Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 30th, 2015: Panning for Gold in the Glyders…

Although it’s often said that “there’s gold in them there hills” – and that might be the case – it seems highly unlikely to be honest. The photographical gold in the hills is much easier to find though I think– any sunny day and you see it everywhere – assuming

Tryfan, Llyn Bochlwyd, Y Garn and the Ogwen Valley with Carnedd Dafydd beyond

Tryfan, Llyn Bochlwyd, Y Garn and the Ogwen Valley with Carnedd Dafydd beyond

you’re on the look-out. I’m talking about shooting panoramic images and the hills are usually full of opportunities to get some great panos.

There is no formal definition of a panoramic images but it’s generally considered that the image needs to be at least twice the wide as it is high – ie to have a 2:1 width to height ratio – to be considered a panoramic. Some of the widest that are produced see that ratio increase to as much as 10:1. Many cameras can take images of various framing sizes – although most shoot at 3:2 – for example, the same proportion as a ‘stills’ image shot on 35mm film on which an image of 36x24mm was/is recorded. To be considered a panoramic image therefore more than one frame is needed – assuming that the height of 24mm is maintained. Two full frames would be 72x24mm which is a ratio of 3:1. It is possible to crop a standard single shot image into a panoramic format, for example adopting a 36x18mm framing, although most photographers shoot multiple images and then stitch them together in the digital darkroom using software.

There are numerous pitfalls to shooting panos although perhaps exposure, focus, perspective and parallax are the common issues. Fortunately, by using to some simple methodologies and careful framing it’s possible to avoid many of these issues when shooting panos in the mountains where even shooting hand-held good panos can be created pretty easily. At its simplest, two or more landscape images are captured and then stitched together. For a higher resolution image shoot several shots in portrait mode and then stich the lot together. There’s a need to exercise caution though as file size and other issues start to creep in.

During my recent tromp around the Glyders – see my previous post – we had cracking weather and the view down from the Glyders towards Tryfan and into the Ogwen Valley was stunning. It just begged for some panos to be shot. Here’s a few I’ve just stitched together. Hope you enjoy…

Trwfan and the Ogwen Valley from the Miner's TrackTrwfan and the Ogwen Valley from the shoulder of Glyder FachTryfan, Y Garn, Carnedd Dafydd and the Ogwen ValleyTryfan, the top of Bristly Ridge and Y Foet Goch

 

Posted in Photography, Walking

April 19th, 2015: A stroll around the Glyders…

It dawned, as forecast, a windless blue-bird day – perfect for a Gylder’s Round. We arrived just after 9am at the Pen-y-Pass to a full car-park so the decision was made for us; park at Pen-y-Gwryd and take the Miner’s Track up Glyder Fach, scamper over to Glyder Fawr and then drop down the so-called red dot route down the South Ridge and be back at Pen-y-Pass for a pint before getting off home. All it needed was a volunteer to nip down to the Pen-y-Grwyd to pick up the wheels. It wasn’t discussed, but I had a feeling I knew who would be getting that job!

Snowdon from the Miner's Track on Glyder Fach

Snowdon from the Miner’s Track on Glyder Fach

For those with Classic Walks from what was Diadem Books, the Glyders from Pen-y-Gwryd is route #63 as described by Showell Styles. Viewed from the south, the Glyders aren’t especially inspiring – surprisingly uninspiring in fact. Gylder Fawr at 3278ft or 999m is the taller of the two, just pipping Glyder Fach at 3261ft or 994m. The southern slopes of both are rounded and convex and arguable rather dull because of it. The northern slopes are the opposite however; massively concave giving steep headwalls above their respective approach cwms. Tryfan lies to the north of the Glyders as well and the classic walk from the Ogwen Valley starts up Tryfan, then drops down in a col and then up Bristly Ridge to Glyder Fach. The usual descent back to Ogwen is down Y Gribin. Whilst the Glyder Round from Pen-y-Gwryd sounds less inspiring it does afford absolutely fantastic views of Snowdon to the southwest.

Yours truly testing the Glyder Cantilever stone

Yours truly testing the Glyder Cantilever stone

We weren’t especially quick – in fact we were a good couple of hours longer than the ‘book’ time of five hours for the round. The view of Snowdon was as good as it was said to be as were the views to the north towards Tryfan – so much so that the Trwfan-Bristly Ridge-Glyder Fach-Y Gribin round has been added to the list of must-do’s. And whilst the approaches to the top of the Glyder’s wasn’t anything to write home about, the summits themselves were quite impressive. Dropping off Glyder Fawr to locate the start of the red-dot route down the South Ridge isn’t especially easy even in good visibility – it would be pretty difficult in bad weather I’d have thought. Like many others I don’t really agree with the use of red paint to way-mark the descent but I have to say it’s very useful! Without the reassurance of the red dots it would be a baffling descent – and a much boggy one too.

The pint in the Pen-y-Pass was especially pleasant too and yes I did get the job of fetching the wheels up from Pen-y-Gwryd although I have to say that it was very welcome getting a lift from a runner heading round to check-out a route in the Moelwyns…

Here’s a few shots from the day – hope you enjoy…

Starting out up the Miner's Track up Glyder FachThe view towards SnowdonSnowdon and Llyn CwmffynnonSnowdon and Llyn CwmffynnonTryfan and Ogwen ValleyTryfan topTryfan and Bristly Ridge with walkers beginning the scramble up the ridge in the botton leftYours truly on Glyder CantileverGlyders Fawr from Glyder FachCastell y Gwnt (Castle of the Winds) and Glyder FawrPen-y-Pass from the red-dot descent off Glyder Fawr

Posted in Photography, Walking

April 9th, 2015: Twenty Four Hours in Beddgelert…

Having driven through Beddgelert more times that I can remember, a stop-over was long overdue. Bank Holiday Monday wasn’t, at least on paper, the ideal time to explore but we pulled over just Beddgelert_DSC_0074_captureto the north of Beddgelert to explore the National Trust property and gardens. What we saw there was really quite a shock…

The weather was absolutely stunning; blue skies and very little cloud – definitely not the usual Welsh fare so very gratefully received. We figured that starting a 6+ hour walk at 14:00 won’t be especially smart so a wee walk in the hills around Beddgelert got the vote. In fact there’s three walks signed by the NT behind the car park at Craflwyn; we opted for the ‘Green’ walk and rather nice it was too – short, but well-worthwhile. It never gets especially high but the views above Beddgelert are decent enough and there’s the odd disused mine building and a few much-loved seats to keep you interested as you poodle round. The final section as you drop back in to the woods currently has an extremely splendid wooden bench carved by Captain Chainsaw – well worth checking out.

Beddgelert_DSC_0032

An easy going afternoon slipped into an easy going evening and the temps soon dropped in the clear skies as dusk came. The new day that followed brought an overnight frost and a crystal clear morning; time to investigate Llyn Dinas a few miles north of Beddgelert. I don’t often make the effort to catch the early morning surmise’s but it was a beauty. The lake surface was as still as a mill pond – although some early morning flights had left jet trails across the skies. A convenient placed footbridge give access to the south eastern side of the lake from which the view was cracking.

Here’s a few shots from the stop-over – hope you enjoy…

Looking south west towards BeddgelertRuined Mining buildingLocking north east towards Llyn DinasCaptain Chainsaw's handy workSunrise over the southern outlet of Llyn DinasSunrise over Llyn Dinas

Posted in Photography, Scenic