Christmas In the Countryside

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the best for 2017!

Yes, it’s way past Christmas, and I’ve been busy – but I still wanted to show you some Christmas photos – it’s never too late, right?

What Have I Been Up To?

I’ve been doing some travel writing work, and I am excited to announce that I am also writing photography tutorials over at Two articles so far: “How to Isolate your Subject” and “Why I Rarely Use a Tripod” with another coming very soon on Details and Patterns in Travel Photography. It’s an exciting opportunity for me as it’s more published writing, and I also get to use my own photos in the articles for exposure. Photoblog have got some great photographers and writers for their recent relaunch and I have already been learning myself from their articles, so head over and take a look. I like passing on my knowledge to others and this gives me a great way to do that. In addition to that, I’ve been writing more games reviews for ComiConverse, and more photography writing on the horizon, so stay tuned!

Christmas at Home

I spent Christmas with my parents in the Scottish Borders. Sadly, there was no snow, instead Scotland was treated to a big storm which caused problems around the country. Merry Christmas, haha! We were lucky and got out for a sunny dog walk before the weather closed in, and then the next few days were miserable – that’s Scotland for you!

This was my first Christmas with my family for five years due to my travels so it was especially nice. Sadly my sister couldn’t join us, but thanks to the power of the internet we did some Skype present unwrapping with her on the day. People moan about how we are becoming anti-social thanks to technology, and of course there’s truth in that – but at times like this you can really see the benefits – where communications technology brings us closer together.

Dad always does a good job of fully decorating the house and getting a real Christmas tree, and the folks put on Christmas carols and tunes in the lead-up to the day, making everything feel really Christmassy. We do many of the usual traditions like presents under the tree, a big roast meat dinner and playing board games to make families into enemies!

My New Toy

I asked for an LED lamp for Christmas from my parents to help with my photography. These come in all shapes in sizes but I wanted one small and light enough to travel with. You can attach them to your camera or pop them down in a convenient place. You can adjust the brightness (which is astonishingly powerful) with a dial, and also slot in different coloured filters to adjust the tone of the scene. These are great, especially for portraits as you can use them to illuminate dark patches of a face or light up interiors in order to get better photos. I tested it out on my Mum, who likes to do jigsaw puzzles at Christmas. I’m hoping this LED will help me improve my portraits and inspire me to take more, one of my goals for this year. I also received my first business cards which I’d had commissioned, which I’ll show you another time.

Wrapping Up (Literally!)

When I went present shopping in Edinburgh (Scotland’s capital city, about an hour from the Borders), it was great to explore all the Christmas markets. Of course, it was also very, very busy! I’ve spent the last three Christmases in Australia and New Zealand and although they celebrate in much the same way, it’s just not the same because it’s summer there – here it was cooooold and everyone was wrapped up in many layers. There’s nothing quite like a Christmas at home! Hope you had a good holiday season where-ever you are, and I’ll sign off with this Christmas gallery for you – click on a photo to enlarge it. Until next time!

A Frosty, Foggy Winter Afternoon in the Countryside

Winter is coming! This week the temperature really dropped here in the Scottish Borders, and it got very frosty. One particularly freezing day I set out to take some photos as the landscape was transformed.

Early afternoon, the sun emerged and its heat caused a thick fog to envelope the countryside, creating an amazing atmosphere.

It was so beautiful that I spent hours out in the frosty, foggy afternoon walking by the river and taking photos, with an audiobook for company.

I stopped in at the plush restaurant at the visitor centre for historic Abbotsford House for some lunch, the big building you can see in a few of the photos below.



As the afternoon faded, the cool tones from earlier were warmed with the orange light from the sunset.



What an amazing afternoon! Here’s a gallery of photos from the day. Click on a photo to enlarge.