Sunsets and Slate Mines

There are almost limitless subjects of which to photograph, but making Landscape photos is a particular passion of mine.  This isn’t so much about the actual photography, I just love being in locations where the surroundings and the light make a spectacular and memorable event and there can be none more spectacular than mountains.  Often, wild weather effects can crop up at any time in mountainous regions, but the most spectacular light occurs at sunrise or sunset.  Being in a suitable location at these times can be challenging, and all to often, one finds locations close to a road as the convenient option.  How then, to get to a remote location in time to be set up for the sunrise?  Either an early hike out, in the dark, or set up camp.  The latter is my preferred option.  Camping high, in preparation for a sunrise Landscape shoot is fantastic.  It gives you time to explore and absorb the location, without the rush.

In November last year, myself and two friends from a photographic club we are all members of, headed up to North Wales, to a location I know well – Bwlch Rhosydd, the site of a former Slate mine.  The plan was to photograph the industrial relics, and camp overnight so we could photograph the sunset and sunrise.  We were also treated to some truly majestic clear night skies, one of the best I have ever witnessed.

Remains of the miner’s accommodation at level 9 – Bwlch Rhosydd.

A few hours were spent up here exploring and photographing the decay, before setting up camp in a location that would afford easy access to dramatic viewpoints.  We were treated to a spectacular sunset, one which exceeded expectations following a fairly drab afternoon of grey could.  Shutters fired, and we all drank in the delights of the location.

Remains of the miner’s accommodation at level 9 – Bwlch Rhosydd.

The magic lasted about 30 minutes, after which we headed back down to the tents to settle in for the night.

Remains of the miner’s accommodation at level 9 – Bwlch Rhosydd.

As the daylight disappeared, and the sky darkened we were treated to majestic views of the Milky Way, one of the advantages of finding yourself in remote parts of the country not tarnished by light pollution.  We were very lucky with the weather it has to be said!

All in all, a hugely memorable and rewarding experience, that just creates an incentive to plan another trip!

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