This shot was taken from Valencia Island from the elevated vantage point of the slate mine. Looking in a north-easterly direction one can just see Cromwell Point lighthouse. Beyond that is the tiny island of Beginish and County Kerry in the distance.
Valentia Slate Quarry was first opened in 1816 to supply slates mainly for roofing and flooring. It also supplied gravestones to all the local cemeteries and because of the excellent quality of the slate (non-porous with no impurities), these memorials can still be seen today as perfect as the day they were erected as far back as the 1820’s. When the great municipal buildings were being erected in London in the mid-19th century, Valentia Slate was used extensively. These included the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and many of the Underground Railways such as Waterloo, Charing Cross, Liverpool St and Black Friars. It was also used in the Paris Opera House. George Magnus became a shareholder in the Quarry and he set up an enamelling business in London and one of his finest products was white enamelled Valentia Slate Billiard Tables made entirely of Slate and one of these can still be seen in the Isle of Wight.
During its best years in the 1850’s the quarry employed up to 500 workers and built up a world renowned name for its quality products. However, with the cheaper and softer Welsh Slate coming on the market, a decline set in at Valentia and a rock fall at the mouth of the Quarry was the final straw. The Quarry closed in 1911. The Quarry was reopened in 1999 and went into business once more. It wasn’t easy as all the slate tradition and knowledge had died out after 88 years of inactivity. Today the Quarry employs 6 people and has a fine range of quality products.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2013. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
Gigidusud (20825) 2013-10-30 23:50
Good morning Rosemary,
Beautiful landscape with nice blue tones and splendid light. I like the rock on FG and the contrast of the green grassland. Well done!
Have a nice day,
jjcordier (79297) 2013-10-31 0:11
Un paysage étonnant et chaotique dont tu as réalisé une photo de qualité, encore plus impressionnante dans sa version plus large.
dkmurphys (58038) 2013-10-31 0:52
Spectacular composition from that amazing place. It is very picturesque, love it!
Royaldevon (38477) 2013-10-31 1:51
As so often in Ireland, the sun is not doing its bit but you have used what is available to produce a very beautiful, quite moody, shot.
The slate f/g is eye-catchingly textured, creating its own peaks, to give a sense of depth and to link naturally with the b/g peaks. I really like the small shafts of light that are giving character to the hills.
I think it's time we went back to visit Ireland!
Have a lovely day,
snunney (98265) 2013-10-31 3:26
A most interesting and informative note to accompany this lovely composition. I like the point of view very much with the slate nicely displayed in the foreground. Control over depth of field is very good indeed. The lovely light and nicely rendered blue tones contribute much to the atmosphere of the shot. Fine photography.
timecapturer (49288) 2013-10-31 5:26
never associate slate with Ireland, so a learning curve shot from you. Love the fg detailing which is beautifully sharp, but it is the superb DOF and stunning view that make this so special. Tantalising and beautiful imagery!
Sergiom (78623) 2013-10-31 6:34
Quel beau paysage. Le point de vue, comme caché derrière les rochers car il donne de la profondeur à la composition. Le plan d'eau est magnifique et dégage une impression de calme.
olive224 (2719) 2013-10-31 6:52
A nice landscape indeed with great colors and sharpness
One notice though : i find the POV to low. The FG is almost hiding the horizon and the lake seems crushed by the big grey sky..
Maybe a high angle shot would have done the trick : always a nice FG, less sky and more lake ;)
This is only my opinion of course ;)
ChrisJ (113273) 2013-10-31 6:55
I remember using slates to write and learn my abc as a 6 year old but that was a long time ago! Here the rule of thirds appears to have been broken at first glance but the division in tones in the sky and clouds is on the 1/3 axis so all is well! Good sharpness, diffused light and a wonderful bg view of the attractive bay of islands contrasting against the industrial mining fg. Tfs!
Kugart (1778) 2013-10-31 9:01
Nice shot from Valencia Island looking back towards the Kingdom of Kerry. This would be a nice panorama on its own but by including the slate in the foreground you have made a far more interesting scene. Hope you got better weather than I did the last time I visited,it never stopped raining.
lousat (90722) 2013-10-31 10:03
Hi Rosemary,magnificent landscape,what a rich scenery and what a spectacular quality everywhere,all under the typical cloudy sky,i like it!! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano
Romano46 (18472) 2013-10-31 10:06
in questa foto c'è tutta l'Irlanda classica, quella che tutti conoscono quantomeno attravcerso i libri ed i film.
Grandi e deserte distese erbose che giungono fino al mare sotyto un cielo spesso grigio e piovoso.
Paesaggi grandiosi che fanno la gioia del fotografo, soprattutto quando a riprenderli sei tu con la tua grande capacità di interpretare e comporre.
Ciao e buona serata
cornejo (41789) 2013-10-31 11:16
Hi Rosemary, very good picture of this beautiful landscape, with the interesting slate foreground, beautifully captured in this beautiful image with good sharpness, nice color and light. Very good and interesting job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this great work.
Good night and happy weekend.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
zoomer (6) 2013-10-31 13:14
Hello,wonderful rugged and mysterious looking scene.Great poets and writers come from this country.All the best Wolf.
williewhistler (16394) 2013-10-31 13:49
as someone who spent 35 years working in a slate quarry I find the shapes,colours and texture of the FG rocks most interesting,not unlike the ones we have in Devon.
The brooding sky above the distant mountains give the shot a really nice atmosphere,although I might have cropped a little off of the top.
Warm regards Les.
carlo62 (47465) 2013-10-31 16:03
bella panoramica, ben composta, con un ottimo primo piano e una bella profondità.
Il cielo sembra un classico in Irlanda, ma è molto interessante in questa foto.
jemaflor (96795) 2013-11-01 1:11
Nice landscape well presented, I like the great depth with these rocks in the Fg, light is well captured, tfs.
Noel_Byrne (31006) 2013-11-01 5:40
I like this view a lot, the slate makes a brilliant foreground interest, while there is such Irish colors and sky behind to show a sense of place to this, with the light struggling through the clouds. A fascinating note again too, thanks Rosemary, I am learning so much of my country through your lens!
Have a great weekend
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-11-01 7:57
the scene has definitely that "something"!
It´s a combination of light and colors(even despite cloudy sky),which makes it so moody and unforgettable.
Quite hard to explain with words,but for me it has something magical.
Wish You a nice weekend
Silvio1953 (142131) 2013-11-01 10:58
Ciao Rosemary, fascinating landscape, dreaming atmosphere, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
Nicou (141162) 2013-11-02 0:30
quelle roche en premier plan sueprbe cpatage et vue quel effet ces gros cailloux plats avec la vue sur l’eau le montagnes et une parterre de vert sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
Cricri (118839) 2013-11-02 0:32
Un paysage extraordinaire, sauvage et merveilleux, jolies teintes sous une lumière de fin de journée