As the weather started to change I headed up to Dinorwic to finally achieve what I’ve never done – reach the summit of Garrett quarry! I’d already reached the top of Braich on my first ever visit, and now I have touched the top on the opposite corner.
It’s a strange place the top corner of Dinorwic. It’s much less visited and feels a lot more eerie and somehow forgotten, despite having a lovely road running right up to Swallow level.
The character of this corner is very much different, the buildings feel a lot less elegant, they are more substantial and have a very utilitarian feel. The Mill at Twll Mwg for example feels like some kind of Bastion or last retreat rather than the big airy mill on Australia level or the even larger ones at Steam Mills.
It’s also a very recent section of the quarry – the present Inclines were not built until the 20th century, and even the famous Penrhydd Bach loco she did not appear until then.
Anyway, onto the photos that have made it!
One is the interior of Penrhydd bach shed, shot Contre Jour, it gives a real sense of the decay. Yes it really is leaning that much!
The other is of the Garrett pit viewed from Bonc Roller (Point of Interest: bonc Roller is a name given to galleries at the top of an incline,yet Bonc Roller is currently half way up on. It was however the top of the original A6 incline which is still partly in evidence) – even here the scale of the hole in the ground is not fully revealed. It’s a weird thing but at the top of the quarry you don’t see the bottom and somehow it seems smaller, but when stood on the narrow gallery on Swallow level you really know about the size of the hole! But that is for another shoot 🙂
What’s so special about that? Not a lot really, but for some reason it has taken many, many attempts to get right. It was a fleeting moment of light that the camera could not keep within it’s dynamic range, and unfortunately because it was so fleeting there was no chance to bracket shots, in fact I can recall running, ducking weaving and all manner of funny manouvers to get the shot!
The detail was in the raw file, but only just, and no matter how much I fiddled with curves or attempted a recovery with Photomatix (a real last resort for me!) nothing could bring it back to life. Until this week, when a concerted effort across 6 different versions based on the rawfile and a further 3 based on Photomatix’s efforts all blended together across inumerable layers in PSP, and finally, it looks as it was intended!
So good folk, determination does eventually pay off!
You may have notcied a few changes going on around here of late, so I guess I’d better explain! It seems a few of you are mad enough to want to purchase prints of my work, so I’ve been busy rejigging things to add a store, which is now online and open! I’ve also taken the opportunity to update my online presence with a new domain which now acts as a hub for all my photographic activities, with it’s own gallery of my own selected shots.
Don’t worry I’ll still be aking pictures and posting them when I eventually get round to it, only now you have the chance to hang it on your wall too!
As much as I love a pristine classic camera in showroom condition, someimes you just need to do something a littel bit different. I’ve already done a Carbon Fibre wrapped Pentax ME and now it’s time to jazz up my Olys…
Perhaps a little cliched, but it sure beats ‘Police line do not cross’ (Plus until today it’s been wearing a Pentax strap!)
A while back I discovered some unused Bonusprint and Truprint films in a cupboard. Now this household last usd this sort of company at least 10 years ago, and these films have most likely been in the cupboard for longer than this. This is I should add, a cupboard in the Welsh dresser that sits next to the oil fired stove in my parents’ house. It’s warm. Curious to see just how a film can survive under challenging storage confitions, I loaded it in my OM2 and headed off up Dinorwig over 2 trips, with Fuji 160S and Ektar in the OM4 for comparison.
I may have been giggling to myself somewhat every time I threw the advance lever, but I need not have been so rash. The results came back today and you know what? I actually uite like it!
Why? Because it’s fun! It makes everything look like a still from an 80s movie, it has very strong shades of straw and subtle blues but very muted reds. I like it for some things, and I hope I can find some more For example I’d been watching the film ‘Patagonia’ and was very impressed by the colours used. (Fuji Daylight balanced moton picture stock in 16mm if you need to know). I’d wanted to create something big and open looking – and by chance one of my FG200 shots fits the bill!
Here are some comparisons:
FG200 vs 160S
FG200 vs Ektar:
For some things, I can certianly see the benefit in using the tobacco pallette of the FG200.