Photography Locations, Rhoscolyn, Anglesey

Whether you’re looking for a great seascape photography location or a just simply a great coastal walk then the area are Rhoscolyn is a fantastic choice. I’ve decided to write this little location guide as it’s not the easiest place to find and there’s not a great deal of information out there on the web.

Rhoscolyn lies just south of Trearddur Bay on Holy Island, Anglesey. Follow the A55 through Anglesey until you reach the turn off for Valley, turn on to the B4545 towards Trearddur Bay, just after crossing the four mile bridge turn left and head for Rhoscolyn. Head for St Gwenfaen’s Church, postcode LL65 2SQ. There is roadside parking next to the Church(probably not so much on a Sunday morning!), it’s from here that we start the shortish walk down to the coastal path.

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On foot head to the right of the Church along the track, following the small path sign’s. Along the track the path turns off into a field and leads along hedgerows, if you reach the farm then you’ve gone too far and missed the sign into the field. The farmer is a very nice and friendly man but I’m sure he gets tired of people walking through the farm, I’ve done it myself and he was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

Once you’re on the right path through the field, follow it down all the way to the coastal path, it’s not far.

When you reach the coastal path if you head slightly to the left you can make your way down a small path to the cove below where the sea stack stands. The cove is split in two by rocks, to the right is the larger section of stoney beach and to the left is the sea stack, these two parts are cut off as the tide gets high so be aware!

Getting down on section with the sea stack can be a bit tricky so be very careful if you decide to go down there, it’s worth the effort once you’re down!

The cove is west facing so it’s best to get down there towards sunset, and even better if the tide is in or on it’s way in!

If you head to the right on the coastal path you will come to Bwa Gwyn(white arch), a natural arch in the white quartzite rock with stunning views along the coast. Access down to the base of the arch is limited and quite dangerous so I wouldn’t recommend heading down there, but the view from the top is superb!

Bwa Gwyn(white arch)

It’s a fantastic area for coastal photography or just for a coastal walk. Bear in mind that that the weather on the Anglesey coast can be quite changeable, so be careful, especially when walk near cliff edges!

Long Exposure, a simple guide.

If you've ever wanted to try some long exposure photography but not known where to start, this straight forward guide to the basics will hopefully get you on your way to getting some great images!

Before we start there is a few camera setting we need to follow the ensure we get the best possible results,

Camera Settings go to your camera menu.

Shoot in RAW. Shooting in Raw will give the best option to post process in Lightroom/photoshop, retaining all the information within the image. If you don’t currently have access to image editing software then use the setting ‘JPEG+RAW”, you’ll then have the RAW file to go back to and edit later on.

Turn LE noise reduction OFF. Any noise reduction can be done in post processing. In camera noise reduction involves the camera taking a blank frame for the same amount of time as the exposure, so if you’ve taken a 5 min exposure the camera will then taken the blank exposure for a further 5 mins, meaning 10 minutes overall. This will also drain the battery quicker.

Turn Image Stabilisation OFF. Image stabilisation is designed to be used when hand holding the camera, it doesn’t account for being stable on a tripod and will still try to stabilise, which, ends up having the opposite effect and can cause a loss of sharpness in the image. So if you have stabilisation, either on your lens or in body, or both, turn them off.


So, now we’re ready to set the camera firmly on to the tripod, it’s important to have firm and stable base to work from.

Tripod. Having a good quality tripod goes along way in helping to get a movement free image. Keep the front leg directly in line with the camera to avoid tipping forward, we don’t want to loose any filters! If shooting low down, extend legs out wide to keep stability. Always keep central column down, this is the least stable part when extended. Remember if you change to shoot in portrait adjust the tripod accordingly to position the leg in line with the camera.

Next, compose your shot and focus, auto focus is fine at the point.

ISO. Set the iso to the lowest, usually 100 or 200 depending on make and model. This will help to get the cleanest image with the least amount of noise, the more you push the iso, the more noisy the image will be.

Aperture. Choose your aperture depend on the amount of depth of field you require for your shot. Try not to be tempted to push the aperture too far, f11 on APS-C and f16 on full frame is going to be high enough, most lenses tend to be less sharp the smaller the aperture gets, so shooting at f22 will result in loss of quality, if your after a longer exposure time think about using stronger nd filter.

Take an exposure reading, and whether you’re in manual focus or aperture priority mode, take note of the shutter speed!!

Polariser. If you are using a polariser, take you exposure reading with this already mounted on the lens, polarisers can reduce exposure time by 1-2 stops, so attach first!!

So now we have the shot composed, focused and an exposure reading, take some test shot to make sure you’re happy with the settings.

Turn off Autofocus. Now you’re happy that the image is focused correctly switch to manual focus. When you use a cable release or remote shutter, which you will be doing, when you press the button it will attempt to refocus, once you have your nd filter attached the camera will struggle to focus and you can often end up with an out of focus image.

Now take your exposure reading and work out the exposure time you will get with the nd filter attached. This can be done with either a smart phone app or chart that comes with the filter.

e.g. Exposure reading of 1/30 sec with a 10 stop filter will give an exposure time of 34 secs

Bulb Mode. Turn the camera to ‘B’ setting, this will allow you to keep the shutter open for the desired time, press the remote shutter release once to start the exposure and then press again to stop.

Insert the nd filter into the holder and attach to the lens, we’re now ready to take our shot.

Using the remote shutter start your exposure.

Remote shutter. It’s important to use your cable release or remote shutter as any contact with the camera using the shutter release button will cause camera shake on the image.

Happy shooting!!

48 hour flash sale!!!

And a FREE gift from me!!

Simple place your order with formatt-hitech and receive a FREE multi filter pouch from me!!

Just add ‘A Christmas gift from Tom Wood’ in the comments section of your order to claim your free gift

Offer ends midnight 16th Dec!

48 Hour Sale Starts Midnight December 13th!


But act fast as this pre-Christmas sale can only last for 48 hours!

This weekend, the more you spend the more you save. We have a range of discounts from free shipping to£225! OFFyour basket price. That is on top of any reductions already in store.
This covers not just accessories but everything from Special Limited Edition Kits to Signature kits and Cinema filters. There has never been a better time to get all the filters and accessories you need!

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This offer is extremely time-limited and must end at midnight (UK time) onDecember 16th.  So Hurry to ensure you don’t miss these fantastic offers!  All you need to do is add items to your basket that reach one of the tiered values and the discount is automatically applied for you, so no need for coupons, codes or refunds!  It is as simple as that. Limited Stock – Limited Time -48 Hours Only!Act Now to avoid disappointment.

Huge Savings on Cinema Filters

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This bundle has been specifically designed using feedback from professionals working within the TV and Film industry to give you all the filters you need to start your cinematic and broadcast projects.
Containing industry standard 4mm Panavision sized filters in a range of our most popular densities. They are compatible with most third-party Matte Boxes which accept 4 x 5.65” filters.
These wide angle filters will work with most lenses and give you the flexibility to shoot the way you want to, so you don’t have to compromise your composition.
Our ‘World Class’ filters are made of the highest grade optical glass which is polished to precise computer controlled specifications. The filters undergo over 16 individual quality control procedures before we are happy to dispatch them.
This Cinema Kit includes:
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Circular polariser, which is invaluable for removing reflections or boosting ‘in camera’ contrast and colour.

Our amazing Limited Edition kits are back!

Enjoy incredible reductions on Limited Edition Kits. This sale you can also take advantage of our tiered discounts. For example, add a 100mm holder and enjoy £25!off your order when combined with 100mm Limited Edition Long Exposure kit. 

The Lakes

Autumn In The Lake District

It’s not often that myself and my partner Nicola manage to get a child free weekend, but last weekend, with the help of Grandparents, we were able to pack the car up and headed over to the Lake District, and what a great weekend it was. Baring in mind that this wasn’t a ‘photographic’ weekend away, there was still time a grab a few shots here and there.

We arrived on Saturday to glorious sunshine and blue skies, although it was freezing cold! After checking into our lovely little guest house The Coppice in Windermere, we grabbed a coffee and headed out on a late afternoon walk to Bowness-On-Windermere.

Autumn colours are just hitting their peak in The Lakes and it was stunning, oranges, yellows and greens the leaves lit up by the late afternoon sun, heavy shadows and light cutting through the trees. A beautiful start to the weekend.

I made my decision at this point that with the sunny weather, and cold temperatures that I would head out the following morning down to Lake Windermere, hoping for a good sunrise and some still waters to catch some reflections on the lake. So I set my alarm for the morning.

It wasn’t the easiest getting up the following morning, after a lovely evening meal and a few beers, the clocks going going back helped a little and I was off out before breakfast.

I drove down past Bowness and managed to find a spot to set up nestled between the large and quite grand properties that adorn the south west side of the lake.

I knew as soon as I’d set out that the wind was a little high, so the chances of any reflections were slim, although I held out a little hope that it would calm a bit as the sun came up. It didn’t, but the sunrise didn’t disappoint, great colours and just enough low lying cloud sweeping over the tops of surrounding mountains to create a bit of atmosphere.

I grabbed the Formatt-hitech filters out of my bag and set up to do some Long Exposure Panoramic shots, giving the exposures about 1 min each to flatten out the water and give the clouds a sense of movement.

So not quite what I had planned for the morning, but nothing new there, we can’t control the conditions so we just have to go with what we are presented with. And all things considered I was quite happy with the results.

We spent the rest of the day with with a visit to Wray Castle, and some lovely Autumn woodland walks, with some visits to a few of the local towns like Ambleside. It was on the way to Ambleside that I spotted a different location to shoot the following morning at the Northern end of Windermere.

So, with a good forecast for the morning I headed out before breakfast again, which, after another lovely meal and a few more beers(this was theme for most of the weekend), was even harder than the morning before. After scraping and defrosting the car I set of in search of the locations

I’d seen the day before. This is where things got a little tricky, there was absolutely nowhere to park or pull the car over. It was on the stretch of the A591 that runs directly along the side of the lake. I drove up and down the road several times and eventually I managed to find a gateway that didn’t seem to be in use(i could have been wrong).

I grabbed my gear and headed quickly down to the waters edge, and this morning didn’t disappoint. Calm reflective water, some cloud in the sky, beautiful orange glow of the rising sun and glorious Autumn colours.

I was spoilt for choice for things to shoot, where to start first. I took a breath, slowed things down and took a moment to take in the beautiful scenery I was surround by. I set up, took the Formatt-hitech filters out, Long Exposure photography not only creates a beautiful serenity to photographs but also makes you slow down a bit and

and take your time, giving you more time to think about the subject you’re shooting.

I wanted to give the clouds a bit of movement but also flatten out any ripples that were appearing on the water. I used the Firecrest Ultra 10 stop ND on these, which was giving me an exposure time of just under one minute, coupled with the Firecrest circular polariser to remove and harsh light reflections from the surface of the water.

A fantastic weekend in a beautiful part of the world. Autumn has to be one of the best times of the year to visit The Lakes, and likewise one of the best places to visit in Autumn. The colours are increadable, the lakes surrounded by the mountains give such a great backdrop for photography. Already planning a longer visit next Autumn!


The Coppice Guest House, Windermere

The Crafty Baa, micro pub, Windermere

The Hole in t‘Wall pub, Bowness

Gear links:

Formatt-Hitech filters, use code WOOD10 for a 10% discount

Sony Cameras

Gitzo Tripods

Peak Design Straps

WW2 Storage bunker pt 2

Ater my first visit to this Second World War bomb storage bunker in Llanberis several months ago, it was time to go back and have a look inside...with some company this time!

On a disused quarry site near Llanberis.

On a disused quarry site near Llanberis.

Heading back there with Andy, a seasoned veteran of disused abandoned dark places felt a little more comfortable, plus he had all the right gear for this sort of thing, mainly torches....and lots of them!!

Entering through a door where the train would have come in, you find yourself greeted by darkness with just a small amount of light cast by the open door, this is as far as I got on my last visit due to a lack of suitable lighting and there is no way you could go any further without any, it is absolutely pitch black in there.

As you make your way in there is a series of openings on either side. To the right of the tracks is one room with platforms, the left leads to a further five large storage areas, this is where we headed.

Entrance to the bunker where the train would have come in to offload and load huge amounts of the RAF's explosives.

Entrance to the bunker where the train would have come in to offload and load huge amounts of the RAF's explosives.

Staircase to the upper level.

Staircase to the upper level.

The rooms are large, empty spaces with damp floors, signs of previous visitors are clear to see with graffiti on the walls and the odd empty beer can lying around. The first room you come across has an old lift shaft in the centre which would have taken the bombs up to the upper level, and at the back there is a staircase.

One of the storage rooms on the upper level.

One of the storage rooms on the upper level.

Once upstairs there are seven of these large storage area's. The picture above was taken about a third of the way down so you can see just how far these rooms go on for. The rooms go on and on, one after another separated by arch ways, it's difficult to imagine the scale of the operation here and the amount of bombs that were stored here.

Archways separating the rooms on the upper level.

Archways separating the rooms on the upper level.

It's so dark on the upper level that you can barely see your hand in front of your face and there's a chill to the air. We had torches, off camera flash and some smoke bomb and played around trying out dramatic shots.

Dramatic shot taken by Andy Hargreaves.

Dramatic shot taken by Andy Hargreaves.

After awhile we headed back to the ground level for a last look around and at the back of one the rooms we came across a big steel door that someone had conveniently cut a small hole in, unfortunately too small to get through(as someone pointed out by writing in marker pen above the hole 'can you please make this bigger before my next visit'!). Looking through the hole is a tunnel cut into the rock with a stone floor that looked to have tracks where a cart might have carried something somewhere, where and what is unknown, the tunnel bares off to the left and you barely see 10ft into it. It's a shame the hole is so small because this looks it needs further investigating. 

Tunnel cut into the rock, destination unknown!

Tunnel cut into the rock, destination unknown!

A great day out and hopefully will get back again sometime before it's inaccessible and being used for something else(rumoured). And maybe the hole leading to the tunnel will have been made bigger! 

*I don't recommend that anybody visits this site, it is dangerous and could lead to injury or harm. Anyone who does venture there does so at their own risk*