A Photographers Holiday in Wales

I was thrilled when my family and me planned to have our summer holiday in the Brecon Beacons and after that in Exmoor. We booked to cottages, quite remotely and as we say in German „In der Pampa“ which translates to „If you are in the Shire, living in Bagend, you still have to travel another three miles into nowhere, then you are „in the Pampa““.

Map-Scouting the area it became clear quite quickly that this would be about waterfalls and mountains. In that actually was real.

Our first outing was a small round (my family and me driving some miles and then have a walk) in the valley of the Caerfanell river, called the Blaen-y-Glyn waterfalls. I was positively surprised how many opportunities where there to shoot along the river, not only waterfalls.

Blaen-y-glyn is being reached through a jungle like forest.
Very Old Tree
Wall and Tree

This area is quite busy with other sports being done, like canyoning. To have the chance to take pictures in solitude, it is good to be early. Overcast days are preferable.

Four Waterfalls Walk

Another very popular place is the location of the Four Waterfalls Walk, an even more occupied location, here it is absolutely recommended to be early (or late) to avoid the peak times.

Sgwd y Pannwr
(what you do not see: to the right there were two dozen visitors preparing to take a bath in the pond)
Sgwd y Pannwr

With the small shortcoming that the places can become pretty overrun, the scenery is incredible beautiful and you get “a lot for your walking” in this area. It is by far no “secret location”, but still it allows one to explore your personal view and hone your waterfall skills.

Up the Mountains

Another interesting feature of the Brecon Beacons are the mountains, of course. At least – as the water falls down somewhere – there must be some heights to explore and enjoy the view in the distance. For most tourists, this would be Pen-y-Fan, the highest peak in the Brecons. For us, it was our “House Mountain”, the Pen-y-Big, where the ascent started right behind our doorsteps (and a circular walk was possible …)

Starting the tour, you first come across a scenery right from Lord of the Rings where the Nazgul would come right riding down towards you.

Right from the Shire …

Not “… up, up, up the stairs …” we went, but more like Kate “Running up that Hill” we would have a hefty 300m ascent towards the peak of Pen-y-Big, but rewarded with lovely views into the land …

Sunset over Brecon Beacons
From Pen y Big
From Pen y Big

But here are actually small secret locations that you have for yourself most of the time. Like a little cascade, by far not that huge or jaw dropping as the four waterfalls, but still quite nice.


Great Photo Spots in Northern England

My family visits the English Islands quite regularly – for my wife ist is actually „coming come“. We have been to Cornwall, Dorset, Wales (North), the Lake District, Scotland and Northumbria. It has always been an amazing experience with great landscapes and plenty of opportunities to follow the passion of photography.

After the pandemic, we had the chance to return just last year, travelling to the Lake District first and then spend another week at the coast of Northumbria.

In the Lake District we stayed near Ullswater Lake, a place already very well suited for nice pictures of a sunrise and tranquil reflections. But not only Ullswater is a good place to start, so is Buttermere Lake and all the other lakes around.

Early Morning at Ullswater
Some rocks add a nice depth to the picture
Buttermere Reflection
Brothers Waters
Blea Tarn

But not only the lakes are a great spot to make photographs, so is also the country, with high hills, plenty of water flowing and waterfalls all over the place.

The upper part of Airy Falls
Water Falls at Stanley Ghyll (near Boot)

Not far from the Lake District, just about a 2hrs ride by car, a very different landscape unfolds near Bamburgh in Northumberland. Her it is more the seaside with tides and lots of great light that makes the day.

Sunrise Farn Islands
Dunstaburgh Castle During Sunrise
Moon behind Bamburgh Castle

Overall, if one is looking for great opportunities to take exciting landscape pictures, Northern England offers an abundance of opportunities.

Location Review: Chapman’s Pool (Dorset)

Chapman’s Pool is a scenic cove near Worth Matravers in Dorset, not far from Swanage. It can only be explored on foot by walking down a steep path from a parking lot, approximately 1.5 miles distance through fields and down to the coast.

Good time to photograph is in the evening with overcast sky and not too high tide. Breezy days may help with interesting water movements. There are some old huts and fishing boats located at the pool, furthermore interesting rocks at the entry of the cove in the water and on location.

The major landmark is a high hill at the left side of the cove, it is dominating the scenery. Low clouds may cover the hilltop.

Equipment related, wide angle lenses, a tripod, neutral density filters and maybe graduated neutral density filters should be appropriate for scenic landscape pictures.

The place develops some interesting “moodiness”, especially at sunset with the sun behind heavy clouds – it is just a joy to make pictures here.

To the Sea
To the Sea

Chapmans Pool
Chapmans Pool


Whenever we make photographs, one of the most influential ways to improve the picture is to choose the right perspective. To choose the best point of view, the best distance, the right angle to allow the scenery to unfold it’s beauty. Perspective however has nothing to do with the tools you are using. Perspective is strictly and straightforward the point of view that you choose. No lens, camera, tripod or filter can help you in finding the right perspective. Isn’t it astonishing and at the same time beautiful that with photography and life, it is all the same: no fancy thing or tool or gadget or advice will help you a lot to get the most of your life (or the scenery), it is always you choosing the right perspective.