August 28, 2013

Snowdonia National Park

Last weekend was so called 'Bank holiday', which means three day weekend! To make most of it, we set off to North Wales and the Snowdonia National Park.
It takes approx. 3 hours to reach Snowdonia NP. Along the way we stopped at a waterfall called the Swallow falls before reaching final destination that we only had picked out from a map.

Here a short hike waited for us to a lake that was surrounded by high mountains, Llyn Idwal, before leave for Anglesey. The island Anglesey is on the north shores of Wales, where we would camp first night. It's a rather large island, connected to main land by two large bridges. 
Since it was the bank holiday weekend, it was very busy and a lot of partying but it did not bother us as we were tiered.
At 07:00 following morning we set of to Snowdonia NP, for more hiking on a trail called the Miner's track that goes all the way up Snowdon. But because we already had been up there we took the short version only up to the lakes. It's not one of the more pleasant hikes, as it's rather steep close to the summit. By steep I mean that at some points you have to climb on all four :)
Now afterwards I have seen in the newspaper that there had been a record amount of people up there, and it's only the great weather to blaim. How often is it sunny, and around 24C with almost no wind?!

People was actually standing in line to reach the summit! With its 1085m it might not sound hight, but the hike starts almost at sea level.
After our little hike that took approx. 5hrs we went to peninsula Lleyn located south of Anglesey where we did some sightseeing along the coast to find a campsite for the night. The following morning we went back home to Sheffield again.
Today it's time to travel again and this time its back to Sweden again, Örebro and Stockholm. My wifes little syster is getting married and I'm the wedding photographer :) Wish me luck!

Swallow falls

Swallow lower falls

Llyn Idwal

Llyn Idwal

Hikers on the way up to Snowdon

Miners track and the snowdon massive

The old copper mine building

Llyn Llydaw reservoar and the copper mine house and snowdon in the distance

Info about miners track

August 21, 2013

An evening at Stanage edge

For couple of days ago, I was in search of heather again. But this time I biked up to Stanage Edge 8km one way, uphill :) and then I walked along the ridge of Stanage Edge to find places where there could be some good photo opportunities.
But unfortunately it was not as good as I had imagined, but on the way back to the bike, I tried to take pictures of the sunset, it was a fantastic light that was hard to capture with the camera, even though I had an ND 0.9 Hard graduated filter.
But it was probably too weak also for the streak between the ground and the sky was a little overexposed, but it is good practice for the upcoming U.S. trip.
Today I'll ride up to Stanage Edge again but I'll try to shoot birds instead can be fun to vary a bit :)

August 18, 2013

Heather blooming Peak District

Yesterday I, my wife and a friend went on a hike around Ladybower and Derwent Edge. We had chosen a loop of 14km where first 7 km are along ladybower reservoir so it is easy to walk.
But then it goes almost straight up to the top of Derwent Edge but once up it's also relatively flat. So the hike is fairly simple, although it's a bit to go.
I've never been up here when the heather is in bloom. It was nice to finally see how it is and it sure were some amazing parts with all the purple. Unfortunately the weather was not the best with a wind speed of 10-13m / s, showers and overcast. Still, it's nice to show you how the pictures can get when its overcast.
It's amazing to walk through the Peak District right now because of all heather blooms and you have to be quick as it suddenly is over.
But I'm not leaving it at these pictures, I will be look for other places where the heather is in larger patches. Will try to go out there in the late afternoons to get softer color of the landscape while the sun is setting down. Was planning to go this afternoon as the forecast was sunshine, but living on an Island it changes rather quickly and already now it's overcast instead. May try during next week instead.
Camera equipment: Nikon 3Ds, nikon 16-35mm f4 and Hitech Graduated soft nd filter 0.6.

Sitting amoung the high heather bushes

August 14, 2013


Yesterday I was up to redmires reservoars to check out the place, it has been a while since I was there. But mostly I was there to pick some blueberries so I can make a good pie.
But anyway, I found a place where there were lots of butterflies but since I did not have my camera with me so it had to be today's task to photograph butterflies.
It was not the best weather today to take pictures of butterflies, it blew quite a lot, and it was blue skies and sunshine so it was difficult to get decent pictures but since I was there so I just had to try.
And the result was then also missed focus on the head that you usually want to focus on.
Another nice thing that I discovered was that the Peak District NP is in full bloom of heather, so I will try to get away to photograph the spectacle also someday, they bloom apparently only 2-3 weeks and I have missed them 2 years in a row now.
Here are some butterfly pictures but as I said no one as I been really happy with.

Peacock eye


Some kind of moth

August 11, 2013

Finnmarksvidda Big Grayling Adventure

So, finally back after a trip to Sweden and Norway.
I was up to the Kalix (northen Sweden, actually on the boarder to Finland) to stay with my brother and his family. As usual, it has been a lot of fun to spend some time with them.
But there's one more reason why I was there, and it was due to our 'annual' fishing week (this is the second :) ). As last year, we went to Finnmark in northen Norway to fish for big grayling. As this is a big place, we of course didn't end up at the same.
My brother and a friend of mine went by helicopter to a place we just pointed out on a map22km from the nearest road, while I hiked on my own.
The reason was that the helicopter could only take a load of 300kg and as you can imagine three adults (guys!) and their packing pass that limit easily :)
The hike to the lake took 8.5 hours, and due to some silly delays (thunderstorm, helicopter driver with amnesia etc) I started at about 19.00 instead of 14.00. 
First 10km was pretty easy even though it went steadily up towards Finnmark plateau. After that I needed to follow a map, no paths or tracks of any kind. Not that easy to walk among small birch shrubs, and of course it was rather wet after thunderstorm. The shoes got soaked rather fast, which meant that I got blisters, even though I was proactive and had bandage on. Gladly I didn't notice them until I arrived at the tent.
After all I still feel it was worth it. Just the feeling of walking in the middle of the night and the sun is up still high up, amazing.
Just as a note, the hike back took only 6 hours :) as it was dry and I didn't spend that much time taking pics.

The fishing then.
While hiking I got a text from my brother saying that they so far had only catched small fish, which was a bit discouraging but I didn't have that much of a choice than continue :)
The luck changed the very next day, when we in another lake found the bigger fish of just below a kg. It would get even bigger, but this definitely helped to improve the mood.
During the first couple of days I tend to exploring the area, walk a lot to the lakes and streams, as you never know where the big fish is hiding. For example, my brother found his lifes best fishing spot in a stream between two lakes.
We hit our PB-records over and over again during those couple of days. There was so much fish that each time you would put a fly in, you would had a fish on, and it would probably be a 'the dream' grayling between 1-1.5kg.

The week was spent exploring the lakes and the streams, a lot of walking and each time we would move we found a better place. The weather was pretty good also throughout the week, with exception of some rain in the night and the following morning during one of the days. Still it was warm, and even through the area is known for its mosquitoes we were luck and had almost none!
Animal and bird life was pretty good too, with golden plover, skua, reindeer, golden eagle, buzzard, and some shorebirds. Unfortunately I neither saw nor heard arctic fox, maybe as the past three years has been poor vole years.

To sum it all up, we got around 120 graylings between 1 - 1.8kg (only kept 7 as dinner). This is probably once in a life time experience. The biggest fish was caught by my friend and was a grayling of 1.8kg, while myself and my brother got a grayling at 1.52kg which is still our personal best (might have been the same fish :) ).
In a month, it is time for a long trip again, but now to the United States, los angeles and then drive around to the various national parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP and more. I'm really looking forward for that trip :)