carneddau pony workshops
available all year round
This a fantastic opportunity to explore a beautiful area of North Wales the Carneddau mountains and photograph one of it's true icons the Carneddau Pony under Kevin's tutelage he will guide you to the best spots where you'll be able to capture a wide range of amazing images.
The Welsh mountain ponies are a strong breed that dates back to a least the Celtics. During the Tudor times around 1509 King Henry VIII ordered the ponies to be destroyed because they could not carry a knight in full armor, thankfully they did not succeed, However the Romans admired the ponies for their strength and ability and even shipped some of them back to Rome to carry out specific tasks in their homeland. In more recent times they were used to pull carts in the coal mines, now the mines are closed and there is no longer work for them, so they are now free to roam the Carneddau hillsides.
The Carneddau mountains include the largest contiguous areas of high ground (over 2,500 or 3,000 feet (910 m) high) in Wales and England, as well as six or seven of the highest peaks in the country—the Fifteen Peaks. The range also encloses a number of lakes such as Lyn Cowlyd and Lyn Eigiau, and the Aber waterfalls. It is surrounded by the Irish Sea to the north, the Conwy Valley to the east. This rugged but beautiful landscape will provide us with some great opportunities for landscape photography as well as the resident wildlife.
The ponies are distributed over a wide range in an upland environment, they can normally be located around a few specific areas although this does vary from day to day depending on the weather conditions. There are also times when it is advantageous to remain with a herd for long periods, waiting for some specific behavior to unfold or to capture the perfect shot.
Using a small country lane we will drive up into the Welsh Hills to a small gravel car-park. The approach to the site then is on foot and it is possible to locate the ponies on the lower ground after a short walk. Depending on conditions and fitness levels the aim will be to move uphill looking for ponies. This walk can involve some significant elevation gain on rugged terrain. The ground is moderately steep in places, uneven and can be slippery in snowy or icy conditions.
Walking in this kind of terrain is tiring and requires a good level of fitness and stamina especially considering that you will be carrying heavy photographic equipment, although the pace will be slow and breaks can be taken.
Kevin will be on hand to offer advice on how to best approach the ponies, as well as helping with camera settings, exposure etc.
Note that you may well be sitting, kneeling or even lying on wet cold ground for long periods of time so you should wear adequate clothing and be prepared for this.
You will be away from your vehicle all day. There are no facilities on site.
Access to the meeting point is on a narrow steep tarmac road that is accessible. Which can become quite treacherous if there has been a hard frost or snowfall overnight. If so we will meet at the lower carpark and walk into the area.
- Meet at the designated meeting point
- Brief introduction to find out what you would like from the day.
- We head out into the hills to locate the ponies stopping along the way for any landscape photography or any chance encounters we may come across.
- Once the ponies have been found Kevin will teach you the best field-craft to approach the ponies and will be on hand with any photographic tuition during the session
- Following sunset we will begin the walk back down the hillside to the cars and the end of the workshop
- Full one-to-one guidance throughout the day
- Field-craft training
- Full technical camera tuition
- Expert knowledge of the ponies and the surrounding area
- A friendly, relaxed approach
- Food and drink
- Transport to/from the meeting place (transport can be arranged if needed)
- Personal insurance
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