archive-com.com » COM » S » STUARTHERBERT.COM

Total: 477

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Stuart's Photography - » The Year In Review
    full camera rig in 2011 when the light improves and I ve promised my colleagues in the office several of whom are excellent photographers that we ll organise a group shoot too I also had a fun day in Cardiff when our mad Canadian friend Naomi came to visit for a weekend from the States sneaking shots whilst showing her around Cardiff Bay and its collection of Daleks and this year I took the camera with me during my annual trip up to Gregynog as a visiting industrialist Sadly the light didn t co operate as I would have liked and there wasn t really the time to relax and get into the mood The odd thing for me was that despite publishing less photos now that the Merthyr Road series had stopped my photography increased in popularity on Flickr And then finally came December I spent most of December working or sleeping but still managed to end the year on a high with a very popular collection of photos of the unseasonable snow that arrived mid month A mad cap trip to Manchester on business earlier in the month also gave me a great opportunity to try something different I m not sure the resulting shots are to everyone s taste but I came away with several in particular that I enjoyed The Best Of The Photos Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment 2010 Review And Reflections September and October Posted by Stuart Herbert on December 31st 2010 in The Year In Review It s that time of year again when I look back at 2010 through the lens of my camera covering September and October Stu s Reflections Mrs H and I spent the first half of September on holiday in Northumberland exploring the beautiful coastline around Berwick upon Tweed It was strange to be offline so much of the time We had a very relaxing time and I came back with enough photos to keep my Desktop Wallpaper project in business for the next 12 months As I have been finding the challenge now is figuring out how to publish it all just because I already have enough photos doesn t mean I ve stopped using my camera since we got back Whilst we were gone I d queued up plenty of wallpapers and Merthyr Road articles for my readers mostly a mixture of Summer Holiday 2009 shots and more railway stations but also the first of the shots I d taken with my latest favourite lens Having already picked up a 24mm f 2 8 and 35mm f 1 8 lens to go with the 50mm f 1 4 lens I d finally completed my lens collection by getting a second hand 80 200mm f 2 8 lens from eBay It was less than a third of the cost of a brand new 70 200mm lens optically close enough for my needs and oh yes did I mention it was an f 2 8 lens I ve fallen in love with this lens and now do most of my photography at f 2 8 aperture I got into fast glass to solve my problem of needing to shoot in low light but now I love the creative freedom it offers the ability to use depth of field to make my photo s subject stand out It really suits my enforced switch from landscape to more urban photography and it has encouraged me to move further away from the photo journalistic attempts of the Merthyr Road project and more towards trying to make images that stand without narrative Sadly I ve a long way to go before I achieve that but at least I know without doubt that my kit is not the problem when I can t pull it off September also saw the start of a new and so far occasional photography project 25 9 Whilst on holiday we d ended up stumbling across a photography exhibition just outside Jedburgh I can t remember who the photographer was sadly Every single shot was just stunning and part of his exhibition included prints taken by a Hasselblad XPAN camera They were a wide aspect chemical camera that fell foul of improvements to environmental legislation I d seen pictures taken by them in Amateur Photographer in the past but seeing them up close and on the wall got me thinking With no practical internet access I started playing about with the photos I d taken on holiday trying to emulate the XPAN s expansive feel and ended up settling on a cropping ratio of 25 9 October was from my perspective dominated by two main events the PHPNW10 conference and the first Wales Blog Awards Unsure about my knee injury I hadn t submitted any talks to PHPNW10 at all and for the second year running was attending as a normal punter I d been very impressed by Rob Allen s conference photography over the years and decided that PHPNW10 would be where I took the plunge and gave it a go myself I came away having learned two things the Nikon D3s is the body to go for if you re serious about trying to take decent photos in dark conference rooms and that shooting people is something I need a lot more practice at Oh and the 35mm lens might be the cheapest I own but it s a surprisingly good walkabout portrait lens if you re trying to take candids The Wales Blog Awards were a different beast altogether Every blog that was nominated I nominated my own blog I don t think anyone else nominated it made the published long list and then it got a bit weird From my perspective I m afraid I didn t understand the choices for most of the short lists across the various categories Looking through the short listed blogs I couldn t see how they met the published awards criteria which I m sorry to say meant that the Wales Blog Awards lost all credibility to me at that point From conversations I ve had since with other regulars on the Cardiff bloggers scene I was in good company with my conclusions I couldn t tell you who won the awards ceremony was held in private and if the awards were announced on Twitter afterwards I m afraid that I missed the announcement completely I ve held my tongue until now but looking back for this review I wish I d spoken out at the time I also think that next year the Wales blogging community should run the awards ourselves I m confident that between us we can run a much more credible and objective selection process than we saw happen this year Sadly October saw the end of regular Merthyr Road articles I still have a substantial archive of photos dating back several years to publish and blog about but things have been so hectic at work since returning from holiday that something had to give I ve also come to realise that my mobility issues are compromising my original aims for the project and I missed the long walks the follow up research and the longer publishing process of yesteryear I plan on eventually working through my current archive to get it all published in time but I don t think I ll be doing many more Merthyr Road photo shoots going forward To end on a positive note I hit 300 000 views on Flickr towards the end of October The Best Of The Photos Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment 2010 Review And Reflections July And August Posted by Stuart Herbert on December 30th 2010 in The Year In Review It s that time of year again when I look back at 2010 through the lens of my camera covering July and August Stu s Reflections If truth be told I don t really remember much about July and August After several years of hiatus the always enchanting Beyond The Border storytelling festival returned to life We ve been regulars for a few years now and photos from previous visits all the way back to my Nikon D100 days have featured on this blog before It was weird not camping we decided it was better for my knee to sleep in a proper bed every night that s for sure In post processing these photos I started to find my feet with the subtle but important nudges in Aperture that were to define my look for the rest of the year I also tried my hand at something I normally go out of my way to avoid topical photography Although a lot of my Merthyr Road photography is more photo journalism than photo art my natural instinct is to actively avoid trying to photography anything that is current news In general such photos date very badly and everyone loses interest in them within a couple of days Besides there are many thousands of people doing that already There s much fewer of us out there taking photos of what once was it s a gap I d rather focus on most of the time But the controversy over the draining of the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs in Cardiff seemed too important to avoid They re historical reservoirs and so fitted in well with the remit I ve set myself for my Merthyr Road project and they were disappearing as the current site owners appear determined to drain them dry and replace them with a housing estate On reflection it wasn t a great success The photos are hardly inspiring and by the time I published them there wasn t much interest left in the story August started with a tribute to my departed Nikon D200 I d finally grown comfortable enough with the Nikon D300s to part with the D200 a camera I d had since January 2006 I d have had one even earlier if my employer at the time hadn t screwed me over to make a point to other members of staff Needless to say I don t work there any more Other than that August was mostly about being in the groove steadily publishing the photos that had built up from earlier in the year I had a long running series covering the Coryton Line from Coryton itself down to the station at Heath Low Level There were few truly outstanding photos from the set but as a record of the line in 2010 I m confident it will pass the test of time and be a fine example of what my Merthyr Road project is really about Towards the end of August I finally started to process and publish the photos from our summer 2009 holiday the holiday where we d been hurt in the car accident I hadn t been expecting much from the photos we d taken it was a pleasant surprise at just how many I was happy to publish Oh and I managed to find and post my oldest surviving digital photograph which is still one of the best I ve taken so far of my cat The Best Of The Photos Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment 2010 Review And Reflections July And August Posted by Stuart Herbert on December 30th 2010 in The Year In Review It s that time of year again when I look back at 2010 through the lens of my camera covering July and August Stu s Reflections If truth be told I don t really remember much about July and August After several years of hiatus the always enchanting Beyond The Border storytelling festival returned to life We ve been regulars for a few years now and photos from previous visits all the way back to my Nikon D100 days have featured on this blog before It was weird not camping we decided it was better for my knee to sleep in a proper bed every night that s for sure In post processing these photos I started to find my feet with the subtle but important nudges in Aperture that were to define my look for the rest of the year I also tried my hand at something I normally go out of my way to avoid topical photography Although a lot of my Merthyr Road photography is more photo journalism than photo art my natural instinct is to actively avoid trying to photography anything that is current news In general such photos date very badly and everyone loses interest in them within a couple of days Besides there are many thousands of people doing that already There s much fewer of us out there taking photos of what once was it s a gap I d rather focus on most of the time But the controversy over the draining of the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs in Cardiff seemed too important to avoid They re historical reservoirs and so fitted in well with the remit I ve set myself for my Merthyr Road project and they were disappearing as the current site owners appear determined to drain them dry and replace them with a housing estate On reflection it wasn t a great success The photos are hardly inspiring and by the time I published them there wasn t much interest left in the story August started with a tribute to my departed Nikon D200 I d finally grown comfortable enough with the Nikon D300s to part with the D200 a camera I d had since January 2006 I d have had one even earlier if my employer at the time hadn t screwed me over to make a point to other members of staff Needless to say I don t work there any more Other than that August was mostly about being in the groove steadily publishing the photos that had built up from earlier in the year I had a long running series covering the Coryton Line from Coryton itself down to the station at Heath Low Level There were few truly outstanding photos from the set but as a record of the line in 2010 I m confident it will pass the test of time and be a fine example of what my Merthyr Road project is really about Towards the end of August I finally started to process and publish the photos from our summer 2009 holiday the holiday where we d been hurt in the car accident I hadn t been expecting much from the photos we d taken it was a pleasant surprise at just how many I was happy to publish Oh and I managed to find and post my oldest surviving digital photograph which is still one of the best I ve taken so far of my cat The Best Of The Photos Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment 2010 Review and Reflections May and June Posted by Stuart Herbert on December 29th 2010 in The Year In Review It s that time of year again when I look back at 2010 through the lens of my camera covering May and June Stu s Reflections Ah May and a parting of the ways After many years of faithful service my Nikon D200 was finally retired and replaced by the excellent Nikon D300s By now I had a growing collection of prime lenses and was finding out the hard way that shooting with manual focus through the viewfinder was a bit of a lottery The D300s featured Live View a feature Mrs H had taken great delight in showing off on her Canon EOS 500D and which I realised my photography would really benefit from There was also the added advantage that the D300s captures reds a lot better than the D200 although sadly it turns out that comes at the expense of its ability to see green properly The other good news was a breakthrough with my knee injury at the end of April thanks to an osteopath who listened to me where my consultant had ignored the symptoms I d reported I still couldn t get far which forced me to switch my Merthyr Road photography from long walks through the countryside to short bursts in urban areas where the density of opportunity was much greater but at least I could get out with the new camera The highlight for publishing in May was our first return to the Eden Project in several years On arrival I was both stunned and secretly very pleased to find that they still use one of my photos for their guidebook It was a beautiful day and an inspiring one but one that left me with a dilemma for much of the year after I snagged what I felt was far and away the single best photo I d ever taken June saw a shift with my photography with me starting to publish more new photos and a reduction in me featuring older photos that had already been published on Flickr I was starting to enjoy the challenge of taking enough new photos to keep the desktop wallpaper project going inspired largely by the monthly competitions that the Guardian Cardiff folks started to run via their Twitter group I felt that I was learning to find more and more photos in smaller areas making the most of the limited mobility I had And the light was proving to be surprisingly excellent too which helped enormously The highlight in June was our trip up to the Pont yr Daf bridge which had

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/photos/the-year-in-review/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Travel Photography
    photo of Harlech Railway Station taken from the main road Both have their strong points so I m going with this version of the shot for today s wallpaper and I ll let you decide which one you like the most Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Harlech Railway Station Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 24th 2013 in Desktop Wallpaper Travel Photography Harlech Railway Station lies on the plain below Harlech town and the world heritage castle with the main road around Harlech and down to the beach cutting across the single track that leads up from Barmouth It was particularly deserted on Easter Sunday giving me plenty of time to safely grab this shot from the road Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Harlech Railway Station Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 24th 2013 in Desktop Wallpaper Travel Photography Harlech Railway Station lies on the plain below Harlech town and the world heritage castle with the main road around Harlech and down to the beach cutting across the single track that leads up from Barmouth It was particularly deserted on Easter Sunday giving me plenty of time to safely grab this shot from the road Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Horse And Mountain Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 23rd 2013 in Desktop Wallpaper Travel Photography Today s wallpaper continues the Easter in Snowdonia theme and is another superb guest photo by the wonderfully talented Mrs H If you look closely at yesterday s wallpaper photo you can just make out this horse on the near horizon I shot that photo full frame which limited how much I could pick out just the horse but Mrs H was using a crop sensor body which allowed her to get much tighter on the horse than I could Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Easter Sunday In Snowdonia Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 22nd 2013 in Desktop Wallpaper Travel Photography Continuing the theme of Easter in a snowy Snowdonia here s a lovely shot taken from the front of our hotel on Easter Sunday just as we were checking out If you re thinking of booking a stay in and around Harlech I highly recommend staying at the Maes y Neuadd hotel especially if like me you suffer from a food allergy It s a wonderful place with lots of character and fantastic food and they did a fantastic job of making sure that they served up food that I could safely eat We ve been there a couple of times now

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/photos/travel-photography/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Pontygwaith
    to Quakers Yard it has become a single track road serving a few houses that lie along the route From Quakers Yard to Pontygwaith Bridge it s a stony track similar to many now used by the Taff Trail I was struck by the difference from Pontygwaith Bridge to the southern end of Merthyr Vale where the track is packed hardcore showing off the original stones that the rails sat on to perfection And then you get to Merthyr Vale where the tramroad is in various states of having been tarmaced over or completely buried under some form of building work that I don t recognise At some point in the middle of all this the tramroad actually crosses the railway line I completely failed to spot this and ended up walking along the old Merthyr Vale Colliery branch line instead until it came to an end I only realised my mistake during the post production research for this article There are magnificient views to be had especially through the Pontygwaith Nature Reserve This hidden valley used to be crossed by three great viaducts Two of them the Joint Line s viaduct to Cefn Glas and the GWR s viaduct to the Cynon Valley no longer stand they were demolished in 1969 GaAC Volume 1 has a photo of both viaducts still in place taken in the 1950 s but Brunel s Goitre Coid Viaduct still stands and is still in use by the Valley Lines service between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil Although all three viaducts were built to cross the tramroad the best view is to be had from the top of Giant s Bite on the other side of the valley The whole hidden valley takes its name from Pont Y Gwaith the Works Bridge which crosses the River Taff in the shadow of the A470 If you re following the Taff Trail the trail leaves the tramroad to cross Pontygwaith and duck under the A470 before heading north to Aberfan on the western side of the A470 If you re heading south along the tramroad instead of north you can cross Pont Y Gwaith make your way under the A470 and then head up the hill to Giant s Bite or follow the dried up Glamorganshire Canal bed south around the foot of the hill Myself I went up to Giant s Bite so that I could take some photos of the three viaducts from across the valley I was pleasantly surprised with how close in I managed to get with just a 135mm DX lens equivalent to a 200mm lens on a full frame 35mm camera When the sunny weather returns later in the year I ll have to head back up there with my Sigma 80 400mm lens to see what detail it can capture Favourite Photo From The Shoot This shot of the A472 road bridge is my favourite shot from this shoot When composing photos I m always looking for lines that will draw the eye along and this photo is a fantastic example of how converging lines catch my attention Unlike the natural landscape shots that make up the rest of the shoot this photo feels clean and uncluttered I don t know it just makes me want to go out and take more photos A close second is this shot taken just before reaching the bridge at Edwardsville that carries the tramroad across the River Taff just south of the Goitre Coed Viaduct My recent shoot down at Sea Lock whilst very satisfying to that part of me that is really enjoying the history side of things had left me feeling that the photography was getting lost amidst it all I ve been playing around with this basic shot design a plain subject in focus in the foreground with the more interesting subject further back out of the depth of field since I first thought of it during my trip up to Snowdonia in 2003 and it s always my fallback strategy when I m not enjoying my photography as I d like to Also a close second is this shot looking south at Goitre Coed Viaduct I always find the Viaduct a complete bugger to photograph the best place to actually see the damn thing seems to be across the valley sat atop Giant s Bite The Viaduct s simply too big and the valley too small to get a great picture from the tramroad itself looking north Going under the Viaduct and looking south back to Quakers Yard I managed to snag this shot which I feel gives a good idea of just how the viaduct appears out of nowhere to completely dominate the scene But don t take my word for it get out and about and go see it for yourself Post Production After the eye popping colours from my Sea Lock photoshoot I didn t want to do another set of photos looking like that But equally I didn t want to do a black and white shoot if I could avoid it It was a great day blue skies and hot sun and I d been careful to avoid burnt out skies as much as possible which is why many of the photos in this set are looking south even though my journey was heading north It was during the post work on the railway car shot that I decided to try desaturating the colours in the photo instead of saturating them It seems obvious now that the problem was the unbalance I was creating through boosting the colours but equally the same colour boosting really improved the photos I took on the Sculpture Trail walk on Good Friday Go figure I managed to drag Kristi away from the gardening to help and together we produced a set of Aperture colour presets to desaturate the colours in different ways depending on the scene I m sure that the most important factor with these photos was

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/pontygwaith/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Pontypridd
    the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry 4 comments Desktop Wallpaper Taff Trail Sign In The Snow Posted by Stuart Herbert on December 20th 2010 in A4054 Merthyr Road Desktop Wallpaper Modern Pontypridd Taff Trail My plan for this week was to start my 2010 In Photography review but the turn in the weather at the weekend was simply too good a photography opportunity to pass up So as we countdown to Christmas Day on Saturday my wallpaper choices this week are all based around South Wales in the unseasonable winter snow The UK has been suffering from the snow for a bit now but mostly we ve managed to avoid it down here in and around Cardiff All that changed on Friday as the snow gods finally remembered about us and decided to pay us a visit Mrs H and I woke up on Saturday morning to a scene we haven t seen since I moved over here ten years ago now and headed out on foot with the cameras to capture the conditions We re very lucky where we live as the Taff Trail runs very close to our front door Oddly enough there weren t any cyclists out on Saturday morning though Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road Community Centre at Trallwn Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 24th 2010 in By Water Leisure Modern Photos Pontypridd Shoot The community centre at Trallwn in Pontypridd is typical of many in the valleys Originally a mission hall it has been extended and converted into a great resource for the local community The result is an exterior that at first glance appears old like the terraced houses around it appear old but look closer and the mixture of old and new make for an interesting subject for my camera The Photos Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road The Terracotta Church Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 17th 2010 in Glamorganshire Canal Modern Pontypridd Shoot St Matthews Church was built in 1908 in the middle of the Trallwn community not far from the Glamorganshire Canal as it approached Pontypridd Featuring unusual terracotta arches this large and now disused church is unmissable as you travel down the hill to the local shops The church is now closed and up for sale The local council has given planning permission to convert the site to residential use presumably the church will be demolished rather than adapted when this finally takes place At the time of writing it wasn t clear whether anyone has yet bought this site The Photos You can t travel far in the valleys without running into a usually former church or mission hall but to date I haven t seen any other church with these distinctive terracotta arches The church is quite sizeable much larger than the much more common mission halls there are two such halls in the same street alone Sadly vandals appear to taken to throwing stones at the what appear to be plain glass windows I wonder if this is why they ve been leaving the local greenhouses alone for a little while now There s no shortage of ivy clinging to the church s walls The church s distinctive terracotta features can be seen up close by the church s main doorway The main doorway uses two doors of a simple wooden design with an iron knocker and key hole on the left hand door Look up at the top of the doors this shot shows the shadow cast by the archway I like the simple pattern towards the top which makes me think of a tree The walls of the church like all of the original local housing are stone rather than brick There are several former quarry sites in the area it s likely that the stone didn t have far to travel Some of the walls have disappeared underneath the ivy growth with features such as this drain pipe doing their best to stand out until they too become overgrown This unusual shot looking up at the guttering shows wooden beams presumably from the roof sticking out from beneath the ivy The paint on the wood has largely flaked off I hope the wood is well treated There are wild berries sticking out of the otherwise overgrown grounds I m sure they didn t stay there for very long before someone came along and picked them This rusting lurid green fence runs around the small grounds of the church My eye was drawn to the contrast of this rusting wire and probably never will degrade plastic wrapped around the fence I m guessing that both have been used at some point to fasten notices of some kind to the fence Sadly the fence is in a poor state of repair and has broken or been broken at one point causing it to lean back away from the road and pavement References Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council Committee Summons 24th January 2008 St Matthews Church on Doctor Who Locations net St Matthews Church on Building Plots For Sale St Matthews Church closed on the Aberdare Blog Copyright c Stuart Herbert blog twitter photography all facebook Merthyr Road project all If you re reading

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/pontypridd/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway
    of the next evolution in my photographic style I ve been using HDR for several months now but this time I was determined to put together a workflow that brings the HDR images closer in initial appearance to regular single frame photos Before HDR my favourite style had been the slightly desaturated look of the Taff Vale Eastern Ridge Walk set What I wanted was that look but with the added detail that HDR brings Too many HDR photos just lack a certain subtlety as do too many single exposure shots it has to be said Since taking these photos a year ago now I ve refined the HDR workflow over and over before finally coming back to these photos and re processing them for publication at last I promise that I ll do a full article on the workflow in the near future but the main points are to avoid over saturating the original HDR image and then using Aperture 2 s new Saturation and Definition tools to bring out the best of the HDR detail whilst toning down its exuberance at the same time Sadly I ve been too short of time to thoroughly research each of the bridges in this set There s also one bridge missing Brunel s bridge that carries the Taff Vale Railway north from Pontypridd station over the River Rhondda towards Abercynon I only noticed that whilst doing the write up Doh 22 comments Dawn On Caerphilly Mountain Posted by Stuart Herbert on November 7th 2007 in Caerphilly Merthyr Road Modern Pontypridd Caerphilly and Newport Railway Rhymney Railway Shoot View all the photos taken at Dawn on Caerphilly Mountain as part of my Merthyr Road project on Flickr It was the first night of clear skies after an unusually warm week perfect conditions for a sunrise shoot With the Taff Gap and Taff Vale filled with fog the best place to enjoy the dawn was up on nearby Caerphilly Mountain Thoughts On The Day Looking at the pictures I took I m pretty pleased with the results but all I could think about that morning was just how sick I felt I ve been unwell all week and my mind was definitely not on the job as we headed up to the summit of Caerphilly Mountain having forgotten the tripod in the boot of the car or the tripod quick release head left back in the house But wow what a view from the top of Caerphilly Mountain In days of old standing on top of the mountain I imagine the view would have included the steam rising from the trains making their way from Walnut Tree Junction up Nantgarw along the Rhymney Railway The trains would also have been coming up from Nantgarw along the Pontypridd Caerphilly and Newport Railway crossing Caerphilly on their way via Machen to the docks at Newport Industry still dominates at Nantgarw but steam has given way to the jet turbines of the General Electric factory The fog was creeping up from Nantgarw cloaking the General Electric factory in the most spectacular way The next time you wake up in Pontypridd Trefforest or any of the Taff Vale villages take a look outside to see if it s foggy If it is head on up to the top of Caerphilly Mountain you ll be in for quite the treat Photos From The Shoot Click on any of the individual photos to see a larger version Post Production After the successful trip to Scotland this summer it s become clear that my audience has a strong preference for photos that are rich in colour HDR is a great technique to use at dawn and dusk to squeeze the maximum amount of colour out of a DSLR without ending up with photos that are over saturated Just remember to take a tripod You can take handheld HDR shots if your technique is good enough and your camera body can shoot fast enough but you ll always get much better results if the camera is in exactly the same position for each frame for your HDR masterpiece Be the first to leave a comment The Lost LifeTrail tm Stations Posted by Stuart Herbert on June 18th 2007 in Historical Merthyr Road Modern Pontypridd Pontypridd Caerphilly and Newport Railway River Taff Shoot Walking Routes View the photos of The Lost LifeTrail tm Stations as part of my Merthyr Road project on Flickr It isn t just the wealth of South Wales that has declined since the closure of the Glamorganshire Canal the iron works the coal mines and most of our railways There has also been a dramatic turn for the worst in the health of South Wales The nation as a whole is facing an ever increasing burden of folks who are overweight and who just aren t doing enough physical activity to maintain their health as they get older When coupled with the rising average age of the working population the UK as a whole is facing extra demand on its state funded health care services coinciding with less people footing the bill The Welsh Assembly Government is trying to plan ahead with the twenty year Climbing Higher national strategy for sport and active recreation Under this initiative a number of Welsh councils have been buying the LifeTrail tm outdoor activity solution from US company Playworld Systems and installing them in local parks Comprising of ten separate Wellness Stations the LifeTrail system is aimed at getting the aging population to perform simple but effective exercises that will contribute towards their overall health And there just happens to be a few of these hidden away along an old railway line in Pontypridd Thoughts On The Day This might seem like an odd topic for my Merthyr Road project which to date has focused on the more historical locations between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil but please indulge me The LifeTrail tm stations have been placed along the route of the former

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/pontypridd-caerphilly-and-newport-railway/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Quakers Yard
    returns later in the year I ll have to head back up there with my Sigma 80 400mm lens to see what detail it can capture Favourite Photo From The Shoot This shot of the A472 road bridge is my favourite shot from this shoot When composing photos I m always looking for lines that will draw the eye along and this photo is a fantastic example of how converging lines catch my attention Unlike the natural landscape shots that make up the rest of the shoot this photo feels clean and uncluttered I don t know it just makes me want to go out and take more photos A close second is this shot taken just before reaching the bridge at Edwardsville that carries the tramroad across the River Taff just south of the Goitre Coed Viaduct My recent shoot down at Sea Lock whilst very satisfying to that part of me that is really enjoying the history side of things had left me feeling that the photography was getting lost amidst it all I ve been playing around with this basic shot design a plain subject in focus in the foreground with the more interesting subject further back out of the depth of field since I first thought of it during my trip up to Snowdonia in 2003 and it s always my fallback strategy when I m not enjoying my photography as I d like to Also a close second is this shot looking south at Goitre Coed Viaduct I always find the Viaduct a complete bugger to photograph the best place to actually see the damn thing seems to be across the valley sat atop Giant s Bite The Viaduct s simply too big and the valley too small to get a great picture from the tramroad itself looking north Going under the Viaduct and looking south back to Quakers Yard I managed to snag this shot which I feel gives a good idea of just how the viaduct appears out of nowhere to completely dominate the scene But don t take my word for it get out and about and go see it for yourself Post Production After the eye popping colours from my Sea Lock photoshoot I didn t want to do another set of photos looking like that But equally I didn t want to do a black and white shoot if I could avoid it It was a great day blue skies and hot sun and I d been careful to avoid burnt out skies as much as possible which is why many of the photos in this set are looking south even though my journey was heading north It was during the post work on the railway car shot that I decided to try desaturating the colours in the photo instead of saturating them It seems obvious now that the problem was the unbalance I was creating through boosting the colours but equally the same colour boosting really improved the photos

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/quakers-yard/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway
    far from the tramroad the calming lull of the River Taff bubbling along in the opposite direction more than makes up for the dull background noise of road and rail My original plan was to follow the tramroad all the way up from Navigation to Merthyr Tydfil and then catch the train back to Abercynon but I didn t make it all the way I spent far too long along the way stopping for photos which meant that a journey that takes the train just 9 minutes took me nearly six hours By contrast it took me only two hours to make the return trip including a photo stop at the Giant s Bite The other problem is that the tramroad unfortunately hasn t completely survived The section from Navigation ends at Merthyr Vale It is possible to pick up the trail again from Troedyrhiw but it seemed sensible to leave that for a follow up visit when maybe I wouldn t get lost The route s in various conditions From Navigation to Quakers Yard it has become a single track road serving a few houses that lie along the route From Quakers Yard to Pontygwaith Bridge it s a stony track similar to many now used by the Taff Trail I was struck by the difference from Pontygwaith Bridge to the southern end of Merthyr Vale where the track is packed hardcore showing off the original stones that the rails sat on to perfection And then you get to Merthyr Vale where the tramroad is in various states of having been tarmaced over or completely buried under some form of building work that I don t recognise At some point in the middle of all this the tramroad actually crosses the railway line I completely failed to spot this and ended up walking along the old Merthyr Vale Colliery branch line instead until it came to an end I only realised my mistake during the post production research for this article There are magnificient views to be had especially through the Pontygwaith Nature Reserve This hidden valley used to be crossed by three great viaducts Two of them the Joint Line s viaduct to Cefn Glas and the GWR s viaduct to the Cynon Valley no longer stand they were demolished in 1969 GaAC Volume 1 has a photo of both viaducts still in place taken in the 1950 s but Brunel s Goitre Coid Viaduct still stands and is still in use by the Valley Lines service between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil Although all three viaducts were built to cross the tramroad the best view is to be had from the top of Giant s Bite on the other side of the valley The whole hidden valley takes its name from Pont Y Gwaith the Works Bridge which crosses the River Taff in the shadow of the A470 If you re following the Taff Trail the trail leaves the tramroad to cross Pontygwaith and duck under the A470 before heading north to Aberfan on the western side of the A470 If you re heading south along the tramroad instead of north you can cross Pont Y Gwaith make your way under the A470 and then head up the hill to Giant s Bite or follow the dried up Glamorganshire Canal bed south around the foot of the hill Myself I went up to Giant s Bite so that I could take some photos of the three viaducts from across the valley I was pleasantly surprised with how close in I managed to get with just a 135mm DX lens equivalent to a 200mm lens on a full frame 35mm camera When the sunny weather returns later in the year I ll have to head back up there with my Sigma 80 400mm lens to see what detail it can capture Favourite Photo From The Shoot This shot of the A472 road bridge is my favourite shot from this shoot When composing photos I m always looking for lines that will draw the eye along and this photo is a fantastic example of how converging lines catch my attention Unlike the natural landscape shots that make up the rest of the shoot this photo feels clean and uncluttered I don t know it just makes me want to go out and take more photos A close second is this shot taken just before reaching the bridge at Edwardsville that carries the tramroad across the River Taff just south of the Goitre Coed Viaduct My recent shoot down at Sea Lock whilst very satisfying to that part of me that is really enjoying the history side of things had left me feeling that the photography was getting lost amidst it all I ve been playing around with this basic shot design a plain subject in focus in the foreground with the more interesting subject further back out of the depth of field since I first thought of it during my trip up to Snowdonia in 2003 and it s always my fallback strategy when I m not enjoying my photography as I d like to Also a close second is this shot looking south at Goitre Coed Viaduct I always find the Viaduct a complete bugger to photograph the best place to actually see the damn thing seems to be across the valley sat atop Giant s Bite The Viaduct s simply too big and the valley too small to get a great picture from the tramroad itself looking north Going under the Viaduct and looking south back to Quakers Yard I managed to snag this shot which I feel gives a good idea of just how the viaduct appears out of nowhere to completely dominate the scene But don t take my word for it get out and about and go see it for yourself Post Production After the eye popping colours from my Sea Lock photoshoot I didn t want to do another set of photos looking like

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/quakers-yard-and-merthyr-joint-railway/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Stuart's Photography - » Quarrying
    for landscape photography with the sun reflecting off the Bristol Channel beyond the South Wales coastline The photos shot facing that way all suffered from limited contrast and colour I ended up converting those to black and white to make the most of them To the east towards Caerphilly and Taffs Well the light was much better well in between the rain drops I was able to get nice crisp shots of most of my subjects and I was able to leave those photos in colour To get up the Garth I recommend hiking up the road from Gwaelod y Garth A couple of sections of the road are steep and like me you might find using a walking stick helps with these bits but for the main it s not too hard on the legs or the knees You can reach Gwaelod y Garth easily from Taffs Well railway station car park by using the footbridge to cross the River Taff Don t be tempted to try a short cut through the new housing estate on the site of the former Pentyrch Iron Works I couldn t find a way through from there to the old village behind it and had to double back And as to what you can see once you get up there Favourite Photo From The Shoot This photo of the General Electric plant at Nantgarw is my favourite photo from this shoot Being up on the Garth provided the perfect elevation to show how GE s factory dominates the entire hill side and the communities that it surrounds I also like the photo of the War Memorial simply because it s a great demonstration how just how much reach the Sigma 80 400 mm lens has and my shot of the Millennium Stadium in the heart of Cardiff because it shows just how central the stadium is Post Production Whilst I was up on the Garth I also took 14 shots of Taff Vale to stitch together into a single panoramic image of Taff Vale At Jon Pearse s recommendation I bought a copy of Calico to do the stitching and I m very happy with the result The beautiful thing about Calico is that it does all the work for you and unlike some competing tools it doesn t complain when you want to stitch 14 images together Now getting the final panoramic shot uploaded to Flickr that was far harder than generating the shot in the first place Found On Flickr This old postcard provides a great view of the Walnut Tree Viaduct with the Garth beyond it With a lot more care and thought into how the heritage of the South Wales valleys could be protected and developed this could have been the view that greeted visitors leaving the M4 bound for the Brecon Beacons I think it s a shame that it isn t so 1 comment Latest Photos Categories A4054 Merthyr Road A469 A470 Trunk Road A473 A48 Abercanaid

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/quarrying/ (2016-05-02)
    Open archived version from archive



  •