LOCATION Conwy, North Wales
TIME 11:30 to 16:30 or 15:30 to 20:30 depending on the time of year
Group Size 4
Guide for Event David and Kevin Morgans
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 rough ground uphill
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.
Highlights
  • Fully escorted by Kevin Morgans & David Southard from Wild Arena
  • Access to a great location for Mountain Ponies
  • Small group size ensuring everyone gets individual attention and uninterrupted opportunities with the subjects
  • Introductory briefing on techniques & ideas
Included
  • Photographic advise & tuition
  • Guidance on locations on the hill
  • Tea/coffee on the hill
  • PDF notes if required
Not Included
  •  Camera equipment
  • Lunch/refreshments (whilst we will provide a tea/coffee on arrival and a hot drink on the hill, you may wish to bring a packed lunch/refreshments to supplement this.
Time of Year All Year
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:

Field craft ideas whilst approaching this type of subject, compositional thoughts, long lens technique and ISO, aperture and speed combinations.

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.

The session will begin with an extended briefing on techniques and ideas over a hot drink at our meeting point. Once everyone is refreshed and set up for the session, we will make the short drive to our location for the best chances of seeing the iconic Mountain Ponies at relatively close quarters.  Delegates would normally make this trip in their own vehicles.

Upon arrival, we can then 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 guides feel 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 around 4.30pm.

Throughout the whole session, there will be guides 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.  David Southard from Wild Arena will support Kevin and together they should provide all the support our small groups should need.

The Carneddau Mountains

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 a number of 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 workshops.

 

Winter timings

11:30 Move by own car to our photographic location on the Welsh hills

11:45 Begin the walk into the hills in search of the Wild Ponies

14:00 Short break with tea/coffee provided by guides

16:15 Slowly walk back down the hill to the car park

16:30 Farwell & depart

Spring/Summer Timing

15:30 Move by own car to our photographic location on the Welsh hills

15:45 Begin the walk into the hills in search of the Wild Ponies

18:00 Short break with tea/coffee provided by guides

20:15 Slowly walk back down the hill to the car park

20:30 Farwell & depart

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.

18.11.22

25.02.23

13.05.23

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 4 reviews
September 28, 2022

“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!”

September 28, 2022

“I had a wonderful time on a Carneddau pony workshop with Kevin, which, given the weather, was an amazing achievement! When I look at the photos I took, I can see a difference between those I took with Kevin’s guidance and what I would have taken on my own. I have more variety and they are technically better. I’m really chuffed to feel that I learned something and I loved the ponies and locations. As well as that, I enjoyed Kevin’s company and appreciated that he went ahead despite the weather conditions (prolonged pouring rain), that he was so good-natured about it all, and that he picked me up from the hotel! It was great to get expert and knowledgeable guidance from such a skilled, award-winning photographer. During the day, Kevin focussed on helping me (rather than taking his own photos) which I appreciated very much. I can highly recommend Kevin’s workshops. ”

November 19, 2022

A wonderful day with the beautiful wild ponies. I feel privileged to have been able to get so close to them and be in their territory.
Kevin was good company and shared his extensive knowledge about the ponies. It is clear he has a great passion for them.
Kevin was generous with his time with individuals giving encouragement and passing on his field craft techniques to help us set up for good shots. We didn’t get the sun but that didn’t dampen Kevin’s enthusiasm in attempting to get good photographs.

Beautiful scenery, stunning ponies and pleasant company. What more could you ask for!

November 19, 2022

Had a really enjoyable day photographing the beautiful wild ponies with Kevin. His enthusiasm and knowledge knew no bounds and even though the sun didn’t make an appearance I managed to capture the ponies in their natural environment. A brilliant day🐴

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