One place I have been wanting to visit for some years to take photographs is Carreg Cennen Castle located between Ammanford and Llandeilo on the South West edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Saturday 25th March saw Cross Keys RFC playing a cup Semi Final at Aberavon RFC ground in the afternoon and I had a free morning so the opportunity was taken to head further west to explore.
The map below shows the numbered locations where the images around the castle were taken
First up on my way across the mountain road was this group of wild horses who were all quite happily walking up the road at a leisurely pace. After hesitating and deciding I was of no interest or harm to them they just carried on their way up the road.
It was then over to the far side of the hill side to work back looking towards the castle. Just before my turnaround point came across this group of 5 white ponies, which with out any prompting arranged themselves in this stance. It was just a problem to get them all to look at the camera.
Location 2 to Location 3
The following series of images were all taken of the castle from the road between locations 2 and just beyond location 3
This is at the summit of the track across the hill side and there are some interesting stone walls that can be used for your landscape images and there is also a variety of trees that appear to just grow out of the hillside at angles as shown by the monochrome image below.
Then headed from the hillside opposite the castle to the castle itself via the village of Trapp. On route this Red Kite was seen circling quite low who came around a couple of times to be lit by the sun. For once it was a case of right place, right time for a Red Kite, normally when I see them, they are to high, lit wrongly or they fly away.
The following view of the castle was also taken around Location 4, although as can be seen it is an image that is better taken in the afternoon when the sun has come around and lights this side of the castle.
The following two views are both taken on the road to the South side of the castle which leads down to the floor of the valley where the Afon Cennen flows. At the bottom of the track is a small carpark where there is a walk up through the woods to the castle. Also here is the entrance to the Coed Carreg Cennen Woods which grace the slopes below the castle. During the summer the castle will be difficult to see from a lot of the road due to the growth of the trees
The Afon Cennen meanders through the valley floor and can be photographed from a number of locations
Oops missed this off the map!!!!
Is the actual entrance to the castle, there are views of the castle available although at the time of my visit was not suitable to photograph due to the sun being directly at the camera. So instead I had a picture of this stubborn pony that didn’t want its picture taken, didn’t want to move and wanted to be left alone.
One final image from that I spotted was this one in the village of Trapp, must admit I was drawn to the colour of the phone box and post box first, and then the road climbing past the side of the house.
That concludes my visit to the Carreg Cennen Castle area. It is a location definitely to be revisited, but when the lighting is right and there is the potential for mist to form in the valley. Following that it was then off to Port Talbot/Aberavon for the Cross Keys RFC v Pontypridd RFC rugby match in the afternoon.
More images from this game can be seen here
Any visit to Port Talbot must include a visit to the beach at Aberavon as it always has the potential to produce images. Although this time due to it being a sunny day it attracted loads people, plus the tide was in. All of which do not provide good opportunities for interesting photography. My other tip for photography at Aberavon Beach is do not visit between 1st May and 30th September as dogs are banned from the beach, and dogs definitely make good photo subjects on the beach here. So here are a couple of images taken at the beach.
The other attraction of Port Talbot which I believe should be photographed, especially since we almost lost it during 2016, is the steel works. No matter what time of day there is always opportunities there for photos to be taken. The opportunities have also increased now the new link road has open which runs along side the works. Below is a silhouette image of one of the blast furnaces.