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testmeat photoblog


11th June 2011

dy-no-mite

there's an argument to say that touring a working mine is a little exploitative - essentially treating it like a zoo where the caged animals are represented by poor miners working in appalling conditions. any guilt that might be associated with that was abated by the fact that a portion of the money spent on the tour goes directly to the mining community. in addition to this the tour guides were all ex-miners and perhaps most importantly the tour begins at the miners' market where you buy gifts for the miners. these gifts would vary from cigarettes, (96%) alcohol, coca leaves, juice and even dynamite. each of these served different purposes. the dynamite helped them get to the minerals which would take hours and hours by hand. the coca leaves were chewed by every miner and provided them with energy to keep on going. the juice provided not only essential liquid refreshment, but also essential sugar and nutrients as none of the miners would eat during their shifts. at first the alcohol and cigarettes seemed like the strangest present. down in the stifling heat where each step was steeped in danger and the air was so toxic and thin that breathing was almost as hard as the mining itself - drugs that hindered both of those activities didn't make a lot of sense. the way that i saw it however was that if you had to face going down to hell for more than 12 hours a day, you'd need something to take the edge off.

i took this on the first day i was down there, when this miner was lighting 30 sticks of dynamite. i was told that the fuse would last between 4-5 minutes, so i observed the first 10 ignitions before retreating to a safe distance.

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i've posted 872 photos taken with my nikon d60 - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

i've posted 51 photos taken with a shutter speed of 1/40 sec - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

i've posted 138 photos taken with an aperture of f/4 - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

i've posted 87 photos taken with a focal length of 18.0 mm - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

i've posted 2 photos taken on 8th June 2011

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