Keep the Faith

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Today was an early start, an OFFS early start actually, to meet up with Rolfy, (see his Crayon and Sugarpaper section on the right hand side). Setting off from the east midlands, so called despite being as far north as Sheffield which is ‘in’t north’, how does that work? So at 04:30 the car ‘locked and loaded’, and then unlocked, (why did I just fecking lock it?) started, and driven off westwards to ‘Gods Country’. Well he’s certainly got a sense of humour thats for sure, the enigmatic emblem of a root vegetable and a wet sheep being those iconic images springing to mind of the ‘Land of my Fathers’. It was an uneventful drive including paying for the privelidge of avoiding Birmingham, a well spent £4.70 if ever there was one. There wasn’t even the usual early year running the gauntlet of suicide alley, where pheasants habitually hurl themselves into the paths of cars on one particular section that on a ‘good’ day looks like the bottom of a butchers dustbin. I did have one near miss, with a low flyer, but nothing like the the times both Rolfy and I have experienced as game birds literally hurl themselves in front of our cars …

The pre-arranged ‘meet’ took place in a car park, not the first one for Rolfy that morning I’m led to believe, though I’m not certain his first meeting was pre-arranged, it was more an ad-hoc, come as you are, wear a uniform if you like, type of thing.
A quick check of the weather and the opportunity to try and get some ‘money shots’ led us to a different lay-by a few miles away. Its always interesting to see the looks on hardened lorry drivers faces as two cars turn up in their lay-by, and blokes get out of cars and start putting clothes on. It usually takes fifteen minutes or so to get suited, booted and our equipment packed just as we like it. Then its a deep breath before waddling sweating and swearing away from the warmth and security of the cars.

Today was an easy climb, a bit of a surprise in that I’d only been out once in the past year, this time it was without the expert guidance and verbal eloquence of our deck chair carrying brummie brethren. We’d got pretty much up to our shooting location when we had our only visitors of the day, a pair of hawks travelling quick enough to make reaching for the camera a non starter, but we thought a good omen for the day. Well it was, sort of. The problem being that all the traffic we saw passed us by, and overhead Rolfy’s nite-stop lay-by which we’d left behind at the start of the day. By now we were at the snow line, which meant the possibility of snow backgrounds and bloody cold feet and hands etc etc …

Snow Line

Snow Line

It’s not the first time we’ve used this location, it is however very exposed, and the right clothing is a must, and today whilst we didn’t get to snap any planes, we did have the opportunty to visit the inside of snow, rain and hail showers, which was nice, always a crowd pleaser that one.
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Normally we get to try and tempt planes with assorted Ginsters pies, they normally work, but even a quick demo of line dancing from Rolfys night out in Machynlleth, failed to even attract the senior service, who were last seen heading toward Trawsfynydd.

Rolfy throws some 'shapes'

Rolfy throws some 'shapes'

So a round trip of 360’ish miles was it worth it? Yes. to do this sort of photography you need a lot of luck, time, and faith in it ‘happening’, one day, it will.

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