Trip Report: Calm Waters in Southeast Scotland - herdie photo

Trip Report: Southeast Scotland

As you have probably already noticed, I’m partial to a mono long exposure. Early in the year I had scouted a few potential locations in Southern Scotland. I wanted to visited The Forth bridge, Bass Rock and the bridge to nowhere (more on that later). Each of these places had the magic ingredient when it comes to long exposures - water!

My research criteria was fairly straight forward for this trip; no rain and high tides. So one spring morning my diary was free and the criteria was met! I hit the road with my Fuji X-T1, tripod and ND filters. The first location was South Queensferry, from here I could stand directly under the Forth rail and road bridges. They span the Firth of Forth and connect Edinburgh in the South to Fife in the North. The iconic cantilever rail bridge is over 100 years old and 2.5miles long and probably the one you have seen on TV. These imposing giants are in stark contrast to the calm waters below. Shooting here was straight forward; with lots of freedom to move around and setup my tripod.

Next was the island of Bass Rock just over an hour down the road. I knew that in order to get the shot I wanted I would needed to position myself right on the coast. This limited the number of vantage points available but in the end I settled for a location within the grounds of Tantallon Castle. This protected volcanic rock is just over a mile offshore and home to thousands of gannets, you can see the birds coming and going all day long. Setting up for this shot was a little more tricky as I was within the castle grounds, it was busy and tourists wanted to chat. Don’t get me wrong I do love talking about my camera and gear but it was hard to concentrate at times! In the end though I was pleased with the final shot.

The last place to visit was Dunbar and what’s fondly known as ‘the bridge to nowhere’. The small footbridge is located 30 or so meters from the shore and is surrounded by the sea at high tide, so timing was very important for this one. I didn't have far to travel from Bass Rock to the small village of Dunbar and when I got there a number of other photographers had already taken their positions. I was surprised at how quickly the tide came in to surround the bridge and then within 30 minutes or so the water was disappearing again. This was probably my favorite shot of the day and I was thrilled when it was selected to be featured in issue 11 of Fujifilm X-Magazine.

It was a busy old day and I covered a lot of miles in order to hit my three locations but felt mission was accomplished and well worth the effort.

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