Sunday, 11 April 2010

Wales In April With Layla

An early start for me 05:15, and another first I was awake before the alarm!

Pip was on time and Eric was up too, so to Cheadle  we went with Sally Sat Nav leading the way,  the best sunrise we had seen for a while shining through the mist and trees but we didn't stop,  we arrived at the New Talbot Inn at Cheadle,  Eric and me needing to turn their bikes round but not a bush in sight.  Layla arrived and introductions were made. Three hours and pit stop later we were in the vicinity of New Quay. we decided not to go directly to the town but to a nearby parking area near to a beach called Cai Bach, Steve and Pete arriving closely behind us,  luckily for us the area also had some ruins and a river so we made use of the photographic opportunity that it presented to us.

Setting on the camera was manual all the way, large aperture to reduce the depth of field and blur the bacground giving a soft feel, all of my images were taken using a fill flash with the exposure dialed down to slightly under expose the landscape then adjusting the flash power to empasise Layla without making her look totally washed out, a natural look hopefully. after each series of shots or after a lighting or area change I check the clipping highlight and histogram on my camera ensuring correct exposure etc.

Equipment used on the day:
Canon 5D MKII
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L series lens (fitted with a UV filter)
Canon 580 EXII Speedlite
5in1 reflector
Medium density graduated filter (used once to try out)


As Eric says 'Check your shot each time' that's the beauty of digital we can check, adjust and retake instantly.

Then we were off to the beach  a slow start but good photos abounded as we progressed

Eric showing his prowess with his telephoto

Steve realising that there was nowhere for layla to get changed, and promptly offered to hold the towel

Layla performing well under difficult conditions.....

Various costume changes (much to Steve's delight)

And Erics!

After the excitement of the beach we retired for a well earned lunch at one of New Quays pubs, with a wander around the harbour looking for more photographic opportunities.

With not much happening at the harbour, a quick dash down the coast ensued looking for the perfect sunset location as time was getting on. We found a little shingle beach a bit further down the coast, but it was getting hazy and no ideal spot to capture a sunset. we decided again to use what we had been dealt, some rocks a bit of surf and of course Laya our mentor by this point giving great pointers to out work.

Layla getting into some precarious predicaments, looking much worse than it actually was, and Eric making sure she was getting feedback.


Steve trying out the model lark, saying that it's not that hard.....
and layla showing him how it's really done (these are the only selection of images where I didn't use my speedlite)


A final football line up to mark the occasion before setting off back home, a quick tea break at a little chef and all tucked up in bed for 1am... a good day had by all.... and Layla managed to get some stones from the beach for her candle collection, I would have said pebbles but lets just say the car was leaning a bit.


  1. Some good stuff here Jim Looking forward to seeing some of your other shots of the day.

    Great idea to hire a model,I suppose we were lucky with the weather. As you suggested a weekend to the coast again sometime in the summer would be excellent!!

  2. Some great pics.... I love the boat. Nicely composed team shot of us washed up and on the rocks