LOCATION Elan Valley, Central Wales
TIME 11:00 to 19:00  depending on the time of year
Group Size 7
Guide for Event David
Fitness Level Moderate Fitness, uphill walking over rough ground
Camera Experience Intermediate, D-SLR users
Disability Access You will need to be able to cover short distances over rough pathways
Suitability 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.
  • Session includes brunch and refreshments
  • Full tuition and guiding throughout
  • Small group of like-minded delegates
  • The session is scheduled to allow guests to photograph in different light levels
  • Refreshments and late breakfast ‘brunch’
  • Full tuition and guidance
  • PDF notes 
Not Included
  •  Camera equipment
  • Lunch/refreshments (whilst we will provide a late breakfast on arrival, you should bring a packed lunch/refreshments to supplement this.
Time of Year Autumn, spring and winter
What we aim to cover 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. Typical topics we can cover in this session are: The importance of using tripods, Camera controls – using manual mode. Balancing apertures, shutter speed and ISO to best outcome, Composition – Moving around, changing angle, using different lenses to alter perspective, the principle of ‘less is more’, lead in lines, rule of thirds, diagonals in the frame etc. Filters – Balancing exposure with graduated filters, slowing shutter speeds with Neutral Density filters, using polarisers

The Elan Valley area of central Wales is a beautiful location for photography. Wild hillsides and wooded valleys are great for natural landscapes, but the industrial heritage of the area adds another whole dimension to the possible subjects to be found there. Between 1893 and 1954, 4 dams were constructed to hold water to supply Birmingham, 118 miles to the east. These impressive structures are a great focus for pictures and really provide something special to the overall area.

Our afternoon and early evening workshops aim to cover a range of different locations through the session, featuring both natural and man-made subjects. The change in the light as the day turns into evening will also offer different possibilities in image style and shooting techniques.

The session will begin with a ‘brunch’ briefing at the Penbont House Tea Room. Here your guide will run through the locations and likely opportunities and techniques will we encounter over a late breakfast, setting everyone up for the day to follow.

Our first location will likely be the submerged dam at Gareg Ddu. The sweeping pillar raised roadway constructed on the top of this structure, arches across the water with Nantgwylit Church in the background, providing a great and challenging architectural focus to our photography. This location is perfect for considering compositions and perhaps the use of filters to enhance mood and sky details.

Pen y Garreg Dam will provide our second stop. This structure can be approached through the picturesque wooded valley from below, following the rocky water way of the Elan Valley River (Afon Elan). This location is good for both natural portrayals of the valley itself and then contrasting this with the impressive stone facade and details of the dam structure.

Finally, as the light of the day begins to fade, we will move to our highest point at Craig Goch Dam. Here will we have the opportunity to experiment with additional lighting perhaps using slow shutter speeds and car headlights to create movement and effect in our images.

Throughout the session the guide will be on hand to offer support and advice to the small group of delegates, and we will find time to pause proceedings and demonstrate some key ideas such as the creative use of filters, the importance of tripods and understanding natural and artificial light.

Elan Valley

‘The dams, reservoirs and 73 mile aqueduct of the Elan Valley were built a hundred years ago to supply desperately needed clean water to Birmingham. It was an epic feat of civil engineering set within an area of outstanding scenic beauty. Today, the dams and reservoirs provide a lasting amenity in their own right for visitors to enjoy as well as safeguarding the natural habitats of numerous species of flora and fauna.” elanvalley.org.uk


Winter timings

11:00: arrival late breakfast tea/coffee and briefing

11:45: Photography Session 1 Garreg Ddu Dam

15:30: late lunch break (please bring a packed lunch

16:00 Photography session 2 (Pen y Garreg Dam), and as the sun goes down on to Craig Goch Dam

19:00: Summary & Close

Timings will vary slightly depending on the time of year and sunset and last light times.

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.

Coming Soon

How to Book

To book one of these dates, please select it from the drop-down calendar icon on the right-hand side ‘Book Now’ tab. Please scroll through the months to find the highlighted available dates (which have been listed above), then add your choice to the cart. 

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
November 5, 2021

Another great workshop with David. Taken away a number of techniques and tips to try out. Will be returning to the stunning Elan Valley to spend time working on my landscape photography. Brunch was lovely and a nice idea. Thank you.

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