Landscapes and Post-Industrial South Wales

Stuart enjoys taking great photos and uncovering the stories behind them.

His main photography project is Merthyr Road - a look at the history and the legacy of the industrialisation of the South Wales Valleys.

Towards Pontypridd

A Blue Tent For A Blue Garden

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

To bring this week’s theme of slabs of colour to a close, my choice of desktop wallpaper today is this huge slab of blue canvas from the tent that held all the sound gear in the Blue Garden at Beyond The Border. (And that is the last of the Beyond The Border themed photos, for real this time)

I hope you’ve enjoyed my desktop wallpaper this week. I certainly enjoyed taking the photos that I’ve shared with you this week.

As I’ve recently sold my cherished Nikon D200, I’m planning on making next week’s wallpaper a “best of” look through my Flickr archives at my favourite photos taken over the four and a half years with the D200. Have a great weekend, and I hope to see you back on Monday.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Restored Bridge At Taffs Well

This footbridge over the River Taff between Taffs Well and Gwaelod-y-Garth has recently been renovated and restored into a fantastic condition.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Candle Up Close

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Continuing this week’s theme of slabs of colour is this shot of one of the candles in our bathroom.

For myself, I think it’s a great shot to look at up close, that all of the imperfections in the candle are what make this an interesting photograph to look at all day whilst I’m working. I hope you’ll agree 🙂

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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The Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff

This unusual building stands on the roundabout formed where the A470 down from Merthyr meets the A469 down from Caerphilly. It’s currently a Weatherspoon pub called the Aneurin Bevan after the founder of the National Health Service, but it is a site that frequently changes hands.

I’ve been unable to track down online anything about the older history of this site, and especially whether this building pre-dates the construction of the Gabalfa roundabout or not. If you know, please do let me know.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Chopping Board Lit By Ambient Light

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This is the shot that gave me the idea for this week’s wallpaper theme.

This is simply a red chopping board held up in front of the kitchen window at home. I like how the shadows of our plants (okay, the wife’s plants!) on the kitchen window sill have added a bit of variety and subtlety to this shot.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Cathays Station Sign Behind Grilled Fence

In the foreground is the fencing on the western side of Cathays Railway Station. Across the tracks is the bold red ‘Cathays’ railway station sign.

It’s pleasing (to my eye at least) that although Arriva Trains Wales has painted the rest of the station in their hard-on-the-eye turquoise, they’ve left the pole of the station sign in the original Valley Lines green colour.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Burnished Copper Roof of the Millennium Centre

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

Continuing this week’s theme of great slabs of single colour, my desktop wallpaper today is this shot of the wonderful copper roof of Cardiff Bay’s Millennium Centre. There’s something about the rich look of burnished copper. Definitely something I could look at all day long!

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Alert! Treforest Estate

I couldn’t help but chuckle when I noticed this sign appear at Taffs Well railway station. Has there been a problem with train crews forgetting to stop at the Treforest Estate railway station, I wonder, or is it simply that we do have dragons in Wales after all that Treforest Estate is where they lie in wait to snack on passing trains?

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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The Canvas Of The Pavilion

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

Welcome to another week of my desktop wallpaper choices. I hope you all had a great weekend.

I’m in the mood for great big slabs of single colour this week, and to kick it off, for today I’ve chosen what I promise will be my last shot from (and last plug of) the Beyond The Border international storytelling festival. This shot is the side of the Pavilion, one of the temporary venues erected each festival for the performances. I imagine that few people give these tents themselves more than a passing glance, but I found it a rich canvas (pun intended) to explore with my camera.

More colour tomorrow!

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Clifftop Path At St Donats

Posted by Stuart Herbert on July 17th, 2010 in Photos, Shoot.

The Photos

The Path Along The Clifftop

St Donats, recurring venue for Beyond The Border, sits right on the edge of the Glamorganshire coastline, and provides easy access to the clifftop path that winds its precarious way along the top of the cliffs. Back in 2007, when we camped at the festival, we walked along the path, but didn’t manage to snag any decent photos (it was the first of three pretty miserable summers here in South Wales … we’re certainly making up for it this year!). Last weekend, one week after the festival, we headed back down there, and had a great time ambling along in the peace and quiet of the Vale of Glamorgan countryside.

More Barbed Wire Than You Can Shake A Tetnus Jab At

If you take kids with you out along the clifftop path, it isn’t just the sheer open drops down onto the hard rock shelves below that you need to be mindful of with them. There’s plenty of rusted barbed wire too along the path, perfect for snagging little horrors running riot along the otherwise peaceful path.

Dangerous Cliffs Keep To Path

The funny thing about this important warning, if you know this path at all, is that the warning sign is on the seaward side of the wall. That’s right, in order to see the sign, you have to follow the path through the wall and out onto the cliffs. It isn’t as mad as it first seems; on the other side of the wall, the path ambles along cliff tops that have suffered from erosion that has claimed ever-increasing chunks of the wall itself over the years.

The Fence That Goes Over The Edge

This is a path on the move, because it runs atop cliffs that are slowly but surely being claimed by the relentless tides of the Bristol Channel down below. There are countless reminders of this along the walk, such as old fence post pits, bits of wall that used to be joined up, and even bits of open cliff where the safety fence has now been lost. My favourite from all of these choices was this solitary fence post, which still has a bit of wire clinging to it like two trapped lovers waiting for rescue from the inevitable.

St Donats

The clifftop path, to be honest, only rarely affords views along the coast, but when the breaks in the bushes and fences and walls come, the views are very pleasant indeed.

One such view is this one of St Donats itself, complete with sunbathers on the slipway if you view this image at full size.

Grass On The Clifftop

The grass here is the kind that just invites you to lie down and let it swallow up all of your cares and troubles, even if just for a moment. Never mind that some of it is a peculiar blue colour, and that most of it is the wrong side of what looks like a possible fault line in the crumbling cliffside. Just give into temptation, and relax for a bit.

Looking Up At The Trees

A little ways along, past the old (presumably World War 2) pillbox on the cliff, the path descends down into a little bay mostly walled off from the passing public. Behind the wall sits a house, and in the grounds of the house I spotted these trees creeping over the skyline.

Pebbles On The Shore

Like nearly all of the bays along the Glamorganshire coast (the notable exception being Whitmore Bay at Barry Island) the bay that the clifftop path descended into is stony rather than sandy.

Search and Rescue Helicopter

Whilst we were down in the bay, this Sea King search and rescue helicopter flew down the Bristol Channel (that’s England over there in the background, btw). This was the closest I could get to it with my 70-300mm lens.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Don’t forget to check out my Beyond The Border 2010 photos too.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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