Mute swan, West Lothian


November 2021 - Leaves, stone and water

The leaves in Edinburgh have been glorious during the last week in October. They have survived strong wind and heavy rain to provide a wonderful golden backdrop. Gales during October is the photographer’s fear as it can strip trees bare of their leaves and those wonderful autumn colours are gone before they have even arrived!

Frequent visits to the Water of Leith provided some straightforward landscape pictures showing the season’s colours. On one of those occasions, I was photographing a water chute but also had my eye on some stones sitting mid-river as the subject of my next image. Several minutes later I looked across at the stones and they had partially submerged. There now seemed a greater ferocity within the water tumbling down the chute. Scanning around, other stones that I had walked over earlier were now becoming tiny islands; clearly the water levels were rapidly rising and I had only just noticed. I backed off with all my equipment and reassessed what was happening. The roar of water hurtling down the chute was quickly increasing and I could see water flooding over previously dry ground akin to flood water charging down a dry African riverbed. I stayed on to photograph the increasing volume of water but found it interesting how quickly levels can rise unnoticed.

A visit to Berwick-Upon-Tweed revealed some beautiful stone patterns and formations along a beach. I spent several hours photographing the lines and layers of different types of rock; the variety was simply astonishing and I enjoyed the abstract nature of some of the resulting images.

A new opportunity has presented itself which will allow me to start photographing wildlife on an estate in West Lothian. I spent a session down by the estate’s loch photographing little grebe and mute swan against the wonderful autumn colours reflected in the water. With plenty of deciduous woodland, I am looking forward to exploring all aspects of nature the land has to offer.

I am also continuing to explore the River Esk in Midlothian. The river winds through a wooded valley and provides an alternative location to the Water of Leith. Falls, kingfishers, dippers, herons… it has it all and is much quieter than the Water of Leith.

After several years on Facebook, I recently decided to join Instagram. While continuing to show a variety of photographs on Facebook, I intend to post mainly abstract images on Instagram. Abstract photography is an area I am currently exploring and I look forward to seeing how folk react to them. For so long I resisted social media but have now been dragged into the 21st century!