03 December 2020 (International Dutch Members Evening)

This week we were joined by my good friends Hans van der Boom and Denise Gielen from the Netherlands. Denise began the evening by showing us some of her macro, wildlife and drone photography, including some stunningly beautiful kingfisher images and cleverly framed drone shots of colourful tulip fields.  Some of Denise’s wildlife shots were taken in Oostvaardersplassen, a park in Flevoland made from reclaimed land, and Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, a national park and nature reserve on the west coast. Hans enjoys travel photography and showed us a selection of photographs he had taken on travels throughout the world.  Hans finished his introduction with some cleverly-constructed indoor studio shots.

The Hans and Denise took us on a photographic tour of the Netherlands, showing us less visited places where we can experience Dutch scenery without being swamped by tourists.  Amsterdam is crowded with visitors each year, but Hans showed us the following less crowded towns which are similar to Amsterdam.  Click the links for more information:

When tourists visit the Netherlands they also want to see windmills, and Hans and Denise showed us some of the more photogenic windmill sites. For example:

But the Netherlands has more impressive structures than just windmills. Hans showed us the impressive architecture within the city of Rotterdam, and Denise showed us beautiful long exposure shots of the Ketelbrug in Flevoland and Hans his dramatic image of the Zeeland Bridge, the longest bridge in the Netherlands. You can also see some of the most iconic structures in the world in miniature in the Madurodam model village.

Of course, a visit to the Netherlands would not be complete without a visit to the impressively colourful tulip fields. The most famous of the tulip displays can be seen between March and May every year at the Keukenhof Gardens near Lisse.  An even bigger and rarer event is the Floriade exhibition, which is coming to Amsterdam in 2022.

After Hans and Denise had finished, Mike Clark showed them some of his impressive underwater shots. Denise’s husband Niels photographs farming machinery for Agrifoto, an agricultural photography site, so Steven Beard finished with a selection of photographs from the Royal Highland Show.

Thank you very much to Hans and Denise for entertaining us, showing that with Zoom we can reach out to other clubs and photographers around the world.


MCC Trip to the Trossachs – This Weekend

Jim Tod has provided more information about this weekend’s club trip to Loch Ard in the Trossachs. Jim is proposing to go on Saturday morning, as the weather forecast looks better that day, and there is a chance of some morning mist. If you would like to go on the trip please sign the list on club noticeboard this evening. (I will be passing Jim’s contact details to those who signed up, in case you need to get in touch on the day.) Jim recommends bringing warm clothing and wellies. (Some photographic equipment would also help! 🙂 )

On the subject of car sharing, Jim is happy to pick up 2 members from Eskbank railway station car park at 5:50-6:00am on Saturday. Please call him if you would like a lift.

Jim has provided some maps showing the meet-up points. The first map shows an overview of Loch Ard. The 7:30am meeting point is on the right, on the road from Aberfoyle, and the 10:30am meeting point is on the left, near Kinlochard village hall.

Here are some more detailed maps of the two meeting points.

I hope you all have a fabulous trip, get some good weather and come back with some great sunrise images to share with the club.


18 April 2019 (Club Photoshoot at Newhailles)

On Thursday, 18th April the annual club photoshoot took place at Newhailes House & Gardens, just to the west of Musselburgh. Fortunately, the Easter egg hunt scheduled to start on the Friday had not altered our plans and the estate was open as usual. The estate contains some woodland paths where there were glades full of bluebells, anemones and flowering garlic. Some of the flowers were protected behind a fence, but still accessible with a long lens. There were views of Newhailes House through the trees (left) and architectural focal points along the paths. Towards the end of the evening we photographed the setting sun reflected in one of the windows (right).

If anyone captured some good images on the estate, please email them to Newhailes@nts.org.uk. The National Trust are always interested in new and interesting images taken at their properties.

The next event due to take place at Newhailes is a 1745 Battle Reenactment on 25-26th May 2019. This could be another good photographic opportunity.

The next meeting at Fisherrow will be our club AGM at 19:30 on Thursday, 25th April 2019. There will be some unexpected surprises! Please come along, have a say in how your club is run and join in the fun. Refreshments will be served and trophies will be presented to the competition winners.



Club Photoshoot and Easter Egg Hunt

I have discovered there is an Easter Egg Hunt taking place at Newhailes Estate this weekend. Click here for details. The event happens from Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April from 10am until closing time. Our photoshoot on Thursday is sufficiently close to the event that it might be affected (I wonder exactly when they need to close the estate to hide the Easter eggs).

We’ll need to play it by ear. If the gates are locked at 7pm I suggest we go around the north side of the estate, park near the Shell Garage on Edinburgh Road and have a photoshoot along the beach. Fingers crossed…



Club Photoshoot on Thursday, 18th April 2019

This Thursday there will be no meeting at Fisherrow. We will be meeting at 7pm in the car park at Newhailes House & Gardens, just to the west of Musselburgh. The house, cafe and playpark will be closed at 7pm, so we will be restricted just to walking around the estate. There is a £3 charge if you take your car onto the estate. The Newhailes House web site says “Please note that our car park opening hours will vary in 2018/19 due to our ongoing restoration project“. If the car park is closed by the restoration work, we might need to park nearby and walk onto the estate. Mike Clark is our local expert on the area.

Click below for some maps.


Newhailes Estate Google Map



Epic Scottish Airshow Adventure

Do you know this man??

george smith 2george smith

Yes of course its George Smith Working hard at the Scottish Airshow in Ayr.

In fantastic weather the trip turned into an adventure. Aside from the airshow interest, there were so many static displays that we could not do justice to them in the time we had, in-between fly pasts. It is a fantastic event and one that we will attend again next year. I have not edited my shots yet but here is one i prepared earlier.



Typhoon Mike Clark

Mike Clark

Ullswater Steamer Workshop with Val Corbett

I went on a landscape photography workshop with Val Corbett when I was down in the Lake District in October.  Val is a very famous local landscape photographer who has published many books on the Lakes – the equivalent of our Colin Baxter or Colin Prior really – you’ll see her books in all the local shops if you’re ever down there.  She’s got a new one coming out soon all about shooting the Lakes in bad weather…..which brings me on to the Workshop!  It took place on The Lady of The Lake, one of the beautiful old steam boats on Ullswater, arguably the prettiest of all the Lakes.  Unfortunately, the weather was that bad – and we’re talking 60mph winds here – the boat had to return to shore rather promptly and we continued the workshop aboard!  Because of the conditions, Val set us the task of finding alternatives to landscapes – something which I found very interesting and well out of my comfort zone.  Val runs these courses a couple of times a year and I would thoroughly recommend trying one if you’re in the area.  Very reasonable at £26 for five and a half hours.  Her website is easily found with a quick Google. Here’s a few of my shots from the day – not a Lee Big Stopper in sight either, which is very difficult for me I’ll have you know!

The last one was taken through the wet etched glass window of the coffee shop at the Ullswater Steamer Terminal and is my own personal favourite from the day!

Thanks for looking.


Northumberland Revisited

Went back to Northumberland for another long weekend.  This place just gets better every time I visit it!  Stayed at a great camping and caravan site at West Kyloe farm – just opposite Holy Island.  Weather wasn’t too bad this time considering the terrible forecast and I managed to get a few shots in.

1 Dunstanburgh Castle – Revisited

Couldn’t resist another crack at this classic Joe Cornish viewpoint – must take wellies next time!


2 Causeway Reflection

This was taken on a gorgeous sunny evening on the Holy Island Causeway just as the tide was almost up to high water – then a massive rain storm came in from the left and changed everything!  Again, must take wellies next time!


3 Causeway – Revisited

This was another attempt at my shot of the Causeway bridge from earlier this year, but this time with some nice clouds.  Just before high tide again…you’ve guessed it….very wet feet again!

Like I said before, this is a great place for a day or weekend’s shoot and well worth a visit. Most people just drive past this area on the A1 heading south – I certainly used to do that myself – but some of the beaches and rocky outcrops are simply stunning!  All very dependant on the tides so check your times before you go!

All shots using Canon 50D with Canon 10-22mm lens and Lee 10 stopND and 3 stop ND grad filter combination.

Thanks for looking.