The Castell Coch (Red Castle) is, undoubtedly, one of the most photographed castles in South Wales. The fairy-tale dream of William Burges and the 3rd marquess of Bute, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, is perched on the hillside just behind Tongwynlais looking down the River Taff towards Cardiff. It is as beautiful as it is strange and has many features that are similar to those seen in Cardiff Castle, another project worked on by Burgess and the 3rd marquess of Bute. The architecture is quite stunning and evolved as the project unfolded. There was a focus on maintaining historical accuracy, although this is disputed by many experts who simply say that this was borne from the minds of two dreamers who were in love with medieval times. Castell Coch is managed by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.
I have photographed the Castell Coch castle many times, but on this occasion I wanted to try something different. It was November and the weather was pretty miserable, which isn’t unusual for Wales, and so my wife, Jackie, and I were going to spend most of our time inside. Despite its appearance, Castell Coch is not that big and the rooms and spaces inside can be quite compact. With that in mind, I decided to only shoot with my 8-15mm Canon wide-angle fish-eye lens to see what I could capture.
The lens made me consider compositions in a very different way, looking for framing and also to capture the glorious splendor of some of the rooms. In fact, I think the fish-eye effect adds something to the image, filling the frame with colour and texture rather than focusing on one small feature.
I even managed to get a photograph with a little splash of blue sky as we were walking in between rooms. The photograph uses the walkway on the 1st floor as a frame, whilst focusing on one of the pointed roof of one of the towers. Down below, the circular courtyard can be seen in all it’s glory.
A selection of photographs taken at Castell Coch, both with and without the fish-eye, can be seen in the ‘Castles‘ section on my website.
Many of the castle photographs shown in the collection are framed or put on canvas for supply to customers all over the world and are only available through Paul Fears Photography. For further details or to enquire about purchased a castle photograph mounted in a frame or on a canvas, please contact Paul by email on email@example.com or send an enquiry via the website.