Monday, 7 February 2011

Llandovery schools brave the weather in search of great landscape pictures

Ysgol Pantycelyn

Our second field trip was spectacular. In the minibus we followed the Tywi up through Cilycwm and Rhandir-mwyn to the dam at Llyn Brianne, stopping first at the viewing point. Here, in the distance, the dam itself can be seen, along with the huge ramp of the spillway. Today, we were really lucky in that the water was flowing down the spillway, providing a stunning backdrop. The students happily took lots of pictures of the views in every direction. We were lucky that it wasn't actually raining, but the wind was strong and the light levels good, even though there was no sun. We also photographed details of rocks with lichen, grass and fences before getting back in the bus to go up to the top of the dam.

Above: Pantycelyn class with Llyn Brianne's spillway in full flow

Here, it was altogether different! Being much more exposed, this area was affected by some pretty strong winds, making the experience very funny, while people were buffeted around. Despite this, the class enjoyed photographing this most stunning of mountainous landscapes. Waves on the reservoir itself, the water rushing down the spillway and the very size of this feat of engineering gave the children many creative opportunities. They were certainly inspired, judging by the quality of the images they showed me back in the classroom.

Ysgol Rhys Pritchard

By the afternoon, the light levels had improved, though the temperature still required the wearing of coats and scarves as we walked to the church at Llanfair y Bryn. Stopping off to collect the key, we entered via the lych gate, photographing the outside of this ancient building and the views before entering. What a beautiful church! There was much to take pictures of here, including the roof, stalls, pulpit and lovely stained glass.

Above: Rhys Pritchard kids around the old oak tree Llandovery

Having satisfied ourselves we had taken all the pictured we needed, we moved off down to the other side of town to the river bridge. Here the river and bridge offered plenty of sources of inspiration, as did the huge stump of the ancient oak tree on the far side. On the way back we stopped to ‘film' the train arriving in the station from the Llandeilo direction. The station manager and the conductor were very pleased to have an appreciative audience and were very helpful as the level crossing was operated from the station. Here was something all of us had never experienced.

It was certainly a good day for photography and the three locations provided the kids with different challenges, which they fully exploited. This was evident back in class, where it was obvious that everybody had taken excellent pictures. Roll on the exhibition.

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