Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

What an interesting subject for this weeks challenge theme. Having a rich industrial past, North Wales has lots of broken things just lying around. You see them in the old slate quarries, long since abandoned, along the side of rivers, way out in the country where the only residents now are sheep and the occasional mad photographer who happens to pass by.

Porth Wen Chimney

Porth Wen Brickworks is typical. Situated on Anglesey, it’s still considered Private Property, but it’s been photographed often enough by intrepid photographers. Getting to Porth Wen is not the easiest task. For a start it’s not signposted and the path down the side of the cliff goes through some really rough vegetation. On site you have to be careful where you put your feet. you can see that from the photograph. But if you’re like me, fascinated by old buildings then it’s a photographers dream.

Minera Lead Mine

Minera lead mines ceased work around 1914 and is now part of a country park near Wrexham. The first records of lead mining at Minera date back to 1296 and over the centuries there were intermittent attempts to remove lead from the workings. Some successful, some not. The final decline of Minera was caused by the price of lead and zinc falling, whilst coal, used by the steam engine to pump water from the working, had risen. By 1909 the engine had stopped working and in 1914 the owners of Minera sold off the mines and it’s assets.

Miners Barracks

Near the base of Snowdon and on the shores of Llyn Lydaw lies the ruined crushing mill of the now defunct Britannia Copper Mine. Never really a successful enterprise, seven companies tried their luck in just over a hundred years, the mine closed in 1916.

Weekly Photo Challenge Object

You can always tell when you are near a copper mine. The rusty-red colour of the stones is a sure giveaway.

What do you think? Am I showing enough photographs this week?

Talking of copper. On the island of Anglesey is a really good walking, and of course photography area, called Copper Mountain.


Mining started here about 3500 years ago in what is known as the Bronze Age. But it was the industrial mining of the 18th and more particularly the 19th century to make Parys mountain as it is also known the largest copper mine in the world, in its time.


By the way, that tower you see on the hill is the one in the photograph above. It contained an engine to pump the water out of the lower workings of the mine.

We’ve had brick, lead, zinc, and copper. Next up is slate and where better to show old industrial broken things than Dinorwic Slate Quarry in Snowdonia. At it’s height it was the second largest slate quarry in the world, second only to another quarry just over the hill.

Dinorwic Quarry

Dinowic is a great place to wander round and relatively safe if you stick to the marked paths.

Dinorwic Quarry

It’s when you start to wander that you need to take more precautions. There are some really dangerous areas in the quarry, sheer drops, deep lakes, risk of falling stones.


This tunnel goes right through the mountain and is used by many who visit Dinorwic to get to some of the upper levels. But you need a torch “to see the light at the end of the tunnel”, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Experts recommend a blog post should be no more than 250 words too maintain interest, I’m nearly double that now. Hopefully the photographs help to maintain interest?

One more place I’d like to show you. Not far from the lighthouse at Talacre is the now disused Point of Ayr Colliery, which closed on the 23rd August 1996. . The coal field extended northwards under the Irish Sea. Nothing now remains of the colliery, not even a memorial plaque. Well, not quite, these tracks, which were a siding of the Holyhead to London Rail line, are all that is left on the site…and they really belonged to the rail company.

Gas Terminal

In the background you can see the gas plant where natural gas from the Celtic gas-fields comes ashore to be processed for use in the power station at Connah’s Quay, further up the coast.

There you have it, I’ve covered brick making, lead and zinc extraction, copper mining, slate quarrying and finally coal mining. All broken industries.

Please take some time to see what others are writing about this weeks challenge


Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped

I’ve been away all week on a short vacation. As always I choose places where I’m not tempted by t’internet. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all but the downside is the massive amount of emails I have to respond to when I get home.

So this weeks challenge is Enveloped. I hope you will agree with me that the photo I’ve submitted fulfils the challenge.

National Memorial Arboretum

Taken in the National Memorial Arboretum, this is one of the walls honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation here in the UK.

Covering 150 acre, with over 50,000 trees planted and more than 300 dedicated memorials serve to make the Arboretum a living tribute acknowledging the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of the United Kingdom.

But it’s not just for our military. There are memorials dedicated to the Police,  Fire and Rescue as well as Ambulance Services.

Also included are National Charities representing people, including children, who have died in particular circumstances.

Have a look at what others are writing about for the Weekly Photo Challenge



52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalism

Minimalism, always subjective and highly controversial. There are those who hat in and conversely those who love it.

But that’s what the challenge is this week and here’s how I’ve interpreted it.

52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalist (2)

Rightly or wrongly this is how I see minimalism. I purposely kept the photograph in Black and White. I like it that way.

We are allowed to submit two photographs, although only one can be submitted for judging. My final photograph is also a Black and White but with a touch of High Key as well.

52 in 2015 Week 20 Minimalist

Now you might have also noticed that I haven’t followed one of the more conventional aspect ratios for these two photographs. That’s because I didn’t think either of them would benefit from that setting. What do you think? Was I right to go for a more square look?

As usual, feel free to comment.

52 in 2015 Week 19 Macro/Close-Up

I don’t have a macro lens, although the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO does have a very good macro function, so I’m afraid it will be a close-up this week.

52 in 2015 Week 19 Close Up

Not the greatest of photographs, taken late Saturday morning, in the rain having climbed up a hill to specifically photograph this.

Well not so much this, but as I was there anyway and the closing day for Week 19 is Saturday it was a bit of desperation shot.

What was I really after? The Pointing Man who points the way, what else, for the Pilgrims following the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way

Thata Way

That’s it for this week. As usual feel free to comment.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces Of Nature

A great subject for this weeks challenge and one I can relate to seeing as I’m often outdoors. Instead of a photograph this week I’m going to start with a video I shot early December 2013.


We were lucky. Although the sea defences were breached there was no localised flooding as desperate workers from the county council managed to put in place a secondary defence of sand bags to impede the seas progress.

Further along the coast at Rhyl the sea did breach the defences and many homes were flooded.

And now for some photographs, after all that’s what Say It With A Camera is about.

Gone Fishin'

In the photograph above this guy was fishing on a really stormy day at Rhyl. If the wind is in the right direction incoming waves hit the curved sea wall and break up with these amazing plumes of spray. I don’t know about you but I think he was totally crazy to be still fishing. I’m using a zoom lens so I’m far enough back to be safe. Just after I took the one above a really big breaker came in and nearly swept him off his feet.

Stormy Seas

Under certain conditions those waves travel along the curve, creating a thunderous roaring sound, and if you are standing on the earthen bank you can really feel the ground vibrate.

Rhyl Seafront 4

The force behind these waves is so powerful, once again the only safe way to photograph close up like this is to stand back and use a zoom lens. Regular readers will know I have a golden rule. “No photograph is worth taking chances for”. I broke that rule last year and ended up in the Emergency Department, thankfully it wasn’t serious but I had a lucky escape.

52/2013 Week 49

Back to Prestatyn. Where those waves are breaking over is part of the North Wales Coastal Path. People regularly walk and cycle there, even at normal high tides. High winds, the right on-shore conditions and exceptional Spring Tides all contribute to a damaging force that very quickly can turn to coastal flooding. I’m standing on a small hill, behind me is the town of Prestatyn, but it’s in a dip. Flooding is inevitable if the sea defences break down, as they did in Rhyl.

Talking of high Spring Tides. In the photograph below you are looking at the Talacre Beach Car-Park. Talacre is where I go to photograph the Lighthouse. The incoming Spring Tide comes round behind to sand dunes to my right and floods the salt marsh. If the tide is high enough it will also flood the car-park and continue away to the left behind the sand dunes


Of course what this means is that you can get cut-off by the tide. In the photograph below, which is just beyond the far left of the photograph above, you can see someone with a check shirt waiting it out. They’ve been cut off and will have to spend a few hours there till the tide recedes.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighbourhood - 11

In reality it’s not as bad as that as long as you know the area. Climb the fence to the left, walk along the sand dunes for about half a mile and you can get onto drier ground. But you have to know the area to do that.

That’s it for this week and as usual feel free to leave comments.

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