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Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park is a wildly beautiful area of North Wales. Its vast number of peaks, lakes and quarries connected by trickling streams and rocky rivers create a photographer’s haven so it’s no wonder I love it! I first visited Snowdonia in 2013, and with my partner climbed the infamous Mount Snowdon. This spectacular mountain was our first stop in completing the three peaks (over the course of a year or so).

We took the Llanberis track, walking parallel to the mountain railway all the way to the summit. The scenery was stunning and thanks to the glorious sunshine, we were able to see for miles (I did, however, get sunburnt, even though it was extremely windy).

The track is reasonably steady, weaving around the mountain slowly but surely. It’s definitely suitable for beginners and offers spectacular views. The whole walk took us around 4 and a half hours to complete at a reasonably leisurely pace – with plenty of photography stops of course!

While in Llanberis, we stayed at The Royal Victoria Hotel, a little gem nestled within 30 acres of woodland and gardens. The room was perfect for a good night’s sleep after a long walk and there was plenty to see and do around the town. If you’re planning to climb Mount Snowdon, Llanberis is a great starting point and highly recommended.

As a keen landscape photographer, I will always remember my first trip to Snowdonia and because of its beauty, we have planned our next trip for the May Day bank holiday. This time we will spend a couple of nights in a farmhouse just outside of Bala. You’ll be able to read more about this trip once I’m back

 

I left my heart in Lanzarote.

After a long time waiting I was finally able to settle my travel excitement by hopping on a plane to Lanzarote. It was only a short 4 hour flight however, it felt like an eternity. All I wanted was to see some hot Canary Sun and take in another corner of the world.

This beautiful little island just 78 miles off the coast of Africa makes up part of the wonderful paradise of the canary islands. although windier than some of the other Spanish islands the all-year-round hot weather can draw a lot of attention.

With an abundance of wildlife coming into the shallow waters of Playa Blanca at Puerto del Carmen, there was plenty to do and see. Rocky landscapes, blue waters and sandy beaches were perfect for a bit of holiday photography. From sunrise to sunset and everything in between there was definitely plenty to get my teeth into.

The first few days on the wonderful island were filled with “100 things to do when it’s really windy on holiday”. Number one on the list: lie on the beach while sand blasts against your skin, giving you a free exfoliation. We were on our way to very smooth skin!

Once the wind had died down we booked ourselves onto a catamaran tour of Playa Blanca. I’ve never been on a catamaran before and it turns out when the waves start getting choppy you end up very very wet. They way down to Playa Blanca was fabulous. We had the fresh sea air billowing its way into our lungs, the great canary sun warming our skin and a large plate of Spanish paella to curb our appetite. It was heaven.

Once we anchored down, it took a while to decide whether our snorkels were going to have their fun. The sea was definitely cold.

We finally plucked up the courage to jump in and what a surprise. There were so many fish. It was truly amazing. Sadly, we hadn’t yet invested in an underwater camera so maybe next time I’ll capture some marine life. For now, the photographs are all above sea level.

The last few days were spent wandering around the town, buying tourist-focused gifts and eating ice-cream. We even had a go at the mini golf outside our hotel. Lanzarote provides such a laid-back way of life and Puerto del Carmen was the best place to have our first holiday. I’m so ready to travel again!

atlantic ocean crashing against lanzarote rocks

Playa Grande in Lanzarote looking back at Puerto del Carmen.

Rocky landscape in Lanarote.

Small coastal pathway leading between island villages.

landscape photograph of the Lanzarote coastline

Sunset in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Sunrise in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Sunrise in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Aeroplane wing in the sunset.

 

The Eynali Mountain Range, Tabriz

While staying in Tabriz, I was lucky enough to be situated in the Eram area, North of the city. From my balcony I could see the distinctive red sloped of the Eynali range, and couldn’t wait to climb the beautiful mountainside so I could look out over this wonderful city.

When we were finally blessed with a warm, sunny day (it had been cold and wet for a week or so!) we decided to start our voyage. From Eram, we climbed the steep slopes up to the main highway and then caught a taxi to the main tourist entrance of the range.

From here we could have caught the telecabin up to the summit, however, decided a short hike would be the best way to see the sights. It wasn’t long before we reach the top and it was definitely worth it.

The blue skies and red landscape were something more akin to another planet. I probably would have believed it if I was told I was on Mars. For the return journey to ground level, we took the famous telecabin ride, definitely not for the faint-hearted! We drifted along canyons and caverns taking in the most wonderful landscape.

If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful city, go and experience Eynali for yourself, it’s not one to miss!

 

Dand, highest peak in the Eynali Range
Dand standing at 2,378m.

The Eynali cable car line looking over Tabriz
The Eynali cable car line looking over Tabriz.

Yellow perimeter fence contrasts against red rock and blue sky
Perimeter fence for the nature conservation area.

An old watch tower sits against a dark blue sky
An old watchtower.

Cable car suspended against a blue sky
Telecabin ride.

Looking out over the tabriz landscape from the Eynali mountain range
The view of Tabriz from the telecabin station.

winding road leading out into the Eynali mountains
A long, winding road through Eynali.

deep valley of red rock in the Eynali range
A deep valley of red rock in the Eynali range.

Rock formations on the way up Eynali
Rock formations on the way up Eynali.

Oh dear, its been a long time!

Hey there,

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I last updated my blog and that is after trying to make a pact that I will update at least once or twice a month! I have clearly been lacking in self-motivation. However, after having almost a year off from studying photography I am back into the swing of things and have some exciting new projects coming to life. Please stay tuned as I will hopefully be unveiling one of my first portrait projects since leaving uni very soon!

 

Lots of love

Natasha

English Rain

As well as the title of one of Gabrielle Aplin’s amazing albums, it has also been chosen to title this next blog post. English rain, what can we say about English rain. Growing up during wet Augusts, wet Octobers and wet Marchs I have become reasonably accustomed to rain. However, taking a short break to Bournemouth this weekend reinstated my negative feelings toward English rain!

Luckily our first day by the seaside was very pleasant. A nice round 21 degrees and a surprisingly warming 16 degree sea temperature. (I closed my eyes and tried to imagine it was the Mediterranean). The swarm of massive jelly fish blobbing around wasn’t even enough to deter me from getting into the water. Thankfully I took the plunge as the next couple of days would have made the 16 degrees I was faced with feel like hot bath water!

English weather is great for photography though. Sky’s almost constantly dotted with clouds add a depth to landscape photography that you just can’t get anywhere else.

 

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And Breathe!

So over the last two weeks, since the opening of the Northampton University Summer Show, I have attended two weddings, another exhibition opening, three visits to London and worked my socks off in-between! I can honestly say its true when they say the next step is always the hardest, but always the most rewarding.

As a result of the Summer Show exhibition I have been approached by a man who would love to help get my project In Love with a Serviceman as an exclusive on BBC Look East! This would be such an incredible opportunity to showcase my work to a wider audience. I will also use the opportunity to help raise awareness of the difficulties some military families face and to help the general public come to terms with the differences between military life and civilian life. Although they are two completely different experiences ultimately we are all human, we all want a family, a job and a place to call home. (Well most of us I presume).

Next was Free Range. What an incredible experience! I will probably have to post again regarding this exhibition as I really want to add some photographs which I do not have with me right now.

Looking ahead I cannot wait to start working in Birmingham in August teaching photography to young people with NCS The Challenge. The weekly project will bring young people into contact with those they would never usually encounter including the elderly, disabled, people with mental issues, homeless people and so on. The aim is to help the young people connect with others using their chosen media (my group will be using photography). I think it is going to be so eye-opening for the young people themselves, but also for myself as I will also be facing situations I have never faced before.