One of my favourite accounts on Instagram is Discover Cymru; an account dedicated to sharing the best views and locations that Wales has to offer. The man behind it, Ed Maughan, sat down to talk to me about
- Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Ed. I grew up in the hills above Sennybridge on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. When I was just a year or two young my parents bought a ruined farmhouse in a little valley and spent the next 25 years turning it into our home. It was an amazing place to grow up and has given me a huge appreciation for nature and getting out into the hills.
- What was the original idea behind Discover Cymru and has it evolved as it’s grown?
Way back when (it’s been over three years now) I wanted to create a feed to help promote the very best of Wales and our photographers. There weren’t many feeds promoting Wales and so Discover Cymru was born! It has now evolved into the blog where I share stories of interesting stuff in the outdoors around Wales and keep our popular ‘Meet the Photographer‘ series rolling.
My main objective now is to give people a platform to reach our 44,000 strong community of people interested in all things photography, adventure and travel in Wales.
- The Discover Cymru tag on Instagram now has over 160,000 tagged images which is an extraordinary achievement. This is probably an impossible question but, if you had to choose 5 photos that really stand out for you, which ones would they be?
Good question — there are so many shots that I love, and I really do try and post as many as possible. My list of ‘saved’ shots on Instagram is pretty extensive as I’m sure you can imagine. I’ll limit myself to five that we have shared over the last three years:
1. Llyn y Fan Fach and Picws Du by Matt Holland. It’s one of my favourite spots in the world and was top of the list for the calendar this year:
2. Climbers on Pen y Fan by Will Renwick. Love the sense of accomplishment and awe in this one.
3. Porth y Corwgl by Alex Davies. Just love the summer vibes on this drone shot (and the little people on the beach).
4. Elan Valley by Alyn Wallace. Going back a few years with this one, but I love the Elan Valley and Alyn has captured it beautifully here:
5. Matthew Light in the Ogwen Valley. I love everything about this one! Lovely composition and colours.
- Social media and technology are strange things. On the one hand they allow us to capture and share our experiences but perhaps it means we’re more engaged in taking photos of our experiences rather than really enjoying the moment. Is this something that you battle with when you’re out and about?
Yes, I absolutely do. I love the process of taking photographs, so for me, it’s something that adds to the experience when I’m out and about. BUT, I have a golden rule, and that’s to never post up on social media when I’m out on the hills or in nature. Taking the shots is one thing, but wait until I’m home in the evening (or the next day if I’m out for a camp!) before I post up on social media.
One of the best things about the areas close to where I grew up is that there’s often crap signal anyway!
- What lies ahead for Discover Cymru?
I’m really excited to share the stories of the photographers we have in our calendar this year via the Meet the Photographer series, we have some great people involved with really interesting stories.