These is a song currently "Real Friends" from man of the moment Kanye West, the great divider, some folk really don't like Yeezy I do, but the song is apt for this blog. See I took a trip with a friend and fellow photog Rich Jones to Brecon Beacon's National Park in central Wales.
Rich was one of the first faces I met ten years ago when I worked for a large fruit based tech giant since then we have stayed in touch he has travelled far. It struck me we never shoot together so we did, a trip to Wales and that mighty national park in Brecon. As a shooter it's always about the learn, yeah sneakers, yeah buildings, yeah portrait... but the outdoor thing, is a thing of love to snap.
Since leaving the hood of Birmingham a few years back rural vistas have taken hold and replaced the outdoor theatre of the cityscape. Trying not to get caught into the "I only shoot..." or the general snobbery seems limiting to me and from a standpoint I want to tell stories from every vista. So of we went jumped in the Golf, Rich is good company. I tend to try and not get too overloaded but seem to take my D750, tripod bag expecting light magic. Oh I also try and steer from camera chatter rather see the image than talk the gubbins used but a D750 with a 50mm, 24mm and classic 70-210 mm.
Before you know it Worcestershire is replaced by Wales, both of us putting the world to rights one of the good guys RJ and makes dull trips fly by. This is my second trip in as may weeks to the National Park at Brecon. The first time snow, a fair amount this time nothing, but I really didn't matter there's so much to absorb. The mountains contain the highest peaks in southern Britain they also have cool ass names too, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Corn Du rising over 3,000 feet. The British Army have used Brecon's land for serious training for yonks and we did see a steady stream of camo' running wild. The weather is notorious here one minute sunny, next wet, windy, unpredictable as anything. Keeping the wet and cold out was easy Rab Latok in red ( if I get lost I can be found) Comme x PLAY hoodie and the best Nike SB in ages from PolerStuff warm dry goodness, my go to boots for grim weather, anyway that said a day is not enough to scope this place out.
Taking the lazy option we parked at Storey Arms car park and took a slow fat boy ascent up from there, it s a good slog even for an unfit oaf like me.. At the top though worth it the park is 1,344 km² and looks it even if I did say to Rich it didn't look that big, it did. Looking across there is so much to want to capture good job my D750 is a greedy sort. Ive never subscribed to the "I only shoot" crew because when you hit a spot like this the options become endless and why limit yourself with a snooty steez.
The factors are, shape, colour's but, I'm also driven by songs, even lines from songs can get my eye to see something. Rich is a motivator too, he knows how to make you see sense and focus on the magic of clicking. Problem was the light not the best at all so you think how can I make it work ? I went long with some long exposure content, handheld and more traditional with a tripod see what happens hey.
Once this homeboy's sea legs kicked in I was happy to stay forever... Sea legs though? silly considering I've ridden down mountains on those snowboards for yonks but yeah seriously that good. Take a step back and be thankful. Rich was impressed too claiming this place as good as anything and he loves the Lake District, thats the other spot I need to hit.
As the light died we headed down toward the car and in my head all I'm hearing Ultralight Beam again by Kanye, and we then hit a waterfall and everything fit Kelly Price in my ear. Nikon, ND, Tripod and GO! "We on an ultralight beam" again the inspirations can't and don't just come from holding a black box and talking glass and pixel envy.
Go to Wales that's all!!! see this place feel inspired but also understand the value of real friends they make it a lot easier. Peace.