Sometimes you just get lucky..

A trip to the passport office in Newport, Gwent, South Wales doesn’t on the surface appear to be the most likely of chores to illicit a photograph but one just never knows.  With a 4 hour wait between handing in the application and picking up the finished passport, a trip along the coast to Penarth, just the other side of Cardiff seemed like a nice distraction.

Arriving at the pier and parking the car, it was immediately clear that there was something really quite special about the early autumn light.  A thin layer of high cloud was obscuring the sun that promised an unseasonably warm Indian summer’s day.

Crossing the road and claiming a bench, a group of swans put in an appearance and the following pictures were the result of a very pleasant hour spent by the sea.  Shooting into the partially obscured sun, the effect was quite magical.

The moral of the story, always, always always take your camera with you.  Even if you’re just making a trip to the supermarket.  You just never know.  You might just get lucky.  I hope you enjoy the photographs.. :-)

Penarth Pier - Adrian Theze33mm f/11 1/320 sec. ISO-100

Penarth Pier - Adrian Theze24mm f/11 1/1250 sec. ISO-100

The Bristol Channel70mm f/11 1/1250 sec. ISO-100

The Bristol Channel70mm f/11 1/1000 sec. ISO-100

Bristol Channel70mm f/11 1/1000 sec. ISO-100

Adrian Theze Photo logo_2

84 responses

  1. Love those first two photos. Inspiring.

    September 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    • Thank you very much! Glad you find them to be so! :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

  2. I love those serendipitous moments!

    September 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    • Me too Michael. Thank you!

      September 16, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    • Sue

      Me too!!

      September 16, 2016 at 3:10 pm

  3. Just west of Newport is a rural location called pen-y-lan on a back road between cardiff and bassaleg. from there you can get some stunning shorts over the estuary

    September 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

  4. and the two islands are flat holm and steep holm – used to be able to see them from bedroom in pontprennau

    September 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

  5. Ah was it really only yesterday ChillB ;-) These are fabulous … so serene … the swans just gliding on by .. a bench with a view and the kind of light worth capturing for sure xx

    September 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    • Thank you Poppy! It does seem like rather a long time ago doesn’t it? A very special moment in time and then that cloud was gone along with that special light. As Michael said, a serendipitous moment. :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 3:21 pm

  6. Beautiful photos. I love the calm, simplicity of the 4th photo.

    September 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    • Thank you very much Maralee! That’s one of my favourites too. I’m very much enjoying a more minimalist approach to my photography at present. :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm

  7. Love the third photo. Very nice!

    September 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    • Thank you very much Debbie! :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm

  8. Sue

    Now I’m intrigued why you had to go all the way from Cornwall to South Wales for a passport, Adrian!

    September 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    • Thankfully not from Cornwall Sue and not my passport. I’m all up to date thankfully. I am counting down the days though.. :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      • Sue

        I’m sure you are!

        September 16, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      • :-)

        September 17, 2016 at 5:58 am

  9. AYR

    So still and peaceful. Beautiful photos. Love them

    September 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    • Thank you so much! :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

  10. riet

    Beautiful photos !!!

    September 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      September 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm

  11. I am happy you brought you camera! These captures are lovely, the light is so soothing and it gives me a feeling of an relaxed atmosphere and fresh sea breeze:)

    September 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    • Thank you Inger. It was a great way to spend a few hours.

      September 17, 2016 at 5:58 am

  12. ..and this photos are great, simply and strong…

    September 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    • Thank you very much. So glad you like them! :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 5:59 am

  13. Lovely story, and shimmering, subtle images, with pared down colors. Once, decades ago, I agreed to get bumped from an overbooked flight out of DC, resulting in a free ticket to use later, and an open afternoon. With four or five hours to “kill” or spend well, I stashed my suitcase in a pay locker and boarded the train for downtown DC, ending up at the Smithsonian. The branch I chose to visit that day, the Sackler Gallery of Asian art, was in the midst of a Tibetan art exhibit. I just happened on a group of Tibetan monks working intently on a sand mandala, which I was priveleged to watch for a long time, at close view. Back then, that was a rare occurrence for an American public venue. Amazing what serendipity does sometimes, if you’re ready to receive it fully. I floated through that day as if on a cloud, as I think you were floating in the silver light of Penarth…

    September 16, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    • Thank you Lynn! Such a great story and what an experience to meet up with the Tibetan monks. Yes I think life just steers us in a different direction to the one we had planned and like you say, if you embrace it, the rewards can be quite immense. :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 6:01 am

  14. Gorgeous shots, Adrian. You really put your waiting time to good use. Beautiful clouds in the second one. :)

    September 17, 2016 at 2:05 am

    • Thank you Sylvia! I did not know this part of South Wales at all and I was really very pleasantly surprised how lovely it was given the industry and the docks that this area is so famous for. :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 6:03 am

  15. That sort of light is golden. Glad you caught it!

    September 17, 2016 at 4:48 am

    • Thank you Gunta! I’m glad I caught it too. It was fairly fleeting as those clouds soon burned off by the sun and were gone.

      September 17, 2016 at 6:04 am

  16. Nil

    A moment to cherish and lovely photo’s… That’s what makes life worth living :-)
    Thanks for sharing…

    September 17, 2016 at 8:27 am

    • Thank you very much! It is indeed these moments that make life special! :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

  17. I love the sea best of all places, I think, and the sense of solitude and calm in your photos draws me right in. You’re right, the light in these is magical.

    September 17, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    • Thank you very much! I’m so glad you pick up on the serenity of the moment. The light was quite unusual and very special and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Always something photographers strive for of course but sadly only manage on occasion. :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 4:18 pm

  18. When you mentioned Newport you had me wondering… heading to the coast was definitely the best idea. Love the first image, such clarity.

    September 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    • Thank you Jude! As it turned out it was definitely a great way to spend the time! :-)

      September 17, 2016 at 4:20 pm

  19. It’s a treat to watch your beautiful work, Adrian. The fair light carries a very special magic. And so does your gifted handling with the camera and the postprocessing.
    And I learned a lesson again, never ever, ever go without your camera …;-) I went off to Germany for the first time without ANY photo equipment and in an absurd way, found it was quite exciting as I left ALL my gear behind. My main concern was my MacBook and It’s now tuned up to be much stronger, faster and better than ever before, a great relief.:-)
    I’m amazed that the passport was ready to be handed out the same day. This electronic things can take up to several weeks if you apply for it in a distant town. Glad you got it all sorted out and did what a dedicated photographer should always do; have the camera close to hand and be on the look-out! :-)
    Wishing you all a great time in C,
    Hanne

    September 17, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    • Thank you so much Hanne! You’re so kind. I hope that all is going well in Bonn. I can understand why you would leave all you heavy weight Nikon camera gear behind. Perhaps you need a lighter mirrorless camera like my Sony in addition to your Nikon equipment so you can always have a good quality camera with you wherever you go. I’m glad to hear that your Mac is fixed. That is great news. I know the guys in Cley are very much looking forward to your return as am I. Can’t wait to visit again. Take care and speak soon. Just three days to judging.. :-/

      September 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      • Yes,that might be a good idea. I see Poppy Louise uses a Sony with her D810 as well. Think think now … ;-)
        I’ll for sure invest in more filters, I want the Big Stopper next. We can talk about filters later, now we are all transporting very good energy to Bath, keeping our fingers crossed. This is so exciting! :-) x

        September 19, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      • Thank you very much Hanne! I’m not sure exciting is the word I’d use but it’s so nice to have all this lovely support. Thank you! :-)

        September 20, 2016 at 6:09 am

  20. Exquisite….like watercolour paintings!

    September 17, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    • Thank you very much Trees! :-)

      September 18, 2016 at 7:40 am

  21. Lovely set of shots. The forced wait was a bonus for you. Here, you go to the local post office and submit your passport forms to the clerk who confirms your identity and checks your application. The passport office then sends your passport via registered mail up to 2 weeks later. Your “instant passport” system is amazing.

    September 18, 2016 at 1:27 am

    • Thank you very much Mr Dragon. Most people would usually apply for a passport by sending in a form and waiting a few weeks but if you need a passport in a hurry, you can make a direct application in person. This can only be done at the passport office and I think there is only one of those so for many people, it would be a very long journey to get an instant passport but it can be done. :-)

      September 18, 2016 at 7:40 am

  22. The first one of the pier really caught my attention, nice shots all.

    September 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    • Thank you very much. The light was quite striking! :-)

      September 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

  23. Lovely images Adrian. As you say often there is an element of luck with photography……right place, right time etc……but you do need to be prepared to take advantage of it when it arrives.

    September 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    • Thank you Mark! It’s very true what you say of course and putting yourself in the right place means at some point you’re going to be there at the right time. :-)

      September 19, 2016 at 7:08 am

  24. Beautiful, one of my favourite spots to shoot as I live not too far away. Beautiful images.

    September 19, 2016 at 8:16 am

    • Thank you! You’re lucky to love so close to such a beautiful place.

      September 19, 2016 at 9:48 am

  25. The light was beautiful that day !

    September 20, 2016 at 11:50 am

    • Thank you Gin! It really was! :-)

      September 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

  26. One never knows where one can find something worth photographing. It all depends on the eyes behind the camera. You seem to have excellent eyes, Adrian. Those images are beautiful.

    September 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    • Thank you so much Otto for your very kind words! :-)

      September 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

  27. Magnificent

    September 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    • Thank you very much indeed Lou! :-)

      September 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm

  28. The first two shots are stunning Adrian!

    September 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      September 22, 2016 at 7:32 am

  29. A true photographer you are Adrian ~ able to find the time in a new place to go out and create magic with camera & lens. You’ve got the eye to see it where us mortals do not. Wishing you many more happy adventures :-)

    September 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    • Thank you very much for your kind words Randall. You too are a true photographer. I admire your work enormously! :-)

      September 22, 2016 at 7:32 am

  30. Wow…such beauties Adrian. I love the first two images but I have to tell you the fourth one with the lone sailboat, that beautiful wispy sky and the mountains in the background is in my eyes spectacular.

    September 22, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • Thank you very much Edith. The fourth is a favourite of mine also. :-)

      September 23, 2016 at 6:42 am

  31. Love your photos beautiful ❤️️

    September 23, 2016 at 3:54 am

    • Thank you so much Jennifer. I’m so glad you enjoy them. :-)

      September 23, 2016 at 6:43 am

      • Your very welcome

        September 23, 2016 at 6:44 am

      • :-)

        September 23, 2016 at 6:47 am

  32. Yes, always carry a camera – it’s my mantra too. The slight does look very special in these images, especially in those first two with the faint rays visible in the sky. And there’s something abut a lone boat on the sea that commands my attention too. Beautiful images, so very peaceful, I bet you were sorry to leave.

    September 23, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    • Thank you very much Andy. Yes I was sorry to leave. The cloud obscuring the sun in the photographs was quickly burned off to herald a beautiful Indian Summer’s day as I said. Sitting on the pier in the sunshine was lovely. :-)

      September 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

  33. Luck only happens to those who are prepared for any opportunity Adrian! I just love the shots of the pier especially.

    September 25, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    • Thank you very much Tina! It’s certainly the case that you can only take advantage of a photographic opportunity if you have your camera with you. I’ve missed my fair share of shots when I didn’t. Lesson learned, hopefully! :-)

      September 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

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  35. Beautiful light and elegant composition in all of these. Love the first one where the swans make an appearance.

    October 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    • Thank you very much Simon. The swans were a plus but I had to work quickly. When I arrived they were already passing by and they weren’t hanging about! :-)

      October 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm

  36. So very beautiful, Adrian….

    October 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    • Thank you very much Scott! :-)

      October 2, 2016 at 8:17 am

  37. This brought a wry smile to my face :) The thousands of miles that I’ve lugged my camera kit around for …. just in case …! For some crazy reason, even if there is only one image after all that, it’s somehow worth it!

    November 2, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    • Thank you Noeline. Yep, even if there’s only one image, lugging that equipment is always worthwhile. :-)

      November 7, 2016 at 9:56 am