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Chirk Aqueduct #2

Chirk aqueduct and viaduct, Wales, at night with illuminations

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The story behind this image

The Llangollen canal, running from the river Dee at Llangollen in North Wales and joining the Shropshire Union Canal at Hurleston, over the border in England, features some of North Wales' premiere engineering marvels, one of which, the hugely impressive Pontcysyllte aqueduct near Wrexham, was granted UNESCO 'World Heritage' status ten years ago back in 2009.

To mark the anniversary, a three week lighting installation was commissioned in October 2019, with the aqueducts at Pontcysyllte and Chirk, plus Dinas Bran castle and the Horseshoe Falls at Llangollen all featuring in the show.

For the duration of the three weeks the weather was pretty damp, with cloud, mist and drizzle most evenings, but that didn't deter quite large crowds coming out to view the lights, my wife Liz and myself included.

In all we made four trips on different evenings, checking out the various lighting locations along the eleven mile stretch of canal, with me trying to photograph the attractions in the best possible way.

Not easy given the weather conditions and the fact that the lights on the two aqueducts ran on a programmed sequence, constantly changing in both intensity and colour.

But by the end of the three weeks I'd managed to get decent images of all the major sites except for Dinas Bran, as yomping up to the top of the hill on which the ruins are situated in the dark and rain was just a step too far!

This image shows the canal aqueduct and the adjacent railway viaduct at Chirk from ground level in a very wet and muddy field.

I had watched the light show cycle thought its various phases before deciding on this arrangement as the most photogenic, with all the entire length of the twin structures lit with beautifully contrasting colours of red and blue.

I also made sure we arrived at this shooting location before the start of the light show at 7.30pm as I wanted to still have some natural light in the sky behind the aqueduct for this image.

The line of light in the foreground is someone walking around with a torch, recorded as a disembodied wavy light streak during the long 8 second exposure.

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Image data

Filename - chirk aqueduct 02

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 40mm

Exposure - 8 secs @ f4, ISO100

Filters - None.

Location - Chirk Aqueduct, North Wales

Image enhancements - Adobe Lightroom

Comments - Tripod, remote release and mirror lockup used to prevent camera vibrations.