Photography in Snowdonia

Snowdonia Waterfall

Photography in Snowdonia

I had a fantastic few days in Snowdonia last week. The main reason for me going to Snowdonia was to attend a two-day Hill Safety and Navigation course. I want to spend more time in the mountains, especially in the winter when weather conditions and visibility might be less than ideal. So I thought it might be sensible to learn how to be safe in the mountains.
The day before my course I had a day just for photography. As it was cloudy (I was in Wales after all) I decided to shoot waterfalls and moving water. The low contrast light is perfect for this type of photography.

My first location was a secluded gorge where I spent an absorbing few hours photographing various compositions and experimenting with different shutter speeds. I wanted some of the images to have that silky-smooth effect that a really long shutter speeds give us photographers. So it was time to break out the “Big Stopper neutral density filter”. I also wanted some of the images to have a bit more texture so I used a shutter speed slow enough to add some image-blur but not so slow to completely blur the movement.
I visited Swallow Falls in the afternoon which is a well know tourist location. This meant it was much busier than my morning location but it’s a superb set of waterfalls so well worth a visit.
The next day it was time to start the course, which involved learning how to set a map, map read, take a bearing and plan a route amongst other things. This was all achieved while taking in the beautiful scenery of Snowdonia National park.
The second day took us high into the mountains. The weather and the light was better on day two which meant it was worth quickly stopping to take the odd photograph. My tutor was very patient although I made sure I didn’t take too many liberties.
I was on the course with three other people who I have to say were excellent company. The only slight problem was I’m not quite as fit as I thought I was. We climbed to just under 1000 metres which produced stunning views but also left me with very achey legs the next day!
I had a fantastic three day in Wales and will certainly be going back in the near future.