My photography often goes a bit stale over winter. I lose the urge to get out and shoot something and spend mornings lying-in. After New Year I knew I needed to get out and do a long shoot somewhere to get the creative juices going again and Anglesey and Snowdonia are the perfect places. Llandwyn Island is well situated for sunset in early January with the sun setting within shot of the lighthouse. Then, for sunrise, the sun rises between the mountains at the far end of Llyn Padarn.
So, with fairly clear, if bitingly cold, weather forecast I booked the Travelodge in Bangor (cheap, well situated and most importantly they allow dogs for a £20 surcharge!) and headed off on a Saturday morning ready for sunset on Anglesey.
For once I got to my spot with plenty of time to spare and made the 20 minute or so walk from the car park to Llandwyn island. The beach to the island is just stunning-unspoilt and with amazing views of the Snowdonian mountains across the bay.
As I had a bit of time I toured the island for a while, threw sticks into the sea for Willow and de-stressed-Anglesey is a great place for that.
Eventually though it was time to get in position on the lump of rock that affords the best view of the lighthouse and (hopefully) the sunset beyond. I knew it would be busy as it was the school holidays, the weekend and decent weather. Indeed there were 5 photographers clinging to the rock and I joined them.
All in all I waited about an hour before sunset. The wind was bitingly cold but I had a decent spot and was glad I was early as several photographers came along, saw the best spots were taken, and moved on. In truth I hate this type of photography-i'm an antisocial bugger and would rather be shooting alone apart from Willow but needs must. Eventually though everything came together nicely...
Job done and it was back to the travelodge for a hot bath, food and a single malt!
The plan for the next morning was to shoot the lone tree at Llyn Padarn then move onto a shot of Tryfan and Llyn Ogwen before heading home. Things didn't start well. Somehow I turned off my phone alarm instead of snoozing it and woke when I'd planned to be checking out! I threw everything into my bag, dressed and left only to arrive at the lone tree location to find it rammed with photographers. I knew I wouldnt get the shot I wanted there and I'd hate every minute of the experience so I headed along the lake to another spot I know. This was quiet and also out of the wind but the cloud didn't really develop and the sky was...so-so. i got some shots but nothing special but at least Willow got a morning swim!
So I drove for 25 minutes to Llyn Ogwen and I thought things might be looking up. The mountains of Tryfan, Y Garn and the Devil's kitchen were all dusted in snow so I parked the car and started climbing the flanks of Yr Ole Wen looking for a good view of the lake and Tryfan. i got some early sun and quickly got the shot I had come for.
By this time some cloud had moved over the sun and it became very cold waiting around. However I glimpsed the occasional bit of sun hitting the fells with Y Garn behind. I knew if the sun came out again I'd have a decent image so I waited for about half an hour until eventually a sliver of sun lit the bracken and I had a completely unexpected image to add to the morning.
As I walked back to the car I saw one more shot-again of Y Garn but with a stone barn in the foreground and the setting moon above the mountain.