It’s been a while since I’ve written here mainly because photography-wise the past few months haven’t been ideal. Maybe I’ve been unlucky but attractive light seems to have been a scarce commodity recently, and this alone has stopped me producing much that I’ve been happy with. The heavy snowfalls haven’t exactly helped, but in the last couple of weeks the longest winter I can remember has finally released the landscape from its icy clutches.
Some of my more successful recent images have come from north Powys. On a beautiful March morning at a sheepfold high above Cwm Eunant, I looked towards the snow-capped peaks of Aran Fawddwy and Aran Benllyn, and a few evenings back I returned to a spot above Lake Vyrnwy that I first visited over ten years ago.
Returning to these places a few years later, it surprises me how little I remember of them, the routes blurring into a sequence of vague memories and half forgotten details. A stile, a path through a wood, a stream crossing or maybe a hillside bathed in evening sunlight. Is that here or was that somewhere else? In his book Hell Of A Journey, Mike Cawthorne recounts the experience of mountaineer Doug Scott who claims to have no memory of the summit of Everest beyond the one photograph he took there.
Looking over Lake Vyrnwy on an evening more like the one I was hoping for the first time, my original image, shot on 35mm Fujichrome Velvia, suddenly seems like a lifetime ago. I now work digitally on equipment costing orders of magnitude more, and I’m more experienced technically and artistically. The intervening ten years has been an adventure, and on the way I think I’ve developed a stronger sense of the type of images I want to create. Although I love the Mid Wales landscape and I’m sure I’ll continue to photograph it, part of me feels restless and I’m starting to wonder whether it’s time to seek out some new challenges.