The impossible Sgwd Gwladus

Sgwd Gwladus, a rather beautiful waterfall, set deep within waterfalls country in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has always been a waterfall I have admired, the flow of the water over the top of the falls is slightly hypnotic.  It has been photographed countless times from all angles, so I wanted to try and make an image of  it with a different feel, more of a connection.

Just beyond Sgwd Gwladus, albeit via three tricky river crossings is one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the entire park Sgwd Einon Gam. It’s tricky to get to and I wouldn’t advise you going at all when the river is in spate, take waders if you do go in the summer months and prepare to get your feet wet. The reason I mention this particular waterfall is its feeling of remoteness. It has rocky crags on each side and a high cascade tumbles through from a great height. It’s a totally different waterfall in every respect. But what appeals are it’s high sides which create a more of a sense of mystery, intrigue and depth.

I wanted to bring some of that feeling back to Sgwd Gwladus, so I started working on an underexposed darker image, which also gave me the silky water look to the photograph. I like the subtle hint of texture that remains with a very small hint of light at the top of the waterfall. It’s looks autumnal but actually it’s photographed last month in January. The swirling water helped create the top/bottom balance and does act as a rather simplistic leading line. I have edited this is Lightroom, but haven’t added a deliberate vignette, just burnt the edges in and used the natural brightness and contrast settings that were captured in the exposure.

Now that I am happy with this image, I plan on walking through the waterfalls from Pontneddfechan and starting a little mini series along very similar lines. Luckily, as a volunteer warden in the Brecon Beacons waterfall country, I won’t have to wait too long for my next visit.

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