Trip to Wales

Anglesey 2017 – Photography Trip


Landscape photography is probably one of my favourite types of photography out there. I know I know, I should be saying that weddings are; but for me it’s like fishing. Go somewhere, pitch up and wait for sunset or sunrise. In this case, I went to Anglesey in North Wales; I was accompanied by 3 friends and we stayed for a whole weekend at The Liverpool Arms. This hotel was just perfect for what we needed; we had great food, great people behind the bar and accessible to the locations we had planned. I say we, Pete was the man who orchestrated the whole weekend and pretty seamlessly at that. We left Colchester late as I was working until 8pm. Did a few final checks of kit and sat with the wife for a while before being on our merry way; only 6 hours later we were at Llandudno Pier.

The sky was full of cloud. Typical since all the way up it was clear with stars on show; this seemed to be a running theme however. By the time we’d seen the sun come up we were ready for bed; but we stopped capture a beautiful water fall first. Beautiful & Refreshing! There’s something about crisp and crystal clear water spraying finely in your face first thing in the morning. Wellies on and carefully walking into the water; I managed to get a few shots that I’m very proud of.

Aber Falls was amazing and a perfect fit for a tiring journey. It’s time to check in! Dump kit and selves into bed before hitting the shower and getting ready for sunset. But wait! Just as we left Aber Falls the clouds broke, by 5pm there’s not a cloud in the sky. Not great for seascapes but I got what I needed to. So where for sunset Pete? Next stop Porth Nobla near Cable Bay.

As we’re leaving Porth Nobla; I spot a swimmer, she must have swam for a mile and back but as she gets out I spot Simon chatting to her and kindly asking to get a photo. Naturally when you see a pro at work you’ve just gotta get a different angle; and I’m quite glad I did since that was possibly the best shot from the evening. Now for food and bed with an early rise for dawn at Penmon Lighthouse.

Penmon was stunning. With Puffin Island just in reach it was a shame I didn’t have a 500mm lens; still maybe one day. The person you see on the left there. That’s Simon taking his shot; I was just setting up and noticed him there so threw my camera up and grabbed the shot. The aim for today; our second day; was to shoot a lighthouse at dawn and another lighthouse at dusk. But first breakfast!

Breakfast was spot on and really set us up for the day. A few jokes with the lad serving us and a few directed at us when the 5th round of tea came up. We decided to walk off the breakfast by getting the lovely morning sun coming up at Baumaris Pier which was just a minutes walk from the hotel. Heading off Pete mentioned an old shipwreck but couldn’t remember how to get to it; we finally found it laying at Afon Goch in Dulas.

Afon Goch was fun. We approached using a road that’s just big enough for a car; passing a few lovely houses and all of a sudden, the road ends and becomes part of the estuary. As we venture out we slowly find out that the tide is slightly too high but within half an hour or so this quickly subsides. We manage to cross the “raging river”; I’d say more like an almost knee high trickle. We got as much as we could while we could and decided to move on; next stop was the copper mines.

It was hot, it was red and it was hot! With the midday sun blistering down upon us we had a trek around the copper mines at Parys Mountain; views of Anglesey from every direction just made the whole place quite a mesmerizing experience. But after getting a bit lost on the way back to the car we decided it was lunch time and found the longest place name in the world. Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. On the journey up we all said we quite fancied a but of cake; I specifically mentioned Victoria Sponge. When we got there I grabbed one of those; then a Viennese Finger and then Millionaires Shortbread with a cuppa and I was sorted. On the way home for a quick rest before sunset we stopped at Menai Bridge to see what was what as this would be the place for our night shots later.

You could tell just by looking at it that Menai Bridge was going to be wonderful at night. We got there at the perfect time for a day shot; the sun was right behind us and lighting up the bridge just perfectly. The Moon still on show and a couple of sneaky pics of the father and son fishing while I sat on my rock. Not long was spent here before we went to the hotel and got ourselves ready for the sunset; Pete you’re up! Across to South Stack Lighthouse in Holyhead.

Whilst taking a few shots of the lighthouse with the sun rapidly descending; I glanced over to the cliff and saw the people watching the sun fall into the ocean. That was a shot that had to be taken. I was perched on the side of a cliff myself with about four other photographers all getting slightly different angles. And photographers from all nationalities and levels were coming down. It’s just the one thing I love about being out taking photos; the diversity of the people and the coming together. By the time the sun fades once more; we’re all pretty hungry. We find a nice fish and chip shop before going to Menai Bridge again and then off to bed for another early rise. We’re not going too far; Baurmaris Pier.

When we first saw Baumaris Pier we all said the same thing; there’s something not quite right about this pier. As Pete so eagerly pointed out; it’s not symmetrical. And it really does play with your eyes when you notice that everything on the pier is just slightly (or in some cases; way) off centre. This never stopped it from being a gorgeous place to be though. So leaving Wales with one last stop at Bangor Pier and we were done. The whole weekend with not much sleep but plenty of shots to go through and reminisce. Until the next outing!