Thursday 9 June 2011

Photographing Hadrian's Wall - my own experience

Looking back at English Heritage Buildings (including education room)

Looking out at the long walk up to Housesteads

Wooden stairs (modern) within fort showing how steep it is/was inside the fort

Looking out over vicus - civilian village beside fort

Famous bath house at Housesteads fort

One of the drains at Housesteads beside bath house

Drains and water tank (look at how eroded the top of the tank stones are - soldiers: washing, cleaning & sharpening knives)

Peaking through a pipe outlet on water tank

Ditto - as above

Inside the water tank

Chamfron (rounded) edge of fort

(as above)

Other side of bath house

Julie of HWH Ltd taking a photo of the workshop attendees (i.e.: us)!
The one day workshop yesterday at Housesteads Roman fort formed part of  Hadrian Wall Heritage's "Know your Hadrian's Wall Country" (click on the link to take you to their Facebook page) and was a follow-up to one which was held in February but we were rained off...

It wasn't the most brilliant of days yesterday but we managed to grab some shots in between showers.

Roger (who is a well known Hadrian's Wall Photographer) had given us some tips and advice as to how to take some better photos. So we were told about "thirds, leading lines, framing" and so on. I've been on a photography course before but unless I am out there taking photos every day it is easy to forget even the basics. Luckily Roger liked my photos and gave me some ideas to make them even better...

I like taking photographs and know that I still need to know a lot more e.g. under/over exposure in certain conditions, what type of lens to use etc. etc. I'd love to do more courses some time in the future.

Roger Clegg is known for his moody atmospheric shots of the Wall. His distinctive photos were used for the Hadrian exhibition at the British Museum in 2008. Click here for his website.
David Taylor whose photo of the Wall at Walltown I use on this blog's header photo - is very generous with his advice, enthusiasm and time. Click here to see his work. Other excellent local active photographers are:
Joan Thirlaway
Sandra Myers
David Prakel
Graeme Peacock

Joan lives in nearby Gilsland. She is usually out every day taking photos and Twitters actively. Sandra's photos of local wildlife and scenery are amazing. David Prakel lives in Haltwhistle and I've been on one of his super photography courses. He's written extensively about the subject and offers courses from his base in Haltwhistle. Graeme, I know less well, but again a great photographer...Check them out! Of course there are many more...but these ones are my favourites.

I won't say too much here about Housesteads will be a subject of another blog post. People ask..."Why go to one Roman fort when they were all built the same way?"...Well, each one is different and unique. The Roman builders had to work with what they had were forced to modify and adapt forts to try and fit the current plan/layout of a fort. So...try and go and see them all! Housesteads is very famous for its bath also has a hospital and there are some splendiferous views from it because it is so high. It sits right on the line of the Wall....

Which photos have you taken...of which you have been particularly proud? Of  what? Where? How? Why? Please tell me more...

Bye for now! Valete! Hadriana :)

P.S.: Roger Clegg and other local photographers have an exhibition currently showing at The Biscuit Factory.


Anonymous said...

This is really fascinating! Living not that far away and having been there a few times, it was lovely to see your photographs.

Hope you are well.
CJ xx

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Like Crystal Jigsaw it's great to see photos of familiar territory - and I don't live anywhere near Housesteads Fort! This was the one site that was open during our wet sojourn in the area on our Pennine Way journey. Did I mention that was also our Honeymoon... 1989. I have a (print) photo of Elwin washing his hands (just pretend) in the round basin in the bath house.
Your photography workshop sounds and looks productive. I barely understand my new digital camera. All this technology needs time, time - as you said the other day - to get to grips with. Most of the time I'm winging it!

Tacitus said...

What a ridiculous place to build a fort. All that stone hauled up a hill..
I have seen the somewhat implausible theory that Hadrian was just trying to keep the legions busy. But honestly, the frontier would have been just as secure with the forts on nice flat ground down below and just watch towers up high.
Just my opinion, and you will notice that nobody has plucked me from obscurity to run a globe spanning empire just yet.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks CJ. That is a very kind comment. Hope you are well too. I often read you on Twitter! :)

Jeneane - thanks so much - yes - agree with you about technology! ;)

Tacitus2: Tim - you do make me laugh a lot. Am almost tempted to write Monty Python version of the Wall. Your comment here would definitely feature if I did! ;)

Idaho Dad said...

Between last year's visit and the family visit last month, I've taken nearly 1500 pictures along the Hadrian's Wall Path.

The best, of course, are the new ones with the kids hiking by the wall.

But my favorite from last year is this:

Tacitus said...


You speak in jest, but think of it...a YouTube short film of buildings Hadrians Wall a la Python.

We can cast various Vindolanda types in key roles.

Now, what role could we give Kevin..


Tacitus said...

Ah, got it.

Think of the dramatis personae.

Whose idea was the ridiculous wall layout?

Has to be someone with no military background, someone with a hightened sense of aesthetics, someone who had the Emperor's ear.

Add a foreign accent and we have it.

Kevin as Antonous


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Idaho Dad,

Thank you once again for your very wonderful e-mail - photos there and now this one here...which I agree with an eye catching one. There is something about Sycamore Gap which seems mystical...

Hi Tacitus2/Tim,

You speak in jest..I've got to be careful. Whereas you are thousands of miles away I am near his left hook so have to be careful what I say!!! I'm joking now as I imagine that dear Kev will be laughing too if he sees this. Yes - we must dream up some more roles for him...hmmm....all I keep thinking of are those "Carry On" films. How about a starring role for our Kev in "Carry On Up The Great Chesters?" It has a nice sound to it methinks! ;)

(I'll tell Kev about all of this when I see him next. I know he's got a good sense of humour!) ;)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

In fact - I think I can trace Kev through Facebook so I'll try that! :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Tim - you are not on Facebook are you? I typed in your name and someone else appeared. I'm guessing it is not your scene? I must admit I don't use mine much...I have the Twitter feed going through to drive everyone mad! ;)

Tacitus said...

No facebook for me.

And Twitter, oooh the difficulties it has caused one of our politicians of late.

Give my regards to my dopplegangers/evil twins.


Hadriana's Treasures said...


I have my reservations about Facebook too but it is there. Sometimes a good way to keep in touch.

Twitter - touch wood..I've not had any problems with it but then (luckily) I am not a politician!

Will do! H/C.

Maggie May said...

If only those old stones could tell what they had seen over the years........... but in a way they do, through all the excavations nearby.
Fascinating sites you are involved with.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

The bike shed said...

Nice photos - have you tried giving a digital camera to your children and really letting them take photos alone - ask them to shoot anything they find 'interesting or exciting'. A fried of mine did a study of nurseries this way - she found the child's perspective of what made for a good and interesting classroom was was entirely different to that of their teachers.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Occasionally I do Mark..but should do it more often I guess! You are right they take surprisingly good ones.

It does amaze me what they come out parents live in a village opposite the village green (near here)...there are 2 entrance points to the village - one high and one low. My four year old son prefers the 'low' entrance. He declared this morning that this was because "he does not have a head for heights"!!!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello there Maggie!

Sorry I did not reply before. Am a bit distracted these days so please do not take offence! Not deliberately ignoring you....thanks as ever for popping by.... :)

...and must be a mind reader...Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd have asked us to train up at this site too (Housesteads)..this month/next month plus exams. As if I don't have enough to do! Yes...I am mad...but this blog must be ample evidence of that!!!!!!!! Hope you are well. Hugs. Hadriana xx xx

Bev and Ian said...

Hello Hadriana. I have followed your blog for a few months. I love Roman Britain and was on the excavation team at Vindolanda last year. And again this year! In fact, we will be leaving the US tomorrow and will start our week on the digging crew on Monday.
Your photos are lovely and make me even more anxious to get there. And you are so lucky to be a Vindolanda guide. Wish I had known about your B&B before we booked ours back in November. We will remember next time!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello B and I,

Just popped over to your blog to take a look and like it very much! Will be back over soon to read it in more detail.

Good luck with the digging next week. My fingers are crossed that the weather is good for you! Glad you like my blog. You'd be more than welcome at the B&B. Hopefully next time! Bye for now, Hadriana :)

Nota Bene said...

These are great pictures...I especially liked the ones through the hole! And it's so green there

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks, NB, and have a great felix dies (happy day) today!

Sorry all about lack of blog posts. I have sworn off blogging until I get a major job (doing the B&B's books) out of the way. It must be done!!! Back soon, Hadriana xx xx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Much as I like you, NB,...I was addressing everyone about the lack of blog posts...the kisses are for everyone!!!!!!!!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I've got a blog post coming up on Wednesday when I/we celebrate 10 very happy years of marriage to Mr.H. - Nigel. :)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Blimey, I wish I was up there with you!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks, Ken. Maybe we can tempt you up here some time? You'd be more than welcome... :)salve! Hadriana x