Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

Another week and another challenge. Yesterday we spent some time in the National Park in search of snow. There’s no doubt we certainly found it including a “hairy moment” on the old road through Nant Ffrancon. More on that later. This weeks challenge was to portray depth in some way and so I’d like to start with a photograph from Llyn Padarn, taken yesterday from that famous viewing point on the stone bridge. Talking of that bridge it seemed like anyone who had a camera was there yesterday, including a coach load of tourists. As usual they were in a hurry to get “that photograph”. No thought for anyone else. Move over and let me take one….

Llyn Padarn

At the moment the water is really clear and you can see the stones in the lake bed easily.

Don’t look for “depth” but instead search for subject aspects which prove the presence of depth. – Andreas Feininger,

I mentioned a “hairy moment” earlier and here’s what happened. Rather than take the A5 from Bethesda to Llyn Ogwen I decide with my fellow photographers to take the old road that runs up the opposite side of Nant Ffrancon from the A5. All seemed well at first. Some snow, a little bit of ice, but easily navigable, especially with 4 wheel drive and as a bonus we came across some ponies grazing right at the side of the road.


But back to that “hairy moment” Not much further up the road rises quite steeply. Seemed OK but suddenly we were slipping. Instead of driving in snow we were now in pure ice and it was not going good.

Icy Road

To cut a long story short we did manage to make it back down, thanks to my fellow photographers guiding me until I could find a safe turning point.

That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs.


Changing Weather

Well it looks like our friends at Automatic are not going to run a Weekly Photo Challenge this week. So instead I give you some photographs from a trip into the National Park yesterday. The plan was to go out and do some landscapes but if the weather wasn’t that great we had a backup in place. One thing I have learned is that just because the weather is great here on the coast it can be the exact opposite in the mountains. And true to form it was, bright sunny and quite warm here in Prestatyn, overcast, low cloud, cold wind in the mountains.

Llyn Padarn

Looking across Llyn Padarn, near Llanberis, Snowdon is completely shrouded in cloud. Time to put Plan B in action. Go inside. Where better than the National Slate Museum. Plenty to see and photograph and if it rains most of the workshops are inside so little chance of getting wet. Not that we weren’t prepared for a visit to the National Park with waterproofs, maps, hat and gloves. Sounds silly in summer, but trust me it isn’t.  Anyway, as I’ve said before, “it’s not worth putting yourself in harm’s way for a photograph”

At this time of the year the Slate Museum is always busy. Normally I would use my tripod because some of the buildings are quite dark but I wanted to try some new techniques for hand-held HDR photographs. It’s difficult to use a tripod when the museum is busy, so yesterday I left the tripod behind.

National Slate Museum

What do you think? Reasonable result?

After a couple of hours in the museum it was noticeable that the skies were brightening and there was the odd flash of sunlight poking through the clouds. Maybe time to move on and get some of those landscapes we set out to get that morning. Now, another thing I have learnt about the National Park is the weather can change in an instant and if you move from one range to another you can also get changeable conditions. Saying that we decided to head to the Ogwen valley and see what it was like.


We were lucky. There was a light wind clearing the clouds, blue sky was starting to break through. By now it was late afternoon so a short walk up to the waterfall of the Afon Idwal seemed a good idea. We could maybe have gone on to Cwm Idwal but we’d been out all day and although it’s only a short walk. we were both feeling a bit tired. Better to stay near the car-park and you can still get some good photographs.

This must be one of the most photographed waterfalls in Snowdonia due to it’s close proximity to the A5 and the Glyderau mountain range, popular with walkers and climbers all the year round. Not as strong and forceful as it can be in the winter but still worth spending some time photographing. That big rock in the foreground is normally covered in water, yesterday I was able to climb off the bridge onto the rocks and get this close-up.

By now Tryfan, the one to the left, was clear of cloud so a great photo opportunity, especially as the heather is just starting to bloom


Well there you have it. No Photo Challenge this week, instead some recent photographs. I hope you enjoyed them. As always feel free to comment.