Snowdonia National Park, Wales by Jackie Matear

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I spent several days in Snowdonia National Park in late 2019, when the world was a very different place. It rains a lot in north Wales at the best of times but this was a particularly wet and windy visit, which made photography challenging.

One afternoon, we walked up to Llyn Idwal to view the Devil’s Kitchen, nestled within Cwm Idwal in the Ogwen Valley. The Devil’s Kitchen (Twll Du in Welsh, meaning ‘black hole’) is the name given to the dark, black crack which splits the rock in the ridge between the mountains Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. Twll Du is known as the Devil’s Kitchen because of the plume of steam that is sometimes seen rising from the crack, resembling a chimney. Legend has it that when steam can be seen rising from the chimney, the Devil is cooking.

I spent some time wandering around the lake and found this viewpoint. I liked how the small inlet led the eye into the scene, toward the steam-free but mist-shrouded Devil’s Kitchen. I used a wide angle lens to capture the expansive view and fitted a two stop soft graduated filter to my lens to balance the exposure between the foreground and the sky. I desaturated the grassy bank of the lake slightly in post-production to better match the sombreness of the scene.

I only managed to take two frames before the cloud and rain swept over the ridge. I waited for the storm to pass, getting very wet in the process, but eventually admitted defeat and headed back down for a well-deserved coffee.


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