Congratulations to Sandwell College’s Creative Industries lecturer Richard Franklin who is celebrating success in a major landscape photography competition.
Richard’s image Living in the Past has been awarded Commended in the Urban Life category of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2021 competition, and it will be displayed in exhibition at London Bridge station and published in the awards annual.
Taken at Blaenau Ffestiniog – best known for being the ‘slate capital of the world’ – in the summer of 2018, when most of the country was experiencing a heatwave, the striking monochrome image features a row of workers’ houses dwarfed by the slate waste tips of nearby Oakeley Quarry.
Richard said: “To be commended in a competition that attracted over 30,000 entries is a great honour and I am looking forward to seeing the image displayed.
“I never photograph the area in colour or when there is blue sky. The scars and relics left over from the industrial past look so much more dramatic when shown in black and white, emphasising the harshness of the landscape and the conditions faced by those that worked and lived nearby. The houses and waste tips were there in the early 19th century and the scene has remained almost the same, two centuries on. At Blaenau, the weather was humid with low cloud and mist and it’s these conditions that add such drama to the scenery.”