Winter 2010-2011

Between 26th December 2009 and into the early new year to 2nd January 2010 there were significant falls of snow – at least for this part of southern Scotland.

A series of very low night-time temperatures followed, alternating with slightly milder weather during daylight hours.

Large icicles proliferated on houses with the repeated melting and freezing, and the main A702 road between Biggar and Edinburgh running through West Linton was closed for almost 24 hours.

Brown bears aren’t indiginous to this part of the world but a bit of PhotoShop fun seemed quite appropriate at the time.
Looking across the River Lyne to St Andrew’s church hall from Chapel Brae



The four seasons

In 2010 I had an idea for a little project that involved producing panoramic shots of Mendick hill and the surrounding countryside from the same spot for each of the four seasons, either just after dawn or in evening light just before sunset. Whatever worked best. These were photographed in sections using a 60mm lens, and the images were then stitched together. Photographing it in just one frame wouldn’t give the detail or resolution needed to print to 30 inches wide. Sure, it could have been done more simply using a 5×4 camera but I only ever rented a Sinar plate camera & lenses when the job required one and certainly not for a whole 12 months!

Of course it wasn’t just four visits to try and get a shot. Looking back at the folders containing the raw files I did pics at the location ten times. I went up intending to do some shots over several more visits, but due to the light changing, clouds coming over at the wrong time or too much haze, the camera stayed in the bag.  There was a fair amount of PhotoShop postproduction afterwards for each pic given that stitching and blending isn’t the most exact with auto techniques. Since the file sizes are around 120Mb each with up to eight layers, it was far less frustrating building them manually.

The intention at the time was to have a few printed to about 30 inches by proportion (about 30 x 8 inches), put them in bevelled mounts suitable for framing and see if they would sell. Like a few of my ideas, distraction set in and the project found its way onto that infamous back burner. And there they remain, slowly simmering. I did manage to finish and caption Autumn but it’s really only an hours work to complete the others.

Obviously the photographs pre-date the large recently installed windmill* at South Slipperfield, and not being a big fan (pun intended) of the damn things since they aren’t particularly ‘green’, IMHO it kinda spoils the view.

*Windmills. NOT turbines.

Single section – summer

Phone box

Two pictures of our village telephone box, the first one taken a few years ago when there was a bit more snow than we’ve just had, and the lower one done more recently.

I didn’t realise quite how off the vertical it is, and this lean appears to be increasing!

It would be a shame to lose it though. BT are in the process of removing many ‘phone boxes that are under-used and costly to maintain. I expect there aren’t too many calls made from this one nowadays since just about everybody has a mobile.



Mid February 2016

There’s been a bit of snow over the past couple of days but nothing too significant. From a non-photographic point of view let’s hope it stays that way. I noticed crocusses coming into bloom in the Meadows in Edinburgh yesterday so Spring is definitely on the way.

On the village clock, Lady Gifford never looks too jovial at the best of times but then who would, if you too had no option but to stand on that plinth in all weathers.


Below is another snow pic from near Lynedale.

Winter – Mendick hill and sheep

St Andrew’s church – snow

A similar view to one I posted earlier of St Andrew’s church but this time in snow, with a hazy full moon. Also a Xmas one – I’d wanted to photograph the lower pic about 15 minutes earlier than shot but the floodlights were switched on a bit later than I’d arranged.

I love the blue hour when it snows, that time of gorgeous light twixt night and day when ambient light balances with artificial.

It’s hardly possible to do this view successfully now since the tree branches have grown a bit.




25th February 2001

It snowed!

It snowed some more!

It snowed a lot more!

The snow fell all night and into much of the morning. And lo, the village was completely cut off. The A702 road was shut for about three days. The snow drifts were half way up peoples front doors. Shops ran out of food, the power went off for a day and a half because the lines came down and shock horror… the pub could only sell bottled beer or spirits since the pumps were electric. It was fun though and the Dunkirk spirit kicked in.


Montage of pics I put together at the time


Snow again!

On 14th January 2016, there was to be a formation flight by Royal Navy Sea King helicopters from HMS Gannet in Ayrshire to mark their farewell from search and rescue operations. They were due to fly over Edinburgh and then route back towards Ayrshire.

Since I wasn’t in Edinburgh that day, I’d hoped they might fly along the line of the Pentlands and I might get a couple of shots on a long lens since it was a brilliant sunny day with snow. Sadly they routed more to the north, so no sighting. I did some pics while waiting, as seen below. West Linton just visible in the top pic with a snowy Black Mount near Dolphinton behind.