30 September 2008


Sorry no photos taken today folks but this is an old photo from a few weeks ago when I visited the Angel of the North. I've converted it to mono to give it a more industrial feel.

28 September 2008


Went out this morning with Ron and Caroline to watch the vintage cars arrive at Beamish Museum. We tried our hands at panning the moving cars with the view to keeping most of the car sharp whilst the background would blur with motion.
The point of my blog is to show my journey in learning the art of photography. This shows my first attempt. I will be able to look back in years to come and see how I have improved with practice (that's if I do improve). This has been the hardest thing I've tried to do so far and I'm really keen to get better.

27 September 2008

Outdoor Chess

Spotted these in a hotel garden. Couldn't resist a peak and a grab shot before getting moved on as I wasn't a guest LOL.

26 September 2008

Drive in Sunset

I was on my way to the camera club and couldn't resist taking a grab shot of the fabulous colours of the sunset with my little Fuji compact I carry around in my handbag all the time LOL.

25 September 2008

Angel of the North

After work today Helen and I stopped by The Angel of the North to take some photos. The last image is Helen standing on the Angels feet. This shows just how big this statue is. Our North East Landmark.

The 208-tonne “Angel” basically takes the form of a human figure based on artist Antony Gormley's own body. At 20 metres high, the Angel is higher than a five-storey building. Its wings are 54 metres wide - almost the same as a jumbo jet. Overlooking the A1 at Gateshead, at least 90,000 motorists a day will pass by the sculpture. Rail passengers travelling on the East Coast mainline from London to Edinburgh will also see the angel as they approach Newcastle. It is made of weather resistant steel, containing copper, which forms a patina on the surface that mellows with age. Below the structure are massive concrete piles 22 metres deep anchoring it to the solid rock beneath The body is hollow to allow for internal inspections with an access door high up on a shoulder bladeIt is built to last for more than 100 years and withstand winds of more than 100 miles per hour.


I'd like to do a little bit advertising for the people I stayed with up in Scotland. Their B&B is called the Strathassynt in Ballachulish. Mike & Christine are lovely people and they made my stay very enjoyable. The rooms are clean and comfortable, there is a very comfortable lounge downstairs where they provide books for you to read, childrens games and an honesty bar where you can take a selection of soft & alcholic drinks (you pay for them with your bill on the last day & the prices are very reasonable). There is also a selection of dvd's you can borrow to watch in your room on a night time. The breakfast is very filling and tasty & it keeps you going all day till your evening meal in the pub across the road (unfortunately they do not serve evening meals in the B&B but the pub does serve nice reasonably priced meals). The house is 5 minutes walk away from the lochside and just over the road is the old slate mine which is well worth a visit). The village is 1 mile from Glencoe and a good base for you to visit places like Rannoch Moor, Black Rock Cottage, Fort William, Oban, Stalker Castle, Glen Etive, Ben Nevis and many more wonderful sites. Below is their contact details if you ever wanted to visit Scotland.

Mike & Chris Richardson
Strathassynt Guest House
PH49 4JB

Tel: +44 (0)1855 811261

24 September 2008

More Scotland photos

More photos from Scotland............

23 September 2008

St Conans Kirk (church)

...................................Robert the Bruce................................

The original St Conan's Kirk at Loch Awe was built between 1881 and 1886, and comprised the nave and part of the choir of the later church that visitors see today. Walter Campbell had grander plans, however, and in 1907 he began work on a much more ambitious church. Walter worked on this until his death in 1914, and his sister Helen ran the project from 1918 until her death in 1927. It was completed by their trustees. All the stone used to build the church came from boulders on nearby hillsides that were rolled to the site before being worked.
Not the best of shots as it was a very damp rainy day when we saw this church. Inside was fabulous but unfortunately most of my images didn't turn out well.

22 September 2008

A few more images from my holiday in Scotland.

21 September 2008

High Force

The woodland walk leads you to this spectacular sight. As you begin the descent down the gentle slope the well-maintained path twists and turns giving a different view every few yards. The muffled rumble suddenly turns to a roar and the sight astounds you. High Force commands your respect.
From its rise as a trickle, high on the heather covered fells at the top of the North Pennines, to the top of the whin sill rock at Forest -in-Teesdale, the River Tees steadily grows and gathers pace, then it suddenly and spectacularly drops 21 metres into the plunge pool below.
Nearby the falls is a pine tree wedged full of coins supposedly for good luck. I of course had to add mine so I hit a coin firmly with a stone wedging it in place.

20 September 2008

Day 7 - Friday

Friday took it on the Jacobite Express (well know as the Harry Potter train in the movie). It set off from Fort William and travelled onto Mallaig. Mallaig lies at the end of the evocatively named "Road to the Isles." It is also the terminus for the West Highland Railway from Fort William and the focus for a network of ferry services to Skye, to the Small Isles, and to the Knoydart peninsula. We saw a seal following alongside a small tourist boat as they threw fish overboard for it (see no.2 image)

19 September 2008

Day 6 - Thursday

Thursday was a visit to Ben Nevis Mountian Range. Now this was an achievement for me as i'm terrified of heights. We went to the top of Ben Nevis in one of those cable cars. At first I must have turned white as we moved off the platform into the air. I was holding onto the back of the seat for dear life. But as it went up I calmed down and felt ok. At the top it just took your breath away. The view was fabulous and well worth the initial horror of the ride up there. A rainbow appeared in the distance and it just looked fantastic (the photo just doesn't do it justice).

18 September 2008

Day 5 - Wednesday

(the above image of the Skye bridge is courtesy of a friend)

Wednesday started out rainy so I decided to go present shopping in Fort William. After being in large open spaces all week with hardly a sole to be seen it was a bit of a shock to the system to go into the hustle & bustle of a town again. I hate shopping to be honest anyway but it had to be done.

After doing the shopping the weather turned out bright so I decided to hop in the car and make my way to the Isle of Skye. A bit of a distance I know but the weather was looking good. A couple of hours I arrived at the Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye bridge. The weather was turning grey and cloudy again and once over onto Skye the rain started again. The weather changed so quickly. I only got a couple of shots over there before it got too overcast to take any (see the cottage in Skye image). We decided to head home after having a cup of coffee in the local shop and wandering round a photoghraphers gallery next door. Some of his images were to die for. A wonderful talent I wish I had.

Anyway, we decided to head to the ferry terminal and get the ferry over to Mallaig which cut the journey home down by a few miles. Unknowingly that was not to be as there were roadworks along the road from Mallaig for quite a few miles which made our journey home take longer than expected. However the ferry crossing was very smooth which I enjoyed.

17 September 2008

Day 4 - Tuesday

Tuesday saw a day of mixed weather. First cloudy and dull which turned to hazy sunshine later on. My trip today was round Kinlochleven and walking up to Inchree falls later.

Kinlochleven lies at the eastern end of the beautiful sea loch, Loch Leven, seven miles east of Glencoe. To get to Inchree Falls you follow a track for a little under a kilometre until your path goes off to both the left and right. The left path returns straight to the car park; the right climbs uphill amongst the conifers to the falls. This is known as Wade's road after General Wade, the engineer who built the first roads throughout the Highlands in the years after the first failed 1715 Jacobite rebellion, with the aim of bringing the region under closer government control. This particular road was actually built by Wade's successor, General Caulfield. Today it is a pleasant path and climbs into the heart of the forest. Here you see fungi of all descriptions and the falls themselves and views below are spectacular.