Pen y Fan

Last Saturday, the 4th of October 2014 saw me take the opportunity to pop up Pen y Fan. In the preceeding week, as always, I was intently watching the weather forecast. Rain in the morning followed by Sunny intervals in the afternoon. That was good enough and come that very afternoon, I was off. For once, the forecast was good and I was rewarded with good warm light and a low Sun. As I gained height the wind was pretty biting, good job I had my Polartec fleece. Generally, the Sun brings out the crowds, you know, all those ill-equiped working class type walkers with their entourage of kids. I think the morning rain must have put them off. Pen y Fan is a small mountain by all accounts but is still subject to changing conditions and one must be properly prepared. This means good boots, warms and waterproofs. Often I have started a mountain with a big blue sky and twenty degrees only for it to change on the way to the top to a high speed shearing cold wind and temperatures not that much above 5 degrees. Being in those conditions without suitable attire is not a joy. Anyway moving on and upwards after one and a half hours I was on the summit and admiring the grand view. The light was good with low haze, you could see for miles. Truly lovely. I just wish Pen y Fan was another 500m higher! With me I had my venerable Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro and my Fujifilm GA645 Zi. The latter is a medium format film camera and on this trip it was loaded with Kodak Portra 400. I will have the film developed in a few weeks. I’ll post the results then! The S5 uses a dual sensor array so the dynamic range is just huge. I don’t worry about blowing the highlights as they are just nailed. The same with Portra 400, this very scan-able (I know that isn’t a true word) colour negative film has the most incredible dynamic range making it ideal for landscape photography. The amount of detail you can get from the highlights of Portra is just far superior to digital, and will be for some time to come. I have only been using Portra for a short time and I am just staggered by its DR.

On to the pictures, I took 14 on film and 98 on digital. Often I was watching for cloud formations and later back at base chose the picture with the better cloud shadows. Here they are…








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