Many of my landscape images involve a fair degree of planning and careful compositional consideration. Sometimes it’s just as absorbing and in many ways liberating to just grab a simple camera and lens combination and go for a wander. In this instance it was my Fujifilm X-T2 and the jack of all trades 18-135mm, my default family camera. Having visited Cwmorthin Quarry previously I was keen to take the family to explore this fascinating landscape and it’s industrial archeology. Needless to say that the challenge is to keep moving and not become too much of a bore to your nearest and dearest which does add to the urgency and spontaneity of the image making.
I had a bit of a plan in that I had loaded the GPS with geocaches and was sure that it would provide the perfect distraction whilst I set about wielding my X-T2, no one would suspect my real intentions. Of course I was soon rumbled but managed to keep everyone reasonably entertained whilst capturing some worthwhile images.
I feel the advent of mirrorless equipment does make such forays much easier and more enjoyable if only because of the friendlier weight.
The location itself is a landscape photographers dream and somewhere I can see myself returning to many times. There is a wonderful sense of dereliction and reclamation as nature gradually claws back the valley from it’s industrial past.
Slate and drystone walls abound as do remnants of dwellings and mining buildings and the images here are just a small selection of what I captured in the few hours we visited. There is a wonderful atmosphere to the place, a palpable sense of a long history and it’s hard not to reflect on the lives that have gone before and the many hundreds of hands that have toiled to shape the landscape into what it is today.
I wondered what the past inhabitants would make of things today. A working class man like myself passing through as part of a leisure activity with his family. My Fuji camera would be a thing of science fiction I’m sure the like of which even H G Wells himself could not have imagined.
Of the camera itself I have nothing but praise. Not only has it enabled me to be more surreptitious on my family outings but it is capable of producing images more than worthy of the family album. I would happily use it for my “serious”landscape work and indeed have already started to do so.