Ffotograffiaeth Yr Wythnos (Photography Week)
Photography Week, based at our Llandudno centre, got off to a great start with unseasonably beautiful weather for their outdoor photo sessions.
Blind veteran members Chris and Nick, who between them had organised the week, were on hand as facilitators to give any technical advice and help needed by the less experienced photographers attending the week.
Chris, 35, from Dronfield Derbyshire and ex-King’s Royal Hassars, lost his sight just three weeks into a tour of Afghanistan. He suffered multiple skull fractures, brain injuries and irreparable damage to his eyes leaving him with very limited sight.
He has been a member of the charity since 2008 and always had an interest in photography, especially landscape, and has taken this interest and turned it into a business as well as a hobby. He is very keen to share his enthusiasm and skills with other blind veterans demonstrating by example that sight loss is not a bar to taking fabulous photos.
The photography group assembled on Sunday evening for a get-to-know-you session, the camaraderie engendered by the week, and the opportunities to socialise with other blind veterans, being as important as the photography skills attained.
Various outdoor locations were visited including trips to the Slate Museum and to the Lone Tree at Llyn Padarn in Llanberis.
The group also went to Llanfairfechan which has a fantastic beach, surrounded by mountains and a view of Anglesey. It also has a duck pond which is currently graced by two swans. They then headed up the Great Orme for more photos and a tea break. As Chris pointed out, “Landscape photography is all about composition and focus, both essential for good results”.
During a visit to Conwy some motorbike Outlaws let the veterans take pictures of their bikes, they even let veteran biker Brian have a sit on one.
One of those attending Photography Week for the second time was Rob, and ex-National Service serving with the Royal Engineers in Germany. Rob lost his sight due to age related macular degeneration. He had previously enjoyed painting but, after his sight loss, he turned to photography. Chris was particularly impressed with the progress Rob had made in the intervening period.
Rob said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the week, very good company, we were lucky with the weather. It was all so well organised, lots of variety, and Chris and Nick were always on hand to help out when needed”.
A small group trekked to the impressive Swallow Falls waterfall then finished the day with some wonderful sunset shots of the Snowdonia range and over the sea at West Shore in Llandudno.
Those able to make it out of their beds for an early start were rewarded with a sunrise session at Llandudno pier.
The final task for the veterans was the challenge of taking a picture that encapsulates Llandudno for them. At the end of the week all the veterans were given space to show their favourite photographs from the week.
Chris and Nick were very happy with the way the week went. Chris said, “Everyone attending went away with a portfolio of their work from the week and the encouragement to continue to build on this and we explained ways of promoting their work if they were interested in turning their hobby into a business, as I have done. It was a great week, a lot of fun”.