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Pistyll Rhaeadr Redux by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Having visited this magnificent waterfall in August, courtesy of my dear friends Nat and Rob, I was keen to return to make a decent photographic study of it in the absence of other visitors. So thanks to Nat and Rob's hospitality once more Natalia and I ventured back up to Wales to see Pistyll Rhaeadr once again, this time in the early morning before sunrise. Gale force winds the day before did little to deter us as we braved the relentless bluster and rain to snake our way through pieces... 
of felled trunk and branches. A tree in the road so close to our destination was quickly conquered as we dragged and cajoled it out of the way. Just like a certain starship captain I simply do not believe in the no-win scenario.We found ourselves once again dwarfed and deferential to the majesty of this waterfall, its engorged flow thundering down and punching into the stream below like a stampeding water giant. The howling winds bullied and shoved us, whipping up swirls of red and ochre leaves to swarm us like we were unwelcome visitors.But we would not surrender our solitude to the elements. Not a soul in sight disturbed us as I captured these images, until finally the risen sun would peer through clouds behind us and light the valley in our wake with shards of yellow autumnal light. The wind was too severe, even with my sturdy tripod, to allow for exposures longer than 10 seconds and most of these were between 2 and 5 seconds. A few shots of 1-2 seconds were taken hand-held thanks to Olympus's excellent image stabiliser.The inclement weather also prevented us from scaling the hillside to reach the top of the waterfall as we had done in August.Well I'm happier with these images of the waterfall than the ones I took in August. I hope you enjoy them too. 

Guildford City 2 Horley Town 1 by Guildford City

Match report by Barry UnderwoodBoth Guildford City and Horley Town had played out of their socks and gained impressive victories in their previous match. But this was a strange encounter. Throughout the match clear chances in front of goal were at a premium. City for their part struggled to make effective use of the ball, although there was no doubting the strength of their defending. Horley made good use of the ball but were unable to substantially pierce City’s back-line. All of... 
the game’s goals came in the first 20 minutes and it seemed all was set for a cracker of a match. Perhaps it was the heat but the game didn’t develop as had been promised. The first goal came after just three minutes. When Kerran Boylan looped a header goal wards from the back of the box it seemed that City keeper Luke Badiali had the ball covered. However in trying to push the falling ball over the crossbar, the ball hit the woodwork and bounced into play where Ayden Richards was alert enough to prod the ball over the line. Stunned by this soft way of conceding your first goal in 285 minutes of football, City nearly conceded from another header at the back post but Chris Tancock was on hand to block the effort. Gradually City settled and a fine ball from Dan Stewart put Nathaniel Williams through on goal. Unusually though Williams totally mishit his effort which simply dribbled wide. Twelve minutes in though Williams won a penalty when his quick feet was too much for the Horley defender who brought him down in the box for a penalty. Up stepped Kieran Campbell who drilled home his sixth goal of the season from the penalty spot. Guildford enjoyed more possession now but were struggling to forge clear openings. On 20 minutes the home side nudged ahead for what proved to be the winner. Josh Coke found space on the right to fire in a shot goal bound from 20 yards. En-route the ball deflected off a defender leaving keeper George Hyde rooted helplessly to the spot. Horley still posed a threat and Nemo Adams lunged across brilliantly to block a close range effort. Late in the half both City strikers had shooting opportunities; Campbell’s long-range effort being parried by Hyde and Stewart’s, after a neat turn, drifted well wide.In the second period Guildford struggled to play any cohesive football. Horley enjoyed a territorial advantage for much of the half, and City’s defence had to be at their best to ward off successive attacks, together with a barrage of long throws into the box. Kieran Campbell did see a free-kick from just outside the box blocked by the wall, but until the late stages chances in the Horley area were rare. That said the action at both ends stepped up in the last fifteen minutes. Kerran Boylan headed wide for Horley, whilst on 76 minutes a Nathaniel Williams break out set Kieran Campbell up for a shooting chance which was blazed over. Substitute Marlon Pinder, with his first touch, ran impressively into the heart of Horley’s defence, but he finally ran out of space without a shot being unleashed. Fellow substitute Kyen Nicholas also lifted the watching Sweeney with several strong runs down the right flank. Luke Badiali made an excellent save at short range to cling on to a thumping close range effort from Boylan. Having gone to three at the back in search of an equaliser, Horley pushed forward frantically and Boylan had another shot blocked, whilst from the rebound Cockerill shot over the crossbar. The game’s final moment came City’s way when Kieran Campbell shot wide with a shooting opportunity. Not by a long way a vintage performance from City, but an excellent defensive effort which extends their unbeaten start to the season to five matches.Team: Luke Badiali, Chris Tancock, Ben Franklin, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, Loiue Downey (Chad Goulter 61), Josh Coke (Kyen Nicholas 67), Miguel Anderson, Kieran Campbell, Dan Stewart (Marlon Pinder 77), Nathaniel Williams. Unused subs: David Burton, Endrit Dobraj.Referee: Bogdan CaraghinAttendance - 74

Hinton Ampner by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Natalia and I spent a lovely day at Hinton Ampner, a property managed by the National Trust. Although surrounded by beautiful and bountiful gardens and views, the house was the main attraction, comprised of lavishly decorated rooms and furnishings and exquisite ornaments. All images shot with Olympus gear. 

365 Project - September Highlights by Sandra5

So far, 75% of the project is done. And if I have to make one more shot at home I'm going to... Well, the weather is still nice. I'm hoping that there isn't really any need for panic. But except that shooting around the house became really uninspiring, nothing new happened in September. Days go by one after another, and most of them bring something worth shooting. I became more focused on managing and organizing photos and sorting them into collections. While this project is interesting by... 
itself, I captured many situations around town during the last year and I'm thinking I should find the way to present them. Photography doesn't stop after taking a picture. Everybody can do that today, and after practicing every day, making a good picture isn't really that hard anymore. The real challenge right now is selecting and organizing those pictures into something meaningful. My town is really dynamic, and a lot of things have been changing. As someone who spends very much time on the street and other public places, I made a pretty big documentation about what was happening through the year. And now I have to figure out what to do with it.

Berlin Zoo Portraits by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Just a few from the archives. Of course Berlin is a fantastic city with much to see and do and I certainly enjoyed my time there. But that time also allowed me to visit the city's two zoos, Tierpark and Hauptstadt, the latter having an impressive aquarium. Both zoos are known for their polar bears and cats and had ample numbers of each. I am increasingly on the fence about zoos, erring on the side of antipathy, as I do not like seeing sentient animals cooped up, caged or restricted in their... 
movements. Some zoological parks do a decent job of allocating plenty of space for their species to roam but in a big city that space must surely be limited.To that end, simply think of these images as portraits, celebrating the beauty of species we have on our planet and reinforcing our responsibility towards them, their freedom and their survival. All these were taken with a DSLR and 70-200mm F/2.8 zoom. 

365 Project - August Highlights by Sandra5

August was one long and lazy month. I was lacking initiative to try something new, and my photos don't show much progress comparing to previous months (or I just made too many photos). Nevertheless, I was persistent enough to have 30 out of 31 days.The weather was unusual for this time of the year. Some days were extremely hot, while others were cold and rainy. In both cases, it was not the kind of weather that makes you want to go out and explore. I spent most of the time doing what feels... 
the most comfortable and the photos were mostly the byproduct of that. Skies and sunsets are always a good subject when there's nothing better to shoot and there were a lot of "through my window" shots (the variety I get from more or less the same vantage point!) and shots made while going somewhere just for the sake of having something for that day. Again, there are many night shots, since the heat made me move most of my activities in the evening. The quality of this month's photos is not very high because some of my usual subjects are getting less and less interesting and experimental approach is not giving satisfying results all the time, but, anyway, I'm noticing things I never did before, so I guess everyday practice has its good sides.

Playful Seals by Alpha Whiskey Photography

The United Kingdom has one of the largest (if not the largest) populations of grey seals along its coastline and this weekend past Natalia and I decided to visit them again on the east coast. And as ever, they were playful and expressive, almost anthropomorphic in their gestures and postures. Despite their grunting and passing wind it was a great joy to spend an afternoon in their vicinity on a warm, sun-blessed beach.It was difficult to isolate individuals or pairs from their colony but I... 
have no regrets about failing in that regard as I was trying to maintain a respectful distance from them, allowing them to behave naturally in their own habitat. We were merely guests.These were all taken with the excellent Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and MC-14 TC attached. 

365 Project - July Highlights by Sandra5

Photographing everyday after a while becomes monotonous and the pictures I get tend to look similar. After 6 months, my photos show a very clear pattern of the topics I find interesting in everyday life. Because the whole process was becoming more and more dull, experimenting was necessary. Finding new subjects on a daily basis was way too complicated, so I played with my camera features in order to make something more unusual.One of the techniques that I would highly recommend to everyone... 
who loves experimental (or awkward) photography is setting the white balance wrong (drastically!). Use the custom white balance and instead of sampling something white which would give you colors as they are, turn your camera to anything that has strong hue. You can get blue, purple, orange or green pictures, like when using color filters in post production, only it's more fun when you do it while shooting. I fell in love with the green tone, and I still don't want to change it back. I use the other camera modes for shooting pictures with normal color settings in order to preserve it. I remember sampling something reddish, but I was in a club and the lights had their own hue, so I really don't know if I would manage to get the same tone again.Anyway, in July I skipped only one day and although many of the images are poor quality I managed to have an interesting month. I had many night shots (days were very hot), self-portraits in reflective surfaces (I started missing myself in my photos), shots of the things I always shoot and shots made out of pure boredom and lack of inspiration. The last ones are actually the biggest step forward because they are always the ones that require pushing ourselves beyond the limits.

On The Road In Iceland by Alpha Whiskey Photography

As well as all the beautiful waterfalls and glaciers and mountains Iceland also had wonderful views just driving along its roads. Often empty for ages at a time, always long and winding, they led to views of mountains and lakes and great vistas in the distance, too attractive to resist but too many to stop and shoot individually.So, whenever I was in the vehicle, I mounted my camera (EM-5) onto the dash in front of the steering wheel close to the window, with a polarising filter on the glass... 
to cut out reflections. I set the vehicle in cruise control so that I would have only the steering to focus on and whenever a pleasing scene came into view I would hit the touchscreen on the camera to take a photo. Sometimes I would zoom in or out but usually I would simply wait until I was the appropriate distance. Instead of zooming with my feet I would zoom with the vehicle. The last shot was taken by the roadside; I couldn't ignore the aurora, after all. Virtually all the rest were shot from the car travelling along the roads.  All images were shot with Olympus gear. 

Snaefellsnes by Alpha Whiskey Photography

On my final day in Iceland I cruised around the north-west of the island in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Perhaps it's a testament to how much I saw and shot during my circumnavigation that I'm still posting images from the trip almost a year later. It's also a testament to how quickly a year flies by these days. I still have a few more images left from the road which I may put into another post. Anyway, this part of Iceland was rocky and windy, especially on the coast, with volcanic rocks... 
strewn over the land at the foot of high cliffs and mountains. I had started my day watching some Icelandic horses walk home along the highway after sunrise. That was a truly eerie and bizarre sight. The weather wasn't great during my time there, mostly overcast and gloomy which an occasional intermission of blue sky. The coast offered some interesting rock formations as well as some wildlife such as seals and birds. One highlight of the day was the Rauðfeldsgjá gorge, with its small closeted waterfalls and shafts of light. I finished the day, and indeed my trip, where had I started it at Kirkjufellsfoss. I spent a couple hours here in the evening, hoping the clouds would clear to reveal some aurora, but it wasn't to be. So I finally headed back to Reykjavik in the early hours of the morning to return my vehicle and fly home. Eight long days and a ton of photos later I was ready to hang up the camera, eat some wholesome food and sleep in my own bed. It was both an exhausting and exhilarating trip and one I intend to repeat, albeit with wiser and even more selective choices about the places I visit. Almost all the images were shot with Olympus. 

Introducing SlickPic's Exhibit

Your Portfolio

The Portfolio is the place to showcase your very best photos. Think of it as the collage of the best pictures you've taken. It's separate from your Albums and you can choose whether to make it visible.

Private Affairs

As always, the privacy of your photos and videos is in your control. Because SlickPic offers both private and public photo sharing, you can host all your photos privately and choose to submit only your best photos to your public Portfolio.

High Exposure

The Exhibit allows you to showcase and promote your best work like never before, offering greater visibility and recognition. SlickPic's team of curators looks through all photos in public Portfolios and adds the photos they love to be displayed in the Exhibit.

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