One of the many pleasures I get from my photography walks, is getting to photograph somewhere for the first time.
With the plethora of online resources available to us all, it is easy enough to research places, especially useful if it were for a working assignment but for my pleasure photography, I try to avoid ‘spoilers’, that way, I can see a new venue for the first time.
There is no doubt that somewhere along the line, I will find a well photographed landmark, the fun is finding such images for myself, maybe with the hope of seeing it from a more unusual aspect.
So day #38 finds me on a brief trip to Barmouth, situated on the west coast of Wales, it is a popular seaside destination, luckily for me, it is just before the peak holiday season but even in mid June, I am joined by a healthy number of other day trippers.
With postcard perfect blue skies and pristine, almond white sands, this town oozes charm and some stunning views, especially that of the impressive railway bridge and the Snowdonia national park for its backdrop.
As has become customary during my 50mm project, I create a multiple shot panorama, this time of my view from the walk along the breakwater, too good an opportunity to pass up.
Today’s visit is all too brief but there is a certainty that I will return for a longer exploration and a promise to myself that I will add the railway bridge walk to that itinerary, something I am already looking forward to.
If I have learned just one lesson from my photographic journey over the years, I would probably suggest that patience would be in my list of possibilities.
The nature of my line of work within the catering industry has demanded a sense of urgency, that trait often found its way within my extra curricular activities, where perhaps a little more thought before jumping in with both feet would have been the wiser option.
Certainly, my single focal length projects have taught me to be more patient in finding alternative angles where a zoom lens would allow me to find the obvious but perhaps a better example of this point is from my recent Welsh excursion.
With the holiday rental just a 10 minute walk away from the beautiful Bala Lake, it was natural that my love of early mornings would find me making early forays here. Saturday and Sunday morning were quite windy, with some low cloud in the mountains beyond and while I captured some pleasing images, I was secretly hoping for something a little calmer, a reminder of a scene I captured a few years before perhaps on my first and fleeting visit to a now favourite place.
Tuesday morning and I had not set an early alarm but I was awake just before 4am, I was about to head to the kitchen to make my first brew of the day, instead, I looked out from my bedroom window and saw firstly that the wind had dropped, and in the distance a plume of low cloud over the lake.
That first brew would come later, as I was dressed and out within a few minutes, heading towards photographic utopia.
This first image is from my favoured spot, the nearest to the holiday let but a mile or walk around to the opposite side of the lake to this the site of the local yacht club, was to be one of my best decisions of the holiday as I took shot after shot of the breathtaking beauty before me, my patience had been rewarded and then some.
To actually witness any landscape in such a beautiful light is a pleasure, to capture the scene photographically, is a privilege but to do so, you just have to keep on keeping on.
Day 35 and I have travelled a little further afield from my usual haunts for a few days, staying in the breathtaking scenery of Wales.
With a ‘base’ at Bala lake, there will be a few early morning forays here for sure but today’s post centres on a brief foray to Porthmadog.
This is my second visit to this harbour town, with views of both the sea and the mountains, Moel-y-Gest the prominent hill standing majestically in the distance.
Even among this wonderful scenery, I was still keen to grab a few shots at the nearby steam Railway station, first opened in 1877, the station building is now a grade II listed building.
It is barely 10am and the platform is already bustling with activity, soon to be passengers looking admiringly at their transport for the next few hours, staff preparing said transport and people like me, there just to capture the scene in either still images or video.
I love the hustle and bustle of these charming stations, kept alive by an army of volunteers and employees alike, always immaculately kept, always friendly.
The vibrant colours of the trains and station are emphasized by the warm sun and blue skies, I spend a few minutes chatting to a fellow photographer comparing pictures and naturally talking about ‘gear’.
Perhaps next year I may stop here long enough to take one of these train journeys myself, what better excuse to return again some time soon.
My first time in Wales was back in 2005, at that time, I had just dipped my toe in the waters of the digital photography world, my camera of choice was a Konica Minolta Dynax 5d, if I remember correctly it boasted an 6mp sensor, which in fairness was more than adequate for my needs and knowledge of photography at that time.
It had always been on my wish list to return, finally doing so in the last week of June.
With holidays having been a distant hope for too long, I was determined to make the most of the time I had there, getting a few early morning walks under my belt, while appreciating the time away.
The mornings started cool, ideal for walking, perfect for shots of low cloud around the mountains, there were also some pretty dramatic skies as the sun did its best to break through the clouds.
Just two miles away, Bala Lake was a certain destination for my bucket list, I made it on my final day, arriving at LLangower just after 7am, I had an entire lake to myself!
No words can amply describe the breathtaking beauty of Wales, but a pick of my favourite images may just give an idea of why I will be keen to return.