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I took this image of Fairy Glen (Ffos Anoddun in Welsh) on a trip to Snowdonia National Park, in northwest Wales. Fairy Glen is a secluded and sheer gorge that lies on the Conwy River near Betws-y-Coed and is so named for the mythical sprites which are said to live there.
I deposited the requested entrance fee into a rusty money box (£1 at the time of my visit + £1 for parking!) and made my way along the footpath across a field and into the woods. A short time later, I came to some steep and slippery steps carved into the rock leading down to the river, which I managed to negotiate with my camera bag and tripod.
The scene that awaited was magical – the moss-covered walls of the gorge, the beautiful autumn colours on the wooded banks, the sounds of rushing water and birds chirping. And best of all, I had the place to myself.
It had rained quite a lot during my week in Snowdonia and the high river level restricted where I could place my tripod. After some exploration, I found a rather precarious perch on some rocks looking down the glen towards a small cascade. Light levels were low in the narrow ravine and the two-stop reduction from my polarising filter was sufficient to allow me to capture the wonderfully swirling pattern of the flowing water. The polariser also helped to remove some of the glare from the water and wet rocks. Time flew by and eventually others arrived, so I clambered back up the steps and headed home.
I’ve been back to Fairy Glen since this first visit but have never encountered such perfect conditions. First time lucky, I guess.
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