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Sgwd yr Eira or A Beautiful Waterfall in the Brecon Beacons

BreconBeaconsWaterfallA weekend is not nearly enough time for a stay in the Brecon Beacons, but that is exactly what I have just done. The Brecon Beacons are 1 of 3 National Parks in Wales, and is a largely mountainous area, though it has epic forests and many towns as well. Even from a quick glimpse whilst driving, it’s easy to see that this is a beautiful region, with some absolutely spectacular views.

It was a late decision to travel there last weekend, so my research into the area was very short. I had heard there were many waterfalls to be seen in the Brecon Beacons, so I knew I had to find at least 1 opportunity for some photographic long exposure work. We travelled to a place near the town of Ystradfellte (rolls right off the tongue) where there is a trail where you can view 4 waterfalls. Now I knew doing the whole trail was not going to happen, bearing in mind the time we had, so my plan was at least see this one waterfall I had researched called Sgwd yr Eira, which is probably also the name of a character in Game of Thrones. However, I quickly learnt this was the last waterfall on the trail, so I thought the opportunity was gone.

The first waterfall we came across was Sgwd Clun-gwyn, and though I did take a few snaps, the wuss in me found this area far too dangerous to want to hang around too long, trying to capture images of a waterfall I wasn’t even that bothered about. Whether I post one of those images or not I have not decided yet. By the end of our time at Sgwd Clun-gwyn we were heading back to the car pack, but I noticed there was a route that led to Sgwd yr Eira (if you are completely confused about which waterfalls I am talking about at this moment, I do not blame you) that was stated to be 20 minutes. So with prior agreement, I set off for this waterfall on my own, determined A) to get some cracking images and B) to at least be no longer than 30 minutes more than I said I would be (to my wife).

The route itself was ok until I got to the area prior to the waterfall, which suddenly became a zig zag of steep steps (though of course they were ten times harder to climb back up). Sgwd yr Eira is the most accessible waterfall, and the best one to take pictures. I wish I had bought a rain coat, because then I could have done what many people did and walked behind the waterfall, and seen the view from the other side. The amount I was carrying on my back meant I was never going to get a shot from the other side either (one for next time), so I settled for trying shuffle across the river as much as possible, without slipping in. I took a fair few shots of this waterfall from the angles that were possible, and I think this the best one I got. I wanted to get a natural look, but one of course that lent itself to some long exposure camera trickery. The water flows so fast that it actually doesn’t require a long time exposure at all to get the smooth effect. Even a second will probably do it.

To be honest, I don’t think I have come away with many pictures from the weekend in the Brecon Beacons. As I said, our time there was short, and the places we visited were very few. However, I have another picture lined up for Wednesday, and will see what more I can pull from after that.

Remember to click on the image to see it full size!

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