Join me between 23rd to 25th July to wild camp in the mountains of Snowdonia to capture stunning vistas at sunrise and sunset.
This challenging but rewarding long weekend will see you push your photography boundaries, camping high in the mountains to capture scenes at sunrise and sunset that most will never witness. This is why mountain photography is my favourite kind of photography.
In terms of locations, we will stay flexible with the weather. If we have a good window then our aim would be to camp on Snowdon, Wales highest mountain for one of the evenings. This is a stunning location with fantastic views down the Snowdon Horseshoe. However Snowdon can often be capped in cloud so I will use my knowledge of locations along with the weather forecasts to ascertain the best location. Whatever the weather though, we will explore some stunning parts of Snowdonia and where possible get high up.
You don’t need to be ultra-fit to walk up the mountains and wild camp, but it’s by no means easy either. You should be prepared for around a 4.5 mile walk up with over 2000ft of ascent, if not more, carrying up to 20kg in your bag. This however is part of the fun and allure, it becomes more than photography, it becomes an experience and an adventure and if the light comes, the effort is rewarded and you’ll wonder why you never done this before.
In terms of camping, it’s not that much different in terms of hardship than camping on a site. You are just rewarded with much better views high in the mountains! We will only need to think about extra’s like taking enough food & water for the trip and ensuring we are equipped for the weather.
You will be expected to be of above average fitness and preferably have hill or mountain walking experience so you understand the terrain you will be entering.
Upon booking you will be provided with a questionnaire to fill out which is a requirement of attending. I will also provide a recommended kit list and what to bring.
We will meet early on the Friday and park up. We will discuss plans and decide where to camp given the weather forecast. Our ideal scenario would be a lower camp the first night to get used to wild camping and a slower pace for the photography so I can provide ample tuition and the second day would be camping higher up.
If we manage to do Snowdon, we will be leaving the car, catching the sherpa bus up to Pen-Y-Pass (Please bring cash for the bus). From Pen-Y-Pass we have already took a good chunk of the ascent out, starting at 450m, but there’s still quite a bit to go. Fortunately it’s all over good paths, passing Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn on the Miners Track. The hardest part is the steep section up to the zig-zags but then it’s plain sailing to the summit.
We will pitch on the other side of the summit café, where there’s enough room and a grassy pitch. We will capture both the sunset and sunrise from around the summit. The sunrise will be the money-shot, with the sun rising down the centre of the Snowdon Horseshoe.
On the Sunday, the workshop will finish after our return from sunrise (and maybe breakfast!). This allows those who are travelling further to get back for a decent time, no doubt to go to work the next day!
Throughout the weekend we will look at techniques such as focusing, using a tripod, use of filters vs exposure blending, composition, working with the light and more. However, being an experience based workshop we will also look at how to get up mountains, best practices, how to and where to pitch and wild camping etiquette.
I am more than happy to discuss other more advanced techniques on 1-2-1 basis as well as to the group, depending on what is beneficial.
The weekend is tailored around you as much as possible and I strive to give each of you on the course the best weekend possible. At the end of the course, you will have hopefully learnt new techniques and taken away some imagery you will be proud of. I am a friendly and relaxed tutor and I welcome you to keep in touch with me after the course to ask me any questions you may have looked over.
There will be a maximum group size of 4 meaning there will be plenty of 1-2-1 time. I will be on hand throughout the day for any questions and my focus will be on ensuring you have the best day possible.
Loan kit can be provided for this trip if you are without yourself. This includes tent (see note below), sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Please let me know before the course. There is a £200 deposit on any kit to cover any mis-use or damages within your control. This will be refunded at the end of the course. Please note, the tent that is provided is based on sharing with one or more workshop members (if social distancing allows). It is a large, top-of-the-range mountain tent with plenty of room. If tent sharing isn’t permitted at the time of the workshop you will need to bring your own mountain tent or I have a couple of smaller tents for loan. You are welcome to use your own wild camping gear, particularly a tent if you prefer to have privacy but the tent must be up to the job of with standing mountain conditions. Please email me before booking so we can try and determine if the tent is suitable. We must bear in mind that the more tents we have, the harder it may become to find a pitch big enough to accommodate tents.
Please also note, if the weather turns for the worst, we may need to rethink our options and head down to a hostel or cheap B&B. This will not be included in the price but your safety is always my first and main concern. We will still go out regardless for sunrise and sunset and hopefully be up high where possible.
Please note transport isn’t included due to size of wild camping equipment being too large to fit in a car as well as four people but I am happy to drive as many as I can and the rest should car pool if happy to.
Below is an explanation of the difficulty for the workshop. It will also largely be dictated by your own perception and previous experience in this kind of landscape. The rating is a rough guide and in context to the type of workshop e.g. a hill-walking workshop moderate is different to a standard day workshop moderate. I have tried to explain more about the day in the description above also.
This workshop is in the mountains. You will be expected to be of above average fitness and preferably with previous experience in the hills. You will be covering steep ground over mixed-terrain. Some footpaths may be paved, however please also expect natural trails of a stable surface where you may encounter natural and unavoidable features such as rocks, tree roots, mud etc. We will stick to well used paths and trails where possible however at times these may include grassy paths or very uneven terrain. Once we arrive at our photography location(s) we may be off the main path and as such extra care must be taken with any potential hazards. I will advise if I can see any hazards and if you are unsure, please ask. On these workshops you may be expected to walk around 6 -8 miles in a day. It is likely we will be outside of our tents at dark.