High View

I’ve been going through the archive – re-living a few adventures and enjoyable days out. Whenever I do this I find images I had forgotten and that deserve to see the light of day.

Today’s image dates back to 2006, shot on a little Sony Compact, and it has sat on the hard drive ever since. In those days I’d never heard of Photoshop, I was still using a PC and I was only about a year into my digital experience.

DSC01503_ColMy daughter Sophie and I had decided to make a day trip to Snowdonia, in N Wales – three hours each way – so we had to make an early start. Our objective was to walk over the two highest peaks in the Carneddau. The main A5 road (originally a Roman Road from London to Holyhead on the north coast of N Wales) runs straight past our village in Northamptonshire. Three hours later we parked off the same A5 in the Ogwen valley in Snowdonia. Thankfully our entire route was not along the A5. A good part of the journey was on Motorways, but for much of our journey through Wales we were glued to the A5 – good in parts, but very tiresome in other parts, especially if you get behind a lorry or two.

Our walking route took us up a straight easy-going track just east of a reservoir and then up to a col – Bwlch Eryl Farchog – just west of Pen yr Helgi-du. The path to the col became steeper once the reservoir was left behind. From there a broad ridge led us over Carnedd Llewelyn and then onto Carnedd Dafydd. It was a stunningly beautiful day, no wind and almost continuously blue sky.

The image was taken from Carnedd Dafydd looking south-west. The view is over the southern Carneddau, and then the Nantlle ridge and (I think) the furthest two peaks visible are called The Rivals some way down the Lleyn Peninsula – the long finger of North Wales that juts out into the Irish Sea.

DSC01503_BWFrom there we walked on to the final summit on the main ridge – Pen yr Ole Wen. In those days I wasn’t aware of the easier and less tiring way off the ridge. We took the steep and direct way straight down to Ogwen Cottage: my daughter was not impressed with my choice of descent route! It’s a tough route off the ridge, and then we still had a level walk back to the car. But, altogether it was a great day out – one of the best I’ve had in N Wales, and in delightful company.

I’ve shown you both the colour and the B&W version. The colour version is of course how one remembers days like this, but the B&W seems the timeless version – it could have been taken forty or fifty years ago, and would still look the same and somehow it speaks more eloquently to me.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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16 Responses to High View

  1. Both are superb images Andy, and a good day out as well by the sound of it.

    You are dead right with the peaks in the distance, and it looks to me that you have all three peaks of ‘The Rivals’, though my Welsh friends would prefer ‘Yr Eifl’ 😉
    I was on Yr Eifl just yesterday in wonderful summer conditions.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Paul. I had many happy holidays in Criccieth, Abersoch and Nefyn as a boy and climbed Yr Eifl with my Dad at least once. There was also a deserted village not far away that I photographed extensively.

  2. Len says:

    These images prove that it is not the camera but the eye behind it Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. I love this area of N Wales – I’ve visited it so many times since about age 10. Five years ago I don’t think it would have occurred to me to view this in B&W.

  3. oneowner says:

    I agree about the black and white version, Andy. The photo seems a natural for the treatment since the color is not important to the subject.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. It is very ‘monochrome’, I agree. I’ve encountered quite a lot of days like that up there, I think it’s partly due to the area’s closeness to the sea. The light can be very monochrome.

  4. shoreacres says:

    Here comes the non-photographer, with a strong preference for the colored version. I do think you’re on to something, though. The black and white provides a sense of time(lessness) and the colored, a sense of place.

    I wish I knew more about how to pronounce these names! I get to them, and don’t have a clue which way to go. Some friends moved from Staffordshire to Wales some years ago, and I finally learned how to pronounce the name of their village – Tywyn. But when I go to the post office to mail them a parcel? Oh, my. I’ve had a clerk or two not believe it’s an actual town.

    • LensScaper says:

      It’s always good to have a non-photographer on-board, Linda. Don’t go away, we need you! As for the Welsh language, I have to admit that I still struggle to get my tongue around the correct pronunciation of some of these words.

  5. I favor the B&W image also. I think the range of tones is greater there, and somehow I’m encouraged to keep looking further and further into the distance. In the color version, I seem to stumble on the foreground.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. I think the foreground is perhaps a touch over-bright in the colour version. The recession is the critical element to this – ridge after ridge each one paler than the previous. This is classic N Wales. My favourite mountain area in the UK.

  6. Chillbrook says:

    Absolutely beautiful Andy. I have to say I really like the colour version. The subtle shades of blues, greens and greys work so well togetther but I can understand your point about the timelessness of the black and white version.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I think we are about 50:50 on the two versions now. And I can see why – they are two equally valid versions of the same scene and ultimately it comes down to personal preferences and perhaps also to how extensive and ingraind one’s experience of the B&W medium is.

  7. Lisa Gordon says:

    What a beautiful view this is, Andy!

  8. Meanderer says:

    I like both versions. It just goes to show what wonderful photographs can be taken with a compact camera and that superb results can be had with no post-processing.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Meanderer. I looked at the image size before I worked on this and discovered it was a low resolution JPEG – about 600KB in size. How things have changed! That little Sony could still take a decent picture, though.

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