Photo taken at Snowdon, Snowdonia

Pass of the Arrows

Snowdon, Snowdonia

Just above Cribau and leading up to Snowdon is 'Bwlch y Saethau', 'Pass of the Arrows', our route of ascent to the top of Snowdon the following morning (fortunately a relatively easy one!). As the sun came down the clouds picked up a warm glow which reflected on the ice. I photographed the pool in a number of ways as the light changed, each is different, but I think this is my favourite. These pastel shades are amongst my favourite colours to photograph and the combination of blues, pinks and purples are unique to the winter (one of many reasons why winter is my favourite season). Like several locations in the UK, Snowdon is strongly associated with the Arthurian legend. 'Bwlch y Saethau' is said to be the place where he was shot dead and buried. Balancing realism and visual impact is a constant challenge for landscape photographers. I exposure bracketed this scene and the darkest exposure set shows deep red clouds. Rather than use these more colourful exposures I kept the sky as bright as possible to create a more tonally balanced scene of a narrower dynamic range. On other occasions I might have decided that the atmosphere was lost, and tried to use a darker sky, but this time it seemed right. This is part of landscape photography that few non-photographers understand and is rarely discussed for fear of upset. On one hand our cameras are hopelessly incapable of capturing what we saw making processing entirely necessary. On the other hand processing is used to create fantasy scenes never seen in real life (which draw the most attention on social networks encouraging the practice). With so many photographers around now it's unsurprising that you get a full spectrum of opinions.

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