Wednesday 31 January 2018

sunny but not warm

31st January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8am

Up by the castle for a change but waiting for the same old sun.

31st January 2018, Bamburgh, 10am

Today's PhotoTrail was freezing cold with an arctic wind.  The sun looks warmer than it was!

In this first image I used a slow shutter speed and some ICM to try and capture the feel of the wind...

Tuesday 30 January 2018


30th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

The pre-dawn colour is like the overture. The colour fades a bit and then the curtain comes up for the main event of sunrise...

30th January 2018, Football Hole, 3pm

A peaceful walk by the quiet sea.  Daisy was off somewhere in the dunes.  When it's this quiet I can let her run free.  It does make my walk quite lonely though...

Monday 29 January 2018

looking around

29th January 2018, Newton Point, 4pm

A very pleasant dog walk as the sun dropped towards the horizon

on reflection

29th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8am

Midwinter sunrise was at 8:35 and already the day has lengthened so sunrise is at 8:06.

Not that we saw any sunrise due to the cloud.

Just a hint of colour reflected on the beach

Sunday 28 January 2018

grey but...

28th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8am

It looks cold and grey (and it was) but today’s soundtrack of waves, curlews and oyster catchers was as restful and beautiful for the ears as any sunny morning is to the eyes

Thursday 25 January 2018

A toy's story

25th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8am

I couldn't help thinking of Toy Story when I found this guy this morning.

There was cloud at the horizon but eventually the lazy sun rose out of its cloudy blanket.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

windy and...

24th January 2018, Newton Point, 3pm

This morning was very wet and very windy.

Much better to have very windy and sunny

Down on the sand the wind has carved plinths for the limpet shells to have a final moment of glory

Saturday 20 January 2018


20th January 2018, Embelton Bay, 8am

There was a burst of red-orange colour as we drove towards the beach but it had faded well before the sun came up.

Lacking any reason to sit up the top of the dunes waiting for a sunrise we wouldn't see, we dropped down onto the beach for some running about.

On the beach the light was all silver and blue.

Friday 19 January 2018


19th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

A quick sunrise dog walk just me and the curlews.

I'll be back here leading a history walk for guests of HPB Lucker Hall later this morning followed by lunch at The Ship Inn at Low Newton.

It's a good way to make a living.

19th January 2018, Ship Inn, Low Newton, 4pm

A walk in the fading light to our favourite pub.

Daisy was quite content on my expensive jacket!

Thursday 18 January 2018

in the corner

18th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 7:45am

Half an hour before sunrise and the colour is limited to a small corner of the sky

A few minutes before sunrise and the light has spread wider from the sky to the beach

Wednesday 17 January 2018


17th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8am

The first sunlight was absolutely vivid on the bracken on the dunes this morning.

Daisy has two tactics to avoid having her photograph taken.  Shut the eyes then walk towards the camera.

Tuesday 16 January 2018


16th January 2018, Embelton Bay

After a few days in Glasgow filming in a recording studio, it was good to be home

We're back.
Swapping the city for the empty beach.
Trendy cafes for sunrise skies
And one-way conversations with the dog
This is my life

Saturday 13 January 2018

chilly in the wind

13th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 8:30am

Sometimes the joy of being outdoors comes from a grim masochism. There’s a satisfaction from being wrapped up against the elemental forces of winter weather. You can appreciate the drama without being so cold you can’t function. At best it’s a delayed hedonism for that moment when you’re back home in the warmth.

Daisy and me sat up the top of the dune sheltering as best we could and we watched our friends (doggy and human) battling home against the wind.

Friday 12 January 2018

shades of cloud

12th January 2018, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

Thick dark grey cloud for the last couple of days has meant it never really got light.

It was like night time when we first arrived today but unlike recent mornings it did get brighter thanks to light grey clouds.  The daylight revealed a misty seascape with the other end of Embleton Bay invisible.

A few oyster catchers scuttled along the beach and otherwise it was just us.  I always feel that this landscape belongs to the wildlife and we are just their guests.  After a quick photo we moved on and left them to their wormy breakfast.

Tuesday 9 January 2018


9th January 2018, Howick gardens, 8am

On a dark, grey, winter day I was expecting to find shapes and textures around my walk. I did, but also some surprising but beautiful winter colour.

Monday 8 January 2018

cliche or classic?

8th January 2018, Cannonball Boulders, 8am

As we walked up towards the castle it was a long time until sunrise but the sky was calm and beautiful

Many of the photographers visiting the Dunstanburgh Castle area of the Northumberland Coast are after this one shot of the so-called 'cannonball boulders'. I've seen hundreds of beautiful, if similar, images of this scene. I've been here a few times myself. Today I noticed there was no-one else there so I wandered down to the twisted limestone outcrop of saddle rock and set up my compact camera on my 6" tripod to see what I could make of the movement in the sea.

The main limiting factors were not gear related:  The cold wind was blowing relentlessly into my face robbing me of concentration and patience and the sub-zero air was freezing my hands into numbness.

One day I'll maybe come back with my SLR and all the kit - or maybe I'll just stick to my normal wanderings. There's so much more to photograph than just this one location.

This one is a 3 second exposure

This one is a 0.4" exposure

8th January 2018, Beadnell Bay, 11am

A beautifully shiny beach for my morning run...

8th January 2018, Football Hole, 4pm

Looking east with the sunset somewhere behind me. The wind is fierce and chilly. Out over the sea sits “the belt of Venus” an atmospheric phenomenon where pinky-red light is scattered from the setting sun to colour the sky on the opposite side of the sky from sunset. Between the horizon and the belt of Venus is the dark band of the Earth’s shadow. No, I don’t really understand it either but it’s quite cool and very beautiful

Sunday 7 January 2018

on the level

7th January 2017, Embleton bay, 8am

Sunday morning walk
Waiting for sunrise again
I do this a lot

I write a haiku
To pass the time until dawn
At peace with my thoughts

I was rewarded by a sunrise worth waiting for.  The skaith is a very interesting shape this morning.

(The horizon is not truly horizontal in this photograph.  When I made it 100% level, an optical illusion meant that it looked squint.  After much deliberation about the Correct Thing To Do I decided to publish the version that looks right.)