South Wales 2016

Normally our family holidays involve a lot of driving from place to place and not really spending much time in one place. So Mrs B and I decided to slow the pace down and have a holiday by the coast more so for the kids so they could just muck about on the beach and well….be kids. At the end of August we made our way to South Wales, more specifically Nicholaston a small place along the Gower coast, also this would be our first long trip in ‘Maivelyn’ (our campervan). Bearing in mind we have a 7yr old and 2yr old we thought it best to break up the journey and stay over in Shrewsbury at my Auntie’s and Uncle’s for a couple of nights before continuing our journey. It was a good to catch up as we don’t see much of them and I’m sure we’ll be back before too long.

After arriving at our campsite and settling in, we decided to make the most of the gloriously warm and sunny weather that greeted us and head straight to the beach. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not one for beach holidays as I can’t sit still for long and have to be doing something all the time. However I made a conscious effort to completely relax and enjoy some family time, that meant downtime from social media (which wasn’t a problem as 3G wasn’t available most of the time) and leaving the camera back in the campervan. I recall nodding off on the beach so I must have been totally relaxed 😉 Back at the campsite for the evening I cooked on the BBQ and watched the colourful sunset and not even reaching for the camera I instead reached for a glass of wine. That was pretty much the pattern for the 5 night stay, well I have to make the most of the BBQ weather whilst it lasts. Of course I did however manage a few hours out with the camera(s) over the course of our stay, it would’ve been rude not to when in a beautiful location.

Here are a few iPhone images I captured whilst on our return walk to the campsite:

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Sparse sands of Oxwich Bay

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The richly diverse sand dunes of Oxwich Bay

It occurred to me that I’ve rarely photographed the coast from above so I spent a couple of evenings along the cliff tops near the campsite with my DSLR, I considered the pinhole, but the light wasn’t quite right I felt so saved the film for another day. I walked as far as the “Three Cliffs Bay” (below) and I noticed a big lump of rock away from the cliffs and wondered if it was possible to get down to (safely of course). It took a few false starts choosing the correct (sheep) path through the bracken and gorse, but in the end I got as far down as I dared to on my own, I could hear the last words Mrs B said before I left “Don’t do anything daft, stay away from the cliff edges”, oops sorry ;-). Had I been more familiar with the location I probably would have climbed down a little more, but unsure of the high tide and route down I didn’t tempt fate.

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iPhone capture looking towards “Three Cliff Bay” after sunset

Here is the DSLR image of the lump of rock from my little adventure down the cliff:

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It really was an inspirational place to be, not only because I don’t shoot coastal locations much, but also because I’ve never been before so I was able to see things for the first time and hopefully a fresh perspective.

Further afield, we had a couple of day trips out to Rhossili and The Mumbles (Mwmbwls). At Rhossili we walked along the peninsula towards Worm’s Head to take in the fabulous panoramic views and north the Llangennith Burrows. It was here I celebrated my 21st birthday (ahem…tongue firmly planted in cheek) and had a wonderful evening meal at the ‘Worm’s Head Hotel’ nearby.

The Mumbles I would like to return to and spend more time with the camera as the tide was out when we were there and I know there’s plenty of potential, particularly around Mumbles Head where there’s a lighthouse. I can recommend ‘The Front Room’ café for a spot to have a light bite and cuppa, great service and prices.

I managed to do one sunrise, I did plan on doing more, but the pre-dawn weather throughout the week was rather dull and wet and I opted for the cosy warmth of the bed. However, the weather for the final morning was pretty good, some broken cloud and no rain. Without hesitation I headed down to the beach and photograph the cliffs with an incoming tide. I have to say the incoming tide was ridiculously quick, every time I managed to take one picture and had to move further back for the next so there was a lot of recomposing in that session, and yes I was caught out on more than one occasion and resulted in soggy footwear. Nevertheless it was enjoyable to have a whole beach to myself and being absorbed by the sights, sounds and smells of the coast was a pleasure to the senses.

Finally, I managed to use my RSS 6×12 pinhole again, it was a bit hit and miss with this roll but here are are few images I’m reasonably happy with:

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P.S.: If you’re interested in participating in a pinhole workshop please check our latest one here


All rights reserved ©Ian Burton Photography 2016, images must not be used without obtaining written permission.
All images are available for purchase, please contact me if you wish to discuss this.

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