A Week in Wales – Part 2

By Hamish Gill

If you missed part 1, it can be found here

Day 4, Monday – Ricoh GR1 XP2, Fuji Klasse Portra 400 & Reala and Voigtlander Bessa with Portra 160.

Sunshine! Time to make the best of the good weather! A trip up the coast to Harlech, quick stop at the castle, or at least a play ground next to it, for lunch with Connie.

Harlech Castle

Lunch near Harlech
Next stop, the farm park in Llanfair just out side of Harlech. Brilliant, loads of fun, especially with a (nearly) 2 year old.

Sheep at the farm park
The sheep scared Connie to start with, they were very enthusiastic, but in the end she got used to them.

Connie Hannah and Sheep
Taken with the Ricoh

I had decided to give the Fuji Klasse W a bit more of a run it had been loaded with portra 400 from before we came on holiday. With the weather now starting to look a lot better I wanted to get a roll of Reala into it. North Wales in the sunshine has got to be Reala territory and the Klasse I felt the right tool for the job. I finished the roll of Portra

Pigs at the farm park
The pigs stank! I’ll let your imagination describe what of…

The goats were my favourite. With their odd features, serpentine eyes and the like, they don’t really have the right to be cute, but they manage it. It’s natural to want to stroke them… But they really aren’t interested! They just want food! Hannah had her arm sucked by one of them, but they were surprisingly gentle near Connie.

Goats at the farm park

Path walk
Who was following who?

Goat at the farm park Goat at the farm park

The Portra used, I then loaded it with Reala and carried on shooting.

Hannah and Goats

COnnie with a little goat
You can certainly see the added colour of the reala in this image.

Just up the road (literally, up a steep road) from the farm park were the “Slate caverns” which are disused mines. We just went up to see the view as we weren’t sure if Connie was going to be too keen on walking around in an abandoned mine.

From the top of a hill
And quite the view it was!

Connie at the top of a hillConnie has a mini milk.

They talked us into going down the mine in the little cafe by telling us it was half price as had we been to the farm park.
I didn’t hold out much hope of getting any shots down there …

I should have trusted the Ricoh and XP2 as it came good.
Slate mine

Slate mine

Postpod was useful for this one
Slate mine

A quick stop at Barmouth beach on the way back to the house. We didn’t half struggle to get Connie down to the sea front, but once there she didn’t want to leave! These three images were taken with the Voigtlander and Portra 160.

Connie and Hannah on Barmouth beach Connie and Hannah on Barmouth beach Connie and Hannah on Barmouth beach

Day 5, Tuesday – Konica Big Mini Portra 160 and Fuji Klasse W Reala

Realised I had loaded my last roll of portra 160 into the Voigtlander. Bit of a mistake as the slower film is a much better option for compact cameras on bright days. Thought about exposing a roll of 400 at 200 but decided instead to take the roll of 160 out of the R2a, and put it in the big mini. Hopefully I haven’t ruined any of the 8 shots I took on the R2a shooting the big mini with a lens cap over the lens. Time will tell on that one! (Turns out I didn’t)

The big mini just seemed a safer bet on the beach. Whilst I didn’t want it to break, if I had got sand in it and it did, I’d have been less angry at it breaking than anything else.

Off to the beach we went, sort of beach anyway. Aberdovey was the destination for day 5. Connie it seems loves the sea, she was quite difficult to keep out of the stuff, I wide birth from it was necessary.


The konica behaved for the most part, but I did find focusing it a little hit and miss. I don’t suppose I should hold anything against it, sand isn’t the most detailed of subjects to focus on. Oddly, even when pointing the camera directly at Connie it refused a few times. Frustrating really as under the circumstances, a bright sunny day, the likely chosen aperture would have given such great depth of field that focusing was almost redundant anyway. I still managed to achieve a few shots out of it though.

Connie on the Beach

Connie Meggie and Nonny on the Beach
Connie and Nonny enjoying the view.

Boats and houses in Aberdovey

A couple of shots of the harbour.

Next stop was a lake for a walk and an ice-cream. I thought I’d take these shots for a Reala/portra comparison.
I brought the Reala for just this type of landscape so this gave me a chance to use the fuji.



I love Portra, but there is a time and a place for something else … And in this case Reala was a much better option, just look at the richness of those colours!

Connie with Nonny and PuppyConnie snorting an ice cream

A flower
A closeup on some flowers, the Fuji did a good job here I think!

The following are certainly not my usual chosen genre of photography, but under the circumstances it’s hard not to indulge!

Lake side Lake side

Lake side
The surroundings where nothing short of stunning!

Hannah’s parents said they would look after Connie for the evening if we wanted to go out for a meal. So after putting her to bed we decided to drive to the train station on the opposite side of the estuary to Barmouth. On the way I got Hannah to pull over and let me take a couple of shots of this derelict building.

Broken house House

It takes about 20 minutes to drive to Barmouth from here due to the distance to the closest road bridge. So instead of driving it we decided to park up and walk across the rail/foot bridge. This also takes about 20 minutes but the walk is lovely with some superb views. The light was failing and I only had my Ricoh loaded with XP2.

Barmouth Estuary Barmouth Bridge

Barmouth Bridge
As usual, the Ricoh came good!

Day 6, Wednesday – Ricoh GR1s with XP2 and Konica Big Mini with Portra 160

A very misty morning so nothing was really happening. I decided to go for a walk up the hill to take some photos of a derelict building I shot last time We were here. Last time it was with the D3, this time with the GR1s and … A Harman Titan. I haven’t developed the shots from the Titan yet, but i’ll add a link for reference once I do.

For now, here are the shots from the Ricoh

House on hill
I spent so long editing the shots from the D3 two years ago, this, happy, straight out of the camera!

Broken house
A shot from inside out

Taking over
An attempt at reclamation by nature.

These trees just just needed shooting, just outside the house too!
Trees in the mist

Later on when the sun came back out we took a trip to Tywyn beach where we made Connie’s first sand castles.

Tywyn sea front First Sand castles

First Sand castles
Taken with portra 160 in the Konica.

And that’s pretty much the lot. There are a few more shots to look at on my flickr here.

I hope you enjoyed my holiday as much as I did!

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About The Author

By Hamish Gill
I started taking photos at the age of 9. Since then I've taken photos for a hobby, sold cameras for a living, and for a little more than decade I've been a professional photographer and, of course, weekly contributor to 35mmc.
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A Week in Wales – Part 1 on A Week in Wales – Part 2

Comment posted: 03/07/2013

[...] Part 2, can be found here … Tags: gr1, Ilford XP2, klasse w, portra, voigtlander [...]

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brian on A Week in Wales – Part 2

Comment posted: 04/07/2013

Fine set of images, Hamish.

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The 587th bag – Or: the kit I took to Wales. on A Week in Wales – Part 2

Comment posted: 01/08/2013

[...] Earlier this year I spent a week in wales, I took a stack of photos and published a couple of blog posts about it – A Week in Wales – Part 1 and A Week in Wales – Part 2. [...]

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jojonas on A Week in Wales – Part 2

Comment posted: 17/02/2014

Gotta say that thiw two series write up give a nice, real world idea of how the cameras compare. I'd be glad if you write something like this again! :) maybe I'll read it quicker then also ;)

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Hamish replied:

Comment posted: 17/02/2014

Cheers buddy, somewhat encouraged by your comment I am currently writing a post about the trip to Paris I have just returned from! :)


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