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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oystermouth Castle and Mumbles pics

Two outings in one week - I've really excelled myself this week, eh? The fact that I've solved my Blogger photo upload problem has been a big help in getting pics online, too. For some reason, If I attempt to upload pics via Internet Explorer, it usually fails, especially if I want to upload more than one at a time. I think this has something to do with AOL. However, I have no problems if I use Mozilla Firefox, and can quickly upload five pics at a time.

Anyway, I made it down to Oystermouth late on Thursday afternoon. I had intended spending an hour meandering along Pennard Cliffs. But if I'd taken the 17.00 number 14 bus down, it seemed I was going to be stuck there until 19.30, something I really didn't want. So I headed for Oystermouth instead, to try to get some decent pics of the castle and bay.

Sadly, most of the castle pics were ruined by the strong evening sun looming behind the crumbling edifice. Or should I say, my own ineptitude when faced with difficult lighting conditions. It's strange - my old point and shoot Kodak DX3500, with zero fancy features, seems better able to deal with awkward lighting conditions, than the C360 set to "auto" or "landscape". This, I believe, is because the C360 has a multitude of individually adjustable features, which need to be tinkered with in order to get the best shot. And bird-brain here has yet to work out what most of them do, or how to use them. Plus, due to bad weather and poor health, I've had little experience of outdoor photography with the C360. Anyway, here are some of my castle shots - apologies for the inferior quality of some of them.

As I got closer to try to get a shot of the interesting window arch, I got into conversation with a retired couple, and we all agreed that it is a shame that the castle has been allowed to crumble to the extent where it is now unsafe to explore. I can remember wandering around the castle about eighteen years ago, and even then, large areas of it were closed to visitors. When I think of the example of somewhere like Kidwelly Castle, most of which is fairly well preserved and accessible, I think it is shameful that Oystermouth Castle has been allowed to decay unchecked.

Deterred by the strong evening sunlight and my own inability to get the best from the camera in such problematic light conditions, I walked around to the front of the castle and stood atop the hill there, next to a bench and telescope, and deployed the zoom to capture this shot of the bay.

Shortly afterwards, I made my way from the castle grounds, and down to the promenade, via Newton Road. As ever on a dry day, there was quite a throng on the footpath. [No, I said throng, not thong; don't get excited, dear]. I pointed my lens west towards Southend for the next two shots. Decided to get creative in Irfanview, because the second shot was a bit blurry. However, all I managed to do was screw up the colour - sorry.

I walked a little further along the front, aiming my lens back towards the city, with mixed results. These are two of the better shots. I kept getting too much of the beach in them, mainly because the sun was hitting the LCD display and making it difficult to see, yet if I put the viewfinder up to my eye, wisps of my hair kept escaping my ponytail and floating in front of the lens.

After these two shots, I wandered down the front as far as Norton. Feeling my arthritic bits starting to stiffen and ache in the chilly air, I called it a day, crossed the road to the bus stop and got the next bus back to town. Then it was the joys of Tesco shopping - ugh. Hope to be out and about again early next week. Hopefully, by then I'll have a better idea how to use this new camera.

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