23rd January 2005
Lindisfarne or Holy Island as it is usually called now is a fascinating place.
Cut off from the mainland twice a day by the rising tide it has two very different characters.
When the causeway is open it is very much a crowded tourist attraction but when the sea rises it seems to regains it’s island solitude and personality.
I like to stay on the island when most of the visitors have left and following the Northern light show of the previous night I wanted to be in a good position if there was a repeat performance.
Sadly that was not to be the case. There was a clear sky but no sign of auroral activity at all. I did experiment with some long exposures of the castle but the results were nothing special.
People often ask me about my sleeping arrangements when working.
My preference is to camp on location but that is very often not an option, especially in England.
As a result I often work out of my van which has been adapted to sleeping in while still providing a good cargo space and even power for running a computer.
Morning found me exploring the collection of boat sheds or “Peggity Huts” in the harbour area. These are old herring boats, upturned and used as storage and workshops.
With the sun rising over the sea I wanted to see if I could get a good image with the castle in the background.
Many of the sheds are surrounded with the paraphernalia of maritime life, some are just buried by junk but after a bit of searching I found the spot you can see in the top picture.
I liked the way the keel echoed the shape of the castle in the distance and the yacht on the harbour wall seemed to balance the picture nicely.
I dislike using flash, especially when it is on camera because it is difficult to make look natural.
We teach children to look both ways when crossing a road for obvious reasons but all too often we can get so involved in looking at the setting or rising sun we can forget all about where that light is going.
A few minutes later, as the sun cleared the wall I turned my attention to what was happening behind me.
That golden light from the rising sun was illuminating the village and the boat sheds with the sort of light that a photographer dreams about.
Fortunately I had already seen these two sheds at the other side of the harbour so I picked up my kit and headed straight there.
The light lasted only a few minutes but it was enough and this turned out to be my favourite shot of the weekend despite plenty of strong competition.
As I left the island and turned Southward the clouds closed ranks once again and as I drove down through Bamburgh this lonely life ring caught my eye, crucified amongst the dunes.
It seemed to catch the mood of the weather somehow as the first flurries of snow drifted though the air.
I decided to see if I could get one more location in for the weekend and headed for Hadrian’s Wall.
By the time I arrived some snow had settled, though not as much as I had hoped for.
This is one of my favourite viewpoints of the wall as it shows so much of it’s character and the achievement of it’s builders.
It must have been a bleak spot in Roman times.
The snow helps to create some contrast but some stronger light would have helped to model the landscape.