Beacons Reservoir Snow, Merthyr Tydfil

“In the Valley”

My style of photography lends itself more to low country than higher ground; I prefer to make an image of a mountain from one. I’ve known this for a while, but I still occasionally hike up hills. During the cold spell towards the end of December (2022,) we were blessed with a generous helping of snow. I mainly focused on local subjects on the Quantocks, but the snow quickly receded in Somerset and with a weekend at a loose end, I decided to go up Pen y Fan for sunrise. It was a fun hike and the first time I have trodden through deep snow since I left Moscow in 2017. Soon on leaving the car park, visibility dropped to 10 metres. I decided to complete my walk—there is always a chance you might get lucky. However, at the summit, there wasn’t a chance of the sun poking through any time soon. It was minus five-degree temperatures and wind speeds of 30kmph and unwilling to hang around, I packed up and returned to the valley and one of my favourite locations in the Brecon Beacons: Beacons Reservoir. I’m not sure if this photo makes it clear that the subject trees are on an island. But though I walked all the way around the shore to find a vantage point that made this fact clearer, I prefer the shape of the snow-covered ice more in this composition. This is the type of image I enjoy making most nowadays: a simple, graphical composition. Snow and mist are the dream ticket for this type of image. Although the sleet made keeping the lens clean a challenge!


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