Sunday, 21 September 2014

Glen Esk & Loch Lee
The early mornings are upon us again !
Took a run up to Glen Esk & Loch Lee today Sun 21st Sep with Spud and Phil
With the promise of good weather it was worth the drive, we got there before the sun came up, ( well it came up but it didn't come out until mid-day ) While the sun was trying to break through we went our separate ways looking for inspiration ( didn't happen ).
 Phil was first to draw stumps and look elsewhere, 20 min's later I decided to join him and 3 miles later I caught up with him parked at the side of the road, asked where's Spud? and got the reply :- not with me! (oops ) better go back and get him then.
Glen Esk is a smashing location for anybody interested in photographing trees, there are Rowan trees dotted everywhere in groups and singles without having to travel to far from the roadside.
Didn't venture too far along the Loch but there are numerous walks and trails leading to waterfalls and bridges so yea it's worth another visit

Thursday, 11 September 2014

High Tide At Clackmannanshire Bridge

I cross this bridge every other day and I see the river at all levels but it's not very often it reaches this high, maybe twice a year, so when I was coming home from work on Tues and saw it was a high one and I have been waiting for it for more than a year I thought BINGO ! the tide is high and the time is good.
Wednesday I loaded my camera and tripod into the van and I will get the photograph once again on my way home from work, you can guess it didn't quite go as planed ( well it wasn't really planed, more sort of grabbed ). What I didn't do was take my cable release or my wellies ( what a dope ), I'm in position and the water's getting higher, ( braw says me ) and  higher ( braw says me again ) and higher ( shit says me ) I'm standing in the river Forth and the water's still got six inches to rise.
I was hoping for a 15 - 20 second exposure but no cable put paid to that plan then no wellies put my chosen position out of reach so I shot off a couple of frames and moved to some dry ground, shot off another couple of frames and called it quits.
A year plus I've waited for that tide at that time and it happened on a good day, everything fell into place, well nearly everything.

All good things come to those who PLAN !

Saturday, 3 May 2014

It's Been A While

The only thing I have been doing latley is working my way through a list of possible locations and getting not very much in return.
We all do it, we see something and mark it as "must investigate"
Well I've been going through all my targets and coming up blank every time, thankfully most of them were local but the last one was a 2 hour drive to a location Arthur and I have tried to find twice before, well Ifound it and it wasn't worth the drive and the 2 hour walk over the hill. Arthur was peased when I told him because I had gone myself as he was doing other stuff, what other stuff comes before photography is anybodys guess but I suspect it was wife induced.
We are now getting to the time of the year when stuff starts growing and hiding all the things I usually photograph so it will be back to beaches and loch sides for some more wet photographs, keep off the hills there's stuff growing.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sunday 12th Jan
Arthur, Colin, Phil & Myself took a run to the Northumberland coast starting at the Lindisfarne area at sun up until around 12 then went down to Dunstanburgh Castle for a couple of hours, we stayed on the mainland side of the causeway where there is not a lot to photograph but if you look hard enough you will usually find something.
The sunrise and cloud formations were stunning and the tide was out so we got out onto the exposed sand/mud at the Pilgrims Way
 then went walkabout on the shore for a couple of hours on a photo hunt, found a gap in a fence then had to wait for the sun to break through some developing cloud.

On to Dunstanburgh and the tide was just on the turn, this is a popular destination for photographers with a ruined castle and a coastline covered with large round boulders which are almost black when wet but also rather slippery. At the north end of the rocky coast there is a spectacular sandy beach which I was more interested in, if you are on a beach shoot the sea, there is always something to shoot on a beach it just so happens to be a large round black boulder
We had a pleasant day and home for tea time

Thursday, 2 January 2014

December 29th

Arthur and I took a run to the Glen Coe - Rannoch Moor area, been off work for a week and this was the first decent day to go out and take some photographs, we went to Glen Coe hoping for some snow but the only snow was on the hills and none at ground level.

The weather was predictably changeable and we did get wet again and all for very little in the photograph department, I did find some very interesting spots but they would need better lighting or a covering of snow to make them worth any attention, maybe next time.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Loch Ard

Saturday it was cold and not a cloud in sight, Sunday it was just cold.
Yes on Sunday Arthur and I went to Loch Ard in the Trossachs hoping for some early low mist on the water, didn't happen. The sunrise was rather brief and some fairly heavy clouds settled in to make it a fairly uneventful trip. There was an early frost on everything which made the numerous small jetties a wee bit different ( white ) but there wasn't enough ambient light to take full advantage of the frost and make images which might have been just a wee bit different.

Question - Autumn / Winter, does the sun ever shine on Loch Ard, Loch Chon or Loch Arklet, even on a good day ?
We stayed until about half one / two 'o' clock but the cloud base didn't clear and the colour junkie was getting grumpy ( very hard to please ) we drew stumps and were home for four.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

ULLAPOOL in November

Going to Ullapool for a week of photographic therapy
Five guys on the road north :- Arthur, Phil, Gordon, Martin & Myself
Drove for 95 miles in the rain, well it wasn't raining all the way, it was snowing when we were going over Drumochter.
The weather forecast for Sunday ( photo day one ) :- NOT LOOKING GOOD
Look on the bright side :- The fridge is loaded and there's darts on the telly

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Sunday Nov. 3rd
Loch Achall ( just east of Ullapool ) in the rain is not a pleasant experience. The forecast said there would be showers and there were showers, heavy showers of rain and hail, it only lasted long enough to get us really wet then the sun came out for a while then the rain came back on just to stop us from drying out too much, we did manage to get some photography in-between the rain showers, which were intense but didn't last long, we also upset the estate owner by having our car on her road and as she was more than up for a fight so we decided to let Phil deal with it and she drove off with  "I'm going to have words with Angus" ringing in our ears
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Monday Nov. 4th
Day two of the Ullapool week started with a 05:30 rise and out the door at 06:30 for a drive to Achnahaird Beach under the guidance of local photographer Angus Bruce. Sunrise was at 07:30 and what a fine sunrise it was for all the colour junkies in the team ( Arthur, Phil, Martin & Gordon ) rising behind Stac Pollaidh, Cul Beag & Cul Mor in a blaze of orange. We spent all morning on the beach amongst the sand dunes and rocky shoreline ( had better mornings but not many ) .
After the regulation cup of tea and a biscuit we made our way to Loch Lurgainnand to a couple of locations shown to us by Angus, NOTE TO SELF :- When you are wearing chest waders remember you are wearing a jacket or your pockets will fill up with water.
From Loch Lurgainn we headed to Lochinver for some lunch at what might be the best pie shop in the world but must be the most expensive pie shop in the world, then back to the coast at Achmelvich Bay for a final fling before the light vanished.
A good day was had by all thanks to a bit of local location knowledge supplied by Angus and some good weather for photography.

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Tuesday Nov. 5th
Monday evening the forecast for Tues. was the worst day you could ever imagine
Monday night the forecast for Tues. was good in the morning and turning bad early afternoon so we had another early rise and off to Loch Assynt.
The early light was stunning, Phil, Gordon & Martin took up position at some pine trees in the loch while Arthur & Myself stayed further down the loch at some tree bound islands.
As usual I ended up a hill just to see what was there and as usual I found some trees growing in some strange places. As predicted the weather closed in and the colour junkies decided to call it a day but I stopped at Loch Awe and Arthur and I spent another hour and a half enjoying the driech overcast weather as only a mono worker can, Arthur had no choice cos it's my van.

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Wednesday Nov.6th
Angus took us to Loch Glascarnoch & Dirrie Mor a twenty minute drive from the cottage to photograph some exposed ancient pine stumps and maybe get a sunrise ( the colour junkies control the time table ). The sunrise didn't transpire but we spent half a day with some old wood and a wee drop rain, there are dozens of old tree roots all over the place some in groups and some singles spoiling us for subject matter, five of us taking photographs and no two using the same stumps, not bad!
A quick cup of tea and we were off to Mellon Udrigle Beach for a couple of hours. It's a nice beach with good sand dunes and unusual rocks and boulders all over the place but the distance travelled to get there and what was on offer photographically didn't really make the journey worth while.
 Having said that we still had a good day out with Angus showing us locations we would otherwise have driven past.

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Thursday Nov.7th
Another early rise at 05:00 Angus is showing Arthur & Myself the easy route up Stac Pollaidh while Gordon &Phil head to Garvie Bay. We arrived in the car park around 06:30ish, still seriously dark and Angus is handing us head lamps ( thinks :- is this a good plan ? ). It's a bit rugged at the start says Angus then it flattens out a bit where we are going to take photographs, Angus, Arthur, Myself and Connie the Cairn Terrier set out in the dark, up a mountain, (Angus says it's not a mountain but trust me, it goes all the way to the sky ). Arthur & I are still waiting for the bit that flattens out when the going will get easier. When we arrived at the "flat bit" it was still dark which was the plan and when the light broke behind Cul Beag spilling pink light across to Suilvan was pretty special

but it didn't last long, within half an hour the sky had shut down and spoiled the view.
Worse was to come, Angus suggested that because it is so early why don't we head up to the ridge Yea OK. Off we set in formation Angus, Connie the terrier, Rab & Arthur and we stay in that formation Angus, Connie,. . . . . . . . . .Rab & . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arthur, did we make it to the ridge? YES! if a wee dog with six inch legs can do it so can we. Did we stay there long? NO! some serious weather was coming our way, a wee flash of light and a rumble in the sky put paid to our time on the top then came the snow, BRILLIANT! Back down the mountain "Angus, it's a mountain"
and who was waiting there? the lonely boys with some lame story about rain at Garvie Bay. At this point the sun decided to shine getting our hopes up for a good afternoon, no no no no no no, it didn't rain again but it wasn't very photograph friendly, Phil & Gordon went back to Garvie Bay while Arthur & I went to the east end of Loch Lurgainn doing the fence in the water with the grey sky shot. We had another good day and the climb up Stac Pollaidh was well worth the effort.
Thanks Angus you almost killed us.

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Friday Nov. 9th
Last day in Ullapool and we decided to use it as a catch up day shooting the stuff we had wanted to but had missed for whatever reason, needless to say it didn't turn out that way. It was wet all day.
Went to Loch Assynt early and it was overcast then when the light came up it started to rain and it kept on raining with the occasional break of between two minutes and half an hour the two minute break was by far the more frequent. If we were going to take any photographs today we were going to get wet so we go wet. We had had mostly good weather all week but it was time to pay the piper and mind the tip . Loch Assynt :- raining, we went on to Loch Awe and it was still raining but we took advantage of any oasis of sunshine to take photographs, mostly got wet, stopped at the road side and it was still raining, waited for a break in the rain, got soaked, grabbed the shot and moved on, stopped at a small loch just north of Ullapool to take advantage of a bright spell and got rained on again.
Did I mention ? on the way out in the morning around 06:45ish and still quite dark a deer ran into the front/side of the van ( that was before it started raining ) I don't have the use of my drivers door anymore
Did I mention the rain ?
Inverpolly / Assynt region must be one of the most spectacular, beautiful areas in the world and Shangri La to any landscape photographer ( weather permitting )
We all had a great week long photographic holiday, stayed in a first class cottage and received some great location information from local photographer and owner our home for the week, Waterfront Cottage, Angus Bruce.
Thanks Angus
There's a good chance we'll be back