Around a 4 hour round trip with the possibility of heavy rain....not the most appetising photo shoot. However, stormy conditions, especially just after the storm has passed, can yield the most dramatic light. So off I set to Cregennan Lake near Barmouth.
During the road journey the weather started out with intermittent rain but as I headed into Wales and got closer to my destination the clouds broke and beautiful sunlight came through. Great!
How many times do things work out perfectly?! As I arrived at the foot of the hill for the climb to the lake I got out of the car to open the lower gate. The sun was still out but there was a cool breeze blowing now. The gate opens the way to a small winding road that allows the reasonably steep accent to the top. I would not want to try this drive in the depths of winter....
As I got out of the car to open the second gate on the road I looked down over the mighty estuary and Barmouth beyond, what a view!
Once I reached the Lake I parked in the NT car park and set about getting my photography kit out of the boot. By now dark storm clouds were approaching but the sun was lighting the distant hills beautifully. Unfortunately by the time I had found my composition and set up I only managed to capture the tail end of this light.
From there on in I was battling against high winds and rain....this has to be the worst combination when trying to take landscape photographs, I seemed to spend more time wiping my filters clear of rain drops than anything else. The conditions were so bad at times that I had to retreat to the warmth and dry of the car.......
This photograph was the last I actually took, by now it was quite dark and the winds were still howling towards me across the Lake. There was a little colour in the sky from the setting sun behind me. I ventured over the hill behind me to find some fantastic light rays over the sea near Barmouth! Grr! There was no point re-composing as by the time I had got to a decent location for a good composition and set up they would almost definitely have gone.
So this last image was taken between wiping the rain from my filters. I used both my B&W Circular Polariser and my Lee Neutral Density filters to help slow the exposure to show the wind blown movement in the water and sky.
This image was taken with the image area set at 5x4 aspect ratio on my camera.
In summary - Hurtling winds, rain and dark storm clouds gather over Cregennan Lakes in Snowdonia. A 15 second exposure time highlights the clouds and lake waters blown towards me by the gusts of wind.
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikkor 16-35 f4 VR @ 19mm
Exposure: 15 secs @ f16, ISO 100
Filters: Lee 0.9 & 0.6 ND Grads & B&W Circular Polariser
Cregennan Lakes, Snowdonia, Wales