I think everyone and their dog has found the Covid pandemic hard, dealing with loss of loved ones, lockdowns and money/ work problems. My family and I were lucky, right up until almost the end of the last lockdown that is. My 76 year old mum contracted Covid, she was in hospital for over three months with a stint in critical care.
At one point we seriously thought we’d lost her. On top of that my youngest daughter and my wife contract Covid too, so there was plenty of worry and concern for a few weeks over them.My mum pulled through, having spent a couple of weeks in a rehabilitation ward as being laid up has really weakened her. She’s back home now though and is accepting help from all of us and a carer who visits daily. She’s not one to ask for help but she knows she needs it.
My wife and daughter have recovered and have no after effects but it has been tough for us all. All this makes this trip even more important for me personally. It is what it is, we don’t sit about and feel sorry for ourselves, we are all thankful for the outcome, it could have been a lot worse. We also massively appreciate the care my mum received at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, we owe them big time! Now though, I just need a challenge to sink my teeth into, to burn some of the worry off with some graft and also to get out exploring with my camera again!
Back to Snowdon it is then!
It’s been four years since I last visited Snowdonia, my friends and I hiked Snowdon last time and we’re doing the same this time. As usual I’ll be lugging my camera gear and hopefully getting some good shots. We’re camping at the Snowdonia Parq campsite, which is about four miles from the foot of Snowdon.
We won’t be getting there till lunch time on the first day of the trip as its a four hour drive. One of my mates is leaving earlier than the rest of us though, he’s doing Snowdon twice. Once on his own before we get there, then again the next day with us all together. He’s made of stronger stuff than me!!
I’ve got two locations/ scenes in mind that I would like to capture with the camera, they are quite different to each other, so hopefully the weather is good and I can find some good compositions at the locations. Other than that I’m playing it by ear for the landscapes and I’ll be taking some photos of us all ascending Snowdon. One of the lads going has never done it before so some good photos would be appreciated I think. One shot I definitely want to capture is the lone tree on the shore of Llyn Padarn, a lake near Llanberis. It’s been done to death by masses of other photographers but I still want my shot of it. Then I have a photo in mind of a scene I viewed when I was last on Snowdon. If I can pull off just those two shots, I’m a happy bunny!
Loads of new gear to try
I’ve made a lot of changes to my kit, both the camping, hiking and photography gear, that I’ll be taking on this trip and using on most other trips too. The main change is my tripod. I’ve got to admit I dropped a massive knacker selling my old Gitzo Mountaineer tripod last year. At the time I wasn’t happy with how bulky it was, so I sold it and bought a Benro Slim Carbon Fibre travel tripod.I have to say, when taking long exposure shots, that tripod is rubbish in even slight winds. It moves easily and a lot of my images at one shoot were coming out blurry. I thought it may have been auto focus problems at first but it was definitely the tripod. So now I’ve ordered a new one, it’s a lot taller with thicker legs and less leg sections so it should be a lot more stable.
The tripod I ordered is a Innorel RT80C carbon fibre tripod. I bought it on Amazon. It’s not a big brand like my old Gitzo but the reviews I’ve read say very good things about it. I’ve had to order a new ball head too, I’ve gone cheap and cheerful for now until I can afford a better one, unless this cheap and cheerful one works out OK for me. I’ve also invested in a new tent, camping mat, some new hiking clothes and boots, so lots to try while I’m there.