Bipolar me- Snowdonia

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.

A view of a slate quarry. The blue scars of the slate quarry are in contrast to the lush greens of the surrounding areas.

A view of a slate quarry. The blue scars of the slate quarry are in contrast to the lush greens of the surrounding areas.

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.

One of the smaller mountains leading the way to Snowdon.

One of the smaller mountains leading the way to Snowdon.

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.

This was a strange find on the mountain. A destroyed and decaying shell of a car. The faded blues and rust reds intrigued me with it being surrounded by lush greens.

This was a strange find on the mountain. A destroyed and decaying shell of a car. The faded blues and rust reds intrigued me with it being surrounded by lush greens.

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.

The dramatic clouds in the sky add to the beauty of the scene.

The dramatic clouds in the sky add to the beauty of the scene.

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.

The famous Mt. Snowdon steam train ascending the mountain surrounded by the fabulous scenery of the Snowdon National Park

The famous Mt. Snowdon steam train ascending the mountain surrounded by the fabulous scenery of the Snowdon National Park

Stopping on occasion to take more photographs

Mt. Snowdon covered in cloud. The dot in the centre of the image is actually a RAF Chinook twin bladed helicopter that was flying in the Area.

Mt. Snowdon covered in cloud. The dot in the centre of the image is actually a RAF Chinook twin bladed helicopter that was flying in the Area.

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.

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About martinupfold

Hi I am Martin Upfold and I am a father, husband, army veteran, student of photography and citizen journalist. Dealing with bipolar and depression, tackling it head on. I am sustained by my lovely wife Sarah and we have two beautiful sons Brendan, our youngest and Kieran, our eldest who has Aspergers Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. What I do to cope with my situation is to do photography and occasionally blog about it. How I got in to photography is that it was a way of dealing with my depression and bipolar by challenging it head on. It is very easy to let my mental health issues take control and rule and ruin my life. Photography gives me a reason to get out of the house and deal with the world in a creative and constructive way.
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar disorder, Mental health, mental health issues, Snowdon, Snowdonia and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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