The heather this year has been both bountiful and beautiful. Our bees have made good use of the bloom and we took some packed honey frames off the hives at the very end of August. I also spent a day on the Lammermuir Hills looking to photograph red grouse in the heather; the moor is their habitat so an opportunity to catch them while their environment was awash with colour was too appealing to ignore! The sun shone intermittently which allowed me to admire the views while awaiting sunlight to emphasise the colour of the heather. There are few places beyond the UK that have similar, extensive heather environments to match ours.
Colourful sunsets that glow long into the night are one of the absolute delights of summer. I spent one such evening at North Berwick photographing the Bass Rock in the last vestiges of evening light before shifting position to capture the town and inner Forth islands immediately after sunset. By 10.30pm, I was bound for home and passing through Aberlady where the light of the afterglow produced tranquil blue and orange strips across the bay. The picture simply had to be taken and was subsequently posted on Facebook. A final stop at Longniddry Bents to admire the night-time Edinburgh skyline completed a fantastic evening.
Harebells are beautiful, photogenic flowers that emerge in late summer. Their blue bell-shaped heads respond well to a little additional artificial light to add atmosphere to an image, hence I spent an evening photographing them at a local site. While lying on the ground for an 'eye-to-eye' shot, a raven called from above and a roe deer almost stumbled upon me before making off towards cover. This area is the location of my latest project photographing the nature that exists there.
A week in our cottage in Kingussie allowed us to explore on foot and by bike while also undertaking some work on the house and around the garden. One early morning photography attempt was quickly 'midged off' as the insects pounced in the damp, still atmosphere! Nevertheless, the quiet week was a welcome change of scene.
The photographic month concluded with an impromptu evening session in Edinburgh's Stockbridge. Characterful houses (see image), mews and market entrances all made great subjectmatter and a little HDR blending in photoshop worked well. One always ignores what is on one's doorstep so, as an Edinburgh resident, I was happy to have grabbed a few 'local' images and am keen to build momentum towards photographing my hometown.