Thursday, 20 February 2020

Landscape photography prints.

A selection of my images are now available as prints. To order please contact me via my contact page. They are available in 2 sizes - A4 and A3 plus.

 Fine art Giclée prints using Canon Lucia pigment inks. I use 2 Fine art papers - Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285 & Fotospeed Platinum Cotton 305.
A4 £15.00. plus p&p
A3. £25.00. plus p&p
Thanks for looking.

Earth and fire

Glyderau Sunrays

Last light.

Autumn Birch




Saturday, 1 February 2020

Landscape photography snowdonia. 2 days in the Glyderau. 18 - 19th Janary 2020.

It's been a while since I posted here, regular readers will know that I usually post trip reports about my backpacking trips in uk mountainous regions. Around a year ago my love of Landscape photography had grown to a point where it was my main motivation for getting out. I wanted to invest in myself and new equipment, initially this was a new camera, lenses,filters and a good sturdy carbon tripod. All these things don't come cheap, and so after a great deal of thought I sold off most of my beloved ultralight backpacking gear. My intention was to concentrate on day walks with a view to photographing sunrise and sunset. I soon realised, that with an average time of around 2 1\2 hrs to reach the mountains that trying to do it in a single trip was very hard and tiring.. it would be much easier to wildcamp so that I could (hopefully)  be in the right place when the light happened. It didn't take long for me to reinvest in some basic wildcamping gear. Since my last post I've done quite a few landscape photography backpacking trips, but up till now I've not documented them, partially due to the fact that I wanted to find my feet, and as the mths went passed the desire to sit down and write blogposts diminished.

So hopefully this will be the 1st of many Landscape photography trips that I'll write a blog about.

Keeping an eye on the forecast a week before this trip,  it became obvious that the weekend would, for a change, bring excellent winter conditions to the mountains of Snowdonia. A rucksack full of camera & winter backpacking gear was loaded into my van and I set off  very early.. around 3 am ! to get some height for when the sun came up. As usual I didn't sleep well the night before.. the excitement and vision of snowy mountains ensured that.

At around 6 am I was on my way into the winter wonderland, that feeling that you know you're in for a great couple of days is 1 that can only be appreciated by the backpacking photographer. My route was to take me around the western shore of Llyn Idwal, then up through the devels kitchen before ascending to Glyder Fawr.

Once I reached Glyder Fawr I headed through some quite deep snow drifts to a sheltered pitch I'd used before where I stopped for lunch. Unfortunately a couple of walkers had seen, and followed my tracks, arriving just as my water was boiling for a coffee. They looked a little confused before asking " which way to the cantilever stone? " I pointed them back to the main path and gave them directions, I hope they found it.

A leisurely lunch followed, I was in no hurry to move on and sat there for around 30 mins watching the mist come and go and the play of light across the land. Eventually I tore myself away and continued over Glyder Fach. Heading down from the summit I spotted a couple of hikers who I presumed were wild camping and as they had tripods attached to their packs they were also photographers. As I got closer we exchanged greetings and I recognised 1 of them from twitter. It was Grant who was also planning to wildcamp near Castell y Gwynt -  his friend (whose name I can't remember.. sorry ) was just out for the day. On our way over to Glyder Fach we were joined by another couple of photographers who were also planning to wildcamp that night - Tom & Chris. I have camped on Glyder Fach quite a few times, the last  being a few weeks previous where I hoped to get a good sunrise shot of castell.. thick clag moved in just before sunrise and continued through the night and into the morning, I did get 1 reasonable photo from that trip, but would have loved to get the classic view of Snowdon behind.. hence the revisit.

Eventually we arrived at our camp site very near to Castell y Gwynt and after pitching our tents we set of to expore the summit area for compositions for sunset & sunrise the next morning.

Although I didn't get the sunset light I was after there was some very atmospheric cloud around.. I grabbed a few shots that I'm happy with before making my way back to the tent for warm food and my usual celebratory Whisky .. always a good single malt. The stiff wind combined with the clag rolling in saw us all retreat back to our individual shelters where I lay, warm in my sleeping bag, gazing out through an open tent door. I love winter camping , the sunrise & sunset times means plenty of tent time for eating , sleeping and drinking.. hot drinks as well as the rest of the whisky were had before I drifted off, praying the sunrise would bring the light we were all after.
My alarm went off around 6am and I opened a stiff frosty tent door to a fantastic clear mountain view, water was put onto boil for my morning coffee and I began to get ready for the morning shoot.
On arrival at  my chosen composition there was already a photographer there who had set out a 3 am to reach the summit.. fair play to him. Although I couldn't get the shot I was after I was very pleased to get some great blue hour / sunrise shots. The pinks of the blue sky were almost alpine in nature.. another of the reasons why for me, winter is my favourite season.. you just don't get colour like this at any other time of the year. Shortly before the sun rose we were joined by another photographer, I later found out he was a friend of Gregg Whitton.. pleased to meet you Rob. With our photography fixes satisfied we made our way back to strike camp, a final coffee, then we descended back to our vans parked in the Ogwen valley. A breakfast in the Moel Siabod café rounded of the trip nicely-  Thanks for the company guys. I had intented to be back in Snowdonia this weekend, but a dose of man flu has put paid to that... now where my Lemsips.

Thanks for taking the time to read.. I'll leave you with some pics for sunrise.



Friday, 18 January 2019

Yr Arrddu & Ysagafell Wen.

The last few mths have been a very busy time for me, both at work and with family life. The latter means I wont be out backpacking till around the 1st week in march. I had 5 days out, spread over 2 trips over the Christmas holidays which I've not got round to writing up.

Here are a few pics from the 1st trip together with 2 trip videos.  The second trip will follow in a separate blogpost.




Wednesday, 26 December 2018

My Year in the hills 2018

This year I've decided to do a vlog roundup of my year in the hills. Merry Christmas, and here's looking forward to a great 2019 discovering new places as well as revisiting few old favourites.

Till next Time..
Happy Wildcamping.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

3 days in the Southern Arenigs

Arriving in Rhydymain under cloudy skies I waited for the rain to ease. For 30 mins I sat in the van listening to the sound of heavy rain beating down on the van roof. The forecast was for blustery showers clearing through in the afternoon. They got the showers part right but the clearing through didn't really materialise. I don't mind walking in winds and rain, but finding the motivation to leave a warm dry van was proving hard. Finally a touch of brightness gave me the impetus to don water proofs and get on my way. It was to be a day of constant showers, merging into longer spells and turning wintery over the tops.

Heading up the lane towards a church I branched of right along a green lane through an attractive woodland- a route I had last walked around 5 years ago. Parts I remembered well, parts of it I didn't, it was nice to be reacquainted with these hills.

Soon I reached the wall at the foot of Craig y Benglog where I dropped my pack, grabbed my camera, and climbed the short way to the summit. I arrived at the same time as another heavy blustery shower so I didn't wait around to take any pics, especially as I had taken off my wet gear and stowed it in my pack. By the time I got back to my pack I was quite wet, but once waterproofs were Again donned, combined with warmth generated whilst walking, I dried off in no time.

One advantage of days like this, particularly in autumn, is that you get some very nice atmospheric light - although you need to be quick to take advantage.

Heading down the rain eased and I was treated to so wonderful contrasting light . Dduallt - know locally as the ' Black Height' lived up to its name appearing very dark in comparison to the surrounding hills.


Surveying the route ahead I  Scanned the ground ahead, trying to pick out the best line to head towards the southern ridge of Dduallt. The ground ahead is mostly pathless and quite rough going with numerous bogs to avoid. Eventually I started the ascent to Dduallt, stopping at a convenient spot for lunch which was enjoyed whilst enjoying the views back over to Craig y Benglog and over to Tomorrows destination - Rhobell Fawr.

Once at the summit of Dduallt strong winds and colder air turned the showers to sleet, the wind was changing direction to blow in from the North. I had planned to descend towards the Afon Mawddach  and ascend towards Cefn y Griafolen and find a spot to camp. The strong winds meant I would need to find a sheltered pitch so I kept an eye out for a good site. At around the 450 meter mark I found such a spot and although early I called it a day. Water for camp was sourced and soon I was under cover warming up with a hot Brew.

After an hour or so of lying there listening to the sound of rain on the fly there was a brief interlude and I was treated to some lovely late afternoon light- complete with a very vivid rainbow, I did contemplate looking for a pot of gold at the end but decided to be content with a few pics and footage.

Awaking the next morning to the sound of what I thought was rain, I peered out at world dominated by white.. the rain had turned to snow/sleet  overnight, Raindrops had frozen on the outside of the Khufu. Max stared at me waiting for permission to leave the tent, at the same time I got out for a comfort break and took the opportunity to get a few pics before returning to the Khufu for hot coffee.

It was around 10 am before I struck camp, by now the showers had stopped and it was a much better day. The surrounding higher tops all had their winter coat on looking magnificent under blue skies.

Desending to the Afon Mawddach I crossed near the stone wall which ascends towards Cefn y Griafolen. The ice covered rocks meant very careful foot placement was needed to avoid a cold bath. I reached the other side with much relief and continued on ascending alongside the stone wall. Moel Llyfnant and Arenig Fawr came into view and I continued Northwards before before branching off towards Ffridd yr Allt Lwyd.

The summit of Allt yr Allt Lwyd is a broad flat plateau, marked by a few stones on a small patch of slightly higher ground, not one of the most inspiring summits but its very steep slopes on the southern edge give excellent views towards the valley floor. To the North west the Rhinog summits of Rhinog Fawr, Rhinog Fach and Y Llethr dominated the skyline. To the South was the summit of Rhobell y Big which always reminds  me of a mimi version of Tryfan, further on was Rhobell Fawr where I planned on meeting up with  @Chrisw00dcock.

From valley level I took the path I had spied on the descent stopping for lunch at the point where the path leaves the forested area to head into the open hillside. The path peters out higher up and I took the best line I could, collecting water from a stream before ascending to Rhobell Fawr. Once at the summit I visited a spot where I had camped before but the strong northerly's were blowing straight in.
I continued to the summit cairn to see if I could see Chris, keeping an eye out for a good sheltered spot as I went. Once at the cairn I messaged Chris to see where he was before descending to a good sheltered spot that I spotted whilst at the cairn. I was so busy making camp that I didn't hear my phone ping  and minutes later Chris crossed the stile near my pitch. After a  meet and great Chris set about pitching his Trailstar whilst I continued to get sorted and a brew on. After a warming brew we went for a wander to take in the fantastic views from a near by rocky outcrop before returning to our individual shelters for warm food.

When I awoke the next morning The Khufu had a coating of frost on the inside and out. My boots had froze and there was ice in my platypus. Reaching down into the depths of my bag I retrieved the Nalgene which I had filled with hot water the night before, and my meths bottle. I put some water on for a hot coffee then refilled the Nalgene to thaw out my boots. Once boots were thawed I got out to take in the morning sun, I had set my alarm for sunrise as I usually do but forgot to take into account the clocks going back and its effect on the time of sunrise. After a good chat about what was going on in our lives since our last meet up we set about striking camp. After an enjoyable descent we were soon back at our individual vehicles, I was so busy chatting to Chris that I forgot to take any more pics or footage ! another enjoyable trip over. As I'm typing this withdrawal symptoms have already surfaced and I'm busy planning my next trip.. hopefully to the Lake District this time.

Thanks taking the time to read, and thanks Chris for the company.

Till next  time..
Happy wildcamping.