This month you're all being treated to 2 blogs straight off the bat. As the title suggests I've been mulling over how to push my photography, get exposure, (excuse the photography pun) and then latterly set up tuition to visitors and even host workshops. I'm both fortunate and unfortunate to live in Caithness. The landscapes are superb, the weather can be dramatic and changeable giving some stupendous light. However in terms of distance from mainstream society it is a problem. I had a few days around Cullen, (visiting Bow Fiddle Rock and grabbing this), at the start of this month and it took an age to get there and home. Travel always highlights how remote Caithness and North West Sutherland are. Anyone who has done the world famous North Coast 500, (NC500), will be well aware of this. These intrepid adventurers are who I look to deliver location photography tuition too if I can get this off the ground. Contact me on the Workshops page if interested.
Now back to the North of Scotland. Upon arriving home I had the pressing issue of a broken laptop to contend with. (This came on top of my Astro camera needing to be sent away for repair). I replaced the laptop with a more powerful desktop, (much to the umbrage of my partner) but I still await the return of my trusty Canon 6d for Astro purposes.
With the arrival of the new desktop PC I decided to build a website, get my images catalogued more efficiently and backed up several times over. While this has been ongoing I have been getting out and about as much as possible to capture new images. We've had snow which arrived shortly after our return from Cullen and hung around for over a week, most unusual for the Caithness coastlines. I took advantage by getting out a couple of times to nice secluded spots, firstly to capture some lovely species of Birch in the snow, then on a walk up the tracks of Braemore looking across to the Caithness Hills. These hills can be seen around almost all of Caithness, whether driving the NC500 or walking the John O' Groats Trail. You'll be able to see more of these images in the website galleries or on my Facebook, www.facebook.com/caithnessastroandlandscape
The snow was then replaced by some mixed weather which turned into some driving North and
Easterly winds. This made for some interesting wave shots around Thurso beach. Even in wellies I managed to get wet feet pottering about on the edge of the surf.
Then of course, when I had a nice free weekend with no plans the rain came. There was nothing for it other than to head into the woodland areas of Berriedale and Latheronwheel to both shelter and try to capture moody vibes.
After a sodden 4 hrs of wandering it was home to dry and have lunch.
Toward the end of the month the weather was lovely after work so I popped out a walk to a new
location for me, round one of our Windfarms. This walk was an unmitigated disaster, dog had bowel incidents which led to much mess, Loch Toftingal was inaccessible due to a deer fence and I stepped into a massive puddle. All in all, not great, but at least it was nice weather. This was really just a scouting walk, but I won't be heading back any time soon, there were no appealing landscape images to be had from this area.
The Northern Lights finally put on a show and I was around to capture it, (feels like that's particularly rare). It wasn't even dark
when I pulled up at my chosen location and set up, capturing the image on the right. I stayed out until 11pm, (work the next day), but the display lasted hours beyond this. Unfortunately I'm still without the Canon 6D so the display was captured on my wee Olympus, which performed well but lacked wide angle capability.
And to finish an action-packed month I watched a beautiful sunset at Peedie Sands on the eve of my birthday. What a cracking way to finish the month, can't wait to see what April brings.