Meet the Photographer - R. Alan Jones
This is the website of myself, R. Alan Jones, a photographer from North Wales. I first picked up a camera what seems like a very long time ago, it was my parents’ Olympus trip, which then spawned my own 110 spy camera and a host of disposable 35mm ones before finally getting my own Trip. (Everyone should have one, right?) I didn’t exactly get out on photography trips as a child, but I did get out in Quarries.
When you’re a small child in North Wales who loves railways, you can hardly escape Slate quarries, and so it was with me. I remember passing through Blaenau many times, with it’s massive looming waste tips, but the thing that really planted the seed was the Welsh Slate Museum, must have been about 1995, walking through the Vivian arch on a dark cloudy, slightly rainy day and being struck with the panorama of flooded quarry pit below with wagon hanging from a Blondin above hemmed in by impossibly steep rock walls. That was it, I was hooked.
Things got better still when for a short period we lived in Nant Gwrtheyrn – my every free moment was spent exploring the Porth Y Nant quarry on our doorstep, if only I’d had my camera on me back them! Truth is I was more interested in drawing back then, the move to photography came later, when I learnt to drive and set off across the country exploring bigger and better quarries. You can thank Dave Sallery for that, acting as guide he showed me places I never knew existed, and remains that have now vanished forever, sadly these were the days when digital cameras were in their infancy and film was an expensive commodity, so many have gone unrecorded by me.
At this time I was only dabbling in photography, Digital was just taking over and I was just out to record interesting bits of history, and my rambles around disused places. Photography as art hit after what seems like an age when I met my first wife Lexie, between her and her father the photography bug was instilled deep in me and took serious hold. Since then I’ve lost count of how many hours I’ve spent out with who knows how many different bits of camera equipment, learning, watching, waiting and repeating.
It’s still Quarries and Railways that get me going, but I love most all aspects of photography. I cannot really pin myself down on what genre I shoot, I suppose I’m a documentary industrial landscape photographer, if such a thing exists. Whatever I’m shooting I like to try and capture the sense of wonder I feel when viewing disused buildings, impressive engineering or simply stunning scenery. I like to try and give places and things context and show the world the full situation. I am particularly drawn to textures, and there is certainly no shortage of variety in that department when you visit the places I do.
I am now embarking on the next phase of my journey. In September 2015 I joined the Royal Photographic society, with an aim to gain my first distinction. I am now working towards this – something that is a great personal challenge as it requires addressing my total lack of shooting discipline, however it can only be a good thing. I don’t believe we ever stop developing, and I hope that my photography continues to do so and in the process I hope I can spread some of the joy it gives me with you as you engage with my work.