Wales from the air


Trearddur Bay

I travel between Cardiff and Gwynedd on a semi-regular basis, and my favourite (and fastest) way is by plane. Last time I tried it before Christmas, the 40 minute flight turned into a 5 hour taxi ride, after a three hour delay due to dense fog. This flight was definitely more successful, since we arrived at Anglesey a full two minutes early!

Not much to report here (for this blog at least), but here are some of the stunning views you can enjoy on this journey:

Cynon and Taff Valleys

Brecon Beacons National Park



Harlech Coast (almost being obscured by clouds)

Caernarfon Bay

Holy Island and South Stack Lighthouse

Beast from the East: The Sequel


Water flowing from Roath Lake into Roath Brook
(You can probably tell from the photo that it was still snowing at the time!)

Film stock: Ilford HP5 Plus (120)
Shot at ASA 400.
Developed: Self-developed (Ilfosol 3)
Camera: Mamiya 645

It kinda feels like we just had snow like two weeks ago.

…oh wait, that’s because we literally did have snow two weeks ago!😂

Also, did I mention it was my birthday? Yeah, going out and taking photos of the snow is not an activity I normally associate with my birthday, and yet here we are! I’m already contemplating the fact that this was my first ever birthday snow day, but probably my last too. Obviously this was something to take advantage of.

My last batch of snow photos was heavily focussed around Bute Park and the city centre. This time, I thought I would venture in the other direction and head to Roath Park to see what it was like over there. Obviously the snow was nowhere near as bad as last time, and Cardiff managed to not panic this time – all the buses were still running for the whole day. Despite this, I did venture out the fron door and was faced with a literal blizzard (by which I mean it was snowing and windy at the same time… I realise northern Europeans are currently laughing at me!)

Bridge over Roath Brook

As I expected, Roath Park was looking just as magical as I would have expected (although, Roath Lake completely froze over last time, and I’m kinda gutted I didn’t get to see it). A roll of medium format film has fifteen shots on it when shooting in 6×4.5 format, and I finished the entire roll before I even had a chance to think. After heading home via lunch, I got started with the developing process.

Some of my previous black and white work was developed using Rodinal, but this time I opted for Ilford chemicals and used a regular developing process. Unfortunately, I hadn’t quite mixed enough chemicals to cover the entire film and there was an entire strip on the top of the film that was under developed. I guess that’s one mistake I’ll definitely be learning from!

Nonetheless, I did get some pretty good results from this – despite the mistake – and I’m pretty pleased with the photos!

Palm trees covered in snow is obviously a pretty weird sight

Dog walkers in Roath Park

I used to live in Roath, and the thing I miss most is being a 20 second walk from The Rec

This tree stood out to me as being particularly photogenic

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Some seagulls chilling on the dock

Film stock: Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 (35mm)
Shot in redscale at ASA 100.
Developed: Express Imaging
Camera: Canon A-1

It’s been a while since I’ve shot any film (January if my records are correct!) and, as well as having my film drawer screaming at me for some attention, I was also in the mood for something a little more experimental.

Those of you who already do film photography and are active on Twitter have probably been exposed to this already, but I noticed a lot of photos being shared under the hashtag #BIFscale18, and it got me curious about redscale photography. Not being one to simply buy something premade, I wanted to use some of my existing stock and decided to reverse and respool some of my film. I tried a few of the film photography places here in Cardiff, and none of them stocked reusable film cannisters (yet!!), so I had to resort to eBay and wait a few days for my package. I guess film photography is definitely on the up, but bulk loading hasn’t quite caught on yet amongst casual photographers.

Those of you who’ve been to Cardiff will probably recognise this as the Wales Millennium Centre

To my surprise, the forecast was looking good for Tuesday and I decided I would finish work and just head straight to do some photography. Luckily, my office is at the northern end of Atlantic Wharf, so there’s plenty of scope for photography there – especially if you walk through it and head to Cardiff Bay. (I did have a bit of a headstart the night before though, and shot a few frames near where I live in Heath).

Once I finished shooting, I headed over to the film lab on City Road. I think we’re quite lucky here in Cardiff to still have a film lab that doesn’t involve sending it off and waiting a week. I normally develop my own film at home, but I do try to use them from time to time – it’s important we use them and keep them in business!

Lloyd George Avenue

I actually managed to get there just in time, and got my film processed immediately and had my negatives in hand within about 10 minutes – can’t complain! I think my film did cause a moment of confusion for the member of staff who thought I might have made a mistake and bulk loaded the film the wrong way round, but I explained that it was intentional, and it caused the staff to chat amongst themselves about redscale photography.

Needless to say, the colour palette for this photoset is fairly limited(!) but I’m pleased with the results and how many images turned out well.

Still life closeup from my walk through Atlantic Wharf

Cardiff’s ever changing skyline

Cardiff Bay and Penarth

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Lousy Smarch weather


River Taff, as seen from the Taff Trail near Gabalfa

Despite my previous complaint about how well we handle the snow, I completely understand why it makes little sense to spend millions on preparing infrastructure for a snowstorm that generally occurs about once every few years.

I do enjoy them though, because it provides photographic opportunities that don’t happen everyday, so I can’t complain too much. It also meant I got to work from home for a few days, so I took the opportunity of not being tied to a building with fixed opening hours and went out for a few walks over the course of the few days (and obviously made up the time afterwards).

These photos were taken over the course of a few days during Storm Emma, The Beast from the East, or Snowmageddon; depending on what you want to call it!

Blackweir Fields

Blackweir Fields

Blackweir Bridge in Pontcanna Fields

A redwing decided to pay our house a visit.
(Is it just me, or are there suddenly a lot more birds as soon as it snows?)

I’ve never seen Park Place this empty at 8pm!

If you want a summary of these last few days in one photo, then this is it!

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As some of you may be aware by now, we had some snow here in Cardiff.

…a lot of it!

…well, by our standards at least!

We generally don’t seem to handle snow all that well here in Wales, and I completely understand why people are laughing at us (including my brother, who currently lives in Sweden!) Even my recent trip to Oslo is a good demonstration of how other countries seem to just get on with it when faced with a ton of snow.

So in true British spirit; here’s a brief guide to how we handled the snow in Cardiff…

The roads were pretty much empty…

Yes! All of them!

Everything was closed…

…even supermarkets…

…and banks…

…and the fish and chip shop by my house. (To be fair, I’ve never seen it openanyway, even when there isn’t snow!)

Buses were all cancelled…

…and so were the trains!
(Although, anybody who’s had dealings with Arriva Trains will tell you why that’s hardly a surprise!)