Exploring Aberdeen/shire & Angus

I've spent the last few weeks out and about in Aberdeenshire and Angus, exploring the local coastline a bit more and generally discovering new places as well as carrying out a few scouting trips on potential locations. It's nice to have an excuse to explore a little further and in particular, areas that are normally out of bounds when on a bike.

A few weeks back I travelled down the Mearns Coast to St Cyrus, just a few miles north of Montrose. I was accompanied by Icarus of Icarus Owen Photography, the aim was to explore the beach and the surrounding area for ideas and locations as well as take a few photographs. St Cyrus has an impressive beach, it proves popular with the locals and has plenty of places to walk the shore and cliffs.

Our time was mainly spent to the north of the beach where the sand gives way to rocks and then cliffs. There are even a few small sea stacks to explore.

The north end of St Cyrus beach.

I had Monday the 29th February off work and rather than spend it in front of the TV I decided to head out to Corby Loch, this small loch is located just north of Bridge of Don so only a short drive from the house. It wasn't the best weather conditions with a cold wind, some rain and a very overcast sky. It was a nice trip none the less, it was also hard to believe you could pretty much throw a stone into Aberdeen from the loch. 

Corby Loch

Ruin by Corby Loch

The next set of photographs were taken around Crawton over the weekend of 5th and 6th of March. This first photo was taken just after sunset on the Saturday evening in the last of the light. I converted to black and white as the light had almost gone and was rather flat as the sun had set behind me with no colour left in the clouds. I also feel the B&W conversion really enhances the mood of the scene.

Crawton Burn

While I was at Crawton with Anna I wandered a section of the path running along the coast to the south to see what the coastline looked like, I had in mind a possible return for a sunrise (mainly thinking of the next morning as I planned to be up and was therefore looking for a new location). The following photos were taken at (or just after) sunrise on the 6th March.

I had arrived around 20  minutes before the sun was to climb over the horizon and roughly knew where I wanted to set up to catch the warm light on the cliffs. As you can see in this first photo there are some interesting rocky points running out from the cliffs and shore. unfortunately no sea stacks here but none the less the geology is interesting. After taking my fill of photos from this first position I moved down on to the rocks with the hope for a lower viewpoint and the sun continuing to light the cliffs. Well I managed one of two... just minutes after I shifted the sun climbed behind the low band of cloud that was just waiting to ruin the light!

Crawton Coastline with the first sunlight warming the cliffs

Lichen covered rocks, Crawton Coastline

After I left the cliffs and shoreline I wanted to look at a stand of trees I had noticed when I drove down to the car park at Crawton. They stand in a field with nothing behind them. I managed to park the car not far from them and walked over expecting to have to walk through a field and maybe climb a gate. What I wasn't expecting was the field to be ringed by an electric fence... So, rather than give myself a proper wake up I walked the perimeter looking for a good angle and then knowing I would be having to rely on the zoom of the lens for composition. The image below was shot by the road side with the early morning sun hidden behind the clouds, shafts of sunlight can be seen piercing the clouds on the lower right of the photo.

Awaiting Spring

This final image is a bit of a departure for me, I don't normally bother with wildlife and reserve my moving object photography to cycling. I was down at the shore at Muchalls to see if I could capture another shot of the sea stack but the sun was a little too high in the sky by this time so it was a bit of a bust. i did however notice three Fulmars sitting up on the cliff, one of which was being chased off its perch by the other two. I managed a few shots as the third bird departed the cliff and managed to capture it in flight - slightly chuffed with the effort but it's not something that'll become a habit for me!!

Fulmar in flight