52 in 2016 Week 3 Rool of Thurds

Oh No! Not again. The Rool of Thurds. How many times have I said I hate that Rool of Thurds.

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk. – Edward Weston

But once again Roolz is Roolz so here’s my two photographs for this weeks 52 Challenge.

52 in 2016 Week 3 Rule of Thirds_0001

Although it was a sunny day, in the wintertime the lake is protected from sunlight by the surrounding mountains. So if it freezes overnight it takes a long time to defrost the following day. I’ve sort of stuck to the rule here. The lake is in the bottom thurd and the small boat is on th intersection of the bottom and left hand side thurds. Yes, I do know how to spell third but I do have…..well you know what my thoughts are on this crazy Rool guideline.

Rules aren’t any good if they don’t work! The only real rules are the laws of physics and optics. – Dean Collins

Similarly with the next photograph. The reflection starts in the second thurd of the photograph…..and that’s about as far as I’m prepared to go

52 in 2016 Week 3 Rule of Thirds_0002

Last Wednesday was such a beautiful day, Clear blue skies and no wind. Although they are within miles of each other one lake was frozen and the other was flat calm giving those beautiful reflections we can see. It so hard to describe to someone what it was like and Cameron Lawson so aptly describes the dilemma he faced

I would come home from a climbing expedition and find it hard to describe the experience and beauty to my friends and family. Photography allowed me the vehicle to tell the visual story. – Cameron Lawson

So I hope in these photographs you get some idea what it was like for me earlier in the week – Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet

Way back in July 2008 I got up early to walk the dogs. Stepping out of the house I could see a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky. “Photo opportunity” was my immediate thought. But where? Who was going t walk the dogs? Leave that to the wife thinks I. Ten minutes later I was on the seafront watching and photographing the iconic pier at Weston-super-Mare burning to the ground.


At the time I thought this sign was so ironic, especially as the pier, which was one of the biggest attractions had all but gone. So for this weeks challenge I thought I’d dig out this photograph from my archive.

Here’s what other WordPress bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

R is for rhythm and blues… – Susan Rushton
Alphabet – Snapshots, Styles And Smiles
EL EM EN OH PEE – Beyond the Brush
Sara Zancotti ¥€$
Belo Horizonte daily photo — WP Weekly Photo Challenge- Alphabet
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alphabet – Photographic Trek

The Snowdon Horseshoe

Today I was out in the National Park. I had originally planned to do some photography on the coast but I’d heard reports that many of the lakes in the park were flat calm and that there were some amazing reflections. Too good to miss; so change of plan.

2016_Reflections on Llynnau Mymbyr

And I wasn’t disappointed. This is just one of a series of photographs I took today at Llynnau Mymbyr showing the Snowdon Horseshoe. Viewed left to right: Y Lliwedd, Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain (Crib-y-Ddysgl).

I hope you enjoy the photograph – Mike

Dark and Brooding

Last week I was in the National Park. Nice weather until about 3pm when suddenly the skies darkened and it looked like it was going to snow. I managed to take this last photograph before heading home.

2016_Snowdon Massif

On show are three out of four of the mountains which make the Snowdon Horseshoe, these are Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain (Crib-y-Ddysgl). The missing mountain, Y Lliwedd, is off to the left and If I’d included it I don’t think this photograph would have had the same impact.

A Touch Of Snow In The Ogwen Valley

Each year I look forward to the snow falling in the National Park. For me as a photographer it adds something new to the ever-changing landscape and makes me want to get out there and photograph it. Of course it’s not as simple as that. Falling snow is not good for the animals that live in the park, nor do the farmers welcome it, especially if we have blizzard conditions.  However at the lower levels it’s still not too bad. so with my photography buddy Adrian Evans, I set off to the Ogwen Valley with the hope of catching some snow. The Ogwen Valley and surrounding area is probably my favourite spot in the National Park for two reasons. It has waterfalls, mountains, rivers, some nice wooden bridges, stone ones as well, lots of sheep, sometimes wild ponies – only when the snow is heavy and best of all it’s easily accessible with a main road running right through the valley. But first of all I’m going to start off in Nant Ffrancon.

2016_Nant Ffrancon

Nant Ffrancon is a steep-sided glacial valley dropping to Bethesda between the Glyderau and the Carneddau Mountain Ranges. To the left of the photograph above is the start of the Ogwen Valley. There are two roads through the valley, the main trunk road (A5) and the old road built by Lord Penryhn of Penrhyn Castle near Bangor around about 1790 – 1792. This is the old road, it’s my favourite way of getting up to the Ogwen Valley because there are some good photo opportunities on the way and usually you never see anyone except farmers and the park rangers.

2016_Nant Francon_0003

Lord Penrhyn’s road was built to allow the easy of movement of slate from his quarries to the shipping point at Port Penrhyn. Nowadays it has a standard road surface and throughout the year it’s usually quite passable. But as you can see from this photograph below, taken in early 2015, it can sometimes become a bit treacherous. Even with 4-wheel drive I couldn’t get past this point. It was just sheer ice with no grip at all.

Icy Road

Still in Nant Ffrancon you can find little waterfalls like this all the way along the valley. Of course at the moment there’s not a lot of water coming down the hillside but you can see from this photograph that the torrent here could be a lot stronger.

2016_Nant Ffrancon_0002

Almost at the top of the old road as it enters the Ogwen Valley you can see Pen yr Ole Wen. Wikipedia describes the mountain as the seventh highest in Wales at a height of 978 m (3,209 ft) equal to England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike. You can also see the modern road, the A5, and some Welsh ponies which have freely roamed these mountains for centuries.

2016_ Pen yr Ole Wen

From this spot a short walk takes me to the path to the Glyderau and Cwm Idwal, a spot I have visited often before. It’s a nice gentle walk to Cwm Idwal and probably one of the easier ones in the Snowdonia National Park. But even still you have to dress for the conditions or else you put yourself in danger and possibly others as well, who have to come and get you out of trouble.

2016_The Glyderau

Would you believe, whilst I was waiting to take the photograph above I saw two idiots, and I will say idiots, walking up the path wearing cotton track suit bottoms and tops, along with trainers with no socks on? Just after that another couple, he was wearing light shoes, she had fashion boots with a heel. Most people using the track were wearing proper outdoor walking gear with boots. Bearing in mind that the further up you go, the more snow you get and the colder it becomes. And it was cold.

Anyway. We decided to leave the Ogwen Valley and head for Capel Curig and the Llanberis Pass, on the way stopping off to photograph Snowdon from a distance. By now the weather was changing with some light sleet starting to fall. With the light rapidly disappearing it was time to head home. So I leave you with this view of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands.

2016_Mount Snowdon

That’s it from me. I’ll be back soon with this weeks WordPress challenge and of course my 52 challenge for next week. Meanwhile here’s what other great WordPress Bloggers are saying about Snowdonia;

Mist and missing Capel Curig – Happy New Year!
Favourite Images 2015 – No. 7
Nant Ffrancon Jaunt
Snowdonia – November 2015
Carnedd Y Gribau, a winter walk to the PyG Hotel
#189 – Snow time in Snowdonia – The Glyderau
Nant Gwynant
Winter comes early on a Snowdon horseshoe
Slate And Stuff