Whilst out on a walk around Marchmont Estate at the weekend I noticed that mist and light drizzle had been captured and suspended in mid-air by heavily sagging spider webs.
Not the easiest thing to photograph (brushing against a branch, or a step too close would cause all the water to instantly drop) I managed to find a saturated web next to an old stone wall.
With the droplets in the web catching the light of the low sun, I managed to get close enough to photograph the suspended rain drops and highlight them against the dark shadow of the background dyke, the glistening spheres of water hanging motionless in the air.
I think it’s safe to say that it would be nigh on impossible to take a photo of Dunstanburgh Castle with a perfect reflection mirrored by the North Sea. Therefore this photo required a little artistic license, and with the help of the Nokia Lumia 1020, I was able to stand in the middle of a large tidal pool and photograph the silhouette of the castle, the scattered overhead clouds and a near perfect reflection. With the camera phone held just millimetres above the salt water pool, it almost appears as if the sea has been calmed to a near glass-like state.
The bulk of the credit for this photo has to go to Imogen Cloët, an award winning designer and visual artist based in Newcastle. The art installation featured within Cragside House – the former home of Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius – which is now managed by the National Trust. It was photographed by pretty much everyone who passed by, but taking a good photo of a room filled with light bulbs, windows and tourists proved a little tricky. Thanks to careful balancing and the adjustable screen on the back of the camera, I managed to take a photo from directly underneath the light bulbs with the metal mounting plate and Victorian wood panel ceiling in the background. A lot of my textural and black and white photos feature unusual subjects, but I never thought that a room full of incandescent light bulbs powered by Victorian hydropower would be something that I’d ever photograph.
Whilst cycling between Howick and Boulmer along the Northumberland coast, I noticed how unusually still the sea was. I didn’t have my normal Canon camera at the time, so I took the opportunity to take snap this photo with my Nokia Lumia 1020. It took a few attempts to get it right , and it almost led to the phone being dropped in the sea, but I didn’t extend the exposure on this shot (to make the sea appear blurred and smooth), I just held the mobile phone millimetres above the water line with the wide angle focus on the horizon. The crisp outline of the fence silhouette cut straight through the sombre moody sky and the still dark sea.
It’s not every day I see a drain and want to photograph its beauty! This rather unusual drain, or water feature, lies within a pond in Alnwick Garden. The raised pond featured what I can only describe as a square shaped funnel with curving walls, positioned just underneath the water line. Once the pond was still, the overflow resulted in perfectly smooth water gliding down the walls of the drain, with the most gentle of curving ripples at each corner. The play of the light sky and dark drain interior made the water look like it was permanently creased.
I snapped this photo of two barnacle encrusted boulders near Howick on the Northumberland coast. One boulder, completely covered in barnacles, lay right next to another almost bare rock. The various gradients of light, dark, focus and texture really stood out along the almost straight edge of the boulder – an effect that wouldn’t look out of place in a pointillists sketch book.
At Cothill we’re always treated to amazing sunrises in winter. As each day shortens and the sun rise is that little bit later, it also moves closer to the summit of Cheviot. When the sun breaks over the Cheviot Hills and the clouds mass overhead the sky simply looks vast. If the timing is just right, it’s possible to capture the vivid intensity of dawn in yellows and pinks, with the dark grey blue of night still overhead.
I watched a TV show on weird weather not long ago and was fascinated to see frost flowers; delicate fronds of threadlike ice formed by sap slowly leaking from freshly damaged tree branches. Despite being a photographer and regular walker I had never seen frost flowers before. By sheer coincidence, during a walk around Duns Castle just a few days later, I discovered frost flowers almost littering the ground. They weren’t particularly big, and just the slightest of touches was enough to instantly melt them, but I was able to capture the tiny linear formations sprouting from a branch broken in the recent storms.
When I set up my blog I entitled the category for my photographic posts “Photos; Borders and beyond” because most of my photos are taken in or near to the Scottish Borders. I’m glad I made use of the term “beyond” however, as it is most fitting for this photo of sea, sky and space taken at 33,000 feet somewhere over the North Sea. I’ve often seen stunning views, beautiful sunrises and unique sunsets from plane windows, but more often than not an ugly engine, enormous wing or dirty window didn’t allow for an artistic photo to be taken. On this particular occasional I was dawn to the blueness of everything, and suddenly realised there was no engine or wing in sight, and that the window was completely devoid of scratches, grease, condensation and frost. From the tight confines of my seat I was just able to extract my wide-angled lens from the bowls of my bag, and after several attempts I snapped this photo; looking down on the sky, up into space, with the curvature of the earth just visible on the horizon.