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Ghost Dancing

A Blog of Travel, Photography and General Thoughts

The Ides of March

Tony Fenton | March 29th 2015 | General Photography Travel
Dunraven Bay

Dunraven Bay

Well, I can’t believe how this month has flown by and that my last post was at the end of February! A fair bit has happened this month, which is my excuse for not writing until now. As a birthday treat for me we went away to South Wales for a long weekend, to visit our favourite spot there – Dunraven Bay.  I first found this place when trying to locate a beach close to Cardiff, another favourite destination.  I guess there may be closer places to visit from Cardiff, but having found this bay it is now on our list of regular places to visit, which we have done in all seasons and weathers.

Incidentally, Dunraven Bay has been used by BBC Wales most notably for Doctor Who. You can see the bay in these episodes : Army of Ghosts/Doomsday: filmed 16 January 2006 (where the bay was called Bad Wolf Bay and meant to be in Norway for the tenth doctor’s / David Tennant final farewell to Rose Tyler / Billie Piper ) , Journey’s End: filmed 5 March 2008 and The Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone: filmed 20-21 July 2009 (just in case you were interested).  Dunraven Bay would also be my own personal Journey’s End as you will read later.

The bay is close to the villages of Southern Down and Ogmore-on-Sea, with Cardiff some 20 miles to the East and Porthcawl about 11 miles to the West. On this visit to the bay we were blessed with some good weather and had a few hours on the Friday and Saturday sitting on the rocks, relaxing and reading. We stopped in at Cardiff Bay on our way home but the weather had turned colder by then so we only stayed long enough to buy some lovely Welshcakes from Fabulous Welshcakes and a coffee at Starbucks before heading back home.

On the Sunday we went to the Photography Show at the NEC. Despite having been interested in photography for many years I have never been to one of these shows so I thought it about time to see what one was like. Well, that was fatal wasn’t it? True, I had been looking at the possibility of a new lens and maybe even a new camera body, so the offer of double cashback discount from Canon for purchases at the show was the final push! And that’s how I ended up with an new EOS 70D and the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM ultra-wide angle lens.  So with my other lenses : Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L IS USM  I now have a great coverage.  I’m really looking forward to trying out both the new camera body and the new lens. Our next trip away is to the Isle of Wight in April, so I will be looking out for scenes that the ultra-wide angle will be suited.

Naturally the new camera has new versions of software and the raw files cannot be read by my version of Photoshop Elements.  Maybe now is the time to consider Lightroom, although for now I’ll use the included Canon DPP software to convert the raw files and continue with PSE for now.  That upgrade and learning curve can be done later in the year!

So why should we be wary of the Ides of March?  For me I had a bittersweet weekend with a low point of saying goodbye to my kindle which failed to survive its encounter with a rock pool in Dunraven Bay (the Journey’s End I mentioned earlier), replaced that same weekend as I couldn’t bear to be without a book, and a high point of getting the new camera body and lens at the Photography Show.  So the Ides of March were a turning point for me with the Kindle and my photography.  The Ides of March is a day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15 but became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC and turning point in Roman history.  Reading a bit more about Roman calendars you will discover that the Romans didn’t number the days in the month sequentially from the first to the last day, instead they counted back from three fixed days in the month : Nones (5th or 7th), Ides (13th or 15th) and Kalends (1st of the following month).  The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon and were the 13th of each month except for March, May, July and October.  So now you know 🙂

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