Landscapes of Wales
Wales is Finn Beales’ studio. Instagram is his canvas. The landscapes of his native Mid Wales feature throughout his work, loved by his following of over half a million people.
The Blue Lagoon at Abereiddi in Pembrokeshire is an abandoned slate quarry popular for coasteering, with waters that are up to 82 feet (25m) deep. The Red Bull Cliff Diving event draws athletes from all over the world. The diving board hangs 88 feet (27m) above the water, and the quarry is a natural amphitheatre, with spectators along the cliff top, into the water and along the shores of the lagoon. It was a privilege to meet and shoot these athletes here in Wales. From a technical point of view a fast shutter speed is required when shooting this type of sport. Rather them than me…
The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi, Pembrokeshire by Finn Beales
Most visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park hike the well-trodden path up Pen-y-fan but there are more spectacular views to be had if you’re prepared to head a little deeper into these mountains. This is one of my favourite views in the Beacons down onto Llyn y Fan Fach. It’s worth looking up the folklore legend connected to this body of water, known as the Lady of the Lake. I shot this as part of a commission for travel and lifestyle magazine, Cereal.
Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons by Finn Beales
One of my favourite places to explore (outside Wales) is the Pacific North West of America. I like their unashamed appreciation of the cold, wet climate. After my experiences in the PNW I was keen to embrace the Welsh weather and shot a series of images for Scout (a Seattle-based apparel brand) on a cold, grey, winter’s day in the Black Mountains. It was the perfect setting for their products and in the words of Scout’s creative director, “Finn brought back some of my favourite pictures of Scout products to date.” After all these years of denial I think the time has come to finally embrace the grey!
Black Mountains, Mid Wales by Finn Beales
I travel to some far-flung destinations with work but one of my favourite destinations to kick back with the family is much closer to home. Fforest, near Cardigan, is the perfect place to escape from the stresses and strains of the modern world. Living outdoors with the simplest of things all wrapped up in the luxury of a magical setting. A couple of days at Fforest is a life-enhancing experience.
There are thousands of intriguing little stories to discover in Wales. Coal Town Coffee found my work via Instagram. The company asked me to shoot a series of images for their coffee roastery based near Ammanford, a former coal mining town. Like most small businesses, they started from very modest beginnings and now develop their own signature espresso blends and single origin coffees. It’s exciting that small businesses focused on quality produce are popping up in rural towns around Wales.
Private White VC is a Manchester-based clothing brand, whose creative director Nick Ashley is the son of legendary Welsh clothes and fabric designer Laura Ashley. I guess we could have shot the Spring/Summer 2016 collection in the French Riviera, but why bother when you have beaches like this a couple of hours’ drive away! We shot the campaign on Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog in North Wales, and it was epic.
Black Rock Sands, near Porthmadog, North Wales by Finn Beales
For more of Finn's inspiring photography of Wales (and some other places) visit madebyfinn.com and Finn's Instagram