant wiping and use of lens caps. It was lovely to be using the full frame Canon 1DS Mk3 again after the fiddly little Lumix I've been exploring. I was in no hurry so I just sat at that water's edge and listened to the sounds of the waves on the shore and the birds calling all about me.
Walk on the Dark Side © Glyn Davies 2010
The cove felt ancient today, heavy, rocky, low and ageless and timeless. I could just as easily imagine a Viking longboat appearing out of the mist as I could a local fishing motorboat. This island which has felt man's footsteps for many thousands of years, and has littered burial mounds across it's skin, was touching me with gentle warmth, not of temperature but of spirit. I felt as raw as the elements blowing across the sea and if I were to die at any point, at this moment would have felt quite perfect, slotting exactly into a universal plan of life and death. I would have felt no regrets at this moment, and for me that's unusual :-)
I stepped high up the steep grassy slope to the coastal footpath and as if to prove my emotions had been listened to, I sensed a brightening in the fog. I was fixated by the sweeping veils of fog and the increasing illumination up above me. I stopped and stared. I set up the camera anyway, just aiming out at the choppy dark sea and composing greyness. It blessed me - a small burning globe hovered in the fog, and the waves played their own dance below the blanket, oblivious to the apparition above.
The Revelation © Glyn Davies 2010
The atmosphere changed rapidly and as I lunged towards the headland overlooking the tiny lime-washed St Cwyfan's church, the whole enormous bank of fog blew gently Eastward across the island, bringing intense sunlight behind. The waves were backlit and now showed their force, one of the seals re-appeared to share my joy of the light and I was utterly and totally blown away by it all.
After the Fog © Glyn Davies 2010
I meandered back to the main beach and then plodded through thick sand and shingle to the far end of the cove near the church. The rocky tidal footpath to the church itself was already cut off but I was more fascinated by the advancing sea, the same sea that just around the corner would have been my resting place. Here it was playful but was no longer enticing me into it. I got down really low with the wide angle to frame these two boulders of opposites, a metaphor both for my emotions and will. The fog had returned once more, it was still with me, still watching over me, still there for me, now half obscuring the sunset, a burning ball of gasses reduced to the softest semi-transparent marble. As I crouched at the water's edge, the sea splashing over me and the camera equipment, I noticed a Kestrel hovering above the dune behind me, motionless apart from the occasional decisive flap of the wings, then total balance in fluid harmony with the air current, alone and focussed, at one with it's surroundings and in its element. That at least we shared.
In Balance © Glyn Davies 2010
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