Photographing the Industrial Heritage of South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Industrial Heritage Photography Course © Chris James

This course has now taken place, but you can see details of all our other courses over the coming months here.

Sunday May 29th, 10.30am to 6.30pm. Places cost £99.00 each.

This course will be limited to just six photographers – so everyone will receive plenty of individual attention and have their questions answered. Please contact us to request a booking form.

The relics of our industrial past can be extremely photogenic, and this unique workshop in and around Elsecar (between Sheffield and Barnsley in South Yorkshire) will give you the chance to photograph some excellent examples. 

Most of the workshop will be spent at the former Hemingfield Colliery, where we will have exclusive access. This well preserved colliery was developed in the 1840s, and worked the Barnsley coal seam until 1920. From then until 1989, it worked as a pumping station to keep other local mines dry. The site was finally bought by the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery in 2014 – and apart from on open days – is not open to the public, so we are fortunate to be given exclusive access for this course. Part of the course fee will be going to help them conserve and protect the site. More details about the mine and its history can be seen here on their website.

Hemingfield still retains many original features, including the 2 concrete headstocks over the remaining pumping and winding shafts, the winding engine house with its drum and other equipment, a Cornish engine house and an engine house for underground haulage (later converted to the switchgear building). We will be able to photograph all the accessible areas except the Cornish engine house (which has been converted to a house). Although the 2 shafts are still present, they are flooded and there is no access to underground areas.

Ironworks, Elsecar © Chris JamesWe will start the day at Elsecar (where there is free car parking, as well as access by rail from Sheffield and Barnsley), before the easy 20 minute walk along the Dearne and Dove Canal to Hemingfield Colliery. We will spend the day at the mine until 4.00pm, when we will walk back to Elsecar – taking in the Hemingfield Basin (used for loading the coal from the mine) and the site of another small coal mine on the way. 

Newcomen steam engine, Elsecar, South Yorkshire © Chris JamesFor the remainder of the workshop, we will photograph other industrial subjects at the Elsecar Heritage Centre. These include the impressive 1850s ironworks and chimney, former engineering workshops and forges, the Heritage Railway (currently closed – but with some features still accessible for photography) and the Newcomen beam engine. This is the only C18th steam engine in the world to remain in its original location and in 1972 was classified as a scheduled ancient monument. It worked for over a century, from 1795 to 1923, pumping up to 520 gallons of water per minute from the workings of Elsecar New Colliery below.

The course will finish at 6.30pm.

As this is an intermediate – rather than beginners’ level – course, it is important that you are already familiar with the basics of photography and how to use your camera in other than the “all-automatic” mode. If you are not confident about how to use shutter speeds, lens apertures and ISO to control exposure, and how to focus your camera, please come on one of our beginners’ level digital photography courses first, where we teach those skills.

Subjects covered on this course may include:

  • composition for picture impact
  • creative use of lens apertures, shutter speeds and different types of lenses
  • how and when to use different types of filters on your lenses
  • how to get the colours looking the way you want them in your photos
  • tips for shooting in RAW format for maximum quality
  • shooting in fully manual (M) mode
  • correct use of tripods

Please contact us to request a booking form, or if you need any further information about this course. 

We also run landscape and beginners’ level courses in other local areas. See here for details of all our other digital photography courses near Sheffield and in the Peak District.