I’m On A Roll…

You know the old saying “You wait an hour for a Number 10 bus and then two come along all at once”. Well I’m on a bit of a roll at the moment now that I have sorted out the problems I had with WLW. Actually it’s more like I have found an alternative that works for me.

So some more photographs. Thursday was such a beautiful day, sunny, clear blue skies, very little cloud, not exactly ideal for photography. But with weather like that I made the snap decision to venture into the National Park and take a good walk along with the camera.

The walk up to Cwm Idwal is one of may favourites. It can get busy, I’ve only ever been once on the track and hardly seen a soul. That’s the day I got caught in a blizzard which fortunately passed over quickly. I suppose I should have guessed, No one about, don’t venture far.

Anyway the photographs

Ogwen Fall

On the way up to the Ogwen valley I decided to stop off at the Ogwen Falls. Unfortunately you can only photograph from the side of the falls so this photographs doesn’t really do it enough justice. There’s another large section that I didn’t photograph. Well I did, but it doesn’t look right across the falls.

Devils Kitchen

Once you walk up to Cwm Idwal, it’s a pretty gentle climb even with photography gear, you can walk around the lake. Or choose to start the climb up to higher areas by following the path at the far end of the lake.

Of course if you’re like me, after a cup of coffee and a few photographs you start to walk back down to the car-park. Saying that i have walked around the lake several times before and gone up the path to higher areas but eventually turned back because it was too much of a scramble with the camera gear and the tripod.

So on the way back down I took time to photograph Pen Yr Ole Wen from the path

Pen Yr Ole Wen

And any walk up to Cwm Idwal wouldn’t be the same without photographing Tryfan, probably one of the best known mountains in the National Park and also one of the most dangerous.

Tryfan

Well that’s it. Just a few more photographs whilst I get used to using Open Live Writer to create posts for Say It With A Camera

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It’s Now Tuesday……

All is quiet in our household. Photography has taken a bit of a back seat as the weather, once again, has not been conducive (that’s a big word for Monday morning) to getting out with the camera. By this time last year I had made eight photography trips out into the National Park and yet, this year I have done just one and that was none too successful. Even outside of the National Park I have been very limited in travel for photography. Maybe it’s just me, perhaps I’m slowing down or just getting bored with photography. Even now as I’m looking out of the office window I can see nothing but grey skies, that’s no incentive to pick up the camera and go out and shoot something.

What is a good photograph? I cannot say. A photograph is tied to the time, what is good today may be a cliché tomorrow. The problem of the photographer is to discover his own language, a visual ABC. The picture represents the feelings and point of view of the intelligence behind the camera. This disease of our age is boredom and a good photographer must combat it. The way to do this is by invention – by surprise. When I say a good picture has surprise value I mean that it stimulates my thinking and intrigues me. The best way to achieve surprise quality is by avoiding clichés. Imitation is the greatest danger of the young photographer. – Alexey Brodovitch

Like last weeks challenge, which I missed, this weeks, just does not excite me. Usually in my mind’s eye I have a good idea what photographs I’m going to use but I’m sitting here at the moment with a sort of blank in my mind.

It’s now Tuesday morning, I had writers block yesterday. Last night the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the whole of the UK. However in my opinion, severe is relative. Leaves fall on the track, trains stop running, heavy rain, schools close. There’s severe and severe. But saying that, I’m sitting in my office looking out at blanket of snow which is still falling, so maybe they were right.

OK I’ve prattled (another big word) on enough, let’s get some photographs….

The Road To Snowdonia

My favourite road leading to the Llanberis Pass with a view of the Snowdon Triangle. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have stopped somewhere along this road just to take in the beauty of the National Park.

Meanwhile in the Ogwen Valley the Afon Ogwen tumbles over rocks on it way to Nan Ffrancon and the sea.

Ogwen Valley

One of the things I like about the National Park is that you can find little waterfalls in places you’d least expect them. Always fun to photograph and if the light falls right what more could you as for as a photographer.

Waterfall

Well that’s for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. Yes it’s still snowing but I suspect that as we live very close to the coast that soon it will start melting again. Too much salt in the air.
 

Oops! I Forgot

It’s 4;30 pm on a cold Tuesday afternoon, here in the UK. I’m sitting at my computer when it struck me. I haven’t submitted anything for this weeks challenge. Although to be fair, I’ve been busy testing new software and working on a new project.

Now here’s the other thing, I haven’t taken any photographs, that I can use, since my visit to Budapest nearly a month ago. For me that is really strange…….So for this weeks challenge I’m going to have to rely on past photographs, taken from almost the same spot at two different times of the year.

I’m standing at Cwm Idwal, it’s January, the lake is behind me and I’m looking over the Ogwen Valley to Pen yr Ole Wen. As you can see, there’s been quite a heavy fall of snow and I remember on the day I took this photograph there weren’t too many people about.

Pen yr Ole Wen

It’s also the same day that I and another photographer, whom I met that day, got caught in a blizzard white out. At the time it was disconcerting because you can’t see much in front of you. But despite there not being too much shelter up there we decided to stick it out and see if it cleared. and fortunately after about five minutes it stopped snowing. Time to get off the mountain as soon as possible. It’s no great panic, we were both equipped to be there, but when you can’t see where you want to go, then it gets a little bit tasty.

Then we have this photograph, from nearly the same spot. Taken just over a year later in the February. Considering the month it’s surprising there’s now snow.

Pen yr Ole Wen

So that’s it for this week. It’s a quick one and I hope you enjoyed them – Mike

A Mountain Path–Back To My Roots

Regular readers will know that I am a great fan of Ansel Adams and his amazing Black and White photographs taken in the Sierra Nevada’s, his spiritual home, and in America’s great State Parks. You might also have noticed that in the last few weeks I’ve been doing a bit of bird photography, which I have a bitter-sweet relationship with.

Like Ansel Adams, I’m more at home in the mountains taking landscape photographs….and so that is my path for next year. Go back to my roots and spend more time in the mountains. Now obviously I can’t go to the Sierra Nevada and in a country the size of UK there really isn’t any great wilderness left. There are some areas where you could go walking and not see anyone else but in truth you are never really that far from civilisation.

However the Snowdonia National Park has some great areas to photograph and that’s where I’m going to be next year.

Old House

I’ve photographed many places in the National Park but this time I’m going to be looking at it differently. For a start I want to try to get it right in Black and White, medium that I’ve dabbled with before, mainly for street photography

Ask yourself, “Why am I seeing and feeling this? How am I growing? What am I learning?” Remember: Every coincidence is potentially meaningful. How high your awareness level is determines how much meaning you get from your world. Photography can teach you to improve your awareness level. – Ansel Adams

Lone Tree

Ansel Adams once said “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer”, and I want to you to see what I see, the stark beauty that can be found in the National Park.

This lone tree in the photograph above sits at the side of Llyn y Dywarchen. Why is it there? When you consider the landscape all around it’s amazing that it has grown to such a size and survived especially through it’s early years as a sapling. This is sheep country a tasty morsel like a new sapling would have gone down well to the sheep that roam this terrain. Yet it survived because it is growing against the side of a wall which stopped the sheep gaining access to it.

The Valley

Of course it means I have to be more prepared for walking the hills and getting off the beaten path. Where previously I would visit several locations in a day I think I need to research a location and stick to it. It’s all too easy in this digital age to press that shutter button and just keep taking photographs. But a more refined approach is called for.

The ‘machine-gun’ approach to photography – by which many negatives are made with the hope that one will be good – is fatal to serious results. – Ansel Adams

So that’s my path for the coming year. I hope you will join me – Mike

Discover–A Time To Catch Up

My mailbox is full. Just under 400 messages from WordPress in the space of a couple of days with comments on “It’s A Kind Of Magic” and new followers to “Say It With A Camera”. It’s going to take me some time to catch up with all of your comments and have a look at my new followers blogs.

So I’d like to thank you all for your kind comments and follows and I promise over the next week I will get round to replying and visiting your blogs.

In the meantime I’d like to show you some photographs from an area that I have the fortune to have in my back yard – the Snowdonia National Park. It’s such a beautiful and wild place to visit, yet easily accessible and because of this it is difficult to find areas where you can be truly alone. This photograph of Pen-Yr-Ole-Wen (that’s the mountains name, looks remote and yet at the bas of the mountain lies one of the busy main roads through the national park.

Pen-yr-Olwen Reflections

In the park you will find sheep, lots of them, Wales is well-known for it’s sheep farming, feral goats and these lovely little Welsh Ponies. Most of the year they live higher up on the slopes of the mountains but once the snows come they start to come lower down into the valleys which makes them more easy to photograph. Although most of the year they live quite wild I have found they are pretty friendly, you can even stroke them as long as you take it slow and easy. Of course like all wild animals you just have to be careful.

Ponies

Throughout the park you will find evidence of abandoned dwellings from the 18/19th century, maybe earlier in some cases. These are left over from when sheep farmers had small holdings and lived a very simple way of life.

This Old House

That’s it and I will get round to everything this week – Mike