Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Buildings

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Aviemore train station, and a huddle of unknown buildings taken from the train travelling between Aviemore and Inverness in the North of Scotland 🙂

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Buildings

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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Sometimes its fun to mix things up a bit photographically, but I really love the natural order inherent in the distinct layers of a landscape – a clear strip of foreground, a generally more interesting strip of middle-ground, and an undulating strip of background topped off with a beautiful blue sky, all together creating a harmonious blend that never fails to delight the eye  ❤

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

Daily Prompt: Uniform

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There tends to be an overarching generic uniformity to the various landscape photographs I have taken from the train on my many journeys up and down the mainline between London and Inverness. Time after time they show the same basic selection of scenes, taken from the same moving-yet-immovable vantage point, namely a moving train travelling on a single fixed track.

But still I keep on taking more new pictures every time I travel in the hope of creating something slightly different each time. And without fail, I find I never quite capture exactly the same view – or at least the same feeling – twice. Always my final images look subtly – and on occasion dramatically – different from those taken on any previous trip.

In essentials the underlying landscape itself remains reasonably constant, the mountains and rivers and lochs stay fundamentally unchanged from one visit to the next. And yet there are always variables to take into consideration. The time of year, the time of day, and the weather all create different atmospheric conditions leading to different light at any given time. Seasonal changes to foliage make a difference too, as do agriculture and forestry.

So although I know roughly where to look out to try to capture my favourite potential shots, I have no idea as to what I’ll actually find until it is actually upon me, at which point I have only a few seconds to compose-and-click and just hope for the best. In some ways I’m not at all crafting an ideal image with care and attention but rather am sticking to far a more spontaneous snap-and-see methodology.

I suppose where the skill comes is in knowing in advance approximately what I’m hoping to see and being prepared for any eventuality – sometimes for delight and sometimes for disappointment. I’ve discovered I need a standard to wide-angle lens to get the best shots – a telephoto lens is just too difficult to hold steady on a rattling moving train. And my composition has to be loose enough to play about with cropping the final image afterwards but tight enough to capture what I want without losing too much in resolution.

These three images were taken early last week, early in the morning, and are of a favourite spot on the journey. They are similar, yet are different to any other images of this spot captured before. So although there may be a uniformity in my image-taking, there is also a never-ending challenge to capture what may be, for me, the uniquely perfect shot of the beautifully scenic landscapes of home ❤

Daily Prompt: Uniform

Culloden Viaduct

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Travelling to Inverness by train from London, a favourite landmark almost at the end of my journey is the Culloden Viaduct. Crossing the River Nairn near Clava, it was built in 1898 and with a beautiful curve of 29 masonry arches spanning 1800ft in length it is the longest viaduct of its kind in Scotland. Built of sandstone, each arch is 50ft wide, apart from the central arch spanning the river itself, which is 100ft wide.

It takes no time at all to pass over the viaduct, but I was lucky to catch a fun shot of the elongated shadow cast by the early morning sun while crossing on the sleeper train last week, so wanted to share the view before, during, and after the crossing… 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

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How many times in my life have I walked down this quiet country road? Or cycled it, for that matter? The exact number is beyond counting…

I grew up living along this road, as between the ages of four and ten my family lived in a farm cottage about the same distance again as the small white cottage is from where I stand taking this picture. My first school is about the same distance away down the hill to my left, and my later family home, where we moved when I was ten years old and where my parents still live today, is about the same distance up the hill to the right.

Not long after we moved to our new house, a new family moved into the road, living in the farmhouse immediately behind our old cottage. A new family not just to the area, but to the country – Americans, no less, with chidren around our age – two boys, one the same age as me who would be in my class in school, and one two years older. Our families became friends, socialising regularly, friendships that have remained firm four decades on.

The older boy of that neighbouring family is now my husband. We took a rather circuitous route to getting together, as life took us in completely different directions for a couple of decades. But our friendship continued through the many ups and downs we each encountered, until what with one thing or another we were both in our late thirties before that long-term friendship flourished into love. And five years ago we finally took the plunge and got married!

Whenever we visit my parents, my husband and I always like to take a walk along ‘our’ road, remembering a shared childhood spent in that beautiful countryside, happy that fate in the shape of a very ordinary single-track rural road first brought us together as friends all those years ago…

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken 

Daily Prompt: Fish

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To be honest I’ve never understood the lure of fishing, or more specifically, angling. The River Ness, running through the City of Inverness in the North of Scotland where I grew up, has always been a keen spot for anglers. I do appreciate that only two of these shots contain men in waders standing up to their nether regions in the middle of a freezing cold river waiting patiently to catch a fish, but it’s such a beautiful river it seems such a shame not to share more of it…  🙂

Daily Prompt: Fish

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

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Living in London as I do, I really miss the spectacular Scottish sunsets of my younger years, the moody skies and hot fiery rage of the dying daylight as the sun sinks silently screaming behind the hilly highland horizon, fighting with every last spark to stay alive to the last gasp…

But as this recent image shows, taken last week from the upstairs window of my youngest daughter’s house on an everyday ordinary night just like any other in the North of Scotland, the nostalgic sunsets of my rememberings still exist in the here and now; and it is in fact me who is out of time, out of place…  ❤

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia