top of page

Winter Light

I can't get over how easy it is to be a lazy photographer here. All the best photography light is available to me at a civilised hour. "Blue light", the short period of interesting light that lasts for some minutes before dawn? No setting of alarms and crawling out of bed at some unearthly hour in order to catch it! Just step out into it, you're welcome, even after having had the first of one's cups of morning coffee. Here's that light at 8:40am: night has been beaten but pink dawn has not yet advanced.

We have been having night frosts these last few days and just after taking this, we noticed the rather pretty patterns on the windshield of our car and I tried a macro shot

Pink dawn follows a short while later and I took this shot a short while later (09:45, on another day of the week, I confess), also from in front of the house, but this time looking in the other direction, towards the sunrise behind the houses on Front Road. It's a shot I had been wanting to take for a long time but for which I needed the sky to have some interest as well and not just be some pastel blue and pink:

All this preparation is because we were planning to go out for a walk, this time to the Ayre of Cara as I had been wanting for a long time to photograph the blockship that is now buried in sand that has accumulated since the completion of the Churchill Barriers made the blockships redundant. For some reason – and this did not happen to Barriers 1-3 – sand collected at one side of Barrier 4, to the extent that it is now a sand quarry. Here it is some time ago

As we set off on our walk, I chatted with some people we passed, who were out walking like we were, but obviously from one of the nearby houses. I said we were aiming to walk to the old blockship and they reminsiced about they and their children used to jump off it into the sea. Well, that would not be very easy to do nowadays

as the sea is now 100 yards or more away.

Actually what I had really wanted to photograph around Cara were the old guard and gun emplacements that still watch out over the bay. These (this is a slide show of three pictures – just click on the > arrows in the pictures):

Still standing strong and at least one of them still being put to use, presumably as a garden shed for the houses I carefully kept out of shot.

From the sandlogged ship, we walked to where the beach now is. The seagrass growing on the accumulated sand and holding it together was magnificent. One had to wade knee-deep through it.

Turning back from our walk, we noticed the sun shining on the hills of Hoy, dusted with snow, in the distance. Having only a 28mm lens, I took a shot without much hope of anything useful coming of it. But I was in for a surprise

The sharpness of this Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens is unbelievable! The distance to those hills is 25kms from where I stood (I measured it on a map) and this is a tight, tight crop from the centre of my frame. Look:


60 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Hi Steve — and yes, those are William and Arthur walking ahead of me towards the old wreck.


Thank you, Bob: I think I too like the blue light shot best. It was taken in rush, wanting to get the light, with no great plan, unlike some of the other shots, which in the end were less successful. And yes, that lens amazes me. It even resolves the telephone wires on the left and that must have been 300-400 yards.


David, you are getting seriously good, I like the one of I think William and Arthur walking down the path by the landlocked shipwreck.


Dec 31, 2020

Beautiful pictures, as always. I love the village street in blue pre-dawn light and the abstract of frost on the car windshield. Your Summilux is very impressive.

bottom of page