One Week in Scotland

Posted on July 15, 2019

I recently spent a week in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland.
I’ve been to this part of Scotland precisely one time before. That was a much briefer stay, and understandably I couldn’t discover much photographically in that time.

This stay, however, afforded me much more time to really get to visit some great locations.

I have some images below, but before we get to those, let me just say a few words about the weather during this trip; in short it was absolutely phenomenal, and not at all what I was expecting.
The first day was cloudy and promised the sort of climate I was expecting, wet wet and wet, but that wasn’t the case at all.
The second – sixth day was glorious sun, some days with nary a cloud in the sky, and what cloud there was certainly wasn’t overhead, it was sticking to the horizon line.
Now don’t get me wrong, clear blue skies and blazing sun made for very difficult photographic conditions … there’s a reason photographers love a mean ‘n’ moody cloudy sky.

The bright sun produces harsh lighting conditions, very high-contrast areas between light and dark – such as between shadows and patches of sunlight, so the choice of subject has to be selected very carefully to try and minimise these problematic areas, so in a lot of the images below you’ll see a minimising of the amount of clear blue sky I included, but this wasn’t always possible, and in those circumstances I either had to select different compositions or get creative with the compositions I wanted to photograph.

Despite the above, I still think I managed to capture some really good images.

 

Bluebells in Carstramon

The conditions that greeted us on the first full day were the conditions I expected for the rest of the holiday – to the contrary of what all the weather apps and websites I was checking were telling me. There’s just certain climate conditions that you associate with Scotland.

Twisted Hawthorne

Taken on the same day as the one above – as you can clearly see in this photograph, the cloud cover was already breaking up by the end of the day.

Rutherford Monument

This panorama was supposed to be a little taller, but I neglected to check that my camera was level on the tripod, which means I had to crop more of the image than I would have liked. Still, the weather was considerably improved upon the previous day.

Cairnholy 1

A neolithic site captured in perfect alignment with the sun and the stones.

Cairnholy 2

Having to creatively utilise the lens flare as a leading line into the main subject of the neolithic stones (site 2).

Stroan Viaduct

Panorama of a viaduct that was spotted as we travelled along a dusty gravel road.

Dundrennan Abbey

Day four yielded yet another day of almost totally clear blue skies.

Chapel Rossan Bay

I don’t know what this site was previously; an old jetty … remains of a boat or ship … water erosion defences … ? Whatever they were, I enjoyed taking a number of long exposure photographs of them.

Chapel Rossan Sentinals

Same location as the image above, different angle. I really love the simplicity of this image and composition.

Mull of Galloway

Scotland’s most southerly point.

Sleeping Ferns

The furled fronds of a fern are also referred to as fiddleheads, due to their resemblance of the scroll carving at the end of stringed instruments such as the violin or cello.

Navigation Pillar

These navigation pillars (there’s three in total) were an absolute joy to photograph. This is certainly a location I am going to revisit, despite the weather conditions.

Viaduct

Late evening sun on the last full day created some dramatic light and shadow shapes through the arches of this viaduct, all being anchored by the stream of sunlight hitting the bush at the bottom of the image.

 

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