Shutterspeed: Cardiff in black and white

I took these photos on the last day I spent in Cardiff, after my internship in Swansea had come to an end. I really enjoyed experimenting with light, shadows and contrast while photographing the stunning architecture from the Victorian period–the time when Cardiff was at its most prosperous.

The arcades are quite unique–they even earned Cardiff the title of “City of Arcades.” Built around the beginning of the 20th century, they curve through building blocks, so you may enter one from the High Street and emerge from the other end, having made a 90-degree turn. The Brits love their “retail therapy” and these arcades are probably the best shopping experience Wales has to offer: They’re filled with cafes and delis, as well as little boutiques selling craft materials, soap, design clothing, comic books, skateboards and everything in between. The world’s oldest record shop is located here as well: Spillers Records, in the Morgan Arcade, dates from 1894. The market hall dates from the same period and is a wonderful and lively place to wander around in. I always love markets in foreign countries because they really capture the spirit of that place: the food, the locals, the slang, the hideous souvenirs.

Sitting in a cafe and drinking coffee whilst looking out and admiring the beautiful wooden storefronts, the glass panes and ornamental woodwork that make up the ceiling, the little windows and the beautiful 19th-century lamps, you could very well imagine having stepped into the past.

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