Time-lapse practise

I haven’t made any posts here recently as I’ve been busy with the day job and also shooting video footage for another wee project I’m working on.

As part of that other project I’ve been experimenting with time-lapse. So the other evening, I went up a little hill not far from my house to do a sunset time-lapse shot of this view. The result was pretty underwhelming; in fact it was rubbish. No racing clouds since the sky was clear, just the light changing as the sun went down over fifty minutes, as well as the windmill/wind turbine going round at a ridiculous speed. Oh well… at least I learned what isn’t a good subject for this.

This pic was done at the start just before the camera automatically snapped the 300 shots over 50 minutes for a 10 second MP4 video. T’was nice light though….  for still images! Think I might also just go back to using ND grad filters.

Mendick Hill and South Slipperfield windmill/turbine just before sunset.

Spring, frogspawn, new life

Frogspawn photographed a couple of weeks ago in a trackside pool in the Pentland Hills not far from West Linton.

Takes me back to my formative years a long time ago now, when as a boy, I collected some spawn, put it into an old fishtank in the garden with rainwater, large stones and some chickweed and was absolutely fascinated over the next few weeks watching the growth progress of the tadpoles. Observations ended when I was told to get rid of the tank contents after many tiny frogs appeared.

In some ways, when it came to being interested in nature and the environment, my parents were philistines! Probably one of the reasons I rebelled. 🙂




Moor Road

Single track road from West Linton onto the A701 near Penicuik. Generally just known as  the continuation of Deanfoot Road as far as Whitfield farm and then it’s just… well, the Moor Road; although there is probably an official B or C road designation or classification somewhere.

I find this first seven miles of my trip to work preferable to using the main A702. During the morning rush at least, the 702 has far too many kamikazi drivers who either tailgate until they can get by, or zoom past at 80 or 90mph, even often in the rain, although the official speed limit is 60mph.

So, a more leisurely start in the morning for me is heading out over the moor. Besides, when there’s lovely light like in these pics, you can easily stop in a passing place and take a minute or two to do some snaps without some gofaster idiot trying to kill you.

November dawn heading towards Penicuik
Electricity poles traversing the soft peaty moorland with a blanket of ground mist just after sun-up
A double rainbow half way over the moor
Rainbow over a passing place. Southern Pentland Hills just visible.

Dressing for the occasion

Being an ardent people watcher, I’ve always found what folk wear to events quite fascinating.

Mostly when working, I dressed as smart casual, usually because, with heavy bags and two or three metal cases full of necessary picture taking tools, I needed to be comfortable. If it was a fairly formal occasion I occasionally wore a morning suit with tie, just to blend in.

On black tie evening functions if I was photographing some VIP’s or Royals, I even went as far as hiring a formal dinner suit, although quite honestly these are bloody uncomfortable to work in especially with three Nikon SLR’s & flashguns around your neck!

These two pics were done during a local afternoon event I’d been asked to photograph when I went out for a bit of fresh air during a break in the proceedings. I found the contrasting dress styles quite amusing.




In the garden of a nearby property there used to be a doocot (dovecote), which was home to a couple of dozen or so free-flying white doves. Over the course of a few weeks the number of these began to noticably diminish. One December afternoon I arrived home and quickly understood why they had been gradually disappearing.

Half way up my garden was this beautiful little sparrowhawk with a fresh kill. I quickly put up a tripod, stuck a 300mm lens onto a camera body and shot a few pics over the next half hour from inside the house. It was beginning to get dark so these images were shot at the equivalent of 3200 ISO.

Later on when I went out with a torch, the carcass had gone and I assumed she’d flown off with it. After first light next morning however, I noticed she had reappeared and dragged out the remains of the unfortunate bird from where she’d hidden it – behind a compost bin. Clearly too much for dinner, so the rest was eaten for breakfast!


Easter Monday 2016

A quick walk along the river beside the Lower Green this evening after getting home from work.

Temperature still around 7°C with occasional rain showers and sunshine. Clocks have gone one hour forward (GMT+1)  as of midnight Saturday 26th March and schoolkids are on easter holidays. No daffodils in  bloom as yet. Spring, in the true sense, isn’t far away though! These pics done using the utterly brilliant little Nikon Coolpix S7000 compact.



Would be better snapped in morning light but…Olde Toll Teahouse coffee shop and restaurant & St Andrew’s Church – Main Street




In 1882-4, Frances Groome’s Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Carlops

Carlops, a village in Linton parish, NW Peeblesshire, on the North Esk river, at the boundary with Edinburghshire, 14 miles SSW of Edinburgh, and 2¾ NNE of West Linton. Founded in 1784, it came to be inhabited chiefly by cotton weavers, and now is a centre of traffic for the working of coal and limestone in its neighbourhood, and has a Free church and two inns. Carlops Hill, ¾ mile W by N, rises 1490 feet above sea-level.

Nowadays, cotton weaving, coal working and limestone works are long gone. There is still a church, but just one inn, the Allan Ramsay Hotel. Mostly, Carlops is now a small attractive dormitory settlement although it also boasts a thriving village community hall which hosts film evenings and live play and theatre events, as well as a popular monthly market fair selling local goods and farm produce.



Allan Ramsay Hotel, Carlops
Whitewashed cottages beside the A702 trunk road – church on the right.