So far, this winter has been absolute rubbish! We’ve had almost no frost at all and it has just been continuous rain – as of today, we’ve had 49 continuous days of rain and, in January alone, 38cm of rain! To put this in context, the average rainfall for January in Wales is just 15.7cm! During a brief window, the forecast was for clear skies at low levels with a touch of snow on the highest peaks and the mist clearing off the summits just before sunrise. This was my first chance to get out so I set my alarm for 4:30am and started walking at 5:30am. To my surprise, I was the second person at the lower Storey Arms car park that morning! I wasn’t far along the path when I stopped to photograph Fan Fawr with the moon.
I kept looking up to Corn Du but could see it was in the cloud – I had really wanted to get some star photos of the peaks before it got light but it wasn’t to be. Every so often, the white of the cloud would change colour – I then realised it was snow! I carried up on the path. Even though it was still a long way from getting light, the moon was strong enough for me to turn my torch off and walk by moonlight! I got to the top and quickly put my down jacket and windproof layers on – it was cold at -8 degrees C wind chill!
Whilst huddled behind the ridge and with my 14mm lens still on the camera from the moon shots, I composed this shot. I’m quite pleased with the view the 14mm gives.
I almost never use my 14mm lens for daytime photos as it is so wide but left it on for this next photo too so I could use f4 and keep the exposure time down as it was so windy. I think it works quite well and the peaks don’t look too far away.
As I was looking away from the peaks and towards Upper Neuadd Reservoir, I glanced over my shoulder and my heart skipped a beat – the sky had suddenly turned a beautiful colour. I ran back to my chosen viewpoint and composed this photo:
It didn’t last long and as soon as the sun peaked above the horizon, the colour was lost – it’s quite unusual to get that sort of colour 180 degrees from the sun! I walked back to the viewpoint overlooking Upper Neuadd and took this photo:
I couldn’t resist take a ‘selfie’ type photo, although these differ with SLRs – you have to line up the shot, work out where you have to be, press the self-timer and run to be in place and still when the camera takes the photo. This was my first proper test of the clothing I’ve bought for going to Iceland next month. I was lovely and toasty in the 30mph wind giving a -8 degree C wind chill and could have stayed there for hours!
When the sun had risen enough to light the landscape, I went back to the other viewpoint – already, the light had become much harsher.
I then walked to the summit of Corn Du but the magic of the sunrise had gone so I left to go back. When I took my down jacket off, I realised the hood had turned frosty and so had my camera bag!