Craignethan Castle

Craignethan Castle, a Historic Scotland property, is located in the Clyde Valley. The castle was built in the early 1530s and only lasted as a fortification for about 50 years before being demilitarised. Construction was started by an illegitimate son of James Hamilton, the 1st Earl of Arran – Sir James Hamilton of Finnart. Sir James went on to become Master of Works to King James V from 1536 to 1540. He might have continued in this post for longer had he not fallen from royal favour and been executed for alleged treason in 1540.

One well known guest at the castle was Mary, Queen of Scots. Forced to abdicate in 1567 while imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, she escaped the following year and was sheltered/entertained for a while at Craignethan Castle.

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Afternoon Sun on “The Matrix”

The Matrix

Over the past couple of days, the weather has been marvelous photography weather – crisp winter days with bright sun and clear, blue skies – and I’ve been stuck in the office, looking out. This residential block at Cowcaddens Road and Port Dundas Road, not far from where I work, is known as “The Matrix”. I had spotted that at lunchtime the sun illuminates the south-facing main side of this apartment block quite nicely, bringing out the colour in the various panels. I’m not a big fan of this building normally, but it’s not so bad when lit this way. 😛

[Click on the small photo to see a larger version…]

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Oban By Night

I didn’t leave Ballachulish until the sun had set, so my drive down to Oban began in the dusk and ended in the dark. That was a pity since it seems to be an attractive drive. However, the Oban plan was for after-dark shots, so this didn’t matter too much. The first objective was to drive up to McCaig’s Folly.

I had planned to go out to the observation platform and get a shot of Oban from overhead, with the various different street lights and window lights and all their different reflections. I got a shot of that several years ago with my then “camera of the day” that I wanted to try to repeat – and hopefully improve upon – with my current camera. However, I think the floodlights can’t have been on then since shooting between them made it pretty much impossible this time. I had to settle for the dramatic shot from the inside, shown in the first thumbnail image…

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Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe

The weather’s been good for the past few days, so I was up pretty early this morning to head off up towards Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe. When you drive from Glasgow up the A82 to Fort William, you cross Rannoch Moor. Once you’ve made the ascent to the moor, you pass between two lochs in fairly short order. Little Lochan na-h’Achlaise is first on the left and then you pass the larger Loch Ba on the right. If you remain on the road, you see little of Loch Ba, while the views over Lochan na-h’Achlaise are much better.

I took a short break in Fort William last spring (note to self – I really must get some of my photos from that trip posted here!) and crossing the moor that time, I merely stopped and shot a couple of frames from the roadside. My excuse was that it was really windy and cold; the stop had not been planned and I was quite late getting away from Glasgow. This time, however, Rannoch Moor featured at the top of the schedule. After stopping at the same place as last year, I walked across the moor and down to the waterside.

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Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland

I’ve been staying over in Edinburgh for a couple of days to allow me to attend a training course for work. This evening, after returning to my hotel and freshening up, I wandered up to Princes Street to take a look at the Winter Wonderland. I have already seen a number of shots from the event such as this one and this one, so I had a rough idea of what to expect.

Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland

In the end, this is my favourite from the several shots I took.

For reference, Princes Street runs along the left of the shot (on the far side of the big wheel), while the train tracks into Waverley Station are just out of sight to the right. The photo was taken shortly before 8pm, from the back corner of the Royal Scottish Academy Building.

[Click on the small image to see a larger version…]

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Royal Exchange Square – A Canopy of Twinkling Lights

I was running a little late for getting my train home from work tonight so, rather than arrive at the station out of breath, I made a small detour to look at the magazines in Borders in Buchanan Street. I had forgotten that I had seen an article on how this year’s canopy of lights had been raised over Royal Exchange Square earlier in the week. Instead of browsing magazines, I grabbed a few shots from the back of Borders…

The fine building on the right of this first photo is the rear of the former “Stirling’s Library“.

Royal Exchange Square – west side

The second shot is looking down the north side of the former Stirling’s Library – that’s Queen Street in the distance.

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Glasgow Sony Bravia Advert – Update

The new Sony Bravia advert, which was filmed earlier this year in Glasgow, was finally due to be broadcast for the first time tonight.

I read somewhere that one of the reasons Glasgow was picked was due to the large amount of green spaces (parks, playing fields, etc) for which the city is renowned. We’re not referred to as the Dear Green Place for nothing. You’ll see from early scenes of the advert that there’s still a fair degree of truth in this, even in this day and age.

The advert itself was filmed in the leafy Glasgow suburb of Toryglen, which is now not only green but also red, orange, yellow, blue, purple and one or two other rather interesting hues as well! 😀

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Dunure at sunset

I’ve visited Dunure, a few miles south of the town of Ayr, on several previous occasions and I’ve had a particular shot in mind that I wanted to try to get for a while now. I set out earlier today hoping to catch the setting sun illuminating the side of the ruined castle walls.

Structure at the mouth of Dunure Harbour

As a visitor to Dunure, there appear to be really only two places to park your car. You can park your car in Kennedy Park (adjacent to the castle) or leave it in the more limited parking down by the harbour. I tend to prefer the harbour and that’s what I used on this occasion. Just a very short distance from the car I saw this structure at the mouth of the harbour and, although I was here mainly for the castle, I couldn’t resist stopping to take a shot – even though I knew I had only a little over half an hour to go until the sun set…

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