Friday roadtrip

Yesterday my wife Claire, my son Noah and I headed off on a roadtrip through Mid Wales to the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and then back down the coast through Ceredigion before heading home via Lampeter and Llandovery.

The journey in total was just over 260 miles. We left at 8ish in the morning and got home at 17:30, not bad for a day out.

We got to take in some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales. And visit some new places that we hadn’t been to before.

For Noah who is nearly 3 the journey was very exciting. From the tractor shop at Builth Wells to the cows, sheep, horses and red kites throughout the trip. The highlight for him though was two passes by an American special forces MC-130J (Hercules), once just outside Machynlleth and then again straight over the town at somewhere near 600-700ft. There was a very big “Wow” from the back seat. Another highlight was the choo choo train crossing the level crossing in front of us just outside Borth.

First stop was Machynlleth. The Powys town is full of history with the Clock Tower at the centre of the town instantly recognisable. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to visit, to photograph this beautiful places with its backdrop of mountains. Machynlleth was also the location of Owain Glyndwr’s parliament in 1404. Glyndwr was a legendary Welsh ruler and the last native Welsh man to hold the title Prince of Wales.The building on the site where the parliament once stood now houses historic artefacts related to him.

Another photo stop was the Museum of Modern Art near the Clock Tower before heading to the Pont-ar-Ddyfi bridge over the River Dyfi which sits on the edge of the town on the A487.

From here we headed to the RSPB Nature Reserve at Ynys Hir, famous for its Osprey visitors every spring. It’s one of the only places in Wales to see Ospreys.

The next section took us down the Ceredigion coast. First stop was Borth, somewhere neither me or Claire had been before. We all enjoyed a good walk along the pebbles even finding some perfectly shaped shells.

We then made the short trip to Clarach Bay another new location for us. Here we parked up over looking the beach and again had a nice walk in the fresh air. It was picnic time, taking in the sea views with hardly a cloud in the sky. The Welsh coast at its mesmerising best.

After lunch we travelled through Aberystwyth and on to Llanon. The views from the coast road just outside Llanon are spectacular. Our stop here coincided with a farmer feeding his sheep and lambs which were grazing in a field over looking the coast. They were perfectly placed to be in the foreground of an image with the coast behind them.

From Aberaeron we started to head home, via Lampeter, Llandovery, Brecon and Abergavenny.

Wales at its finest with spring well and truly in the air.

You can see more of my images here:

With Ceredigion images here:

Photography Show 17

I headed off to the UK Photography Show today with my brother Matthew and our mate Damo. The three amigos!

The Photography Show is held at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre every March. This is the third year in the row that I have attended.

If you’re in to photography, video and gadgets this is the place to be.

All the major brands are present Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Epson, Sigma and Fuji to name a few.

There are also lots of traders, catering for everything from cameras and equipment to photography holidays, studio props and photography courses.

There are a host of photographers on hand throughout the 4 days giving loads of hints, tips and advice on how to improve your images and techniques. There are various stands throughout the hall where you can catch insightful talks by well known photographers such as Lara Jade and Andy Rouse.

Some of the technology on display is breathtaking. Drones are developing rapidly each year, some of the demonstrations of the latest models were brilliant. Random point but I never realised how much down draft the rotors on a drone made! The gimbals that keep the drone cameras upright despite the movement of the drone up and down and side to side are superb.

Video equipment is also developing rapidly with 4k and 4k+ cameras available throughout the show to try out. The clarity from these cameras is outstanding. Zooming into a sign which was situated a long way away and being able to pick out minute details was easy.

As the 3 of us are Canon users, we spent a lot of time discussing options with the experts on the Canon stand. These guys are great, friendly, happy to help and provide loads of advice. They have virtually every Canon body and lens so you can try out potential combinations before you make a purchase.

Canon also let you print one of your photos off on their immense printers, Damo had his memory card with him, so printed one of his images. Note for next year remember to bring some images with me!

We also had a good chat with the guys at Lee Filters who are always happy to help and discuss their latest products.

For me the best part about the show is the inspiration. Seeing other photographers work, listening to them talk is fascinating. I could listen to these guys talk about their experiences all day. The way they talk about their work inspires me and makes me want to do better. I come away from the show every year buzzing with all sorts of ideas, things I want to try and do next.

It’s apparent from the numbers queuing to get in to the show this morning that photography is as popular as ever. All age groups were represented. All types of photographer from pro to amateur, portrait to landscape.

Let the countdown begin to the Photography Show 2018!!


More of my images from around Britain can be viewed here: