Thanks go to Lee, William, Mike, Adrian and Tracy for joining me in the Elan Valley on Saturday for my Elan Valley Day Course. The weather forecast leading up to the day was changing regularly, so it was difficult to work out what we were going to get. In the end we got everything -? sun, cloud, rain, hail, sleet and snow! The lure of a certain rugby match weakened the resolve of some participants when the rain really started to fall, so we called a halt to the day an hour after lunch.

As usual I was keen for participants to hang around and see what developed. It is always a useful lesson to wait and see what happens with a bit of time. So I decided to stay and see what happened. My luck was in and an hour after we had finished for the day, the snow had lessened and the wind dropped making it easier to keep the filters and the front of the lens clear of snowflakes and water droplets.? Sometimes you are not this lucky and it continues to rain solidly.

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Both images above were taken about an hour apart. It shows how the weather can change quickly at higher elevations. Just further down the valley there was no snow. Using vehicles to get between locations always meant that we were close to some cover to keep dry, but you can imagine what it would be like on foot. It always pays to be prepared for the worst and when travelling solo on foot, I always carry more protective clothing and equipment than photographic gear.

Considering the reservoirs are man made it is always difficult to think that they were not always there. They seem to suit the environment perfectly and don’t look too false. The area always seems to be quiet with only a few visitors during the day and is easy to get around by car, so no foot slogging required. Perfect for the landscape photographer to concentrate on their photography and not the logistics of getting into position.

The landscape and natural history in the valley is?different to that I normally see on Gower, so it is a welcome change to visit Rhayader and the surrounding area during the year. I won’t wait till next years course for another visit, but it may be more focused on the sounds of the area next time.

Nick

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