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From Sunrise to Sunset on Anglesey – The Three Lighthouses Challenge is an Annual WelshotRewards Day for Members of the Welshot Photographic Academy.

It’s 04.30 am on a Sunday in September 2021

I’m going on my first full day Welshot outing – The Three Lighthouses Challenge on Anglesey….

Lee had sent me, in advance, all the information needed for the day which started with a meet up at Penmon Lighthouse.

I arrived at 5.30 am. It was completely dark of course so saying hello to your fellow photographers was a bit bizarre when you couldn’t see who was there. Eifion welcomed me to the group so settling in and setting off together on the short walk to the beach wasn’t an issue at all.

I picked my spot having received advice from Eifion, and John, as to where on the horizon the Sun would rise and unpacked my camera, lenses, and tripod, with the help of a torch.

Sunrise to Sunset on Anglesey - Photo of the Lighthouse at Penmon Point on Anglesey

I decided on a 55–200 lens to start, with the option of changing to a wide 10–20 lens. Eifion and John both asked if I needed any help with camera settings etc. I took Eifions’ advice and went with a portrait shot of the buoy and the rising Sun. It was an impressive sight in the morning sky. I took my shots and hoped I had bagged a ‘keeper’. We were very lucky with the weather conditions the Sunrise was truly impressive. We spent a couple of hours at Penmon on a glorious early morning. I received more useful advice from Eifion on the best use of my new ND filters

Sunset to Sunrise on Anglesey - Colour photo of the sun rising over the Great Orme, Llandudno from Penmon Point on Anglesey

Suitably impressed with our early mornings ‘work’ our group set of for our next rendezvous at Newborough forest. Not before we had stopped for breakfast an opportunity to chat, everyone was welcoming.

At Newborough forest the plan was to walk from the car park to the two lighthouses, a not inconsiderable distance. We set off on the forest path at a brisk pace but slowed down as the temperature rose…Mid 20 degrees C at least. The two lighthouses came into view so we each decided how and where we would spend the next three hours or so. I decided to go for ‘straight’ Landscape wide-angle shots with a graduated filter. Others were looking at long exposure shots and some looking at the fauna. There were many options and photographic opportunities.

It was by now early afternoon. The sky was clear, very few clouds to provide any dramatic effect to our images. I hoped the grad filter would bring out any colour to my images. Again, Eifion was on hand to provide advice.

From Sunrise to Sunset on Anglesey - Landscape photo with a huge blue sky and overlooking the lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey

By late afternoon it was time to depart. It was good to meet up and chat as we all made our way …slowly…to the car park. I noticed I was the only one with a Nikon DSLR most had Mirrorless cameras, so plenty to chat about.

A stop for coffee on our way to our next and final stop, South Stack Lighthouse, was very welcome It was now early evening arriving at South Stack. One or two of our number had decided they had all they needed. After all, we had been on the road for almost 12 hours. The Clouds were beginning to gather. The rest of us were still optimistic of a Sunset shot….and we had some stamina left. The Clouds parted…and a Sunset shot was delivered through the descending mist.

Lighthouse at South Stack - Holyhead on Anglesey - Photo taken on The Three Lighthouse Challenge with the Welshot Photographic Academy

So, we had achieved our challenge. Sunrise to Sunset on Anglesey – The Three Lighthouse Challenge. Thanks to Lee, Eifion, John, and the weather.

What else had I learnt.

  • How to use my filter system…
  • That Mirrorless cameras are the new norm…
  • Don’t rely on the weather forecast… take suncream…
  • A 14-hr day is quite short really…!

David Gillett

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