Brooding Skies Over Mynydd


Hey folks

Well, as I only managed to get around 3 1/2 to 4 hours sleep last night due to my cough once again waking me up just before 4am this morning, I decided to get up and edit the photos I took last night; getting tired again now though at 6am so may go back to bed afterwards.

Originally, I had planned on driving over to the village of Dinorwic, just a couple of miles further from where I took these shots, but to be honest, the weather in that direction looked pretty ugly, so I took the snap decision to stop quickly before it deteriorated. The clouds were ideal for what I wanted to shoot; billowing, with deep shadows and the threat of a storm, allowing me to really punch out the detail and contrast in post-processing, which is quite clear from the image. To be honest, I didn’t need to do too much to them, as nature was already providing a good show. It’s a shame that there were no shafts of light punching through from the evening sun on the panorama, apart from on the second image, but it wasn’t too well defined and was there for just a few seconds.

The panorama consists of ten portrait exposures, stitched in Photoshop with a very small crop (cutting out parts of the image I don’t want). If at all possible, I’ll use content-aware fill so I don’t have to do too much of a crop; this is only really possible on less complicated backgrounds, such as sky or ground with a consistent pattern. It’s a very powerful and intelligent tool, but like everything in Photoshop, only as good as it’s wielder!

The view south/east over the Mynydd moor
The view south/east over the Mynydd moor. From the north, or extreme left we have Moel Wnion, moving to the west/right encompassing all the Carneddau mountains before we enter the dark, foreboding shadows over Elidir Fawr, right of shot.

The second image is taken at a longer focal distance and is not cropped. Imagine the image above is split into nine, equal squares (imagine rule-of-thirds) and the shot is in the upper right square. For those that are not psychic or have less of an understanding of photography, the ‘Rule of Thirds‘is how we tend to look at a scene and how this helps us to compose the desired shot. So, have you ever looked through your camera’s viewfinder, to see grid lines? Split into nine? Well, those are the guides to allow you to compose certain areas of the scene to make it look more interesting. For example, if you want to shoot a sea-scape you could sit the horizon on the bottom third line, or the top third depending on how much impact or interest there is in the scene; if there’s a dramatic sky let’s say, you could have the sea’s horizon on the bottom third horizontal line with the sky in the top two thirds. It’s far more interesting than shooting the scene with equal sea and sky. If there’s a lighthouse in the same scene, position it on the left or right of the shot, instead of in the centre; it allows the viewer’s eye to rove around the image. Those gridlines will also help you to align your image, but over time and with practice, you’ll turn the guide off and just imagine the lines instead.
These ‘rules‘ however, can be broken. But I won’t go into that now.

So here’s the image. You can see how I have framed the shot. There’s a definite line coming in from the left, leading the viewer’s eye along and diagonally up to the top right of the image, where the ridge disappears into the cloud.

At a much longer focal range, pointing at what is known as The Pillar of Elidir
At a much longer focal range, pointing at what is known as The Pillar of Elidir (behind the ridge, just a little to the right and up from the entrance). The clean line to the left is the outside edge of Marchlyn Mawr reservoir, at 640 metres. I’ve cycled up to this in a previous post.

Well folks, as it’s now light outside and I started this post in the dark, I’m going to sign off and lay on the bed next to me and try and go back to sleep.

I hope you enjoyed these images.

Thanks for popping in πŸ™‚

Elton

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2 thoughts on “Brooding Skies Over Mynydd

  1. Hi Elton,
    When the other day I got your post notification on my mobile the first thing I noticed was the timing of your post (“So early!!” I thought). I hope your cough has gone away and you’re feeling much better now.
    My first reaction to these photos (before even reading the text) was that you’ve captured a mighty sky revolution, one provided by nature to you… freely. And as you said no need to do much post-processing.

    Great stuff!! Thanks for the technical explanations as usual. I see what you mean by the grid lines etc.

    Natalia πŸ™‚

    1. Hello

      I am feeling a bit better now, but cough is still a little troublesome; taking anti-histamine helps me sleep!

      Glad you like the post, and your feedback is very welcome, as always πŸ™‚

      Elton

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