We all have them, yes the dreaded “Bad Days” and it can seem like it happens more often than not when it comes to being on location trying to capture that perfect landscape photograph. The early starts, the late nights, the hundreds of miles covered, the hours of endless planning for the weather to decide its not going to play ball. It can leave you deflated, question your sanity and if you are new to landscape photography can make you throw in the towel when you have only just started. Landscape photography is hard work but it really is what you make of it!
Seriously I don’t believe we ever have a bad day unless you drop your camera off the edge of a cliff. I know it doesn’t feel like it at the time but we can all take something from our “Bad Day” adventures.
I have been waiting to get a certain shot for over 8 months and when I looked at the weather forecast during the week with snow due over the mountains I quickly shuffled my diary around to keep Thursday 27th April free so I could head off to Snowdonia in hope of getting that illusive photograph. All week everything was on plan, if anything more snow was forecast until the night before when I finally checked before bed, the snow had turned to rain. I was gutted but my bag was packed and I decided to go anyway.
It was a very miserable day when I arrived at the foot of Snowdon, thick low cloud which meant I would be spending all day roaming round in nothing more than what can be described as pea soup. Now this brings me back to what I said at the beginning of this post that I very rarely have bad days even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Here I was to photography the mountains that you couldn’t even see due to thick cloud and driving rain but yet I felt really upbeat and optimistic. I spend a lot of my time in Snowdonia as I totally adore the place and I have had my fair share of “Bad Days” but those days have allowed me to get familiar with the area and understand how the weather can behave. Straight away I had images in my head of moody photographs and of summits peaking through the clouds to create drama. I sat in the car poured myself a coffee and thought about my options of which there were many! I drove around contemplating on climbing up some of the quieter routes to the summit of Snowdon where I knew there was an image to be had but I decided against it. I knew where the sun was going to be and felt that Cwn Idwal would be the better option where if I was lucky and there was a break in the cloud the sun would fall on Pen yr Ole Wen which was covered in cloud.
I hiked up to Devil’s Kitchen in the driving rain where I perched myself on a ledge got out the rain cover setup and waited. It took over an hour but finally I was rewarded with this image as the sun broke through the cloud and within in a minute it was gone again. If I hadn’t had my so called bad days I would never of come here and got this image so always take the positives from shoots that don’t quite work out. Keep the faith and you will be rewarded.
With years of experience and a number of award winning photographs Nigel Waters is a UK landscape photographer based in Worcestershire. With a passion for the great outdoors and continually chasing the light to capture beautiful photographs his landscape, seascape and nightscape photography will give you inspiration to get out and explore the best British landscapes have to offer.