Personal Story: Awake Holy Mountain

Here’s an insight on tip to taking outstanding photos by professional photographer Simon Powell from Black Mountains Photography .

“The valleys of the Black Mountains can provide the photographer with opportunities to capture spectacular weather phenomena. I spend countless hours studying weather forecasts, pressure charts and os maps. Very often I find myself lying in bed contemplating which location will give me the best image whilst the clock ticks past midnight and into the early hours getting closer to the 5:00 alarm.

Awake holly mountain by Simon Powell ©

Awake holly mountain by Simon Powell ©

This is one of those images the weather forecast leading up to this dawn had been very unsettled and wet but a warm high front was approaching and as the ground level was set to get cooler the higher atmosphere would in fact be warmer consequently the cold damp air which is denser than the warm dry air and the would be trapped in the valley floor, just perfect conditions. This lead to a great deal of excitement for me hence no sleep that night. As I desperately tried to sleep my mind was full of the many location and compositions which would capture this phenomena at its best, as the clock reached 3:00 am I gave up on sleep got up to check the synoptic charts again. At 3:30 I loaded my gear in the truck and set off up into the hills firstly to Hay Bluff as this gives a stunning view over the river Wye with the towering Pen Y Fan as a back drop but as is often the case the elements where slightly different at this location. The valley of the river Usk would be the better option as the weather would be moving up the Severn valley compressing the cold air as it traveled. Thankfully my sleepless night gave me the luxury of time as normally I would of been stuck at this location as I normally arrive a hour before sunrise but I had a good hour to spare so back down the Llantony valley and to a more favorable location. The rest of this session can be viewed in real time as I filmed a short video from this location which can be watched below.”

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