Alistair Grant - Freelance Photographer Cambridge | Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 55 - In Plain Sight

Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 55 - In Plain Sight

April 27, 2018
Freelance Photographer in St Ives Cambridgeshire: Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London. Professional Photography Services in St Ives, St Neots, Huntingdon, Bedford, Peterborough, Ely & Cambridge.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 55

Freelance Photographer Cambridge Blog Image | Blog 55 | In Plain Sight (Rhosydd Slate Quarry Y Baricsod or The Miners Barracks Near Blaenau Ffestiniog, Snowdonia, North Wales). © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer; Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses, St Ives, Cambridge.Blog 55 – In Plain Sight (Rhosydd Slate Quarry Y Baricsod or The Miners Barracks Near Blaenau Ffestiniog, Snowdonia, North Wales) | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London.Blog 55 – In Plain Sight (Rhosydd Slate Quarry Y Baricsod or The Miners Barracks Near Blaenau Ffestiniog, Snowdonia, North Wales) by Alistair Grant. Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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In Plain Sight

I have stood on this exact spot a good number of times but I had never photographed these ruined buildings. In fact, it’s fair to say that I had never really previously seen the slate structures. How come? The substantial constructions aren’t exactly inconspicuous. The clue lies in the slate. These are ‘Y Baricsod’ (the barracks) at the Rhosydd Slate Quarry situated at the head of Cwm Orthin (aka Cwmorthin) and below the summit of Moelywn Mawr near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia, North Wales. I love this spot but, apart from the day I took this shot, the place has been either shrouded in mist or blanketed in cloud every time I have made the tough ascent from Tan-y-Grisiau. Typically, you can't see hand in front of face. This of course often makes for atmospheric close-up photography especially when working with monochrome film e.g. black and white shots of the rusting mine metalwork scattered either side of the path.

Although beautiful in many respects Rhosydd is undeniably bleak. It is eerily silent apart from the calls of the various corvids who obviously thrive amongst the ruins. The huge amount of abandoned mining paraphernalia heightens the sense of desolation. However, nature is steadily reclaiming the mine. Despite the number of times I have visited Rhosydd I have only ever seen a handful of people up there. Generally it’s a case of issuing a muted greeting at a figure only half discernible in the mist/cloud. I’m always struck that the quarry wouldn’t have been like this when operational through the mid-1800s to early-1900s. Because of its remoteness Rhosydd was unusual for a North Walian mine in that it didn’t have a steam railway to haul slate and workers up/down the mountain and so miners lodged on-site during their six-day shift given it's distance from surrounding villages. Men came from far and wide to work at Rhosydd. At its peak in 1885 over 200 employees were mining over six and a half thousand tons of slate per year. Historical records detail how the miners ‘could be seen in their hundreds early on a Monday morning clutching their walats (provision bags) stuffed with store for the week’. Whilst life in any mine was tough conditions at Rhosydd were notorious below and above ground. Men slept two to a bed amongst lice-ridden straw and the Inspector of Mines regularly criticised the overcrowded, damp, and squalid living conditions including the lack of toilet and washing facilities.

This shot, taken on an unusually sunny day shows the ‘street’ running between the barracks with the reflection of the southern block in the heavily flooded slate bed; an indication of the more typical weather of the area. Further evidence that miners lived in atrocious conditions is the fact that the street was actually a tramway for the dumping of spoil right next to the accommodation block. As previously explained I am accustomed to drab weather when up in Rhosydd but on this particular bright occasion I experienced vivid, almost cinematographic, colour including the prominent red discoloration of the water due to rusting metal and various ores in the ground contrasted against the many shades of grey of the slate. Although roofless, the workmanship of the slate walls of Y Baricsod have stood up to well over a hundred years of being battered by the harsh Snowdonia weather.

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

Food & Drink Photography | Commercial Photography & Product Photography | Corporate Photography & PR Photography | Portrait Photography (inc. 'Active Portraiture') | Event Photography | Wedding Photography | Photography Training Courses & Camera Tuition

Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk