Melincourt Falls, Vale of Neath, Wales by Sarah Howard

Late May to the end of June is a wonderful time to be in the Vale of Neath in South Wales, which is home to some of the loveliest waterfalls in the UK. The woodlands are fresh and green and you are usually guaranteed enough water to make for pleasing images. On this particular day the overcast conditions were ideal for shooting waterfalls so I set off to one of my favourite; Melincourt. A short 7 minute walk from the car park, it's one of the most accessible in the area, tucked away at the end of the village. At times this is a delightfully delicate waterfall, but at 24 metres in height, it can also thunder down after heavy rain. On this occasion it was just right for what I wanted.

After considering various compositions , I chose an elevated viewpoint to allow me to take advantage of the wonderful ferns in the foreground and decided to shoot in portrait format to avoid including too much that might distract on either side of the falls. The addition of a polarising filter helped to saturate the greens and take any bright highlights off the water. This, combined with a 3 stop ND filter gave me the movement in the water I was looking for. Just enough to soften it but retaining the texture. The shaft of sunlight through the trees was unexpected and I thought it might be problematic, but as it happened, it made the image for me, adding a ethereal quality to the scene.

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