vetch

Floral Findings 1 in South West Scotland

This week I though I would bring you just a snippet of my floral findings while we were away in South West Scotland. Mostly they are common wildflowers but there was one where the location must remain hidden!

Pyramidal Orchid

The Pyramidal Orchid above was kindly pointed out to me by a fellow walker I met along my route. I might easily have taken it for clover as there was plenty of that about – Continue reading

Fleet Bay

Calm Reflection – Gull Contemplation

A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.

stone buoy 1

Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.

Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.

Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.

Contemplating Quiet

rusty ring perspective

Iron Standings and Rusty Rings

Iron standings, rusty rings and other objects – these are from a short stretch of the Scottish shoreline which I was walking along last month and which includes two old, small harbour jetties.

iron standings

The colours and textures of rust are always attractive to me and in this location they also reflect the colours and textures of the surrounding rocks and lichens.

So far as I can tell these small ports are not used any more, althoughContinue reading

red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading

ripples

Scottish Seas 3 – The Subtleties of Surface

The surface of the sea is constantly changing – colour, pattern, texture – it all depends, from moment to moment, on the changing conditions of light, wind, currents and the pull of the sun and moon.

surface colour

However rough or calm the sea is, the changing patterns on the surface of the water can hold my attention for a long time. The longer I look, the more subtleties I see and although there is an overall rhythm to the motion, that too changes gradually as the tide gently rises and falls against the rocks and seaweed – see the video below.

The longer you sit quietly, the less you are noticed byContinue reading

sea and light perspective

Scottish Seas 2 – Evening Tide

Whether it is the ebb or the flow of the tide, the sea has a gentle gradient to cover in this part of South West Scotland. That does not always mean the waves are gentle but on this occasion the roughest it got can be seen in the third image of the sequence below.

evening ebb

The appearance of the weather in that image is exaggerated by the heavy grain effect I gave it. I like the effect but it tells a lie about the conditions, making them appear less favourable than they wereContinue reading

bumpy surface

Scottish Seas 1 – All Quiet on the South West Coast

From Scottish skies last week to Scottish seas this week and all is still and quiet – the gentle ripples on surface and sand reflect the warm breeze of an unusually warm Summer.

tidal ripple

No drama in the form of storms and crashing waves, just the peaceful lap of the gentlest of tides and the hot hazy light that so often disguised the horizon and prompted me, on occasion, to play with focus.Continue reading

sunset silhouette

Scottish Skies 3 – Sunset Silhouettes and Impressions

The silhouettes of stacked and jagged rocks and dark hills give a realistic impression of the scene they describe, but it is an impression. The camera (without any filters) provides more contrast than is there in reality and there have been occasions when I have increased that contrast further in order to provide a better sense of what the scene felt like.

sunset sentinel

The Impressionists did a similar thing in painting scenes that, while not perhaps accurately or photographically depicted, gave a more accurate impression or sense of life. Photorealism in paintingContinue reading

Sunset Scotland

Scottish Skies 2 – Evening Light

The evening light in my selected shots of sunsets in SW Scotland show the changing scene from day to day from different viewpoints. Almost all the photos were taken on different evenings but it is easy to take many, many photographs throughout just one evening as the sun sinks down and the light and shade and colours change above in the sky and below in the bay.

Low tide and lowering sun

Fewer clouds this year might have meant less drama, but I don’t think that is ever the case in this place. The skyscape / landscape / seascape is always mesmerising and holds my attention,Continue reading

distant Isle of Man

The Light in Scottish Skies 1

I have some Scottish skies to show you. With all the dry weather we have had this Summer the light in SW Scotland was unique. In some of the photos below it may look as if we had some poor weather while there but that is not really the case.

evening view

At times the light was such that it was difficult to differentiate between the different aspects of the sea, landscape and sky. It prompted me to go abstract and emphasise the effect because that seemed more realistic. The second shot below is deliberately out of focus, blurred, but the only reason the shot of the swans is not sharp is because I was having to act quickly to capture them in flight.

Over the next couple of weeks or so I will not be posting My Walk this Week – instead I would like to show a selection photos I took on various walks in Scotland while on holiday.