|"A Light Push" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
I just KNEW this day would be good - a combination of shoots from a nude model at the first location to a mountain walk thereafter. The forecast for this time of year was just about perfect, no major rain, bright days, hints of hill fog and the potential for light showers between noon and 3.00 - all the ingredients I needed! What I hadn't realised is that my nude model would join me on the mountain tops for a fantastic afternoon together. At least two of the resulting 'figures in landscapes' will appear in my book of the project next year as I was so delighted with the shots.
|"Intermittent Exposure" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
Arriving at the main location for the nude shots, the isolated hilltop was ideal, Snowdonia behind, amazing clouds hanging over the peaks and bursts of sunshine everywhere. The long grass was wet and glinting in the crisp sunlight, and a cool breeze turned the grass to waves, but my model literally took it all in her stride, stretching into the poses we'd planned just like a consummate professional. Immediately after we'd finished fortunately, people seemed to appear from nowhere, dog walkers, geologists, hikers, all enjoying the lunchtime air! I'd planned a few further shots but it was simply too busy now for my model, so we decided to just enjoy the hills instead.
|"Approaching Tryfan" - Click image to get price|
Even in this glorious weather, the ground underfoot was saturated, and tiny footpaths were now streams and pools, forcing us to meander into thick heather and bracken in order to keep our feet dry. It soone becoma deserted again, and the hill was quite still, no movement of humans or animals, not even sheep anywhere, but I could hear Choughs calling to each other over the peak. Today was also a day to try out my new Paramo waterproof trousers, an all-in-one option negating the need for separate over-trousers, but consequently much warmer than I'm used to. I also had my new Paramo Alta 2 jacket, with the same breathable/waterproof materials, but again warmer than I was used to, so the ascent of the mountain was an interesting experiment in ventilation for me in more ways than one :-) I was also carrying my new Think Tank camera cover for possible testing, purchased after the last disastrously wet Anglesey cliff walk. My unexpected companion had no idea I'd been planning a gear test after her shoot so she had to put up with me fiddling, adjusting, re-setting, and generally stop-starting all the way up the mountain! My frustration with adapting to new gear was compounded by the fact my nude model (now wearing walking gear of course!) is amazingly fit, and she could have sprinted the hill at twice my speed. Anyway, my Leki walking poles made a huge difference to progress, even with all my kit, tripods, flasks and so on, and within the hour we were sipping hot coffee and eating thick peanut butter and tomato sandwiches on the summit, sheltering in it's lee, out of the now bitterly cold West North Westerly winds.
|"Light Right Angle" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
Thanks to the earlier shoot I was already in a very positive photographic mood anyway, but sitting here quietly on the summit, just me and my model, absorbing the ambience, the vista, and watching the weather go by, I was utterly blown away by the view and the events. This was one of the best 'mountain light' days for me in ages and I just became very meditative surrounded by the drama of the changing atmosphere. We sat there for maybe an hour, even my model in awe at the scene before us.
|"In Light Circles" Elidir - Click image to get price|
From different circles, and not used to hearing artists 'think aloud', she said she was fascinated by what moved me, what inspired me and the things I was able to point out to her that she had never really 'seen' before. It was equally fascinating to listen to her excitedly discussing what she could see, and what she found captivating. I have had hundreds of requests by photographers, amateur and professional, to accompany me on one of my forays, and needing solitude I always say no, so it made me chuckle to suddenly realise that there I was in education mode, discussing all my thoughts, ideas and approaches, with a nude model not a photographer :-) Actually it was a good feeling, just like when I was teaching at Bangor University !
|"The Gathering" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
Even in the lee of the icy wind, after an hour my companion was feeling the cold. She may be ultra-fit but she consequently carries no fat, so after a final swig of hot coffee and a nibble of Cadbury's Flake (left over from a quiet Trick or Treat night !) we started our decent to warmer altitudes! I lent her one of my walking poles and we reached the col in no time at all. A spectacularly crisp, intense sunlight warmed our faces, and simultaneously turned the countryside into vivid, sharp, textured relief - every blade of grass, every wall and fence post, backlit and super 3-dimensional.
|"A Light Force" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
We arrived at a small lake, surrounded by the thickest, deepest, squelchiest bog you can imagine, but the surface of which was magical, shimmering in late sunlight and punctured by a hundred thousand blades of long wind bent grass. Amazingly, and unbelievably, this became a location for a final nude shoot, and I still can't believe what my brave model did there, something I am pretty certain I could never do ! Watch out for the book next year ! :-)
|"Sinking at Sunset" Eryri (Snowdonia) - Click image to get price|
I will be writing a post specifically about the Paramo kit and the Think Tank rain cover in a forthcoming blog post - a specific 'gear blog' shall we say :-)
None of my nude project images will be shown anywhere until they are published in the book next year. Details will be announced when possible.
|"Light Notes" Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Click image to get price|
Once you have finished reading this post, please let me know which of the images are your favourites, as your choices may help to determine those to be included in my new book "Welsh Light" - many thanks.
All words and images are strictly copyrighted to © Glyn Davies 2011 - All rights reserved.
All of the images are already available for sale as prints, from A4 to A1, here on my print sales site www.glyndavies.com