Just back from North Wales - a couple of photos from Moel Tryfan...

Another amazing weekend in North Wales, another jewel in the proverbial crown of living in the North West. After the freaky wind-storm thing that hit a day earlier I found myself halfway up one of the easier to pronounce Welsh mountains - Moel Tryfan. Leaving the D3 at home - I went for the lightweight option and took the D700 and 24-70mm 2.8 lens. The changeable afternoon light was sneaking through the clouds and looking back down the valley it was a landscape photographers paradise. The waterfall shot was taken hand held with an almost one second exposure - the camera propped up against a fence post... needs must!

landscape photography of moel tryfan north wales by ant clausen liverpool photographer

landscape photography of moel tryfan north wales by ant clausen liverpool photographer

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Rangitoto Sunrise Have just finished uploading some prints to my new online print shop. Am starting with a selection of 30 landscapes shot over the past year. They will be sold as a limited edition of 30 signed and numbered prints. There will be different sizes available and framed canvas prints also. I've been travelling across to North Wales a lot in the past year - so the majority of the prints are from the beautiful Snowdonia region. Give me a shout if you have any questions - and check out the print shop by clicking here Cheers!

View from Betws-y-Coed, North Wales.

Yet another Welsh place name that i'm finding really easy to pronounce! Regardless of that - it's a beautiful drive in from England... just under 2 hours away from Liverpool to this winter wonderland. It was mid-morning when i looked across and saw the mist rising through the mountains in the distance. I have to admit i'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to this sort of misty, moody mountain shot. Was just glad I had the 70 - 200VR lens in the car. With the lens at 200m I got a centre-weighted meter reading from the scene and popped off a couple of shots. Have adjusted the contrast slightly in Adobe Lightroom, and that's it. I love the fact this is only a short trip away from Liverpool, but could be anywhere in the world. (imho!)betws-y-coed

2008 - ummm where did it go?

Another year snuck by... but I have to say 2008 has been a bit of a corker (Antipodean expression for bloody good!) Even though i'm a bit slow on the uptake, writing my 2008-retrospective blog in early Jan... but hey... i've been hangin in North Wales in a farm house in the middle of nowhere... with no laptop, no internet and no mobile phone coverage. It was seriously like going back in time, but I believe I was all the better for it, for I had my camera bag with a plethora of memory cards and spare batteries... 2008 has perhaps been slightly less conventional than the average year pour moi.

- Moving up to Liverpool to live.

- Finally making the big call and deciding to chase my dream of being a full-time photographer

- Realising that i've finally found (verging on cheesy Hollywood'isms here) my destiny as far as a career is concerned.The incredible diversity you get from all types of photography, means there's never a dull moment and always something unique and creative to strive for. No more "working for the man" in a dull office job. Oh well, i'm sure I will (if I haven't already) get over it!

And what a great little place Liverpool is. It's seriously been the perfect place for me to pluck up the courage, and chase my photographic dreams. The people i've met in 2008 have been nothing short of inspirational. Liverpudlians are direct and to the point, much like Antipodeans, and you then have the ability to win respect that much quicker when the usual "bs" is taken out of the equation.

Everywhere you turn there's people willing to help, or simply have a yarn. Even the homeless people have a good laugh! The networks available to start up businesses have been invaluable also. I joined the BNI group a couple of months back, and that's been fantastic as you end up forging friendships with people in the same boat as you. More recently joining the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce has meant that I got to meet and photograph the Lord Mayor over a cup of tea. Definitely an English highlight!

I've met amazing people, not because i've had to, but because starting up your own business forces you out of your comfort zone and opens up possibilities that I never would have experienced getting lost in the ratrace.

All in all, an absolute bloody pearler. I could possibly 'rabbit on' for much longer with random thoughts... but as i'm still new to this whole blog game. I'm going to save it for a rainy day (soon then!)

Stay tuned for many more photographic ramblings in 2009. For it's shaping up to be the best year yet. With visions, goals and dreams to be achieved... it's certainly going to be a trip... feel free to come along for the ride!

Here's my first sunset shot of 2009. Taken at Plas y Brenin in Snowdonia, the air temp was below zero and the lake was well frozen over...


A ramble round North Wales...

Jack Frost has come out to play in this recent series of photographs taken in North Wales. The first few are from Llyn Gwynant in Snowdonia. It was around 3pm and we knew we'd have to make the 'ramble' rather brisk to make it round the lake before dark. The second set are taken around the Denbigh/Conwy area on Boxing Day. [nggallery id=4]

So I woke up nice and early...

for the sunrise... which is not really saying much as the sun only gets up at about 7:30am this time of year in the UK! Still in Wales - out in the countryside, surrounded by farmland, the sun started creeping up over the distant rolling hills... I looked to the east to see some brooding storm clouds ominously rolling their way towards me... the perfect formula = dramatic clouds + sunrise. This black and white HDR image - edited with Adobe Lightroom initially - 3 blended exposures (-2, 0, +2) tone-mapped in Photomatix 3, then back into Lightroom to convert to Black and White. Phew!

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... and the rain came down...

T'was a rather wet weekend in Wales...but all was not lost as I went exploring this morning. Actually some of my favourite photos have been shot in the rain. Today was no exception. I've driven past this stream before, deep in the heart of North Wales. And all it's ever been is just a stream, but today, it upgraded itself to a full-blown river... thanks again to the rain! I grabbed the Manfrotto, Nikon D300 and a couple of wide lenses in the old backpack and made my way down to the "river" - as some nice long exposures were on the cards. I set up the tripod in the actual river to get close to the action and set up a few shots. And here's the results...

Nikon D300, Nikkor 17-55mm F2.8 4 second exposure at F22 Sigma 10-20mm 5secs at F22

Lovin' the lead-in lines in this shot... if I was standing at this spot last week... there would be barely a trickle of water coming down... God bless the RAIN!

And just to confirm the time of year... the golden maple leaves have fallen in this magical little place.