A right mixture of a blog this time.
Daughter, her partner (Jill calls him a 'Son Outlaw' because he's not a son in law) and two grandson came for a few days. The weahter was just about good enough to get out and about.
I've been round before but thanks to a good tour guide, Micheal Strachen, I learnt some new things. We had a good lunch at the cafe as well. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Just as the tour ended we were treated to a fly past. Four jets in formation flying high over Kinnaird Head in a NE direction. I've not read anywhere that we launched a bombing raid on Norway, perhaps they are keeping it quiet.
Aden Country Park
Another good day out. Another good lunch in the cafe. We seem to be good at that sort of thing in Buchan. The tree stump seemed to be the best bit for the kids.
And I have got to remember to use fill in flash when taking picture of people on bright sunny days.
On the Beach
And in the garden
Flying kites. It was the big kid that had all the fun, the two little ones hardly got a look in.
The next biggest thing to happen was my purchase of a new (second hand) Canon 70 - 300 mm IS USM lens. As I have only had it for three days I am still getting used to it. Here are a few of the first images.
Yesterday was the 'Grampian Eye' competition for all the camera clubs in the region. This link will take you to my report of the event. It was held in Stonehaven so four of us took advantage of visiting Dunnottar Castle. Armed with my new lens and the 18 - 55 mm lens as well these are some of the images I took. Stuart Fenty has posted some on Facebook as well.
And in time honoured fashion here are a selection of other images I have taken recently
This Sunday four intrepid members of Fraserburgh Photographic Society embarked on the second photographic road trip of the year.
With Stuart Fenty at the wheel, Alister Henderson, Lewis Duthie and myself set out from thr Broch just after 8.00 in the morning. Having consulted the weather map the fearless band avoided the forecast rain of the upper Dee Valley and instead went towards the micro climate of the Moray Coast.
Our first call was at an old railway bridge at Garmouth on the river Spey. Stuart had found the location using Google Maps/Google Earth. As he said 'just driving down the road you qouln't know it was there'
You can see from the raised umbrella that the Moray Coast micro climate was not treating us that well. The rain fell in spits and spots all morning, but in the afternoon we had to endure sunshine. This played havoc with getting exposures right.
Boat o' Brig
From Garmouth we went to an old haunt - Boat o' Brig - avid followers of this blog will recall that this was on the itinerty of the first of these photo trips. Alister complained that there were too many trees!!
Now the expedition ventured further inland and following the Spey up river our next stop was Craigellachie Bridge and more spits and spots of rain. Ther was so much photographic choice here that I'm sure I missed some good opportunities. Well I know I did because Alister has put a great image on facebook of a snowcapped Ben Rinness looking through one of the arches leading up to the main bridge. I suspect he found the view as a consiquence of sheltering from the rain.
We saw the snow covered mountains when we were at Garmouth but the were not to be seen at the Boat o' Brig, here they looked a lot closer. My images of the bridge and snow take a wider view.
Bridge of Avon
Continuing towards the source of the River Spey we stopped of at the Bridge of Avon. For anyone who knows the A95 this is a spectacular place. The road twists and turns going down hill and you are confronted with this view of a great little bridge spanning a gorge with a gatehouse at the other side. Just a few metres further down the road there is a 'Swiss Chalet' of a building in green and white. You know where I mean now don't you. Stuart our driver and navigator had [pre planned the visit and turning off to the right just before the bridge parked at the gatehouse (ignoring the no entry signs). More should be made of this place. There was one family group looking around but no one else ( I hope the tourism powers that be take note of this). Alister was still complaining about too many trees.
Old Grantown Bridge
Continuing up the Spey valley our fourth stop was the old Spey Bridge at Grantown on Spey. So ignoring the signs 'No parking beyond this point' and 'Wear you life jackets' we searched the area for the 'perfect shot'. The weather had now brightened up , as the forecasters at the met office had predicted, and with bright sunshine in line with the bridge it made it difficult to fine the right place to take photographs. This was also the welcome lunch break.
Every adventure, no matter how well planned must have a little surprise. Dava and the bridges over the Dorback Burn was the one for this trip. Leaving Grantown on Spey we headed over the moors to the Findhorn Valley. We were all looking for the photogenic lone tree in the moorland but if it was there it eluded us. Coming off the moor we arrived at Dava and noticed the road went over a deed gorge. Something inside Stuart says 'Bridge' on these occasions, and he was right. Not one but two. A small road bridge over a deep gorge as pretty as any you care to mention and an impressive railway viaduct. It is a 'must go back' place. None of us had taken a tripod when we went to explore and we know that if we had there would have been better images to come away with. So there is a lesson for us all - go prepared for anything and everything.
The next stop was planned - Logie Steading and Randolphs' Leap. Logie Steading is a tourist stop. There is a cafe, antiques shop, designer furniture, a book shop, an art gallery, childrens' play park, gardens and riverside walks leading to Randolphs' Leap. (It also had some welcome toilet facilities). Apparantly it was Alastair Cumming who did the leaping but as is the way of things it was Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray who won the day so it's his name that is remembered. The Leap was across the river Findhorn where the rocky banks are very close.
Bow Fiddle Rock
Bow Fiddle Rock was the final stop of this epic journey. It is a place you can never tire of, it is different every time you visit. Surprisingly neither Alister nor Lewis had been there before. I suspect it ill not be their last.
Avid blog readers will recall that this was a stop off point on the last trip. Just to show how different a [lace can be here is an image from that trip
And so we arrived back in the Broch, exhausted but better for the experience. And here are my fellow travellers taking photograph
No doubt anyone who has got to the end of that epic tale is as exhausted as we were so no more of the blog other than to follow custom and show you a few of the images from the last week or two.
The Sovereign is a wrecked fishing boat off Cairnbulg Harbour. It has featured in this blog a few times. In the 'Perfect Storm' of 15th December 2012 it was shifted by the waves some 200 meters closer to the harbour. The other day when I was down there the tide was a long way out and I thought thet I would be able to walk right up to the wreck and get some good close up photos. Alas there is a deep channel that stopped me getting really close. However here are some of the images I took.
My other mini photographic jaunt was to Peterhead where there is a flock of up to 50 Waxwings feeding on apples put out in the garden, other birds also took advantage of the feast.
Waxwings breed in the conifer forests of the high north. They winter further south and a few find their way to these islands and are regular winter visitors to Aberdeen where they eat berries from ornamental shrubs in gardens and other open spaces. Sometimes there are 'eruptions when several thousand reach these shores.
Here are some more bird pictures I have taken over the past few days
You will see elsewhere on this site that the winners of the 6th, and final monthly competition of the season were announced you can see the winning entries by following this link. It was interesting to see that five of the entries, including the winner 'Mandarin Duck, Elgin' by Stuart Fenty, came from the photographic tour of the Moray coast on 17th February. There is a write up on the tour in the 19th Feb blog.
Here are my entries to the competition
I'm please to say that the Oystercatcher image is now being used as the banner on the World Seabird Union Facebook page
Finaly here is a selection of images from the past couple of weeks
I'm Mike, I am the (Self appointed!) web master for Fraserburgh Photographic Society (FPS). I started taking photography seriously a couple of years ago and joined Fraserburgh Photographic Society