Duration & Dates
6th October 23
Last minute price £116.10
12th April 24
Location & Guide
Conwy, North Wales
Guide for the day Kevin Morgans
Full tuition and guiding throughout
Access to a great location
Small group for individual attention
Members price £103.20
Lunch or refreshments (please bring a packed lunch and drinks with you)
Wild Arena have joined forces with highly respected wildlife photographer, Kevin Morgans, to offer a great opportunity to photograph the famous Mountain Ponies of Carneddau, North Wales.
The Welsh Mountain Ponies are a strong breed that dates back to the time of the Celts. During the Tudor period, around 1509, King Henry VIII ordered the ponies to be destroyed because they could not carry a knight in full armour, but thankfully this request never succeeded. The Romans, however, admired the ponies for their strength and ability, and even shipped some of them back to Rome to carry out specific tasks. In more recent times they were used to pull carts in the coal mines, but now the mines are closed and there is no longer work for them, they are free to roam the Carneddau hillsides.
Upon arrival, we can begin the walk onto higher ground in search of our subjects. The Mountain Ponies can vary in location from a 5 -10 minute walk to further afield, perhaps 30 minutes from the cars. We can obviously make this walk at a pace that suits everyone, and there should not be a need to hurry.
The Ponies are normally found on an open and beautiful hillside, providing many opportunities for images with varying backgrounds. We hope to be able to try various techniques for pictures, including using different lenses, utilising the light, colour versus monochrome and challenging compositional norms. Late autumn, winter and early spring often provide interesting lighting and early sunsets, weather permitting, should offer a tremendous range of dramatic opportunities.
Roughly halfway through the shooting session, we can stop for a hot drink and review to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the progress of the session. We can then continue working on pictures, both as a larger group, or by splitting down into smaller parties to cover more ground.
Once the guide feels the light is fading or the group has exhausted the opportunities, we will gently make the walk back down the hill returning to the cars.
Throughout the whole session, there will be a guide present who will take time to help everyone with their photography. Kevin Morgans is a highly respected wildlife photographer based in the North West of England with many awards to his name. This area of North wales is his ‘home patch’ and he has photographed the Wild Ponies here for many years.
Key subjects for the workshop should include:
We will be on the lookout for the wild Mountain Ponies as our main subject, but we may well see other native species such as birds and insects (depending on the time of year).
Above all else, we want our welcoming, small group workshops to be relaxing and creatively stimulating.
The Carneddau Mountains include the largest contiguous areas of high ground (over 910m high) in Wales and England, as well as six or seven of the highest peaks in the country – the Fifteen Peaks. The range also encloses several lakes such as Lyn Cowlyd and Lyn Eigiau, and the Aber waterfalls. The Irish Sea to the north and the Conwy Valley to the east surround the area and this rugged but beautiful landscape will provide us with the backdrop for our exciting Mountain Pony workshop.
Example of winter timings, these will differ depending on the season.
Move by own car to our photographic location on the Welsh hills
Begin the walk into the hills in search of the Wild Ponies
Slowly walk back down the hill to the car park
summary & close
PLEASE NOTE: Our itineraries are listed as a guide and we may need to alter them depending on unforeseen circumstances, weather conditions or the availability of the subjects. Start and finish times are fixed to enable transport planning.
Who should attend
Wild Arena workshops are not suitable for children under the age of 14 years old and a full paying adult must accompany any under 16’s.
Moderate Fitness, uphill walking over rough ground
Intermediate, D-SLR users
We try to tailor all our sessions to suit our guests, so we do not always cover all the topics depending on the individual needs.
Field craft ideas whilst approaching this type of subject, compositional thoughts, long lens technique and ISO, aperture, and speed combinations.
The pony workshop with Kevin was a rare and unique experience. Kevin knows the hills like the back of his hand. The session was informative, providing photographic guidance and technical support and rare encounters with the majestic animals gave me a fascinating insight into their behavior. We wandered across stunning scenery on an exciting and rewarding day capturing mystical silhouettes and intimate close-up shots of one inquisitive youngster. Kevin’s passion for the ponies is infectious and I have since viewed these beautiful animals with an entirely new lens!