Jethro Kiernan is a photographer and Mountain Leader based in North Wales who specializes in mountain, outdoor adventure, and climbing photography. His photography started 30 years ago in the days of Velvia and Kodachrome, and after an interlude of a few years to raise a family, his passion for photography reignited after his kids started becoming mini-adventurers too!
Photography in the mountains for him is about capturing the relationship between weather and light, and the moments of transition from night to day, bad weather to clear. This usually means starting or finishing in the dark and being optimistic about a break in the weather. It’s also about finding the opportunities in the busy schedule of daily life, and finding the local opportunities for adventure closer to home in North Wales.
Words and photos by Jethro Kiernan:
The Snowdonia Photographs are a typical mid-week trip to the hills, solo if no one is available and either shooting early and back down for lunch or a late start allowing me to fit in my other work and family into the day.
It usually starts the night before, with a look at the mountain, weather forecast and packing the bag, checking batteries and camera settings and getting the coffee ground and the clothes out - in the kitchen so minimum disturbance when I leave the house!
On this day the clouds rolled in on the way in but enough hints of blue were there to be optimistic and push on to the ridge (Crib Y Ddysgl) I had planned for.
Going Solo often means placing you in the picture if you want a figure in the landscape, but this places a lot less flexibility on the process especially with a tripod on a windy ridge.
A cold hour was spent on the ridge getting a couple of atmosphere shots whilst the rising sun teased me hiding behind the clouds. Then finally a twenty-minute break in the clouds allowed me to get the picture.
The gear is in an f-stop Lotus pack combined with a Medium Slope ICU. This does for most day trips, whether in the hills, shooting mountain biking events or bouldering trips out. A Nikon D810 and a couple of lenses, a Lee filter set and a 3 Leggedthing Billy tripod is the basic set up. The future probably holds a Tilopa for extended trips and a couple more ICU’s. All supplemented by climbing gear, bikes, canoes or SUP’s or whatever the days activities call for.
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