DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 2003

Notes on DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 1989 - 2010

These exposed tree roots were photographed during sunset. The tripod was set as low to the ground as possible, about 8 inches, and the camera pointed upward so only to capture the root and sky in the viewfinder. A long exposures of around 8 - 64 seconds were used due to the lack of light but the evening was calm and sky beautiful and these long slow exposures helped keeping me calm whilst I whizzed around the hillside trying to photograph as many of these sculptural roots as possible before darkness completely fell.

All these images of dead trees and roots were taken after climbing up and over the cave at Hafod to Cefn Coch plateau. I remember my first visit during heavy fog. The tall trees, branchless, standing like ancient monuments, imposing in the white gloom. The subsequent visits, of which there have been many, as often as I can, returning to particular trees. Photographing, re-photographing the upturned, exposed roots. With each year passing, more of their trunks, branches and roots eaten away by the damp, or wind, or frost or sheep rubbing themselves to rid themselves of an itch.

Once at the tip of the plateau before you stand the Cambrian Mountains and their marshy and heavily tussled grasslands, leading to Teifi Pools and Cwm Elan. Seemingly, nothing much to see up there, except cairns and secret lakes, peat bogs and sheep enclosures. But the views and the slowness of foot benefits the soul and many hours of contemplation can do no one any harm. Often I sing while I go. The sheep do not mind and if the wind is behind you, and the ground beneath dry, miles can pass by without notice.

COED MARW. Cefn Coch. Cwmvstwvth. Ceredigion 1989 - 2009
Tynnwyd pob un o'r deiweddau hyn o goed a gwreiddiau marw ar ol i mi ddringo dros yr ogof yn yr Hafod i Gefn Coch. Torrwyd y coed ar y llechwedd hon, a oedd ar un adeg yn rhan o ystad yr Hafod, a llawer o goed yr Hafod yn ystod y ddau ryfel byd. Wrth wneud hyn, diflannodd llawer iawn o'r 3 miliwn o goed pren caled a blannwyd yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.

Cofiaffy ymweliad cyntaf a ddigwyddodd yn ystod niwl trwchus. Safai'r coed tal heb ganghennau fel henebion hynafol, yn fawreddog yn yr oerlwm. Rwyfwedi ymweld a'r ardal hon ar sawl achlysur ac rwyf wastad yn dychwelyd at goed penodol a'm hoff goed. Rwyfwedi tynnu Iluniau o'r gwreiddiau agored hyn dro ar ol tro. Wrth i'r blynyddoedd fynd heibio, mae'r lleithder a'r rhew wedi golygu bod y boncyffion, y canghennau a'r gwreiddiau wedi dirywio. Nid yw'r ffaith bod defaid yn rhwbio yn eu herbyn yn helpu dim.
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DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 2010


Photo comment By Shannon MacLachlan Ph.d: I compose symphonies and film scores. Your photography rings strongly, particularly these tree root photographs. I do intend to have one soon. Would you ever consider licensing your work for use in an opera production? I stage the productions at various venues several times a year. Thank you, Shannon Blaine MacLachlan Ph.d

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