Valley of Fire by George Cousins

Greeting Cards & Postcards

Available to buy on…

Taken in 1957, trains of huge “ladle” cars carrying molten slag from the refinery at Coppercliffe, Ontario,Canada, and dumping them into a rocky ravine-type valley. Pretty much the same as lava flows from a volcano. The photo was taken with a 35mm. Exakta Varex camera using Ektachrome film(not the high-speed type), with quite a long exposure to try to get as much of the flow as possible. I’m only posting it because I thought it might be of interest to some of you.Not a sight that you could see in very many places. The slide was scanned at 4000dpi with a Canoscan 4000US scanner.

Featured in “At The Edge”
Featured in “Image Writing”
Featured in “Ontario”


  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekabout 6 years ago

    Interesting image, George. Never would have guessed what it was.

  • I goofed again. Forgot to hit Send.. getting senile, Stan! The slag dumping was one of the local “attractions” back then. Quite spectacular really. When the cars dumped there was a blast of heat that came across the valley, like opening a huge oven.

    – George Cousins

  • Bev Woodman
    Bev Woodmanabout 6 years ago

    Very interesting image George – when the BHP was still in operation here in Newcastle, there were often reports of explosive noises coming from the site where they dumped the slag. Great shot.

  • Yes, there were various noises when it was dumped, I think mostly caused by gases within the slag popping out as it cooled. I’ve heard the same thing on TV shows about volcanic lava flows, which the hot slag resembled. I debated about posting it, but I thought it would be a bit interesting.

    – George Cousins

  • camerahappy
    camerahappyabout 6 years ago

    Wow that incredible! That’s alot of heat. Thank-you for sharing this!

  • Thanks, I thought you might be interested, being a bit of your local history. This was taken way back in 1957.

    – George Cousins

  • atomhave
    atomhaveover 5 years ago

    This is an amazing shot! Very nice work, especially without the benefit of digital! Instant fav!

  • Many thanks Aaron. Not only was it film, but no tripod..I remember setting the camera on the hood of the car and trying to keep it steady. I think the exposure was around a second or two, so not too difficult. Digital would have made it easier.

    – George Cousins

  • atomhave
    atomhaveover 5 years ago

    I think it is excellent, and even more so under those conditions!

  • Marilyn Baldey
    Marilyn Baldeyover 5 years ago
    Great to see this historic image.
  • Thanks Marilyn..days long gone by:)

    – George Cousins

  • Sarah  Mac
    Sarah Macabout 5 years ago

    Wow that is a great shot George. To me, it’s a haunting image of people, walking. It could be a primitive cave painting.

  • Hi interesting to look at something through another’s that you mentioned it, I agree, you can visualize people walking, different pacing, different postures..thanks for making me see it do differently!

    – George Cousins

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogover 4 years ago

  • Perry Kong
    Perry Kongover 4 years ago

    What a great testament to film photography and Northern Ontario.

  • Hi Perry, many thanks. It’s all in the past now, but it used to be quite an attraction in it’s time! As I recall, the hood of the car was the!

    – George Cousins

  • Rose Gallik
    Rose Gallikover 4 years ago

    WOW This is really a neat share! Wonderful Work!

  • Thank you Rose, so glad you enjoyed it. Guess you could call it a Blast from the Past..:)

    – George Cousins

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.