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

Blackness Castle

As Scotland has been pretty much drenched in bad weather this week I haven't been out much to take photographs. But, I do have some from last week of Blackness Castle. I was hoping for some nice sunset photographs, however, there was a lot of clouds in between me and the sun.

Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress, near the village of Blackness, Scotland, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. It was built by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s. At this time, Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch. The castle, together with the Crichton lands, passed to James II of Scotland in 1453, and the castle has been crown property ever since.


Cambuskenneth Abbey

I have become acutely aware that the darker my mood is the darker my photo edits become. I guess that is why they are called moodscapes.

A few shots from Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stilring. It is a ruined Augustinian monastery. The abbey is mostly reduced to it's foundations although the campanile (bell tower) still stands. The abbey fell into disuse during the Scottish reformation when the abbey was looted and burned. The campanile was restored in 1859 and the crown acquired the land in 1908, Historic Scotland now mange the area. 

The first image is in the campanile looking up to the celling of the first floor. The second floor ceiling can be seen through the round area in the middle of the first floor ceiling. The second floor is not accessible, although is sometimes open to the public, best to check when at Historic Scotland. Click for the larger images if you are browsing on a desktop / tablet.

The Pineapple

A bizarre and beautiful folly (folly - costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park). Yes, I had to google the definition.

The Pineapple, often described as the most bizarre building Scotland, is located in Dunmore Park, near Airth in Stirlingshire. The Pineapple was built in 1761 by the Earl of Dunmore as a summerhouse where he could appreciate the views from his estate. At this time pineapples were among Scotland's most exotic foods. The Dunmore estate was broken up and sold in lots in 1970 and the Pineapple was originally bought by the Countess of Perth and subsequently given to the National Trust for Scotland.

To be honest I am not sure what the National Trust is doing with this amazing place, it's almost as if they don't want people to visit it. The road into the car park is very poorly signposted and the road itself is derelict. There are some nice woodland walks around the folly and the gardens. From what I witnessed, on a sunny Friday afternoon, it is very popular and many people take the time to visit. Don't take the lack of people in my photographs as a sign of how popular this place is though, it's more a sign of my patience than anything.

For some reason I remember going to this building when I was very young and thought it was somewhere in the south of Scotland. Much to my amazement, it's roughly 15 minutes drive away. I have been planning to visit the Pineapple for some time and as it was a rather nice sunny day it seemed like the perfect time to go. I am happy that I took this chance with some free time that I had today.

I took a few different shots, mostly long exposures as the clouds were moving and I like the effect that this creates in photographs (at some point I have to stop with the big stopper). For those on desktops/tablets larger versions can be seen by tapping/clicking on the thumbnail :-)

Linlithgow Palace

I spent Sunday afternoon wandering around (and in) Linlithgow Palace, mostly wondering why there was no coffee available there. The ruins of Linlithgow Palace are situated in the town of Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland, 24km west of Edinburgh. The palace was one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was maintained after Scotland's monarchs left for England in 1603, the palace was little used, and was burned out in 1746. It is now a visitor attraction in the care of Historic Scotland. Several monarchs were born in this royal ‘pleasure palace’, such as Mary Queen of Scots'.

This impressive retreat was an ideal place for royals to break the journey between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. High towers look out over lush greenery and a loch brimming with wildfowl, which is today a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

I have put together a gallery of the shots that I took here. and there are a couple of them below.