Happy New Year 2011 – and a chance for dawn photography on the Scottish Coast

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2010 was a rather busy year, so I decided to escape for a few days walking in t’hills of Scotland over New Year. It was a good chance to stretch the legs and remind myself of why I do these things after being cooped up at the desk for rather too much over November and December. And even though the weather wasn’t great, it really didn’t matter – there’s actually something quite exhilarating about being out in a whiteout, 1100m above sea level, and not being able to see anyone else if they get more than 20m from you.

On the way up there, I stopped off on the eastern Borders coast – not too far from Eyemouth. A lovely little lane lead down to a harbour, and row of houses along the sea front. A huge flock of oyster-catchers were gathered together just at the shoreline, catching fish and huddling together in the relative safety of the darkness. Would they still be there come morning?

The next morning dawned dull and grey, but the streetlights managed to give an interesting effect to the foreground rocks, the tide was almost perfectly nearly in (though still coming in!) and the clouds were just interesting enough to be worthwhile trying for dawn photos.  The oyster-catchers were still there too – but flew off as soon as there was more than a hint of light – they seem rather timid creatures. I stayed for a while, playing with composition as the tide came in over the foreground boulders – even after the light was strong enough that the streetlights switched off, the swooshing in and out of the sea around the boulders was fun to play with photographically. The image at the top of this post is one of the early shots – it’s one of the few images I’ve taken where the orange glow of the streetlights actually complements the natural scene (imho!).