Derelict building, Inchmickery


October 2021 - To the coast

As a beekeeper, September is a busy month for us when boxes of frames oozing with honey are removed from the hives. Deprived of their winter stores, the bees are then fed sugar syrup as a direct replacement. The process of extracting the honey from the frames then starts, all of which meant little time for photography - although a few short forays were managed.

A trip to Newcastle at the start of last month was our first visit since lockdown. I have been to the city on several occasions now and still enjoy the atmosphere and facilities it offers. As we travelled light, I only took a compact camera which slightly limits what photography can be undertaken but, nevertheless, I enjoy the challenge of using it: it’s also extremely portable. We walked around the city centre on one day taking in the beautifully tiled Central Arcade and the bridges over the River Tyne down by Quayside; I posted some images on Facebook. The next day we took the Metro to Whitley Bay and walked down the coast from the Spanish City to Tynemouth. In the 1960’s, this area was a popular holiday resort with its sandy beaches crowded with bathers. Today, facilities suggest it attracts less holidaymakers but remains popular with local residents. Staring over the mouth of the Tyne estuary made one reflect on the centuries of shipping that would have passed down the waterway.

A visit to East Lothian for some long exposure seascape photography was scuppered by high winds. Rather than waste the trip, I changed tack and decided to experiment with some kite surfers who were out ‘ripping up’ the water. As the surfers hit a wave, their kite would lift them into the air for several metres before crashing back onto the sea’s surface. Using Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop, I used a slow shutter speed to try to inject a sense of movement in the picture.

I have never spent any time on Inchmickery island in the Firth of Forth so was excited to have an opportunity to do so. The island is heavily laden with derelict wartime fortifications. Outside the bird breeding season, the place was quiet and I started to explore the various buildings. I was struck by the colours of algae and general decay on the interior walls so decided to take one photograph per room. It was easy to hone in on the ‘stand out’ part of the wall in each room and soon I had a satisfying collection of colourful, abstract images. While this appeared an interesting departure from the photography that I enjoy, I guess the images can still be categorised as ‘natural abstract patterns’ as they record the effects of nature, exposure and time on the buildings.

Autumn is on its way and the leaves are beginning to change colour. Focus will now change to woodland and landscape photography to capture those wonderful yellow, bronze and gold hues. It is most landscape photographer’s favourite season. Bring it on…