Another bank holiday saw me grabbing for the car keys and suggesting going for a drive. With my twenty ninth birthday only a matter of weeks away, I can't help but feel I'm ageing into a stereotypical male. Enjoying an economical car (this will no doubt change by 35), moaning about other drivers and grumbling at the contestants of Radio 2's Pop Master. Especially when they spend far too long saying hello to every contact in their Filofax.
Insecurities aside, I met up with Ash again this weekend and we road tripped out to the Beacons and Forest Fawr. Travelling past the droves of anoraks hunting for waterfalls and straight into the tranquility of sweet, sweet nothingness.
It was nice to be out with out a purpose. Just out to have a look. Go and see what there is to see, enjoy the fresh air and follow the road ahead. Days like this really centre me. In the office I stare blankly at the wall for hours on end worrying about what I should or shouldn't be doing. When really I should be out enjoying the freedom I have been blessed with. It's nice to go out every now and then and just look. Granted the need to frame something still remains, but not capturing them makes the moment more memorable. This was a day where a lot of killer shots were left to my minds eye.
A lot of these images have a different feel to what I've been shooting recently. I cant quite put my finger on it. I think it's because they're off the cuff snap shots that I've taken in the moment and forgotten what I was looking at. In turn I'm seeing something new. A few weeks back I vowed not to take snapshots. I banned my self. I was cluttering up my hard drives and thought process. The constant mix of styles and randomness of it all was freaking me the fuck out. Now I've allowed myself to take shots freely and not over think it. I think the break has done me some good as they all follow a similar sort of vibe?! The previous statement may be utter bull... But for now it sits well with me.
Anyway, enough of the mental purging. More of what we did.
We headed out past Ystradfellte and into the valley beyond. We followed the small B road along the river towards Devils Elbow. Along the way Ash sent his drone up to capture footage of the landscape and the car travelling through it. Upon reaching Devils Elbow we parked up in a gravelly hole to get out and have a mooch about. The light was just beginning to break and the warmth of the sun was slowly making its way down to the moist grass. Those of you who sniggering at moist... I shake my head. The breeze was lacking in commitment but carried the faint sound of sheep grazing on the hills around us. It felt like the type of place I could live the last of my days out. Watching the weather systems roll in and out of all the scar like creases on the landscape. Only to be ruined by two camera laiden hipsters and their city car.
We jumped back in the car and followed the landscape towards Cray (Crai) Reservoir. We stopped again to shoot some more of the landscape and then send the drone over the dark water below us. The light died out, as did Ash's batteries so we packed up and headed back. Whilst driving we realised we were literally on the door step of where we would go and shoot the milky way many moons ago. It still amazes me how everything is so close to one another but seems so alien when not surrounded by darkness.
We hit the main drag back towards Merthyr passing the turn off for Pen Y Fan. The car park was absolutely rammed, I can only imagine how busy that trail must have been. Makes me feel really grateful to have had the whole of where we were almost all to ourselves.
In my usual ADHD fashion I decided to detour back to where we had come from and head back up the A4059 to get some shots of the wild horses. I know you only have to go on to Instagram to find thousands upon thousands of photos of these horses but I really wanted to have the chance to get some of my own. Ash was pretty keen to get some footage of them running wild. Little did I know he had some form of inner horse whisperer lying dormant within him. I cant wait to see the final cut of what he shot in those last hours of sunlight. I watched in awe as he moved closer and closer to the pack and their foals.
I on the other hand kept my distance. I love horses but fuck me, they scare shit outta me. The fact that they mainly consist of muscle, power and a touch of uncertainty is plenty of reason for me to keep my distance. This fact was made worse by Ash informing me they were actually ponies... Great. Racked up some serious man points for that one!
As the rain clouds moved in over the hills behind these wild, majestic creatures, the light split into soft golden rays. It was beautiful. It felt like we were thousands of miles from home. The way they gracefully paced across their land was like watching freedom in motion. Watching them roam made the world feel less fuckin crazy for a few hours. I could have spent hours watching them.
Just living. Surviving. Thriving. Just doing what they do.
The golden scenery was soon met by black clouds, a rainbow and a fierce down pour. Sure enough the horses moved on, despite the weather, still running and toying with one another. Enjoying being wild.
This was a good note to end the day on.