We based ourselves in near Capel Curig, allowing ourselves to traverse Wales’s largest national park quickly via the A5. With the mighty Tryfan, Glyder Fawr and Snowdon mountains on our doorstep, we didn’t need to travel far to explore some of the UK’s most iconic terrain.
Visiting in February offered short, but improving, daylight hours, frost-capped mountains and low sunlight throughout the day: a match made in heaven for the budding landscape photographer.
This was my first photography venture in Wales. With a huge to-do list and limited daylight hours, the planning process seemed overwhelming. But when it came to it boy, did we make a go of it.
Tryfan and the Ogwen Valley
Intimate shots of Tryfan’s jagged surface emphasises the brutality of its construction and dominance, and can be captured best in the morning when the rising light hits the mountain’s iconic “three peaks”.
This image was from the side of the road at approximately 10am. It was the only day clear enough that we could see the summit. It was completely unplanned, but I’m excited about the final image.
There are many routes that track Tryfan’s largest feeding river: Afon Lloer, up the opposite side of Ogwen with a number of streams, rapids and other interesting foreground elements. It’s an easy hike, and you can scale half of the river in approximately 30 minutes from roadside parking.
Light wasn’t in our favour, so I instead opted for a moody panorama that captured the rolling clouds covering the mountains.
Cwm Idwal and Llyn Idwal
The Lone Tree, Llanberis
Not much needs to be said about this location other than to keep one eye on the weather forecast. I wanted a calm, misty morning shot of the tree with a sharp reflection and were blessed with perfect conditions on the morning we drove to Wales.
On a clear day, the sun rises behind the tree over Snowdon’s greatest mountains – meaning early starts are advised.
Side note: keep an eye out for ducks heading your way if you’re hoping for reflections in perfectly still water. They’re well-fed and love to try and ruin a good photograph.
Frankly, I don’t support this. Nature and its beauty should be free for all to enjoy respectully, especially if part of a National Park. Instead of heading directly for Fairy Glen, we crossed the bridge and viewed it from the other side. There’s some beautiful patterns in the stone that have been carved by the currents, a cute bridge and a lovely smaller river: Afon Lledr, nearby.
There is ample roadside parking, and the drive from the Lake up through to Capel Curig on the A498 is absolutely stunning – making it slow going when you want to stop every few minutes to try out different compositions.
During our stint in Wales, we also spent some time on Anglesey. Keep your eyes peeled for another post soon!