While I love to shoot people ( a good job given my profession!), I also enjoy the other aspects of photography. A few years ago I would have argued that I was a better landscape photographer than a portrait photographer, but in reality I seldom have the patience to wait for nature to give me the right light, at the right time (usually too early in the morning for me!). It's easier to control people, and in shooting them, things often happen so quickly I rarely get bored waiting for magic moments to arise.
A few weeks ago, I embarked on a typically 'Rafe' impulse buy of a 20 year old BMW 5 Series sight unseen on eBay from (wait for it....) Aberdeen. This required a one way flight from Luton (close by thankfully) to Aberdeen and a looooong drive home. I decided to avoid killing myself and possibly others by not attempting to do this in one hit overnight, so I booked myself in at the £40 luxury of Kinross Travelodge on the M90. This took 2 hours off the total drive time, but still left 7and a half for me the next day. An early start to try and beat the traffic over the Forth Bridge failed miserably but once through Edinburgh the road opened up and the scenery improved as I headed towards the dramatic North Sea coastline down towards Berwick Upon Tweed where I stopped for brekky.
I'd never been to Berwick Upon Tweed and was always fascinated to see what such an isolated town looked like, and what the local accents were like. The result was what I expected - a bit of a mish mash between Scottish and Geordie accents, but it was a pleasant, quiet place and with various pork based products tracking their way through my digestive system I carried on south, stopping as originally planned at Lindisfarne (or Holy Island to some), about 20mins south of Berwick. By luck more than judgement, I had timed the tides perfectly and it was on the way out clearing the causeway to the island for traffic for several hours. Once across and parked, the first shot I grabbed was the silhouette image above. It wasn't originally as high contrast as this but shooting into the hazy light gave me a starting point to play with in Photoshop later.
Next I took a few shots of the surrounding boats and lockups scatted around the very small harbour. There was a feeling of abandonment and dereliction, although I am sure that many are in regular use as there was activity in the nearby boatyard and a plenty of small vessels in the harbour itself (see above image). Unfortunately the grey skies prevented a good view of distant Bamburgh Castle so I couldn't grab any shots of it from the island.
The island was literally teaming with tourists, most of them greyer than me. As time progressed, more and more came flooding across from the mainland, which for me was surprising given; a) it was late September, b) the Weather, and c) the remote location. I was glad I got across fairly early and grabbed the shots I wanted without bright coloured waterproof Karrimor jackets filling my frame!
On leaving the island I wanted to get some shots of the causeway, but I had to wait a long time for all the traffic to clear to get the shot above. I got the usual strange looks from people wondering what I was taking a picture of, and the narrow causeway meant I had to pay attention to passing cars, as there was no footpath option to walk on! Once I set off I needed to get some serious miles under my belt, and it took a long old time to get down to Newcastle, largely on account of the road being single lane, most of the way. My next stop was at Wetherby Services where understandably, I decided to decline getting my camera out of it's bag.
Having filled up at Aberdeen, and driven 450 miles (to Peterborough) on one tank of fuel, I was impressed by the V8's fuel economy (nearly 29mpg overall). Not great by modern standards, but for it's age and the size of car and engine, pretty impressive to me at least! The last 50 miles completed a 507 mile journey overall and apart from the front anti roll bar knocking all the way down, the car behaved impeccably. The car will now be my business workhorse, and can swallow up fast amounts of studio gear when needed.
All in all, I was glad to have taken the scenic route, and got a few nice landscape shots for my collection to boot!