Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sunday Jan.17th
Loch Tulla

Thought I might get some good weather for a day out but .. the usual overcast skies was forecast and the forecast wasn't wrong, but ...with a bit of snow about I thought it might be worthwhile to go where the snow was and I had a very pleasant day on and around Loch Tulla in Argyle & Bute. Got there about 10am the loch was frozen over there was snow on the ice and there was enough earl sunlight to make it a spectacular morning ( not sure about the photography but the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful ) My pal Spud and I were here in the early autumn and we thought it was OK what a difference some snow makes.
The early sunlight vanished late in the morning but when you don't use colour flat lighting with snow and stuff is a joy to work in, no worries about casting shadows then trying to Photo Shop them out, everyday walk past, take no notice of things take on a new and interesting shape when they'r covered in the white stuff

and you can return to things you've already photographed ( and got some OK photographs I might add ) knowing you are getting something new

Had a very enjoyable 4 hours at Loch Tulla, it's a 2 hour drive from home but well worth the effort.                 Just for the record both these images are colour files straight from camera


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Back On The Hill

Just back from another weeks holiday trying to photograph the fantastic area around Inverpolly and Assynt.
The week couldn't have started any worse, we headed out to Achnahaird on Sunday morning for the colour junkies to photograph the sunset ( when it happens it is pretty special ) but before 09:00 my camera had taken a dip in a rock pool and decided it didn't like it, one camera and one lens for the bucket me thinks, had to rely on the trusty old 50D backup for the rest of the week, needles to say the first thing to come from me OH BOTHER WHAT HAVE I DONE ( note the capitals ). When the guys had finished playing and I had calmed down a bit we moved on to Altandhu to shoot some old wrecked boats and bhoys then moved on up the coast to Reiff to try for more colour junkie fix with a sunset on the pebbly shore but the tide was out and the sunset didn't happen any more than the sunrise.
Monday morning 5am rise WHAT !!
Yup you read it 5am and a drive up to Inverpolly in the pitch black to sit in the van until the rain went off then Spud and I trudged across sodden moorland looking for a different shot of Stac Pollaidh,

 ( as if that was going to happen ) got soaked, climbed a hill got soaked even more, maybe got not a bad photograph of a big rock so it was worth getting soaked, then we made our way to Loch Assynt where the other guys were hiding from the rain claiming to have some good shots of the Scots Pines which stand in the loch ( their feet must have been as wet as mine )
Tuesday and another 5am rise ( you gotta give us credit for trying )
And a wee drive over to Gruinard bay and we ended up at Mellon Udrigal, well the guys did but I backtracked along the road about 2 or 3 miles to a ruined cottatge which looked like it might offer some interesting mono opportunities, which it did ( a hill beats a beach any day ).

From Mellon Udrigal we drove up the coast to Cove where there are some very good coastal fortifications, concrete built but very thought provoking. If you are ever in the area I would recommend a visit just to sit and take it in, think about the significance and realise how lucky we all are.
Wednesday looked like it was going to be a wash out and it was. Mid morning the sun broke out so we all charged out the door and went for a drive and it rained again, so Spud and I went for a walk in the rain casing the joint for possible returns found this tree roots oot bit still no deid
Didn't go back

Ah Thursday and not a bad morning ( we had given up on the 5am starts ) so we all went up to the light house at Stoer Point, a wee bit remote as most light houses are but worth the effort if the weather is ok, a wee walk up the headland to get a decent vantage point and beat Spud and Martin to the good bit ( that didn't happen either ) got a bit muddy up to the knees cos that's what we do, then from Stoer Point it's a short drive to Clashnessie Bay and waterfall where all the mud up to my knees was washed off walking through the long soaking wet grass cos that's what we do. Clashnessie Falls is spectacular but must be photographed from a distance due to the spray, which ruled me out due to the fact that my longer lens took a dip on day one so I spent most of the visit at the small but very pleasant bay photographing moving water and bits of fence.
Friday our last day under grey skies and our friend and resident photographer Angus Bruce whose cottage we were staying in again recommended a trip north to Sango Bay at Durness, yup back to the 5am rise and a 1 hour and 45 minute drive in the dark and yes it is a smashing compact beach with spectacular rocks dotted everywhere it a pity the sun didn't come out where we were  ( it was out down south where we had been all week ) we spent most of the day waiting for the tide to come in at Sango Bay, ( more moving water shots ) but Gordon took a drive to the next beach along and reported back that there was nothing there, we suspect because he might have took some photographs of the old church and graveyard thak he chose to keep for himself. we chose to drive back before it got dark and Spud and I finished off our week at Rhue light house just north of Ullapool hoping for the elusive sunset, didn't happen !
Bottom Line we had a good week photographing in the fantastic North West of Scotland, it was a tough week  under grey skies with a lot of rain and some hail, early starts with mud and wind, we might even have some half decent photographs to show for our efforts but there is no doubt that we will go back COS THAT'S WHAT WE DO

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A wee run o'er the watir

Got bored so I went for a run and ended up at North Berwick but drew a blank, got there for high tide but high tide wasn't high enough so I drew stumps and went to the beach at Gullane then  ended up at Longniddry where there is the remains of an old boat buried in the sand. That area of coast line is really nice with some good beaches, rocky stuff and lots of bits and pieces, on a good day with the right tides it is probably worth a bookmark for a revisit

Not much left of the baot

Friday, 23 January 2015


Spud and I took a run to Glen Coe last Sunday because that's where you go when there's lots of snow

Up at 04:30 and away at 5. Glen Coe is a spectacular place in the winter but if you are looking for easy parking in any of the allocated parking areas forget it, the ones that are not still loaded with snow are either fully loaded with cars or nowhere near where you want to go so it's long walk time but it's always worth it. 

Walking through deep snow is never easy but when the next step is waist deep and at the bottom is a burn which your foot always finds it's not the most pleasant experience and you know that before long you are going to do it again and odds on it will be the other foot ( matching pair of boots full of freezing cold water and slush ) lovely.

Be prepared to meet other photographers as there are lots of them looking for the same thing you are and no doubt going away loaded with a weeks worth of photo editing and some very good images

Monday, 29 December 2014

Bloody Cold Morning

Arthur got some intel about an old railway river crossing near Alloa so that's where we went.
High tide at 08:15 and we got it on the turn just as the mist closed in and didn't clear all morning turning the days photography into a mono session ( nae luck Spud ) there are a couple of old jettys/ loading piers, some tree bits, some shopping trolleys and an old bike for added interest ( only visible when the water level goes down ) 

We spent a cold, grey morning photographing some bits of old wood in a brown river which was flowing quickly towards the sea leaving soft brown mud for us to navigate but it is a new destination so it was a good morning and we will probably return

Sunday, 23 November 2014

I Had A Plan

Spend the day on the Moray Coast.
      OOPS !
Up at six and out by half past, the plan was visit the Bow Fiddle Rock at Portnockie then go to Cullen Bay and finish off at Lossiemouth. I did a bit of homework on the area through the Flikr site and it looks promising.

Drove 180 miles to Potrnockie setting up for first shot and got wet feet, it went downhill from there. None of the dials or wheels on my camera seem to be doing anything, now I'm not an expert but this is not a good sign, the take a shot button still works but everything else is a bit random.  
                                         ARRRGGGGGGG !!!

                    So I went here

                                                                                                      and took this on my compact then had a cup of tea and a bite to eat, fiddled with my 50D for twenty minutes, wrung the water out of my socks and drove 180 miles home. I'm now looking for a service / repair centre for Canon.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

6 Days On Skye

Sat 1st November
The drive to Skye didn't fill us with enthusiasm, it was blowing a gale and driving a monsoon before it and to make matters worse the forecast for Sun wasn't much better.

Sunday :- Day 1
5am rise and a 1 hour drive to the Quirang in the north east of the island for sunrise, hope it does, and it did - in style. The pleasure of being in a spectacular location coupled with the magic of sunrise cannot be put into words or captured with photography, this is a fabulous place to be at this time of the morning, not just my opinion, I have never seen so many people with cameras in one place in my life, we were there from about 07:00 to round about 11:00 and there must have been another 30 photographers during that time and they were still arriving when we left. The Isle of Skye can be a nightmare for photography especially in the winter months but our first morning was glorious. From the Quirang we went to the impressive falls of Rha at Uig and from there to the Fairy Glen but by that time the weather was back, heavy rain was blowing through, by 2'o' clock the light was well and truly busted and by 3'o' clock we were back on the road heading for home

Quirang at sunrise

Monday :- Day 2
Another 5am rise with the plan to head south to Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig, the day promised so much, we could see stars when we were loading the van, half an hour later it was raining and it rained all day at the south end of the island. The area of Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig has a lot of potential if the weather gods are in a good mood but not today so we headed back north and made for Lovaig Bay just north of Dunvegan for the last of the daylight and salvaged the day with some nice reflections and a reasonable sunset.

Morning at Ord

Tuesday :- Day 3
Late rise this morning as we were planing to shoot at the Neist Point Lighthouse area. Morning was very windy but dry and our early sojourn took us to the south side of the lighthouse ( not the classic shot but worthwhile ), from there we drove to a small harbour at Lower Milovaig where the shore is covered with large stones which are black when wet, the shore is also frequented with sheep which graze on the seaweed and don't mind the occasional photographer, then on to what was our prime target for the day :- the lighthouse at Neist Point at sunset and predictably the rain was off and on and the wind was doing its best to blow us and half a dozen other photographers off the cliff. we stayed for the sunset which the colour junkies enjoyed. The weather forecast for Wed is good all day so Arthur and I decided to return for morning shots before heading to Talisker Bay to meet up with the other guys.  THAT'S THE PLAN !!

Wednesday :- Day 4
Well it did what it said on the tin.
Gordon, Martin and Phil headed of south just after 06:00 and had to scrape ice from the windscreen, Arthur and I had another hour then set off to Neist Point for sunrise and it was well worth the return trip
Neist Point taken on Tues

Tues at sunset there were about a dozen photographers at Neist Point but on Wed. morning there were two and sunrise wins hands down.
Arthur and I as planed headed for Talisker Bay while Gordon, Martin and Phil were shooting at Silgachan Bridge then meeting us at Talisker Bay. The tide was out early doors so the sand was uncovered giving us some wide shots with good lines in the sand then when the tide came in flowing through the rocks the photography was all about slow shutter speeds, AND the sun stayed out all day :- 5 happy guys.

Thursday :- Day 5
Gale force winds and horizontal rain put paid to any photographic aspirations today so we all huddled round Martins laptop and he gave us an idiots guide to Lightroom. Thanks Martin.

Oor Digs for the week

Friday :- Day 6
The forecast was promising so we drove south to Elgol for 09:00 another one of the iconic photographic locations on Skye, we stayed there for a couple of hours waiting for the light or the clouds or the tide all in pursuit of the photographers dream, needless to say it didn't happen but we all took some OK photographs. We took to the road again stopping at every other "passing place" for a tree or a lochan or a wee hoose and finally made it back to Tokavaig for the last of the light on our last day with the intention of covering some stuff we were unable to on Monday when the weather was only slightly better then horrid
Iconic Elgol

The Isle of Skye has many iconic locations Quirang, Storr, Fairy Glen, Neist Point and Talisker Bay which are a must visit for any photographer but once these "bankers" are in you must seek out your own images and this is not always easy when it's lashing down with rain and blowing a gale but this is our drug of choice.