Christmas had come and gone and the New Year loomed and so it was time to get some fresh air in the wonderful countryside around South Wales. Not far from where we live is Garth Hill, made famous by the story and film entitled ‘An Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain’. The Garth Hill dominates the western skyline as you leave Cardiff and drive up the valley towards Pontypridd on the A470. From the top it is possible to see the mountains in the Brecon Beacons to the north and Cardiff and across the Bristol Channel to Weston-Super-Mare in the south. Dotted around the top of the hill are a number of tumuli or burial sites dating back from the early to middle Bronze Age, around 2000 BC.
On this particular day, the sky was blue and the rain had stopped and, like so many others, we walked up to the trig point on the top and then across to the nearly shear drop down into the A470 valley and the Gwaelod-y-Garth village and Taffs Well town. The views were amazing. It was a little hazy, but you could still see for miles and we could pick out the Millennium Stadium, the Wales Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay.
I hadn’t taken my tripod, but I still tried some panoramic views of Pontypridd to the north and Taffs Well and the A470 to the east. If you live in South Wales and want to enjoy a pleasant walk with amazing views, then I strongly recommend you visiting Garth Hill. More photographs can be seen on my website.
On the Melin Court Brook, a left bank tributary of the Neath River, 1 mile south of Resolven in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot in South Wales is an awesome 80ft (24m) waterfall. The walk up from the car park is pretty straight forward and you can hear the noise of the water crashing down on the rocks as you get closer. The path opens up and then you are faced with these magnificent falls. Spray from the cascading water showers the whole area making the rocks slippery and you need to take care. However, there is an opportunity for some great photographs.On this occasion I just used my Canon 1000D balanced on rocks with a beanbag attached to the balance for support. Not ideal, but it allowed me to take some long exposures to capture that wonderful white flow. Luckily the weather was overcast and quite gloomy, which was perfect for the long exposure. I could have stayed there for hours.
Morning had just broken and I had stopped in one of the laybys on the A470 heading north from Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon in South Wales. The sky was clear and the air wonderfully still. I was on my way to climb Pen-y-Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, but my breath had been taken away by the mirror reflection of the mountains and trees on the glass like reservoirs. I took out my Canon 1000D and tried to capture the beautiful views.
I have this particular photograph mounted and framed on the wall in my house. I have also sold a few framed pictures at fairs around South Wales and have recently turned this into a greetings card. The image always gets a great reaction and I think it is the tranquillity that people like.
Just over a year ago, South Wales was covered in snow. The temperature was bitterly cold, with the ground hard and icy, but at least it wasn’t raining. I was walking up Fan Fawr, the mountain opposite Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons and saw four people standing like sticks at the top of this snowy ridge. With my frozen finger pressing the trigger, I used my Canon 1000D, a 50mm lens, some great depth of field and some adjustment for the light, to capture the sticks on the top of Fan Fawr.