About ThIS WEBSITE
Who is it for?
Anyone interested in the Ystradgynlais of old, perhaps as a local historian or perhaps just for a nostalgic glimpse of days gone by. I hope the site is useful and interesting, and maybe brings back some happy memories!
Why was the website set up?
This website was set up because I believe that local history resources should be readily available and free. I find it disappointing when organisations or individuals charge (often very high) fees for resources, especially those that have been donated or produced by volunteers. I see no justification for these charges (other than modest ones to cover production costs), and I believe they greatly discourage interest. I don't see the point of owning interesting old photos etc and not sharing them with others.
What area does it cover?
I have limited myself strictly to Ystradgynlais as there is, I believe, already a resource of old Ystalyfera images etc (though, sadly, mostly not online I think).
I have also limited the site strictly to places rather than people, unless the image also shows some other interesting aspect of life in the past, partly because there often may be copyright issues with portraits etc, and partly because of the overwhelming number of such images.
How can the images etc be used?
I am very happy for images and information from this website to be used for personal, private purposes, but cannot permit any sort of commercial use of any sort at all. As I am allowed to use many images on the understanding that they are not published elsewhere, may I please ask that nothing is distributed or reproduced anywhere at all without contacting me first. I have particular concerns about sites like Facebook who take complete ownership of everything that is posted on them, claiming totally unlimited rights to use anything, in any way they choose, forever.
Is it really worth bothering to send a comment?
Yes! It can be quite disheartening not having much idea what people think of the website, and it makes a big difference when someone provides some feedback. It's always nice to know people's opinions (positive or negative) and it takes only a few seconds to leave a comment. It's difficult otherwise to know how to improve the website, or even whether it's worthwhile trying. So please do let me know what you think by leaving a comment, sending a message or providing some feedback (a couple of words will do). You can use the COMMENTS page.
Why are some of the Welsh names spelled incorrectly, and why isn't the site bilingual?
I have usually used the spellings that came with the original images, so there may be several versions (eg Ynyscedwyn, Yniscedwyn, Ynyscedwin etc).
The lack of Welsh on this site is entirely due to my lack of knowledge. If anyone wants to provide a translation of the website content I'll try my best to make it bilingual.
Have the images been restored? And what about copyright?
All the images on this website have been restored to some extent, some to a very great extent, but I always aim to maintain historical accuracy (not removing anything important, or adding anything inaccurate). Hence sepia and hand tinted images are shown as black and white.
I always try to find and contact any copyright owners, and never knowingly use any such images without permission. If you own the copyright of any uncredited image please let me know.
I want to scan some photos - any tips?
I'm not an expert, but here are some suggestions. Most scanners default to quite low quality settings. It's well worthwhile taking a little time to learn how to get better quality scans.
Personally, I never scan images at a resolution lower than 600 dpi, and usually use 1200 (higher for very small prints). That gives much more scope for restoration. 300 dpi is really too low in my opinion (it's fine for printing - but that's a different matter). On the other hand, if you're thinking of sending a scan, one at 300dpi is much better than no scan at all!
Make sure your scanner glass is clean, and that prints are held flat against the glass. But be careful with old thick curved prints - they can crack if you apply too much pressure to try to flatten them.
Turn off all auto settings (auto exposure is usually ok though). Always scan in colour - even black and white prints. It makes it easier to spot if something is a blemish to be removed, or something on the original print.
If you save as a jpg select the highest quality possible (lowest compression). If you're sending me a scan please don't reduce the size of the file as this will lower the quality (often dramatically).
I don't claim to be an expert, but if you want any advice please get in touch and I'll try my best to help. On the other hand if you are an expert I'd be pleased to hear your suggestions.