Thursday, 13 August 2009

Blog got too dusty - new home found...

For the time being posts to this site are just not going to happen, but I have a new blog to keep me going.

Art?? Thru the Lens

Be back here soon ... maybe ?

'Girl on Stairway'

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Changing Seasons........

They say the path of good intentions is lined with distraction, well, thats wot I say anyway. Blogging, great idea, i'll do one just when I've satisfied all those other good intentions !! Now here's the thing, guess I am not really cut out to be a blogger, a photo update a month I said. well, some things are worth waiting for .... perhaps !!

August - end of a varied Scottish summer, not as wet as our neighbours down south but also not as warm, but as I always say its the weather that creates such stunning scenery and light.
Our local forest is a mix of managed pine and larch but has been neglected for so many years it has become a real dingly dell world - am sure there are fairies hiding if you look closely

September - the start of the photo season now all that hard sunlight is calming down. Freelance commission work has started to go quiet so time to do some personal work, for print sales, and for the sole (very important).

Also saw me doing a few training courses, this one was on general Landscape so for our field trip we visited the village of Balquhidder, cute place, ideal for chocolate box piccs. Not my normal style but sometimes its good to step outside your own little box.

This was all about taking a different view of what we see by isolating and emphasizing the subject with perspective and colours .... blah blah blah

October - Now things are really getting interesting, the heather is turning golden brown and the sun with its autumn softn glow - this is why we moved to Scotland ! Took our first holiday in years up to the Torridon area, absolutely stunning scenery.

By this time wifey has got the photography bug badly and I am now the one getting bored waiting for HER to finish taking photos !!. "what, you've already taken several 100 shots of the rock, how many do you need ??"

These are traditional Scots Pine, once dominating the Scottish Landscape most became old newspapers or Habitat Furniture. Such a shame as they are incredibly graceful and every one unique (the trees, not Habitat chairs), unlike the Norwegian Spruce we have today , being grown for rave party fliers and Ikea furniture no doubt - thats progress !!

November - the black month - wet, cold, but you can always find something worth getting the camera out for. Glen Etive, a stunning we spot not too far from home with the most amazing waterfalls. All we need is lots of water, well no shortage of that coming from the sky up here. What the photo doesn't real portray is the shear noise of the water, so powerful.

Now, whilst looking thru my earlier stuff, you know, those pics you take that never see the light of day, I found this. Technique used : Walk into in an Edinburgh tenemant block to collect sons stuff when moving flat, stick the camera on the floor pointing up on a self timer, put camera back in bag then forget about it for 3 months. It was only after viewing on my pc that I saw what the architect designed - inspired.

December - The month of 'portraits for xmas' frenzy - but not this year, and it doesn't seem to be just me. So, back out to build up the personal library - think I am getting the message !
Had a few ice days, wonderfull stuff, wifey with her macro lens 2 inches from an icicle and me with my wide angle taking in the whole of Scotland ..nearly !

By contrast had a day with 'tree of life' model Kate, she came back to Scotland for more cold punishment ... she has now moved from South England to Arizona for her modeling, sensible lass.

We (ie wifey) found this old tree stump being dug up by man with JCB getting ground ready for planting (think Henkle is running out of those wee wooden pins to hold the chairs together)
She sees it as a subject for closeup work, well yes, but I had different ideas as you can see. Its still in the studio to keep dry getting in the way but it is a fantastic piece of natural wood, even if it is from Norway, one day it will be the base of a glass top coffee table, but without a silly Swedish name that no one can pronounce.

January - Now well into my 'lone tree' phase found this young thing.. well.. it will be a tree one day when it grows up. This 'twig' stood about 8 inches high, whilst I was standing up to my knees in snow, rather bizaar really. I was trying to get to a waters edge but chickened out, was getting far too cold and wet - wot a wimp eh !

Not a huge amount of snow this year but enough to make life interesting, inspiring, and fun. Now getting to grips with new toy, a super-wide angle lens, cool !!!

.... and finally a few shots inspired by work found on a French run site,, there is some truly wonderful work to be found here, its intended for all 2D artforms but is rather dominated by photography. Both taken on different days last week during brief gaps in howling gales, one of those chance times being in the right place at the right time.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Lawers Village

I don't know when this place was last home to local occupants but suspect it was a long time ago. The village of Lawers is not on most folks maps and unless you know where it is you are very unlikely to discover it for yourself. The buildings are no more than piles of stones with tell tale evidence of windows and doorways, some extremely ornate for the age and area. The scattering of the ruins tells you there were never roads here, just a few meandering paths and a gated bridge. I gather that there have been thoughts in the past to restore the area as I am sure it would make a wonderful heritage site but here it lies, abandoned and overgrown, maybe this is how its meant to be, despite the decay and neglect there is a peace hanging over the area that seems to tell you it is happy just as it is. Does it hide a terrible past than caused its desertion, who knows ?

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Glasgow Sunset

Its been one of those weeks, sunday morning all looked clear for a quiet one but what happened ?? work, stuff, more work and even more stuff and here we are its Saturday again..must take the batteries out of that big clock.

Still, its been a good one, monday eve did a Regular photo shoot for the old BBC in Glasgow, internal comms and press shots for a radio Scotland music series recording session - Davie Scott and co of the Pearlfishers was the artist, a great evenings entertainment. Sat outside after watching the sunset over the science centre, was one of those typical Scottish drab days with a stunning finish....

I once had a catch phrase...'I don't do wedding photography..' well am of this afternoon to do my third this week - something is going wrong ! But Last Saturdays was great, Tues was a small civil ceremony of a friend, and todays is on a paddle steamer on Loch Katrine so thats ok...isn't it !

Friday, 13 July 2007

It all seemed a good idea at the time...

..hey, lets take some piccies of you driving your Cat (thats boys slang for Cateram 7 - as per Lotus 7, Very very cool Go Cart with engine, No 2 in The Prisoner etc etc )

Great, we have a friend in her 10 day old wee convertable Mini up for lunch (nice motor indeed), that'll be great for taking the shots from.

So, off we go, cruising through the hills on an open road, wind in hair, midges getting stuck on the teeth, me hanging out the back of was all going so well....but !!

Before I continue a few names, the driver of the Cat is Fred (name changed to protect the guilty/innocent ?) passenger is our very own... well..a respected individual from Purplecoombe - name withheld to protect the innocent, and the Mini Driver was Julie, name changed again to protect the guilty/innocent?

So, 5 miles down the road we pull into a pub car park much the entertainment of the local patrons, spin round and get set to head back to Purple Towers for a few more shots and a celebration drink..but..and its a BIG BUT......WHAM - both cars collide (details withheld to protect both guilty and innocent) - Cat now has bent front end and 10 day old Mini has new BMW restyled side panels....OUCH. Even more entertainment for said local patrons - the landlady was dangerously close to cracking a smile, or was that my imagination ?

So we limp home and the celebration drink becomes one of commiseration but everyone parted on amicable terms with a 'well, these things happen' attitude - as indeed they do.

Seeing the wood within the trees

Inspired by Purplecoo'er Cait I wanted to share my own woodlands in our own little corner of the Scottish Highlands. Although I grew up in a new town in Sussex we were never far from the countryside and spent many a happy time cycling down through Turners Hill and when feeling very fit the Bluebell Railway, an old preserved steam line running through some of Sussex's best countryside and to this day the smell of a coal fire brings back happy memories. Anyway, getting back to todays topic the woodlands in Sussex were to us youngsters magical places, full of great places to explore and although didn't realise at the time, connect with nature. As kids we then ventured to explore North Wales, a very different land with its mountains, sheep, dry stone walls, more sheep, much coarser vegetation, even more sheep, old stone ruins..and did I mention the sheep ?

So, we have now come to rest in Highland Perthshire, a very similar land to Wales with its Celtic history, rugged landscape...and ..yup... lots of sheep (maybe they are following me ?)

What is left of the old Caledonian Forests are stunning with their Scots pine and larch but sadly many were turned into Habitat furniture in the 70's and replaed with Norwegian varieties of Spruce for Ikea Furnature today. We live in the midst of one such managed forest which from a distance look uniform and somewhat uninviting but that depends on how you view the forest from within. This is how I see the wood amongst the trees..

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Breakfast time..

It gets rather busy at the wee fast food bird table joint in the mornings, and what appear to be cute fluffy (ok, feathery) creatures are if you watch them for a while all rather aggressive little monsters, buzzing and chasing each other away from the best perch and feed, just like unruly kids in the school canteen, there is indefinably a pecking order (literally). And the mess they create, well, at least our kids would if nagged enough clear up after themselves, these guys have no consideration at all. Still, thats a minor gripe considering the pleasure from having them as guests. And a few are getting rather brave this year, still feeding whilst we are sitting a few feet away and even venturing onto Gills arm for more treats.

Good job we don't have a cat !