Silent Valley is a huge reservoir built between 1923 and 1933 in Northern Ireland. The dam is ringed by mountains (the Mournes) and the land was chosen because it was free from industry and pollution and had around 180 cm (70 in) of rain each year.
Fortunately it wasn’t raining the day we went up there, but a cold breeze was blowing and we didn’t meet more than a dozens people along the trails.
Despite my tendency to be optimistic, I didn’t load the camera at home but brought with me a Fuji Velvia 50 (… right, I might have been a little bit over optimistic here) a Fuji CN 200 and a Lomography CN 400. As expected, by the time we arrived – it’s a two-hour drive from Dublin – the sky had clouded over a little bit so I decided to go for the 200 ISO film. And that was a rather unfortunate choice.
On our way to Silent Valley, we stopped at the Spelga Dam (a reservoir built in 1894) where I took a couple of shots which apparently were never impressed on the film. But the problems didn’t stop there as I ended up with several overlapping shots, an accidental double exposure (which by the way is quite interesting), and yellow/green spots virtually in every shot. Those may have been caused by the film ripping at one point. Yes, that happened too.
The Mourne Mountains are made of granite. This tough rock contains few natural minerals and develop a thin ‘peaty’ topsoil. So it only supports plants such as heather and certain grasses that can live in acid conditions.
Turning our backs to the reservoir, we kept walking through the woodland. To Be Continued.
Camera: Horizon Perfekt
Film: Fujifilm CN 200
Location: Silent Valley Mountain Park, Northern Ireland