RAIN IN SNOWDONIA, REALLY?

This year I’m going to be leading a couple of awesome Snowdoina photography workshops.  It’s going to be really fun teaching outdoorsy people how to get the most from their camera.  These photography workshops are aimed at anyone who is relatively new to photography and who loves the great outdoors.  

So, in preparation for these Snowdoina Photography Workshops I decided to head up there on a scout out trip.  I’ve been wanting to go back up there for a while now and more recently rain has stopped me travelling.  A few days ago they had almost 50mm of rain in one day!  That’s what you might normally expect in a few rainy weeks.

Photo of a lake in the mountains by Mount Snowdon.

A BREAK IN THE RAIN

After waiting for a few weeks there was finally a slight break in the rain.  Only 4mm expected.  Oh well, beats 50mm I guess.  I pack the car and head up arriving at Pen y Pass before midnight.  No rain ehy, could have fooled me.  It’s not heavy but it definitely rain.

I sleep in the car most of the time I go away.  It’s a small Fiat Panda with the back seats removed; needs must.  When I wake the following morning, the rain is still going.  I can hear it on the car roof.  Can’t just wait for it to stop, it doesn’t work like that in the mountain.  As the old saying goes, something something… learn to dance in the rain.

PHOTOGRAPHING IN THE MOUNTAINS?

I resign myself to shooting in the rain, which is more difficult than you might think.  As soon as you lift the camera up, the lens is covered in water droplets.  To counteract this you’ve either get to be hella quick or shoot with your back to the wind.  This significantly reduces the subjects that you can photograph.  Lenses also steam up if you put a moist lens cap on them or protect your camera inside your coat.  Any condensation and it’s bye bye to your old friend clarity!

Having said all of this, I love photographing in the mountains.  In my mind, they are perfect.  They are brutal, inhospitable and beautiful all at the same time.

I spend the day walking up and down the lower slopes of Mount Snowdon and the rain doesn’t stop for one second.  Now that I get home, I’m trying to salvage some photos from the camera roll.  There’s a few usable ones and I’m happy enough with that.  A day in the mountains is never a waste of time.     

Photo of a summit by Mount Snowdon with a lake in front of it.

CUTTING IT SHORT

Although I’d intended to stay for three nights and travel further north, my plans changed.  After a days hiking and photographing on the mountain, all of my gear was soaked through.  Without any way of effectively drying it, I was worried about causing damage to my camera and lens.  

It’s a real shame to head home early, but if it means I can go on more photography trips in the future, we’re all good.  

I strongly believe that we should continue learning through our entire life.  On this trip I had a lesson on shooting in the rain and a reminder to avoid it whenever possible.  I’m hoping to head back up again one more time before the first workshop in May.  No doubt the conditions will be easier then!

THE WORKSHOPS

Although this trip had its difficulties, I’m hopeful that the Snowdonia photography workshops will be in better conditions.  They are taking place in Spring and Autumn when the weather is a lot more reliable.  We should get some stunning shots and everyone will go home feeling inspired and able to take awesome photographs.

We won’t be focusing on one style of photography.  Instead, attendees will learn the skills required to capture everything from stunning landscapes to artistic close-ups.

I can’t wait to see you in the mountains later in the year.  Until then, happy everything.

Joe     

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