There has been one view that I’ve struggled to take a decent image of for around 5 or 6 years, but I think I’ve recently made some progress.
It’s a view from the Bwlch y Groes pass, the mountain road that links Lake Vyrnwy with Dinas Mawddwy in Wales. It has to be one of my favourite views form one of my favourite roads in the UK. As soon as you turn onto the road from the lakeside at Vyrnwy you start climbing. The road twists and turns past forestry land, past moss covered stone walls, past old farm buildings, past waterfalls before opening out on to RSPB owned moorland. After you’ve been driving across the moorland for 10 minutes or so, you pass a sign welcoming you to Snowdonia and, at that point, the scenery suddenly changes and a massive view opens out before you down the valley towards Dinas.
I’m not sure why I’ve struggled to take a decent image here for quite so long – I think it took me a while to really tap into what makes the view spectacular in my eyes. I’ve stood there with a wide-angle lens, not really appreciating that the massive view is disappearing into insignificant due to the field of view. I’ve tried timing visits with the flowering heather to try and add some nice foreground interest – again detracting from what makes the view special. I’ve been there at both sunrise and sunset, neither really offering the dramatic, sculpting light that I’ve been after due to the lay of the land.
Finally, a few weeks ago over easter, we were watching the typical wet welsh weather through the window when I realised that there were some breaks in the cloud rolling through with the on-going storm. I decided to take the gamble, jump in the car and drive up to this spot to see if anything interesting presented itself. I set up in the car, and proceeded to find a good vantage spot and compose the image in the viewfinder before sitting and waiting in the rain, hoping for the changeable weather I’d envisioned. After about 30 minutes the rain slowed and the sun began to break through, and with the fast moving clouds, patches of sunlight began rolling down the valley. Perfect.
This still isn’t the perfect image from this vantage point (if there ever was such a thing), so no doubt I’ll return at the next opportunity. However it is still a vast improvement on many of my previous visits, finally capturing the dramatic view that I’ve always seen when stood looking down this valley.