Monday, 20 July 2020

What started off as a trip to do some photography in the dark ended up not going past sunset at St Monans, the plan was to photograph the windmill in the dark and maybe do a bit of painting with light but when we ( we being Spud and myself  ) got along to the windmill we found the sails have been removed so it's just a tower now ( seriously disappointed doesn't cover it  ) had a scout about and decided we needed a plan B. NOT doing the BLOCKS / SQUIGGLY PIER what ever you want to call it so we decided on the near by ruined Newark Castle, by the time we got along we had maybe 20 minutes to try and salvage the trip before we lost the light, first stop was the Doo Crib as it was still in full light

As you can see, at this point I was in some long grass, not a good place to be. I caught up with Spud at the castle but he was having some camera /card issues  and I was paying the price for being in long grass but you gotta do what you gotta do but by the time we had decided what we were going to do the sun had gone too low, I don't think my pal would have got any decent images, ( I heard him using some fine Scottish adjectives  ). It was back into the long grass for me for one more before we went home from what could only be described as not one of our better trips

But it was good to get back out after lockdown 

               Rab .K

Monday, 26 November 2018

Loch Tulla Drive-by

My friend, hillwalker, V-blogger and photographer Ray Smith AKA The Renegade Scot told me this might be a good location for photography and although I've been to Loch Tulla numerous times ( coz it's a great place to photograph ) I've never taken this particular trail ( just past the bothy and head into the hills ). When you drive past the bottom end of Loch Tulla and into the Clashgour Estate the first thing you see is 

to get photographs of this you need to be on the other side of the river, which for Spud it was no problem ( Wellies ) for Rab ( boots ) water too deep so I made my way along the estate track as far as the green bothy and set up for my next "masterpiece", the weather forecast said light cloud with a breeze, as you can see from the above image light cloud for the BBC must mean something different, the breeze wasn't breezy enough to disperse the light cloud so we had it all day, but it's great for mono images, back to the green bothy

Played about here until Spud appeared all smug coz he got across the water to shoot the trees on the hill, yea whatever, only took three images all day and two of them were here, from the bothy turn 180 degrees and cross a wee burn and :-

As recommended by Ray I took the trail into the hills and Spud chose to stay and wait for better light, the trail follows the burn with lots of rocks, trees and segments of broken wall but be careful where you put your feet, I paid the price for looking and walking at the same time and ended up flat in a rather wet and muddy section of footpath, I have to say I left some prime adjectives on the trail and they will probably still be there buzzing about like a swarm of flies wondering what just happened, never mind wet and covered in mud, onwards and upwards and it was really worth it, low cloud in the valley between the hills  ( which never went away ) and the occasional breakthrough of sunlight through the light cloud STUNNING 

We called it quits around 1'o' clock, 5 hours, 3 photos, not a bad day

I think with snow on the ground this place will be unbelievably picturesque so I will return.
Bring on the snow - Thanks Ray

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

November 20th  2018

It's been over a year since I last posted here so to any one who is still looking SORRY and THANKS

Sunday past was a promising day so myself and two friends ( Spud & Gordon ) headed north to an area which I had never visited before, the south side of the river and loch Tummel in Perthshire. I'm glad Gordon knew where he was going coz me and Spud hadn't a clue, when you start on the road along the river you park up under the A9 and the reflections on the river were stunning, it stayed like that all along the river until Spud and Gordon could take no more and we had to make a stop and get on with what we were there for, the two of them headed back along the road and down to the rivers edge but reflections not a big thing for me so I headed up the hill on the other side of the road ( yea the side of the road where the sun is never going to reach at this time of the year ) because there was a tree up there calling to me, what kind of landscape photographer can resist a tree and some rocks, sun or no sun if you wait long enough you will get some clouds.

We spent a bit of time here, the sun was coming up and lighting the distant hill tops and it was a truly lovely thing to watch with a cup of tea in hand.
We weren't much further along the river and it was stop time again at a boulder strewn area of the river with some fast water and small water falls, this is Spuds cup of tea so we spent a bit of time there, nothing for me but it wasn't for the want of trying and any thing I did photograph wasn't worth keeping so they went in the bin. The single track road which travels along Loch Tummel is a great drive with a lot of nice scenery but we didn't stop again until we were past Loch Tummel and on to the road to Loch Rannoch.
On the road to Loch Rannoch you pass Dunaiastair Water ( which we have done many times ) It is a small loch and the edges are heavy with grasses and small trees so this time we stopped for a closer look and were rewarded with some OK images

In the background you can see the mighty Schiehallion with her peak cloaked in cloud, for those who don't know Schiehallion was the hill which because of its uniform conical shape was used in an experiment the gauge the weight of the world.
We then moved on further up towards Loch Rannoch but decided to head for home early from my first proper photographic expedition for some time, can't wait till next week end, if the weather is favorable I'll be out.

The images here will of course be turned into mono masterpieces.
Thanks for reading this drivel, till next time

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Good Plan - Failed Miserably 

The plan was :- Check the weather forecast was good / Drive to Glen Lyon / Walk for 15 minutes then climb a rather large hill and camp out the night to photograph the sunrise at 05:30 ( for Spud the colour junkie, sunrise loses all its splendor in B&W ).

Execution :- Weather forecast lookin good / Drive to Glen Lyon - done / Walk and clime the hill with camping stuff / Return to van for cameras etc. / Head back to camp site - Oops got dark quick / Found tents stowed gear, had a couple of beers and a wee goldie  ( just to keep the chill off )  / Set alarm for 05:00 / 05:00 unzip the tent to find two people who have set up camera gear in the prime positions to take the photographs we had camped out all night for, what the *">#** / Set up gear alongside our unexpected neighbors and wait for the main event. The glen was full of mist and every thing was looking great except there was not a cloud in the sky so the sunrise was a bit of a damp squib ( very nice but the colour junkies were a little disappointed ) But not a totally wasted trip, I got a couple of decent images which convert quite well to mono, don't know what Spud got ( he hasn't said ) 

Didn't quite go to plan but it gives us the excuse to go back and try again

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Return To Glen Lyon

I was directed to this location by my friend Ray Smith who does video blogging under the name Renegade Scot, I have traveled through Glen Lyon on numerous occasions but never stopped ( that wont happen again ) . Glen Lyon or ( Valley Of The Sun God ) on a good day is a truly beautiful place, on a normal Scottish week end it's just as dreich and dour as any place else but I wont dwell on that because WOW ! . I went up last week end and although there was plenty of snow, knee deep in some places the sky was heavily overcast and photography was a bit of a challenge so I went back one week later and WOW ! the sun was out in all its glory and I would normally complain at this point about clear blue skies but no it was a pleasure to be here on a day when the sun god had his hat on. My primary photographic target was The Praying Hands which are a split, upright stone about 15-20  feet high surrounded by fairly impressive hills

Looking East

Looking West

I ended up wandering about the hills for 5 hours surrounded  by small waterfalls, large boulders, single trees or small groups of trees ( 3-4 ) and glorious weather, some stuff is a bit of a climb to reach but it is worth the effort

Driving through Glen Loyn from Keltneyburn to Killin is a long single track road but stop and go into the hills and a peaceful, quiet and beautiful world is waiting for you. 

What a day !!
Sorry about all the colour on the page but I'm sure you'll get over it

Rab. K

Thursday, 5 January 2017


we headed south, I picked up Spud at 06:00 and we were at the Lindesfarne causeway by 8, unfortunately it didn't open until 10:15 so we decided to head deeper into the land below the border to Dunstanburgh Castle and the fabulous black boulder beach, as high tide was at 07:20ish the water was still well in giving us lots of wet black boulders which provide numerous and varied opportunities  for photography,

and a few mishaps, the breaking waves were unbelievable, big, noisy and constant so we finished with the boulders and decided to have a go at the breaking waves, which as you have probably already guessed is where the mishaps come in, on the rocks shooting waves, decides to move 3 steps sideways and the water was slightly deeper, enter huge wave, wellie full of sea :- *-:;##*- and a wee chuckle from behind but he who laughs last, 20 min's later the bold Spud decides to go one step further and enter the mega wave  WOOSH and spud is upside down and clinging onto a rock in what can only be described as serious surf, I was concerned for about 4 seconds then I thought how funny is that, Spuds reaction was and I quote " if you're not getting wet then you're  not trying hard enough" aye right !

If you are looking for photographs of breaking waves this is the place to go, really spectacular, Dunstanburgh Castle itself is quite an impressive ruin and if you want to photograph inside it will cost you a pearl diver so we didn't bother coz we're miserable gits and there are decent photographs to be taken of the castle without going in

Left Dunstanburgh behind and headed wet footed back up the coast to Lindisfarne for the last hour before the sun set. The 20 miles or so from Dunstanburgh to Lindisfarne is a great destination for any landscape photographer with castles, coves, a rocky coast line and up to the causeway which gives you access to the island at low tide.

We had a great day out, got some decent photographs and a bit of a laugh 
Well worth the trip


Monday, 17 October 2016

A week on Harris & Lewis

A month early this year, myself, Spud,Martin,Gordon & Phil armed with all that would fit into my van and Gordons car set off at 23:30 Friday night heading for the Isle of Harris, share a cottage for a week and blow the place apart with some fantastic photography ( well that what we told ourselves ). The ferry left Uist on the Isle of Skye at 09:20ish Sat. morning 1hour and 40 mins. to Harris and a 15 min. drive to our home for the next week in the 'village' of GEOCRAB. 
Unpack when it's dark there's pictures to be taken, first stop Losgaintir beach about a 15 min. drive from the cottage, this beach has a bit of a reputation and yes as beaches go this is a big beach but for me, if you drive to the car park at the end of the road the beach there ( name unknown ) is better with spectacular sand dunes a great skyline and it goes on forever

We spent most of the rest of the day here but as expected my 4 companions who will be known as the colour junkies from here on wanted the traditional sunset at Losgaintir so that's where we ended up at the end of the day and if it happens then it's worth the wait

The first drive back to the cottage in the dark on single track roads which wind like a drunk snake kinda keeps you alert and you will be ready for food when you get home
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 Sunday :- Day 2

Early rise and a drive in the dark to the small island of SCALPY which is joined to Harris by a bridge and get the first of the three lighthouses done, parked the cars and walked about a mile to the lighthouse, yea pretty good location and well worth the visit

The lighthouse buildings are all derelict now but worth exploring for photographic gems ( of which there are plenty ) and a short walk along the coast presents you with some great angles on the lighthouse. On the return from the lighthouse there are various derelict buildings and ship wrecks all of which deserve some time, only problem, the morning light at the lighthouse didn't last and by the time Spud and myself were exploring some wrecks the sky was pretty grey and what little light there was didn't reach where we were but with a little perseverance we left with some OK shots. The plan was to go from there to Huisinis but Spud and I didn't make it that far coz we stopped at what turned out to be an old whaling station of which there is only the chimney left

We called it quits there coz Spud had NO BEER and wanted to get to a shop before they all closed
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Monday :- Day 3

Today was total tourist day
You can't go to this part of the world and not visit and photograph the standing stones at Calanais, ( well some of us can't ). we got there just after 9 Spud had a quick look about and decided there was a derelict house more interesting so off he went, next was Phil, he had a quick look about and decided he needed a latte and a bun and we didn't see him again until we were leaving at about half past 12. we've all seen the photographs of these stones but I thought this was not a bad, simple shot

Martin thought the same and I think Gordon did as well ( so much for being creative ). After a cuppa and and a bite we descended on another stone circle called Cnoc Fillibhir Bheag or ( Calanais 3 to the non Gaelic speakers ), this time in the company of Spud & Phil ( glad you could join us guys )
This site is not fenced off and is in a grazing field so the area around the stones is pretty well chewed up by cattle but still worth the walk

While we are in the area we might as well visit the Caroway Broch and the Black House Village where there are opportunities for selective close ups, then the sky went into overdrive and I was off up the hill looking for some interesting foreground just to get the sky in a photo. ( the jury is still out on that one )
To end our tourist day out the colour junkies wanted another sunset and we ended up at Horgabost beach, I don't do sunsets so I shot another standing stone and another drive home in the dark along the snake trail

This is known as the MacLeod stone and it overlooks the beach at Horgabost

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Tuesday :- Day 4

Yup, you've guessed it, it's another early rise and a drive into the unknown for the sun rising, this morning we are heading south to the bottom of the island to Rodel ( the colour junkies have a plan  :  NOT ), they did what they had to do in the dark, crossed their fingers because we had never been there and I think they were a little disappointed with the location ( crossed fingers always let you down ) Rodel has a quaint wee harbour which might have been ok if the tide had been inand a lovely old church which is worth a visit. Back on the road and the car had already gone when we left destination unknown, when we eventually met up we were asked  Is Martin with you ? answer No, OOPS we better go back and find him then. Back on the road and Spud and I stopped at an old derelict house which looked promising only to find it was shelter to about 50 years worth of sheep dung, 2 dead sheep, some sheep skulls, various sheep bones, an old cooker and some pots & pans, a quick shot of the cooker with the pots & pans then we were gone. East coast for a cuppa and a chat

Couldn't resist this after the house of dead sheep

We ended up back on the fabulous beaches on the east coast for the rest of the day and yes we started the day in the dark so we finished the day in the dark

This is why I don't take sunsets

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Wednesday :- Day 5

Ah Wednesday, a get up when you waken day then a drive to the top of the island to the Butt of Lewis, ( there are three lighthouses and we are going to do them all )

This is number 2

There's a lovely small bay just along the road from the lighthouse which lends itself to a bit of creativity if you can let your head off the leash, there's also a finger stac just by the lighthouse but the sun will only ever light the top quarter so getting a successful photo is a real challenge but you've got to try ( did it work ? don't know yet ! ) There are some great cliff top views and wee coves to explore so we spent the whole day doing just that.

Spud getting wet trying to be arty ( was it worth it ? he didn't say )

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Thursday :- Day 6

Our whole week seems to be up for the sunrise drive about to random places then back to a beach  for the sunset and Thursday was to be no different only this time the colour junkies did some homework ( well Martin looked at the map on Wednesday night and said well go there it's looking straight out to some small islands and the sun should come up right in line, and it did !

I've got to say it was worth the early rise and the location at Loch Ceann Dibig was ok ( well done Martin )
We came across a shed with the legend Alan MacAulay Boatbuilder this place hadn't seen a boat for a lot of years but when we were looking about for " interesting stuff to photograph " we were shoo'd off by the owner, I tried to reason with him and told him we're no gonny nick anything we're Fifers but he wasn't having it so we were back on the road with a sneeky wan for devilment. By this time even Spud had had enough of the sunrise malarky so when the guys were back at Horgabost beach we headed back inland on another mystery tour and came across a smashin we stone built with a red roof in the middle of nowhere

Martin has been looking for this shot all week but he's on the beach ( nae luck Martin ). Spud and I were back at the cottage early so it was feet up, telly on , can of beer :- BRAW
Apparently it was a spectacular sunset ! but we got the wee hoose

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Friday :- Last day

Last day, last lighthouse. The weather had been great all week but today it was heavily overcast and the wind was blowing a hoolie, undaunted we were off destination Stornoway and over to Eye Peninsula where the lighthouse doubles as a boarding kennel and cattery, 

this must be the most scenic kennels/cattery in the world, we spent probably half a day here but the wind was horrendous so we decided to call time and head back down to Geocrab with stops along our map identified 2 sea stacs neither of them was worth the stop and there was always the chance of being blown over the cliff, the next stop was marked as a chambered cairn which might have been 500 years ago but now it's a circle of stones,

 had enough ! going home ! 

Any body thinking of visiting Harris should know one thing
They are everywhere, take care in the mornings , they sleep on the road.

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Saturday :- Going Home

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DISCLAIMER :- All the images on this blog are shot on my compact specifically for this bolg and should not be regarded as proper photographs ( coz they'r in colour )