Returning home from an errand in the already dark evening, I noticed a red light in the corner of my eye. It was an illuminated shaft tower from the Ewald Coal Mine As I live in a former mining region, there are plenty of derelict shaft towers around here. Over the years, local decision-makers have realized their value as touristy sightseeing and unique event locations. Furthermore, they have turned these shaft towers into hubs of cultural identity. People around here are proud of their mining heritage and use pictures of their local headframes on stickers, cups, glasses, and all sorts of other items to show it. Hence, more and more shaft towers (and other old industrial locations) have been illuminated over the years to be seen from afar.
I have photographed this particular shaft tower of the Ewald Coal Mine before, but not in its illuminated state, so I decided to go there and see what I could do. Here are some of the images I took on that particular tour.
The small shaft tower
While many coal mines had only shaft towers, the Ewald Coal Mine had two (three if you include the Malakow Tower in the count). The one I am referring to here is the smaller of the two. Albeit being smaller, it has an iconic appeal in its own right. Ironically, it looks more modern even though it is actually older. Below, you will find two shots of this tower, one taken at dusk and one taken after the sun had set completely.
Personally, I think it deserves its own dedicated illumination.
The double headframe
The larger shaft tower is a double-headframe construction and serves as the iconic main attraction of the Ewald Coal Mine. It is illuminated using a red light which glows ominously from afar. It is this shaft tower I had seen from the motorway and the one I had come to photograph. Unfortunately, the number of angles is limited, so you may find some of the photos below to be variations of the same composition. The challenge here was to manage the balance between the bright and the dark areas. It had to keep the shadow areas dark but still wanted them to hold some detail. Otherwise, the images would have just been too dark and heavy. Here are my results.
Old cars and other serendipities
Usually, when photographing, I find things I didn’t expect. This trip was no exception. On this tour, two derelict cars were on exhibition on site. The light was dull and already fading, so I didn’t have much time for a proper exploration – hence the limited number of photographs.
Right next to the cars, a hose pipe was lying on the ground like a snake. Interestingly, on its right, the ground was dark and wet, whereas on its left, it was bright and dry – an opportunity for a semi-abstract photo I had to seize.
Also, there was a graphic speed bump underneath a street lamp. Was it its graphic nature or the fact that it featured so many triangles? Whatever it was, I just had to take a photo of it.
Finally, I found a lead and some blades of grass floating on a very narrow little brook – a beautiful extension of my ongoing Fall series.
Famous last words
So, these are the images I brought home from this particular trip. I hope you like them. Please let me know what you think in the comments.