As the sun goes down at the end of yet another year I have been reflecting on what has happened so as well as sharing my favourite images captured during the year I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the most popular image posted on my Facebook page. If you are one of the almost 4000 followers of the page you will be aware that each day I have been posting a different image from my portfolio.
With only one day left of the year on Facebook, we have visited numerous locations in the British Isles including Norfolk, Dungeness, Gower, LakeDistrict, North Devon, Wester Ross, Dorset, Dumfries & Galloway, Snowdonia, Moray and the Cairngorms to name just a few. In addition, we have seen how man’s influence has affected the landscape through StandingStones, Harbours, Windmills, Churches, Wrecks and Lighthouses. We have seen at least part of the 15 National Parks and even called in on Scotland’s National Scenic Areas and England & Wales Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So which of the images during the year appear to have drawn your attention the most. Well, some of the most popular of the year came Dorset, Aberdeenshire, Snowdonia, Cornwall and the Lake District but by a very narrow margin the most “Liked Image of the Year” was a new release of St Cwyfan’s Church in the Sea from the Isle of Anglesey. The landscape version of this image is one of the most popular purchases of all the prints available on my website.
Selecting my Favourite Images of the Year was less of a problem than usual as my photo trips have been less extensive than prior years but I am hoping to make up for that in 2016. I have chosen six images which are not listed in any order of preference.
First up is a sunset, a rarity for me. Although I enjoy both seeing and capturing the beautiful red and orange colours by the time I have spent the day walking to and capturing many other locations I am normally in the wrong location. On this occasion, though I deliberately made a point of being at the location for the sunset which I hope you agree was worthwhile. The location is Mwnt on the Ceredigion coast, Wales considered by many to be one of the best sunset locations on the west coast.
One day in June I revisited an area of Snowdonia that I had not been to for a while and took that fabulous walk around Llyn Crafnant but added a slight diversion over and beyond the head of the lake and came across this a view of the mountain Tryfan perfectly framed by the hillside in the foreground. Tryfan forms part of the Glyderau group, and is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain, having a classic pointed shape with rugged crags. At 3,010 ft above sea level, it is the fifteenth highest mountain in Wales.
Another photo walk that I had on my list for some time was finally fulfilled in October. After one false start due to low cloud, I managed to walk along Derwent Edge in the Peak District on what was a perfect day for walking although from a photographic point of view a few clouds would have been a nice addition but you can’t have everything.
The Wheel Stones on Derwent Edge sit high above Ladybower Reservoir. The gritstone rocks have been shaped by the harsh wind and rain on the top of the Derwent Moors. The stones are also known as the Coach and Horses as they resemble a coach and horses on the horizon when viewed from the Snake Pass.
I couldn’t select my Favourite Images of the Year without including one from the Intimate Landscapes Collection. For those of you not familiar with this Collection it 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. The titles, hopefully, will give you a clue to my interpretation at the moment of capture.
A second image which I couldn’t exclude is to be used on the front cover of the Visit Pembrokeshire Guide 2016. At low tide, Druidston Haven is a half-mile sandy beach, lying in front of high rocky cliffs facing west out into St Brides Bay. Two small streams drain onto the bathing water from steep-sided pastoral land. The bathing water lies within the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation and the cliffs to the north and south form part of the Newgale to Little Haven Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Druidston Haven was also the location for the “Eisteddfod Peaks” image above which may go some way to explaining its title.
Would you believe it I get to my final selection and realise that all the ones I have chosen apart from one are from Wales !!! Nothing wrong with that as Wales has some wonderful landscapes and although I would have liked to have a wider variety of locations I did start the year off wanting to add to my Wales gallery so I can say at least that was achieved. Equally so I did want to start photographing the Peak District so although only a “small step” another objective was started.
Even if the poet, writer and broadcaster Dylan Thomas only lived at the Boathouse in Laugharne, #Carmarthenshire for the last four years of his tragically short life, it is a truly remarkable place to visit. The Boathouse offers wonderful views of the Taf estuary and the Gower beyond; a haven for egrets, lapwings, herons, oystercatchers, seals and otters with fishermen and cocklers continuing the ancient traditions.
Many thanks for letting me share some of my work from the last 12 months but if you have any location suggestions you would like me to consider visiting I would be delighted to hear from you all so that I might be able to reflect these in any future trips that I make.
Last but not least can I thank everyone for following my work throughout the past year and when it arrives wish you and your families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016.