Falls of Shin, Ullapool and the Isle of Skye: Trip Notes

Heading for the Isle of Skye today, but made some detours.  "The Falls of Shin" may sound like something out of a Chinese kung-fu movie, but consists of a coule of rapid like waterfalls of brown water.  I tried some slow exposures to smooth out the waterflow, came out OK at 1/4 second. This area is owned by Mohamed El Fayed, who used to own Harrods, and there is an amazingly lifelike wax dummy of him from Madame Tussauds, dressed in a kilt, in the gift shop there. The fishing port of … [Read more...]

John O’Groats & the Orkneys: Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Italian Chapel

John O'Groats, the small port from where you can take a ferry to the Orkneys, is basically shots of "The Last House in Britain", the old John O'Groats Hotel (Scottish Baronial influences, now closed) and the signpost giving the distances as the crow flies to various world capitals.  The ferry ride over to the Orkneys usually offers some photo opportunities whatever the weather. Once there, your first stop will be the "Italian Chapel" which consists of two Nissen huts joined together endwise.  … [Read more...]

Clava Stone Circles, Culloden and the Castle of Mey: Trip Notes

The Clava stone circles, neolithic burial sites, are not really circles but doughnut mounds with standing stones around them.  There are three of them in a small park.  Fortunately, we had some morning sun.  A wide-angle shot from inside a mound looking out through the entrance passageway was a little different.  A 3/4 aerial view would be best, but nothing was around to climb up on. The sun was shining at Culloden battlefield too, although it tended to be in and out as the clouds swept by.  … [Read more...]

St Andrews, Blair Castle and Monarch of the Glen: Scottish Highlands: Trip Notes

Bound for "Monarch of the Glen" country, near Newtonmore in the Highlands today.  First stop St. Andrews golf course.  Luckily I had shots from last time because it pelted down with rain.  Forth Bridge and Hawe's Inn, the model for Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" needed a deviation off the main road but provided good shooting opportunities, even though the morning sun (a brief interlude) was not ideal. Weather deteriorated again and had to shoot Scott's "Discovery" (Antartic exploration … [Read more...]

Edinburgh, Royal Mile and Pubs: Trip Notes

Still in Edinburgh, and took a trip into the Arthur's Seat park.  Good shots of city and went for a panorama sequence.  Had a quick bus orientation tour round before going into the Edinburgh castle.  I already had good shots at the castle from last time, and the weather was sunny in patches, so only took a few photographs this year. After the castle we walked down the Royal Mile. Plenty to shoot, especially shops selling souvenirs and kilts. Very busy at mid day but good shooting as we walked … [Read more...]

Grasmere, Lake District, Gretna Green, Edinburgh Tattoo: Trip Notes

Today's first stop is in the Lake District, Grasmere.  Weather very changeable - rain/sun patches.  We'd previously shot Wordsworth's "Dove Cottage" so concentrated on the village, though I rephotographed the Wordsworth family graves in the churchyard.  Nice shots of river next to cemetary, but I missed the shot of ducks taking off through bad anticipation. Grabbed some grand landscape shots on way to Gretna Green, the place on the Scottish border where young couples used to elope to get … [Read more...]

Coventry, Lady Godiva, York and the Shambles: Trip Notes

First stop today is Coventry at 0900 to see the Cathedral - old ruin and the new.  New cathedral only really visible from air.  We have twenty minutes to shoot.  Go up steps between old and new cathedral.  Statue of St. Michael subduing Lucifer on wall on right.  Old cathedral (ruined by bombing in WWII) very striking.  Main tower still standing.  Morning sun behind cross on altar to your left, difficult but dramatic.  All open to the elements of course.  Luckily, the sky now shows patches of … [Read more...]

Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon: Trip Notes

On the road in the UK: Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon Pouring down with rain, overcast as we left London at 08:30.  But amazingly, weather totally changed on the way to Oxford, and arrived to blue skies, shirt-sleeves, sunny 24. Sweaty work carrying heavy bag as it was surprisingly humid; anyway, the first day is always a "break-in" day. Shot the Radcliffe Camera (a building) with blue skies, last time we had grey skies and overcast, so that was good. Went down to Isis to shoot punts. Light … [Read more...]