St Andrews

As you may have read in my biography in the about page, I completed my Bachelor of Science by reading Geography at The University of St Andrews, Scotland's first University. I have only made a handful of visits since I completed this course. A few occasions to use their laser seive to analyse sediment from Greenland while researching my PhD, but since then I have only made two trips. Once in late December in 2005 with some friends and then again last Sunday.

The thought of returning to a place I became so familiar with after such a long absence has always made me feel a little uneasy. When I was there in 2005 I was horrified that Costa Coffee has opened up, the whole idea of 'chain' shops seemed to go against the idea of St Andrews and its 'lost in time feeling'.

Of course, finding Starbucks, Pizza Express and a whole host of other multinational shops in the city this time certainly shocked me, although if I had thought about it for more than a few minutes before I arrived I would have figured out that this was an obvious progression. 

It's hard going back, it's hard not looking for the familiar signs, the people and the feeling that doesn't seem to be there anymore. I think it was the excitement of being there as a student, not knowing what was going to happen each day. I think I could see it in the eyes of the students that I did see though, I did feel a pinch of jealousy.

Of course, some things never change, the red gowns were adorned by the students coming out from St Salvators Chapel heading towards the Pier Walk, possibly heading to the Hebdomadar's office for sherry, or perhaps a new tradition of heading to Starbucks for a Frappuccino. Trust me, the sherry was always better.

I didn't take many photographs as I was mainly walking around in my own thoughts of years gone by. Click the thumbnail for the large version.

Elie Ness Lighthouse & Lady's Tower

A trip to Elie for dawn to see the sunrise over Elie Ness Lighthouse and Lady's Tower with @wendytwpang. I can't recall a time that I have visited this location before so it was definitely worth getting out of bed at 4:45am to visit. Sorry, I must still be delirious from sleep deprivation, nothing is worth getting out of bed at 4:45am. Hence why most of my shots are sunset and not sunrise!

The lighthouse is relatively modern, built in 1908, due to Master Mariners putting pressure on the  Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses. During bad weather it wasn't possible to see the light on the Isle of May or Inchkeith and Elie Ness provided an appropriate location for a lighthouse to guide them through the Forth River.

Lady's Tower has a more interesting story. Built in 1760 for Lady Janet Anstruther to use as a changing room prior to her morning bathing routine. She was the daughter of a Scottish merchant and renowned for her beauty and reputation as a flirt. Prior to her skinny dipping she sent out one of her servants into the town of Elie to advise local residents of her imminent skinny dipping so they would stay away from her private tower.

I couldn't decide which photograph I preferred of the tower in the shade, so I posted both in the gallery below. The Island in the background is the Bass Rock, not commonly shot from this side of the Forth. The bottom gallery has the shots that will probably end up on Instagram. 

Thanks for reading, the next post is going to be in St Andrews, which I haven't been to since 2005. 

Consulting and Website Building

It's already the 7th of February and this is the first time i have had some real time to post anything this month. I am shocked that I haven't even taken a photograph since January, which may not seem that long to most people but it feels like a lifetime for me.

I have been spending all my time consulting for the Cairngorms National Park Authority, building a new website for Woodilee Consultancy Ltd and launching the Collar Bill website. These projects have been fun but I really must go somewhere this weekend with my camera!

 Cairngorms National Park

For those that don't know, the Cairngorms National Park is a national park in the north-east of Scotland established in 2003 by the Scottish Parliament, the second national park of Scotland after the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which was established in 2002. During my visit earlier in January it started snowing the day I arrived and kept snowing until after I had left.  It made for a very interesting drive home. Unfortunately I exhausted my photo supply of the area in an earlier post.

Collar Bill aim to offer stylish designer luxury looks at modest, affordable prices. They produce cosy collars and scarves that are all limited edition and completely unique. All are handmade in their small, creative studio in Scotland. The site is now up and running and Fiona is already hard at work creating new collars and scarves for the online shop!

Woodilee Consultancy Ltd is a small forestry consultancy from Glasgow. I had previously consulted for them in a GIS capacity and it has led on to building a new website for them. I was very happy to do this as the old site was looking a little tired and my studio is dedicated to making the internet a more beautiful place! I am hoping to finish off the new site in the next week, it will be located at Woodilee Consultancy.

Check the sites out sometime and let me know what you think :-)



Seems an apt way to spend the end of the month seeing as I literally started here at the beginning of the month.

A quick stop into the Apple store in Edinburgh at the weekend to pick up a trackpad replacement. You know those signs they have in computer labs "No food or drink!!", turns  out they are actually there for a good reason. Much to my disdain a pint (yes a full pint) of water tipped over on my desk and my £130 trackpad took the brunt of it. It did not react well. Turns out the keyboard wasn't too bothered though.

Anyway, long story short, Apple screwed me for £90 for a replacement. Meh. I may have to be overly critical about the HomePod when it gets delivered.

On the bright side, I managed to finally get coffee with @davidgullver_photography (dude you really have to get a shorter Instagram handle) and take some shots around town. In the pouring rain, for the most part.

I have another shot of Teviot Row House on Instagram without the bokeh, but I particularly liked this one and have kept it for the website instead :-) The long exposure on Victoria Street is something I have been playing with, slowly turning the zoom while exposing. A little fun if nothing else. The sunset silhouette was just too tempting on my way over North Bridge.

Sunset silhouet

Bokeh at the Teviot

Light speed on Victoria Street