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.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

East Neuk Workshop

Spent a very pleasant morning at Elie with some new and some not so new members of Kirkcaldy Photographic Society on a sort of workshop day out, Phil, Spud and myself were nominated "in charge" cos we organised it but thanks to Grant for for his input. Phil spent some time demonstrating and talking about slow shutter speed and ND filters, I was talking mostly about photo awareness and how easily we can get seduced by part of what's in front of us and although it might be spectacular, if the rest of the frame doesn't stand up then it's wasted and Spud was doing photo technique and the use of graduated filters.
Elie is a good location for this type of half day out because it offers so much variety in subject material, stone tower, lighthouse, rocky shoreline, harbour, sandy beach and dunes. It's also an area you can frequent time and again at different times of the day and different tide heights which will give access to different  photographic opportunities and it's local

Part of a washed up log with stuff growing in it

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tentsmuir Beach

A glorious Sat. morning, great cloud formations, can't not go out and take photographs to make the best use of the big sky. Lets go to the beach, phoned Spud and we drove to Tentsmuir ( North East Fife ). Spent about three hours wandering around the south side of the beach and the sand dunes. The big skies didn't last long ( I suppose it was it was a bit too much to expect ) but the light was great and a breeze provided some movement in the grasses which border the beach. There's always photographs to be taken at Tentsmuir whether it's the classic sand dunes or waves and sticks or the little bit more obscure close up shots of the grasses or sea shells or dead stuff, you are always going to get photographs of some sort.
Tentsmuir is an enormous sandy beach and there is always bits and pieces being washed up providing photographic interest everywhere. The north end of the beach is usually populated with seals and there a lot of anti tank blocks and concreate fortifications, heading south from there it is endless sand, it is a great place for a walk and a great place to take photographs.