I probably spend more time researching images and viewpoints in the studio than I do taking pictures out in the field. That was certainly the case with ‘Ogwen Valley Winter’. I certainly believe that planning a shoot well in advance and thoroughly carrying out all the preliminary work leads to a successful outcome when the time comes to fire the shutter. It was certainly the case with this composition.
As a young photographer in 1972, one of the most influential photographs that I came across was by the famous mountain photographer W.A. Poucher in his book ‘The Welsh Peaks’; the image was titled ‘Tryfan in Winter Raiment’. It certainly inspired me to develop my mountaineering and photography skills, and it also fired my interest in Tryfan and the peaks of the Ogwen Valley in Snowdonia.
My intention here was to maintain the fine aspect of Tryfan’s east face as seen by W.A. Poucher, whilst, at the same time, capturing more of the adjactent mountains of the Ogwen Valley – Y Garn, Foel Goch and Pen-yr-oleu-wen. This is not really possible in 35mm or 645 format, so yet again the opportunity only presented itself to me when I began using the Fuji GX617.
It took a while to identify the precise location of the viewpoint and also the lens that I would need. Once again I ended up spending a lot of time browsing large scale maps and performing trignometrical calculations. As it turned out, the location I chose was just off the track to the Ffynnon Llugwy reservoir in the southern Carneddau, so I did not have far to carry all my equipment.
By virtue of the fact that the Glyder range lies in central Snowdonia, its peaks are often clear of cloud when the higher neighbouring summits of Snowdon or the Carneddau are not. This enabled me to carry out some preliminary field work on this composition during several abortive visits to Snowdon itself. When the conditions were right I knew exactly where I needed to be.
This image was actually taken on the same day as my “Sunrise on Snowdon” and “Winter Snowdon” shots on my return down the Ogwen Valley. after completing the work at Royal Bridge, Capel Curig. The image was taken at 0845 am on a morning which was alpine in character. The original assessment of exposure was increased by one full stop to compensate for the snowy conditions and to ensure that the eastern aspect of Tryfan was recorded to perfection.
Date : 28th February
Location Map Reference : SH 69572 60388 : Near Helyg, Ogwen Valley
Time : 0845 GMT