A 1990 Photo Walk in the Carneddau with a Ricoh 500ST

A 1990 Photo Walk in the Carneddau with a Ricoh 500ST

Published by Dave Roberts on  February 20, 2023 under Film Photography Tips and Tutorials and tagged Mystery Film, Photo Walk, Ricoh, Ricoh 500ST

I recently stumbled across these old negatives, and as I’d started scanning my own film I was well set up to use these as practice. They were taken using a Ricoh 500ST, or a very similar viewfinder model, and I’m hoping to recreate these shots with a copy of the camera I’ve just bought. Who knows what the film I used, other than it was cheap and probably came free with the processing. 

Film wasn’t cheap back then, and the number of shots I took on this single walk would have been absolutely decadent at the time considering I was still at school and usually skint. I always shot 36 exposure film as it was significantly cheaper per frame than 24.

All the shots with that old Ricoh camera had a small hair to the left of the frame, which I’ve shamefully removed on these though you may be able to spot them in a frame or two

Setting off from Abergwyngregyn

I recall setting off, having to catch a bus at around 6am, a ridiculous hour, but I needed plenty of time to walk this epic traverse and catch a bus the other end. At that time, the sleepy village was on the main road into North Wales, but has long been bypassed. There was a garage with a shop, and a pub at that time, which I picked up even more supplies, while today they’re both cafes serving the hordes that visit the nearby Rhaeadr Fawr (Aber Falls)

Some details are lost to time, and looking at these images some are of the wrong valley, so I’m presuming I took a wrong turn at some point and had to retrace my steps!

In the Carneddau

Finally up into the hills, high above Cwm Anafon and I probably set the speed too slow or the focus had moved for the first shot. These wild ponies can still be found in the Carneddau, and are pretty much used to people. I’m still wary of them, and would give them a wide berth if there’s a foal nearby.

Towards Carnedd Llewelyn

This is Wales’ second highest mountain, and much more of a challenge to get to than Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). It’s a fair distance from the start at Aber, and plenty more walking left before the walk’s end.

Over to Ogwen

There are some nicely exposed sections and lots of views towards the Glyderau and Tryfan. The descent is steep and not pleasant, and I’m not surprised that I didn’t photograph that section.

Finally Down

I recall arriving here at least 8 hours after I started, meaning to get a bus to Capel Curig and on to Llanberis. I don’t think there was one, or I’d missed one of the three a day and was steeling myself to climb over the Glyderau to get to Llanberis before nightfall. I was fortunate that someone getting into a car at Ogwen asked me the time, and I thumbed them for a lift as they left and they graciously picked me up and took me to Capel Curig. 

The final shot is from my arrival there, waiting for a bus home after a tiring day on the mountains. 

Considering these were scanned on a flatbed, and the negatives hadn’t been well stored, I’m impressed with how sharp some aspects of these photos turned out. I can’t wait to get the pair of Ricoh 500s fixed (a 500ST and a rangefinder 500G)

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