Don’t go into the woods – lessons you’d think I would have learned by now

Coed y Brenin
Coed y Brenin

Whenever a walk has a significant stretch in managed woodlands, like Forestry Commission woods, I always get lost. It isn’t my fault. The paths on the ground and the paths on the map don’t bear any relationship to each other. The woodland managers make new paths and tracks whenever they want and when you’re hemmed in by conifers all directions look the same. Coed y Brenin in south Snowdonia is no exception to this. Continue reading

Nant Gwynant

Here are some shots I took of Nant Gwynant yesterday. This is the valley in Snowdonia that runs from Beddgelert northwards, to the junction where the Llanberis pass turns left and then onwards to Capel Curig. On the north side of the road is the Snowdon range, very well known with lots of people. On the south side you have wild lands with very few walkers. The views of the Snowdon range are tremendous but unusual. Snowdon is seen clearly but from an odd angle that most people are unlikely to recognise.

The whole place was like a saturated sponge. Every stream was full and there were plenty of streams that I’m sure wouldn’t usually be there. It’s very photogenic but conditions weren’t ideal, with very strong winds turning me back from my high point and chasing me back half way down the hill. It was mostly cloudy but as I’d hoped the sun poked it’s head out just before it went down behind the far mountains.

Shining Tor

Shining Tor is the highest point in Cheshire. It has great views (on a clear day) across the Cheshire plain. This wasn’t such a clear day but had some nice textures and moods for a black and white treatment.

On some of the shots you can see what looks like the moon. It’s actually the sun, which was behaving quite strangely that day. It was reported in most of the papers. It was dim and orange, an effect caused, I seem to remember, by dust in the atmosphere from somewhere?

Cheshire Plain

Cheshire is mostly flat. I lived in hilly areas for twenty years so I’m having to recalibrate my photographic eye to get the best out of this area. As I’ve said before, it seems to lend itself to monochrome treatment. I’d forgotten this set, which I took about a year ago and came across yesterday. Taken with my still-broken Olympus OMD-EM10, which I really enjoy using for square format black and white. Continue reading

Welsh Moods

Monday was supposed to be a bright sunny day in Snowdonia. It was just that as I arrived at Conwy for my morning coffee, a perfect mix of puffy clouds and bright winter sunshine. There’s a saying though that the mountains make their own weather. As I headed inland the clouds got thicker and more continuous. The tops were engulfed. The valleys were grey. Continue reading

Beddgelert sunset

Some shots taken last week looking toward the end of the Snowdon range, with Lliwedd and Yr Aran prominent. Lliwedd is the double headed peak, and part of the famous Snowdon horseshoe.

The location is a relatively small but very rugged hill immediately south of the lovely village of Beddgelert, supposedly named for being “Gelert’s grave”, Gelert being “the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great.” Whatever the history, it’s great walking country, wild and difficult of navigation. The weather was changeable, which makes for dramatic photography.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10