Ancient Scotland

I have a love/hate relationship with unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones as most of you know them. I very rarely "like" or "select" a drone photograph, they feel like a way to cheat at photography. I realise that of course that's a similar way that people find that editing a photograph is also cheating at photography :-)

Anyway, I found a video that really shows the potential of drone videography, a mix of some spectacular scenes of my home-country with perfect ambient music. Definitely worth three minutes of your day.

 

 

 

Social Photography

In the years that I have been taking photographs it has been primarily a solitary pursuit. In fairness I have always enjoyed the freedom of wandering wherever and whenever with my camera. It never really occurred to me before to meet up with strangers to go take photographs.

This changed a couple of months ago when I started chatting to some people through Instagram and after (what can only be considered to be way to much beer and not enough planning) we decided to get a group together to take photo's on the wettest day Glasgow has ever seen.

Even though the day was wet the spirits were kept high and this led to a second meeting with new (and familiar) people yesterday in Edinburgh. The weather was a mixed bag but eventually blue skies presented themselves at Newhaven Harbour. 

I feel very lucky that I have met such great group of people that are always willing to share experiences and knowledge that makes the day so much fun. The group selfie was taken by @alycoste and includes @lisajparis, @chappygbr, @davidgulliver_photography and @redinscotland.

Have posted a few of the shots from Newhaven Harbour below, click for the large versions. 

 

 

 

Old College

Old College, Edinburgh University

Today brings with it the last module of classes for the M.Sc. that I am undertaking, Further Spatial Analysis. Five weeks of classes and the taught part of the course will be over. It seems like just yesterday that I was in the introductory lectures.

Have started the research for my dissertation now as well. I have decided to look at glacial lake outburst floods; the conditions in which they form and if it is possible to predict the formation of lakes when glaciers retreat. I will be using remote sensing and GIS to do this. Large projects always make me a little uneasy, there is always a little nagging doubt that I'll never get it done.

The weather in Scotland has been horrific since, well, October. I think I have seen the Sun a couple of times since then but I am thinking that I will have to start taking a Vitamin D supplement. It has curtailed taking most photographs that I want to take so far or the ones that I am composing in my head..  You can never wait for the right weather to take photographs though, sometimes you have to suck it up and make the best with what is going on. I did manage to get this picture a few days ago. It is the entrance to the Old College and the Edinburgh Law School at Edinburgh University. Was walking past at the right time of the afternoon.

Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift near Bonnybridge in Scotland which connects the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. It opened in 1992 and is the only rotating boat lift of it's kind in the world.

Needless to say I have visited this landmark several times since it has opened, primarily to take photographs. I have never been that satisfied with the photographs that I have taken.  I usually blame the weather, however, I was pleased with the shot below.

Falkirk Wheel at Sunset - Flickr

During my last trip back to Scotland I wasn't very happy about the amount of time I dedicated to taking photographs and only really went to two locations, The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies at the Helix Project.  From over two hundred shots I was only really happy with one or two. Only getting a couple of decent shots taught me the importance of regularly going out to take photographs. Hopefully I can rectify this in the coming months.

Scotland

It's been some time since I have visited home and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my camera and the countryside.  With a little prayer and some luck I am hoping for dry weather.  The last time I visited Glencoe I was not so fortunate, although I still remember the good soup and pot of tea I had at the Glencoe Ski Center which warmed my spirit if not the weather.

Visiting Scotland is always bittersweet for me as I am reminded of what I am missing by living in the flattest country in the world. I am reminded of how green, wet and sweet smelling the countryside of my birth is.

Much has changed politically since my last visit, the independence argument seems to have been re-energised since the NO vote won, I thought the argument may be laid to rest after September but the YES campaign is picking up steam. I look forward to getting a sense of people's feelings about this sensitive political situation when I am home.