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Betws-y-Coed River #12

The Afon Lledr river near Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia, North Wales

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The story behind this image

Soaring mountains, ancient forests, thundering waterfalls, dramatic coastlines, beautiful lakes, the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales has some of the world's most epic scenery on offer.

But alongside the well known views there are a multitude of quieter hidden gems to find and explore.

One such hidden gem is the small Afon Lledr river, just outside the tourist metropolis that is Betws-y-Coed.

Hidden from casual view by its treelined banks, the Afon Lledr is a delightful wonderland of rushing water flowing over rocks that have been eroded into fantastic shapes over the centuries, together with small waterfalls and cascades, all brought to life with speckled light filtering though the leafy canopy overhead.

Picking your way along the slippery banks is like entering another world as traffic noise fades away, leaving you with the susurrant sounds of running water, a gentle breeze rustling the foliage and the odd cry of a bird in the canopy above.

You could almost imagine you were in middle earth, with hobbits and elves hiding behind the trees, watching you as you blunder past.

But enough eulogising, because as usual I'm here with my camera, and having absorbed the ambiance of this wonderful place it was now time to try and capture some of that essence in a two dimensional, static, single sense image.

Photograhing this composition, featuring a weatherworn tree branch trapped between two rock and suspended over the flowing water, involved very gingerly making my way over smooth, damp, lichen covered stone out to near the middle of the stream, trying to avoid the slip that would see and my camera taking a severe dunking.

But what is the photographic life without a little risk every now and then?

Mind you, I was glad to get back to the relative safety of the riverbank once I'd collected my RAW files.

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Image data

Filename - betws-y-coed river 12

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 65mm

Exposure - 1/30 sec @ f8, ISO200

Filters - Polarising filter used to reduce glare and enhance colours.

Location - Afon Lledr, near Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia, North Wales

Image enhancements - Adobe Lightroom

Comments - Raised ISO used to enable handheld exposure with image stabilisation.