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.
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