A fab photo

This is not a photo taken by me. I was looking through some of my son’s photos and came across this one which I thought was just fantastic. It was taken back in 2007.

Son isn’t always good at captioning his photos but this has no need of a caption for me. It is, without any doubt, Westbury cement works.


The vantage point was somewhere up on the downs. And what a vantage, and what an advantage son took of it. The vale was completely lost in mist with only the tallest bits of the cement works rising above it – notably, the chimney which was belching its vapour in front of the clear blue sky. Some more distant landscape also is above the mist.

This photo is not repeatable now for the cement works has closed and the chimney remains amid an argument as to whether it is an iconic landmark (I happen to think it is) or a piece of industrial blight in the rural landscape. Yes, the chimney remains but it no longer belches forth its fumes – which were mostly, steam.

Now some photographers talk about a rule of thirds. Photographic highlights, according to this rule are supposed to be a third of the way across the photo and a third of the way up or down.  Based on this rule, my son didn’t get it right. The chimney is surely the focal point and it’s less than a quarter of the way across and about half way up the image. Maybe son realised this for he took another photo – this one.


Well, I reckon it’s a good photo as well, but for me the top one is the winner. But then I never really thought that composition in a photo was about hard and fast rules.

Either way, I’m a jealous dad who wishes he’d been there to get the photo.

We are, of course, photographic rivals and the local show photography trophy has recently had to move from my house to his for this year we shared it with the same number of points. I expect other competitors are getting fed up with our surname appearing on this trophy. I know we have won it for the past four years – me once, my wife once, my son once and then a share.  The rivalry is good humoured. My son has won because he has used (better than me) the image enhancement software I have for a category called a digitally enhanced picture. In truth, I’d like a non-family person to win it this year, unless my daughter would like to enter the fray!


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