One of the reasons I do photography is to escape from the black dog of bipolar. One of the great things about photography is that it can be portable and flexible as a medium. Meaning that you can travel to places with a camera, like this week I traveled to Snowdonia in North Wales with my family.
Sadly my eldest son Kieran due to his special need would not be able to attempt to walk up to Mount Snowdon and the train up mountain was fully booked so he, his brother Brendan and their mother Sarah stayed at the bottom of the mountain and I attempted to climb Snowdon unaccompanied.
This was not a major issue. Selfish as it sounds I sometimes prefer to do things like climbing and exploring mountains on my own. My family as much as I love them, they can be a distraction from the task of seeking that perfect composition for a photograph.
Trying to find the path less trodden took me up a path that was arduous and possibly dangerous. But no good reward has ever come without risks.
The first photo I took was looking back on myself up the path I had just travelled. I hadn’t even got my camera out at this point. So I unpacked my camera and deployed my travel tripod. I composed the photo I wanted to capture. I wanted to image the blue slate quarry that scarred the mountain side. The slate blue was in contrast to the lush greens of the grass on the surrounding mountains and the foreground. The mountain was grazed by the dark grey clouds which were full of definition and structure. After taking a few photographs I collapsed the tripod but kept the camera to hand.
The above photo I took free hand with out the aid of a tripod. For me it’s the mountain leading up to the cloudscape above it.
During my exploration I came across a wreck of a car. It was at odds with all this wild beauty of the mountains and brush. It looked as if nature had consumed it completely. The entropy compared to the surrounding and thriving grass, trees and bushes made it for me a bizarre find.
In the distance I spotted other walkers trekking up the mountain. I decided it’d be safer to follow them up this path. Problem was getting to that path. I walked through ferns and eventually came to the railway track. Putting my camera away I crossed it safely. In the distance I could hear the babbling of water. The route I took through the greenery brought me to a stream in a gully. It was fast moving and looked deep in places so erring on the side of caution I decided not to make a river crossing. I’m no Bear Grylls and I am not the strongest of swimmers. So I made my way up the bank and found a bridge to make a safer crossing.
Eventually I found the gate that leads to the path up Snowdon. I rested there as my heart was pounding due to my lack of fitness and sweat was pouring off me. When I composed myself I set off up the path.
Stopping on occasion to take more photographs
Unfortunately I was limited by time so disappointingly halfway I had to return to bottom of the mountain. Even though I hadn’t completed the climb I was satisfied that I had a good day photographing the spectacular landscape that surrounded me.
For me even though I hadn’t climbed to cloud covered peak. I had a sense that I had done what I set out to do. I had taken photographs and I had kept the bipolar at bay by doing something challenging, arduous and satisfying.
I love photography as it frees my soul and allows me to express myself by capturing the world.