Caroline Shipsey

Monday, 2 February 2009

Amazing Weekend in North Wales

*****Gallery of images - work in progress*****

30th January, Friday morning 7.30am, raining as we set off for Menai Bridge, Anglesey in North Wales.
First stop was at Llanthony Priory, which probably would have been quite photogenic in any other weather but not today, then on to a tiny chapel, Capel-Y-Ffin with huge aged Yew trees, but still the rain came down.

Partly due to an error in my navigation we found ourselves at the Elan Valley, Penygarreg Dam which was spectacular due to the recent amount of rain, water roaring over the towering wall.

Next stop was Borth - At particular times of year the lowest tides reveal on Borth's beach - the stumps and trunks of old, old forests long hidden under the golden sands. We hadn't expected to see this but luck was with us and the receding tide revealed them, dark and twisted but there is no doubting that these are the remains of trees some of which have been carbon dated at 3500 BC. Read more here.

From Borth we headed to Menai Bridge and the comfort of the Anglesey Arms Hotel where Lee and Eifion from Welshot Imaging, our hosts, and Mari Sterling, our photographer tutor for the weekend, were already settled in the bar. After settling in and enjoying a good meal together we all headed for bed as an early start on Saturday morning was planned.

At 6.45am the intrepid Welshot Imaging Workshop attendees set off for Trefor Pier, the location for the day's workshop, hoping to catch a spectacular sunrise. Well, it did rise but not as spectacularly as we hoped, but then landscape photograpahers take what the day gives them. It was bitterly cold but this didn't dampen the enthusiasm of anyone and we all made the most of what the pier and beach had to offer.

Mari Sterling
was our tutor for the day and worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone received one to one assistance, ably assisted by Eifion on the photographic side, and Lee making sure everyone was OK generally and providing hot drinks. I decided to cut my day short as Bessie was unwell and in fact I felt I'd achieved some good images so was satisfied with the day.

The rest of the party returned to the hotel after sunset and we had a session of sharing images taken during the day and generally socializing. A room had been allocated at the hotel for us to do this which was excellent - big table, plenty of power points for laptops etc. Eventually it was time to eat - the food was excellent, interesting menu, reasonably priced and good service too.

Sunday was a very special day as we, myself and Duncan, met up with Lee, Eifion and Mari for more photography and friendship. The weather was even keener, really not conducive to much photography and the light wasn't good, except of course when brilliant patches of sunlight illuminated the hills and valleys.

Eventually we decided that lunch would be an impromptu buffet at Mari's beach house. What a joy and privilege to be invited into her home on the stunningly beautiful beach. It would have been so easy just to stay there, and stay, and stay, but the sun set over the mountains and it was time to head for home.

Welshot Imaging
is dedicated to offering value for money workshops, in beautiful locations, with their own unique format - this includes ensuring that everyone receives personal attention from the tutor on a subject which was determined in advance when completing the course application form. The packed lunches were also pre-ordered to individual requirements, truly scrummy and each in bag with our names on them, so there was no scrabbling through piles of rolls etc looking for what we had ordered.

What more can I say, a great weekend in good company in beautiful surroundings and plenty of good food - looking forward to the next one !

To be continued.......