Monday, 30 June 2014

Allan Wright - Ailsa Craig

It's that iconic volcanic plug that sits there so conspicuously as the gatekeeper to the Firth of Clyde, familiar like an old friend, yet I suspect few have actually visited it, indeed it's on my own list of "places in Scotland to visit before I die". I have enjoyed it many times from Ayrshire and from Arran, as it provides the ideal anchor point on the horizon, helpfully decorating many a seascape.

Image 1

Continuing my "Galloway Revisited" project I recently took a couple of days down on the Rhins of Galloway, that spindly shaped part of Wigtownshire down by Stranraer. It's a longish haul along increasingly narrowing roads in my lumbering beast of a camper van but I just made it on time to catch a nice fiery sunset behind Corsewall Lighthouse on the north western tip of the Rhins. All places have their own special feel and this quiet corner of Galloway and here during the summer solstice it glowed in many ways, but in essence it's all about farming, ferries, quiet seclusion and views of the "Craig".

Image 2

In Landscape Photography there can be a strong element of strategy, i.e. narrowing the odds by studying weather, sun angle, tides, ferry timetables and seasonal colour etc etc. It can be an all-consuming task, so much so, that at times I forget to eat and lose track of the established rhythms of the day perhaps at this time of year having to nap in the afternoon to avoid sleep deprivation. Having said that one of the best parts of my job is the "unexpected encounter" when the elements of a picture just seem to fall together just like that. It has been called serendipity I believe and this is how image 2 came about. I just turned a corner on a wee back road and there it all was. To me it sums up the uniqueness of the North Rhins, but it was fleeting - 2 hours later the cows had moved on and the magic was gone.

Image 3

Image 3 was an exercise in strategy that only half worked. The elements are all there and I am happy with the dynamics and the composition but the light was less than enhancing. In my experience it may take perhaps 3-4 return trips to nail this kind of shot with the kind of great light these subjects deserve.

Safely back home and with many hours of image editing ahead of me, It's not uncommon to be asked "did you have a good holiday?" I confess I have sort of given up trying to explain that my job is not exactly a holiday, I have grown to quite like the idea that people think I make a living by going on holiday, it makes me chuckle.

Allan Wright

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