Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Off the trail and into the town

After walking from the trail ans with boots caked in slushy snowy mud there was no better time than to have a walk around our towns shopping area.

Alot of the newer buildings still have their original architecture intact

A church that has stood since the early 1800's

The towns Library

And our towns smallest pub. 25ft wide x 50ft deep. Comfy !!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Snowy Scooby

The weather her in the UK has been really strange of recent. We started with a barrage of snow last week that everyone thought would linger around for weeks. That was swiftly followed by two days of terenchal rain, a mother of all hail, thunder and lightening and now today.......Wind, the likes that are usually seen uprooting trees and carrying away houses.

But as i caught a peaceful 2 minute stop gap i thought i would try the D7000 in the night and see what it could do.

I want to print it out and hang it on the wall in the house.......Some people have other ideas :)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Goodbye my Friend

As many of you know I am an avid reptile lover / collector. Yesterday was a sad day as we made the decision to downsize our collection slightly before we move home later this year.

It was a hard decision but decided that one of the two Bearded dragons were to go.

A friend that i work with is going to give him a good home and know that he will take good care of him.

Albeit a strange name. Goodbye Lola (we thought HE was a SHE)

You looking at ME !!!

Beardie bath Time

Final portrait

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A walk along the river

Well the weather has brightened up a little today, and the rain set in getting rid of some of the snowfall I needed to get rid of the cabin fever and get out with the camera.

This is our local river (River Taff) that runs parallel with the trail and has played a pretty big part in the history of our town .

Manmade waterfall

Bridge over the river Taff

Viewpoint over the river Taff

A view over the river towards our council buildings

Friday, 25 January 2013

Trial run on the studio setup

As I mentioned previously a UK based company called creativitybackgroundsUK has be kind enough to allow ValleysShutterBug to review their products.
 They are producers and suppliers of professional studio backgrounds and background stands, having almost every coloured background this side of the North Pole.

A full review of the products that they supply will be made during the coming weeks. Until that time i will be using the products and putting the results up here for you guys to comment and critique.

So, here we go

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Nikon SB-700 speedlight first try

The new speedlight was delivered today, and its a monster. It really does add the weight onto the D7000. But hey the paint is worth the gain.

I have got limited time this evening to use the camera / flash so I want to share with you my first ever black and white portrait with this combo.

Here, as I predicted is My Gemma

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Black and White Wednesday Entry

As per ritual here is my entry for Black and White Wednesday as Hosted by

This week is a split toned black and white with multiple exposures......

Of me trying to semi-snowboard on a make shift sleigh.

Ive really gone and done it this time !

Nikon SB-700
Well ive really gone and done it now. Ive sold my beloved Nikon D3100. It was a hard decision to make but I could not justify keeping it in my back for those “just in case” moments. The D7000 is more than capable of holing its own do its goodbye for now.

But….. every cloud has a silver lining, and I am now the proud owner of a new Nikon SB-700 Speedlight flash gun. I have had some thought over the past year of what I want to do, what kind of photographer I really want to mould myself into. And the thought of doing portrait work had crossed my mind a few times but the cost of the equipment to set up is pretty steep.

Nikopn D7000 & Nikon SB-700

 Late last year I found myself (and sharing with you all my black and white work) which has had some relatively good success on Blogger, I had a light bulb moment when I though hang on…… I love shooting mono and got a pretty decent eye for shooting portraits, have plenty of self confidence around people and the potential is endless.

So, this leads me to today. With the D7000 and the new speedlight in play I will be, over the coming weeks and months asking for you opinions on some portrait works that I will be attempting. And by god will my Gemma loath me for wanting to take photos of her ALL the time. J

I would like to give a quick shout out to two exceptional people who have helped me massively in my quest for the independent and non-bias reviewer that I am / striving to be.

Joe Bowes @ RedSnapperUK
Vanessa Champion @ Creativity Backgrounds
Jared @ BlackRapid USA

Many thanks, sorry for the lengthy post.

Have a great day.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Family Snow Portraits

Seeing that this snow is not leaving us any time soon I thought I would use the time to make some family snow portraits. Im really in need of a new Speed light (flash unit)

Gemma and my little Sister Meghan

ME ME ME !!!!

The Little sis again

My Dad and my sister... I see a pattern emerging here.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Now an official Reviewer

Hi All, you may have seen recently that the banner of the site has changed to include the text "Official reviewer for all RedSnapperUK products"

I have recently been accepted to, as the text states to review products for a UK company called RedSnapperUK. and what an exciting prospect this is, as I get to share with you all detailed and in depth reviews of their wonderful products.

These guys manufacture Tripods and tripod heads as the core of their business and they do this very well indeed.

I have already reviewed one of their products HERE.

I have just received another package from RedSnapper on Thursday of last week for a new product that is yet to go live on their website. A preview will be uploaded in the coming days and a full review expected within 2-3 weeks of that.

I hope you can all pop over to their site to check out what they have to offer.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snowy gateway....possibly to Narnia

Is this the gateway into Narnia? (someone pinched the wardrobe so have to improvise)

This was taken this morning. Snow still down. Daily temperatures struggling to reach above -2 degrees Celsius and we are set for more over the coming days.

I hope everyone stays safe through this tough weather.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow down Time-lapse

Afer we had a red alert weather warning on Thrusday for Fridays snow down I thought I would set the new D7000 to record a time lapse from 1am through 7am.

I really wish that i could have a clear view without the snow on thew window but it cannot be helped i guess.

I hope you enjoy, if anyone else has done anything similar i would love to see it.


Friday, 18 January 2013

First snow (HDR)

Hey all, seeing that we have had the first proper snow down of this year i managed to get out with the camera for a quick 5 minutes.

Some of you have seen this place before in previous photos. It is the Dowlais Engine house from the days of coal and steel production.

This time it is in HDR.

A new piece of equipment was used from the guys at to hold the camera rock steady for these shots.... Reviews to follow.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Black and white Wednesday

Almost forgot about this weeks entry.

From a recent trip to London, here is Big Ben in all its glory.

Linking up with

Art for art sake

Whilst walking around a local town centre I came across this funny looking assortment of broken up pallet wood brightly painted and nailed to a beautiful oak tree. I thought it might have been a prank played by univercity students.... How wrong was I, this is an art installation to show all the colours of the church and to give people the sensation of love and acceptance by Jesus Christ.
 I am a roman catholic, and never have I been drawn to a church or felt " acceptance and love" for Jesus by pieces of wood nailed to a beautiful tree.

When does art stop being art and be symbolic statements to provoke though?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

snapseed for andriod

For those of you out there that like to snap away on your mobile (cell) phones I have found an app that does everything bar wash the dishes and make coffee.

I won't go into to much detail but the app is called Snapseed. And trust me is a very powerful and easy to use photo editing app. Plus its free!!!

This is a snap that I had from the weekend of Swansea castle.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Black and white WINNER !!!!!!!!!!

After finally deciding that I love Black & White photography so much, and wanting to focus my attentions on it i am getting somewhere.

After entering a few images to Sandi's Black & White Wednesdays i have has the following successes

Back in November I had a second place with this image

The week later I placed FIRST with the following photo

Then this week ive done it again, this time with my Hobbit inspired photo.........


My blog can now proudly wave this awesome banner

Thanks to Sandi and her awesome judges, Many thanks

For those of you who want to see more of Sandis' work head over to

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Something from the archives

Hi all, sorry that there is no photo / tales of my travels etc. today. It was the Funeral of my Grandfather yesterday and I really wasn't in the frame of mind to write anything out for today.


I thought I would dip onto the archive and put up some older photos that some of you might not have seen before.

A Vulture in a local wildlife display

 A Shoreline from a holiday back last May

And finally at the Bay side.

Normal posting will resume over the weekend, and will get to commenting on all your posts soon.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit - Welsh style

I always knew that the landscape that we have here in Wales, UK should have been used in The Hobbit instead of New Zealand.

For instance the Hobbit had this, Not too shoddy. Could do better ;)

We in Wales have this this.....

I so think that Peter Jackson should rethink the locations of the other Hobbit films !!!

What you guys think?

Oh yeah, this is also my entry to Black and White Wednesday

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The funnel of doom

I have used this scene a couple of times before, never done in sepia. Seeing I now have the new camera on board it would be rude not to.

I present to you our reservoir watch tower / pump house and turbine funnel.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A little Sheepish

There is one thing that we in Wales are renounced for, taken the mick out of for and mocked for..

The humble sheep. A little out of focus, but at least i had the shot.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Off to where water falls

It had finally stopped raining to day for the first time since boxing day. Armed with the new D7000, RedSnapperUK Tripod and a set of ND filter I headed for the hills.

I think less is more, so im going to stop talking and let the photos do all the work.

 This is the first time i have tried this.

Here is the view of the tripod that took the following shot.

The Setup

The resulting shot (3 stack HDR shot)

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