This ruggedly handsome chap kindly let me take his portrait as part of a seasonal series I am work on. He was pulling a large cart of wood up a steep lane when he kindly stopped for me. He looked great – straight out of Lord of the Rings I thought. I just need to get three other local folk to agree to seasonal environmental portraits for Winter, Spring and Summer and that’s my Four Seasons of the Ceiriog Valley exhibition entry sorted. It all sounds so straightforward in words. Oh, and I really need to find this chap again and ask him to sign a model release form. Easy.
Archive for November, 2008
Chester Zoo. It’s 10 minutes away from my house on a push bike, yet I hadn’t been there since I was a wee bairn, on a school trip from St. Wilfrid’s High School in Blackburn. I remember holding hands with a girl I had a crush on during the coach trip back from the zoo. Twelve years old I was and I didn’t dare utter a word to her again after that. School trip fond memories. The smells of the souvenir Zoo pencil’s and leather bookmarks, eating our packed lunches on the sun-baked lawns, the punch of humidity as we entered in the steamy crocodile’s lair.
Although I am blown away by the wildlife photography of Martin Bailey and Nick Brandt, it’s not something I really feel drawn towards in any way, but an enforced stint indoors, a poorly landscape lens, oh yer, and the timely arrival of a bling new zoom lens I have been saving my pocket money up for months to buy, made a visit to the animals seem a very appealing lunch break. I should have gone back a lot sooner – it’s a fantastic resource to have on the doorstep and seeing the levels the zoo are going to in conserving endangered species is remarkable. Sod it, in fact I am going to buy a season pass.
The top image here is the Fairy Glen, near Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. This is probably one of the most photographed locations in North Wales, but despite this, I will certainly be paying my 50p to go back down there again, perhaps near midday when the sun is shining directly down the steep gorge and lighting up the autumn leaves…
The snow-clad mountain lurching behind the tree at the top of this set of images is Tryfan, a mountain that has touched most of the outdoor-orientated folks I know in one way or another. I remember it for terrifying icy winter scrambles, oh, and watching my partner being helicopter-lifted from a decent route. A couple of friends will definitely remember the top of the mountain as the place they became engaged to be married. Another chap we know probably treats it with great respect after dislocating his shoulder on the way down. Once you have walked, scrambled or climbed the north ridge route of this hill, it distills the contradictory mix of outright respect and just plain rocky fun into everyone who passes that way.