2011 started off well as I had planned three trips early in the year. The first was to Dartmoor where the National Park were celebrating their 60th Anniversary. I took the opportunity of being in the region to visit the Somerset Coast and Exmoor, all by the end of March. The second trip which I wanted to fit in prior to the Easter holidays was to the Lake District, another area that I had not photographed before despite its closeness to my home. The final trip of the three was the first of my annual trips to Scotland which I try to visit in May and October/November of each year.
Although I found Dartmoor to have many photographic opportunities my favourite image of the trip was captured not on Dartmoor but on Porlock Marsh in Somerset during the walk from Bossington to Porlock Weir. The photographic opportunities are endless and well worth visit.
The following month, April brought my first photographic trip to the Lake District basing myself for a week on the lakeside at Coniston. Variable weather in the Lakes, as you would expect, but I managed one or two decent walks providing some good photographic opportunities. The one that I will always remember was the walk from Hartsop to Hayeswater then via Satura Crag to Angle Tarn and the magnificent views down the Patterdale valley and to Brothers Water. I could not have asked for better weather and even managed a walk round Brothers Water as well.
It should be no surprise that my favourite image was of either Satura Crag or Angle Tarn. I have decided to select Satura Crag if only for its name and that it is less well known than Angle Tarn.
The next trip came in May with my main objective to visit Cape Wrath on the north-west tip of Scotland. Although I had been in the area before I had never managed to get to the Cape. The trip was for two weeks spending time on the Isle of Skye and then via Assynt to Sutherland and finally Cape Wrath. The weather for this trip was probably the worst I had seen in Scotland in May since my initial photographic trips of 2006 with rain and wind most of the time particularly on Skye and disappointingly having to finish the trip early in gale force winds and just before the volcanic ash arrived. To cap it all no visit to Cape Wrath as the ferry was not running due to the bad weather. In fact, even some of the trawlers were not sailing so it must have been bad. That’s not to say that I did not have some reasonable weather. Other than the scenery the benefit of the west coast of Scotland is that the weather is constantly changing and dramatic at the same time.
Three particular days spring to mind as the most memorable of this trip. The first being the walk up the Quiriang on Skye in glorious sunshine, secondly the Falls of Kirkaig and the magnificent views of Suilven and finally my one and only night at Durness on the north coast on the edge of the cliff at Sango Bay in the campervan. Whilst I had excellent views of the bay as the storms past through it was the worry of being blown over the cliff by the gale force winds on the back of the camper that was my biggest concern. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep but that was more than made up for by capturing my favourite image of this trip “After the Storm.”
My trip to the Ceredigion coast and the Brecon Beacons in mid-September turned out to be my last photographic trip of the year despite my plan to revisit Scotland and possibly the York Moors and Coast. Still there is always next year. I didn’t find the photographic opportunities that I was expecting in Ceredigion but I am sure that was because I had not allowed sufficient time to seek out the better ones.
The highlight of the trip, if you could call it a highlight was the heavy rain during the week that ensured that my day trip to “Waterfall Country” in the Brecon Beacons was reasonably successful. I have never seen so many waterfalls in such a relatively small area. I had intended to visit probably the most visited and photographed of these falls Sgwd yr Eira (The Fall of Snow) but ran out of time after first completing a walk to Sgwd Gwladus (Lady Falls). It goes without saying that the image I have selected for this trip is of Sgwd Gwladus.
2011 also saw the launch of my “Intimate Landscapes” which came about as a result of seeking alternative ways to record the landscape when weather and light conditions for capturing the wider vistas were not suitable. This led to looking at the landscape in a more detailed and imaginative way in all conditions and differing locations from coast to rivers and forests. Of the number of images added to the collection, my favourite has got to be Sand Waves captured at Sango Bay on the North coast of Scotland on the same evening as the wider landscape image of Sango Bay featured previously.
So that concludes my look back on my photographic journey in 2011 and planning is now well underway for trips in 2012.
If you have any ideas of locations you would like to see included on my journey please do not hesitate to suggest them either by replying to this post or contacting me