The Elan Valley, Pontsticill and The Pembrokeshire Coast

August 06, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

The Elan Valley, Pontsticill and The Pembrokeshire Coast

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerElegug Stacks Selfie

 

The Elan Valley

This journey begins from the previous blog post on my travels in Wales and continues to Mid Wales and the Elan Valley to the Pembrokeshire Coast.  The Elan Valley has a series of Dams built one hundred years ago to feed the water requirements of the City of Birmingham. There are six dams in total and I visited Caban Coch and Garreg Ddu.

I started my visit to the area at Garreg Ddu which is situated further up the river Elan and is a totally submerged dam.  The bridge Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerElan Valley Bridge with the hills in the background gave me lots of photographic opportunities.  The scene when I first arrived was pretty overcast but zero wind and the water in the reservoirs were completely still giving me the chance to capture some reflections!  

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerEllan Valley Reflection

 

 

 

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerGarreg Ddu Tower Sunstar Photography (http://www.sunstarphotography.com) I managed to capture some amazing reflections and was pleased with the images but the sun was going down fast so I headed back down to the next damn Caban Coch. 

Caban Coch is one of the lower dams and sits near the visitor centre.  I’m not sure if my images do the dams justice but they are truly breathtaking.  The first image is situated just near the car park and is a beautiful view of the dam from the top as you look towards the valley.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerCaban Coch Sunset

I waited for sunset but the light wasn’t great and a bit overcast, then as always in Landscape photography there was a window of light which lit up the dam and the sides of the hills.  The composition is fairly straightforward with the dam to the left of the scene and the looking toward the end of the reservoir where the hills come together. 

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerControl House Caban Coch

 I was fortunate enough for the light to last so I headed over to the bottom of the dam to capture the second image.  This second image is of the engine rooms where the dam is opened and closed.  The light had moved along and was now hitting the side of the buildings providing a golden glow to the scene.  The composition is to keep the engine rooms to the left of the scenery my main subject with the dam in the background and those warm colours just completed the image.

Sunstar Photography (http://www.sunstarphotography.com)

The final image at this dam was just a simple composition of looking at the damn straight on. The Elan Valley is an amazing place to visit as a photographer but as always there is never enough time to take everything in one afternoon.  

Pontscticill Reservoir

This reservoir is situated in the Brecon Beacons and was originally known as Taff Fechan reservoir and supplies most of the water to South Wales.  The main focal point is the sinkhole on one end of the reservoir but I wanted to explore around the area before I went to my sunset location and stumbled upon a fallen branch.  

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape Photographer

I like the way the branch lay in the water half-submerged, however, there was a lot of wind and the I wanted to smoothen out the water and went for a one-minute exposure with a 6 stop grad to isolate my subject.  The hills in the background were very bright so I used also used 3stop ND grad to bring down the highlights on the hills. 

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape Photographer

I then headed to my sunset location the sinkhole but unfortunately, most of the light was actually behind me but I did get some pinks in the clouds. I was still happy with the image. I waited for the sun to set and take another image in the blue hour with a slightly different composition looking down the reservoir. The next day was a journey to the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape Photographer

 

Pembrokeshire Coast

I started my journey at The Green Bridge of Wales and the Elegug Stacks.  This a location I have wanted to visit and was on my bucket list for a while and to finally be able to see the area was magnificent.  A word of warning this area is a Ministry of Defence site and there is live training for the armed forces in the area and it is shut at times. Please visit the area website and make sure it is open otherwise you will be disappointed, especially if you have travelled very far.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerGreen Bridge of Wales

After looking for compositions I went for the classic view of the Green Bridge of Wales. I wanted to show some motion in the waves as it was a blustery day so used a slow shutter speed to capture the motion in the sea.  Now this is a great location as you get two amazing sea stacks a bit further down the coastal path.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerElelgug Stacks

The next stop was the Elegug Stacks, these are limestone stacks which may originally have been natural sea arches like The Green Bridge of Wales but has eroded over time.  The first composition was a view of the coastline with the stacks in the lower part of the image and again I wanted to capture the movement in the waves with a slower shutter speed of about 1 to 2 seconds.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerWelsh Coast Cliffs

This is another rock formation known as the Huntsman's Leap, local folklore suggests a huntsman had leapt over from one side to the other via horseback.  The cliffs which like the rest of the area is mainly made of limestone and my composition was similar to the other images and to get the small arch and the movement of the water.  I had a brilliant time but the weather was getting worse so I headed to the next location Stackpole.  

 

Stackpole

 

I reached Stackpole as this was my sunset location but the weather had taken a turn for the worst and it was very overcast and the wind was nothing like I had experienced before on the coast.

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerSea Stack

It was very difficult keeping the tripod staedy as I only had brought along my Manfrotto travel tripod, so I had to wait for luls in the weather to capture the scenes. 

Nazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London Landscape PhotographerStormy Selfie

The magnificent coastline of Pembrokeshire was just breathtaking but I could see that there was some break in the horizon so I waited to see if I got any light and to my surprise, there was a bit so I took another image of the sea stack. 

Nazmul Islam London landscape PhotographerNazmul Islam London landscape PhotographerStormy Sea

This was an amazing journey through Wales and I throughly enjoyable experience from the North in Snowdonia to  Pembrokeshire in the South.  It is a journey that I will not forget but it is a journey that I will re-visit again with my camera.  Thank you for visiting my site and if you would like to keep updated on my journeys, please consider following me on my various social media platforms.  


 

 


 


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