• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography - The Harsh Reality

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

Well, it's been quite a week and I've learned a hard lesson. The passion I have for landscape photography is huge and simply cannot be measured but every so often she can be a harsh mistress and knock you on your ass.

Llangorse Lake
A misty start at Llangorse Lake

For roughly a month I had been planning a trip to the Brecon Beacons in Wales, an area I know very well but have only really dabbled on the fringes of mainly chasing the waterfalls there.

This time I was planning on shooting a few of the lakes in the area and of course the mighty Pen Y Fan Mountain and surroundings.

Pen Y Fan had long been a nemesis of mine and I hadn't managed to shoot it and to be honest I had reservations about climbing it too, it gave me a lot of anxiety just thinking about it, therefore I HAD to conquer it.

There are several paths up to Pen Y Fan and one of them is pretty easy but due to my own reasons I was still concerned about going up it but I knew I had to defeat my own demons in order to prove to myself I could and to get the monkey off my back.

The trip was planned in minute detail, locations checked, double checked and triple checked.

The two week countdown had started and I was excited, actually thats a lie, I was beyond excited and couldn't wait.

This trip would be slightly different from my normal ones in that I would have company as I often do when I go to Wales as I have a very good friend who lives there who also happens to be into photography and I have a dam good laugh with as well, the added bonus she makes a banging curry and breakfast, so a good week was a certainty.

Rather than obsess over multiple locations I decided to concentrate on four of them, I was going to be staying for four days and felt a day at each would be worth having to get exactly the shot I wanted rather than trying to rush between a few venues each day.

The weather had been glorious and sunrises of epic proportions had teased me in the run up to the trip.

I had booked two days off work and was using the weekend too so I really wanted to make the most of the time there and decided that Pen Y Fan would be best shot on the Thursday or Friday when it was least busy as weekends there are chaos.

I watched the weather forecast intently on the run up to the trip and then it happened, a huge weather system started moving closer and closer towards Wales and it wasn't looking good.

It was Wednesday and I was itching to finish work and drive up to the Brecons. 5 O'clock finally came and I finished work, got in the car and turned it on and the heavens opened.

There were a few choice words muttered I can tell you, I drove up the 150 miles in what can only be described as a full on monsoon with added extra wet !

I was tired after a week at work and the three hour journey but I got to Llangorse lake and met my friend and spirits were soon lifted.

After checking the forecast it basically said two days of solid rain for Thursday and Friday which was the last thing I wanted to see but as with all things, you have to make the best of a bad situation and hope for a break in the weather which can make for some very dramatic photos.

Eirwen said she had ordered mist for the morning and had some sort of pact with the weather, that would do for me I thought. The wet conditions outside and the dropping temperature could well be the making of it and there was a possibility that the rain would relent for just a bit in the morning.

Llangorse Lake at Sunrise