“Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you.”

Last week I led a photography holiday in Brecon, Wales, for HF Holidays.  I had been checking the weather forecast for the week and had been a little bit apprehensive about how we might be affected.  There was rain forecast, and heavy rain at that.  I had a fallback position, but there’s only so much you can do with churches and tea shops.

One place we were going to was the Sgwd Gladwys waterfall on the Afon Pyrddin near Pontneddfechan.  Some people who had been there the day before said it was pretty but was just a trickle.  Luckily for us it rained, hard, overnight the day we were due to be there.  The river was raging and the waterfall was fabulous.  It cried out for a long exposure so I got out my tripod, my 10-stop ND filter and used an 8-second exposure on my EM10 mk3.  I’ve bumped up the contrast and converted to black and white in Photoshop.

The following day we were at Nash Point on the Glamorgan Heritage coast.  Again rain was threatened, but the best bit of weather we had was the strong onshore wind.  It was bringing big waves into the beach and they were crashing over the rocks at the base of the cliffs.   I’ve used a 50/50 sky/sea composition in this mobile phone shot.  It’s said that a 50/50 landscape like this hasn’t got good composition, but the cliff mass on the right-hand side balances the whole thing to my mind.

On the last day we were at a red kite feeding centre.  These birds are now very common in some areas of England and Wales after a hugely successful reintroduction programme.  In a crowd of over 70 birds it’s hard to follow an individual bird as it swoops down to get the food, but sometimes you can be lucky with the shapes two birds make in the sky.  The weather was fabulous!  The rain had cleared the air and the mixture of clouds and blue sky gave a good neutral background to the birds.  I needed to use a bit of positive exposure compensation to get the exposure right.  I think one was impersonating a kestrel and the other a vulture.

I was worried about the weather but the heavy rain and strong wind made the images better.

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