Clyde Light

Finally, some photographs fresh off the CCD rather than a year or more old. These are from Helensburgh, downriver from Glasgow on the Clyde, at around noon on Saturday. They aren’t tinted black-and-white shots: the sepia effect is from the camera’s cloud setting, with some minor tweaking of the contrast. Click for bigger versions.

9 November 2009

Scottish Sand

We visited Musselburgh last weekend, leading to a supplement to Scottish Sand. This pop-up shows five new photos before looping back to the previous ones.

19 September 2009


So, only a month between intending to finish these next and actually finishing them. In Paris we caught the train out to Versailles one day (not helped by one of the central lines being out of service without our realising) and reached it by lunchtime, far too late to avoid the hordes of tourists of which we now comprised a hordlet. J. and A. joined the massive queue for the palace tour, which wasn’t a good place for a two-year-old, so I took W. for a trundle in his buggy around the gardens. This is a pretty full day’s sightseeing in itself if you attempt to cover most or all of the open areas. The gardens have hidden speakers playing baroque music from within their giant hedges, which is enchanting until you’ve been listening to it for four hours.

We’d arrived just in time to miss the fountains, switched off through the middle of the day, but after criss-crossing the entire map they all came on just as the sun came out and just as we were about to leave. The gardens were by now even more packed with visitors, now that half of them had left the confines of the palace. Any hope of taking artificially empty photographs of palatial views was in vain, but I didn’t mind; the crowded shots in this gallery actually give a better impression of the 21st-century tourist experience in one the world’s most famous places.

12 September 2009 · x1

À Paris

Last month we went to Paris for the first time in five years, to meet up with my sister-in-law at the end of her European trip. We weren’t sure what to expect with a toddler in tow, but actually it was fine; quite a few Parisians have children, funnily enough, so we weren’t the only ones pushing a buggy around. The playgrounds around the city are très bien, with lots of shady trees and some good sandpits. (They were preparing the annual sandpit along the Seine while we were there, too.) The Metro was a bit of a nightmare, though, with hardly any lifts or escalators. Good thing there were three of us to carry him up and down the stairs. Trying to get an early evening meal at a brasserie was also a challenge; it wasn’t quite Spanish mealtimes, but close.

Read More · 9 August 2009

Scottish Sand

Here’s what’s been taking so long. Scottish Sand, the latest feature at Detail, features photos from North Berwick near Edinburgh and Camas Dubh-Àird near Plockton, taken in April and last September respectively. Soak up the sand, seaweed, and even some sun.

16 June 2009

Skye and Raasay

Another chance to sort through non-family photos this evening, and another wee bonny boat. This is looking towards Skye and Raasay from a hill near Plockton last September. Click for bigger bonniness.

15 June 2009

Cairnholy II

More photographic orphans, and more playing around with black-and-white and selective desaturation. I like the way they ended up looking like old book plates. This is Cairnholy II, one of two neighbouring chambered cairns in Galloway, taken on a rainy day in June last year. Click for the full images.

23 May 2009

Ailsa Craig

I’ve been dithering over what to do with this photo for months. It’s a one-off, because it doesn’t really go with any of the others I’m gradually turning into galleries, and I can’t decide whether I prefer the colour version or the black-and-white. So here’s one, and if you click on it you’ll get the other. It’s Ailsa Craig off the Ayrshire coast, taken in June last year.

18 May 2009 · x1


This has taken far too many snatched hours to put together, but the photos were too good to let languish. In February we visited Alberta for a wedding, and were lucky enough to have clear weather for the drive from Calgary to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway, past spectacular mountains and glaciers. Other highlights were an ice-walk into the frozen Maligne Canyon, like a limestone cave but made of ice and outdoors; driving through near-whiteout conditions on Highway 16 to Edmonton (coming soon to a gaming console near you); and enjoying the frost and snow at –20°C. All captured here, with bonus elk.

13 April 2009 · x4

Portrack House

Portrack House, just north of the town of Dumfries, has an open day once a year, and we drove down to it last May. Despite the wet weather, it was well worth it, because it’s home to one of the most extraordinary gardens in the country, designed by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie (it was her family home). Jencks is well-known in Edinburgh for his fantastic Landform Ueda in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Portrack’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation is like that writ even larger. This gallery doesn’t include all of the small and intriguing details of the place, because it would have grown too large itself, but it’s enough to give a flavour of one of the future stars—with any luck—of the National Trust.

19 January 2009

Dumfries House

Further catching up on last year’s photos. We visited Dumfries House in Ayrshire only a week or so after it was opened to the public, and highly recommend it: it’s definitely one of the finest stately homes I’ve seen in Britain. Unfortunately it’s not an ideal place to take an infant—W. soon tired of the Chippendale furniture and authentic 18th-century interiors, and became obsessed with the stairs—so it’ll be one of our last stately homes for a while. Highlights included the fragrant cedar-lined tapestry room and the fragrant cakes we were served at the end of the tour. This gallery has only exterior views, but they were pretty fragrant too. If you’re visiting the area, the Sorn Inn is an excellent place to stay. This has been an unpaid community-service announcement.

18 January 2009 · x1

Tasman II

From one new year to the last. This sequel to my previous set of Tasman peninsula photos at Detail was taken over the Christmas-New Year period a year ago. Many of the same locations, but I’ve tried to include different views.

9 January 2009

Travel in 2007