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Cairnbulg and Fraserburgh – 26 July 2018

Another trip from our summer excursions programme, this time organised by Pamela Adam. First a brief stop at the wreck of the fishing boat at Cairnbulg. Light was rather dull here, so we did not linger too long.

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The wreck – Kirsty Russell
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The wreck shot with a drone – Rob Romani
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David Drage took this one with Fraserburgh in the background

Then onwards to Fraserburgh harbour, where we  wandered around briefly and took a few shots of boats etc.

Our next and final stop was at the Lighthouse Museum which provided more interesting opportunities as the light had now improved and the setting sun was coming through the clouds. We met Derek Gray here and we all tried our version of a shot he was taking.

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Derek Gray in action with his assistant Gregor ūüėČ
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Drage and son scouting the location
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I did say the light improved – Rob Romani
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Kirsty, Eileen, David and son – Gregor McAbery
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Rusting buoys –¬† Eileen Rodger
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More rust – Eileen Rodgers
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Symmetry – Eileen Rodgers

Just for fun I’ve posted three versions of more or less the same shot below:

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Derek Gray’s original
David Drage 1
David Drage’s version
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Rob Romani’s version

Finzean Saw Mill – 9th August 2018

Our summer outdoor excursions programme took us to the Forest of Birse near Finzean for a look at the water powered 19th century mills. I’d visited these circa 7 years ago as part of the photography course at Grays, and knew it would be good if we could arrange access to the buildings. ¬†Guy Haslam, the chairperson of the Birse Community Trust ¬†was extremely helpful and arranged to meet us at 7pm outside the mill. The mill is still in operation on a part time basis and manufactures fence posts, brooms and wooden kitchen implements like spurtles and dough rollers. In the past it used to make wooden stoppers for herring barrels.

Further along the river is the bucket mill, which we did not visit on this occasion. The following a bit more info from the Historic Scotland website: “The Finzean Sawmill and Turning Mill, on the N bank of the River Feugh, is a remarkable survival in full working order. The sawmill, and the site of the Bucket Mill were established in the early 19th century to exploit the Glen Ferrick pine woods. From the 1830s to 1871, the sawmill was occupied by a range of different timber contractors who were harvesting timber on Finzean Estate. During this period the sawmiller was Charles Young. In 1871 the operation of the Sawmill passed to Alexander Duncan, who had built the Finzean Turning Mill in the 1830s on the outflow from the sawmill. The Sawmill and Turning Mill is still operated by a member of the Duncan family. In 1999, the ownership of the mills passed from Finzean Estate to Birse Community Trust. Extensive restoration work has been carried out on the mills using local timber milled at the sawmill.

Guy Haslam (R) Chairman of the Birse Community Trust giving an intro to the water powered mills

After a brief intro he took us upstream to the weir that had just been restored after serious damage by storm Frank in December 2015.

The Feugh by Michele Emsley
This image shows the weir and the first sluice gate to control the amount of water flowing to the mill.
The channel leading to the mill (Steve Roberts)

We then walked back to the main saw mill with the water wheel. It is here I  first noticed the annoying midges that started to attack if you stood still for any length of time. Fortunately we soon moved to the inside of the saw mill, with some fearsome looking circular saws. Here the logs get  rolled in from outside and sawn into planks.

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The saw mill exterior with the logs on the ramp ready to be sawn. (Michele Emsley)
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The miller controls the amount of water going down these wooden channels in order to run the machinery at the correct speed. (Steve Roberts)
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“Vintage” photo of the water wheel (Susan Gordon)
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A modern take by Michele Emsley

The wheel is cast iron with wooden paddles held together with wooden pegs and can’t be allowed to dry out too much as it would fall apart.

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The main drive belts at the back of he water wheel (Michele Emslie)
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Interior of the saw mill, the ropes control the sluice gate via wooden levers. Everything is belt driven from the main wheel. (Steve Roberts)
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The logs are pushed along on the plank running on these wooden rollers (Karen Burgoyne)
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One of the two circular saws used to cut the logs into planks (Hugh Smith)
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Overview of the saw mill interior with the two saws. The smaller one on the left cuts the planks into sticks to be used in the turning mill next door. (Derek Gray)
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Fence posts (Karen Burgoyne)
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Kevin Dawson spotted this rare panda in the bamboo forest.
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Interior of the turning mill (Rob Romani)
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Another view of the interior (Hugh Smith)
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Photo of a photographer (Hugh Smith) taking a photo of a photographer (Derek Gray)! – by (Rob Romani)
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Tools and drive belts (Gregor McAbery)
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Health and safety regulations- 1922
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The turning mill – Gregor McAbery
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The leaning shed of Finzean, the metal roofed building on the left is the kiln for drying the wood (David Davidson)
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This shot of the leaning shed of Finzean would give Lightroom a bit of a headache if you let it auto correct for perspective! (Susan Gordon)
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On the road back to Aberdeen: Sunset in my rear view mirror (Susan Gordon)

A good evening out enjoyed by your editor and those present judging from the comments on Facebook. Many thanks to Guy Haslam for treating us to the full tour of the mills.

Please note: All images on this website are copyright of the respective photographer(s). Contact us for licensing via the contact page.

Drum Castle – 12 July 2018

Something alive
Something made of wood
Something made of stone
Water
Narrow depth of field
Large depth of field

These were our briefs for a brief Thursday evening outing to Drum Castle grounds. Some of us wandered to the gardens around the walled garden which is closed after 5pm, but there is still plenty to look at in this area. Others took photos in the forest, the playground or the castle itself. Below a selection of images posted on Facebook. See if you can work out which category each shot is in?

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Group selfie before the start by Steve Roberts
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Drum Castle – Mike Murty
Trevor Stuchbury
In flight macro by Trevor
Steve Roberts 2
Not bad for an iPhone shot – The pond by Steve Roberts
Rob Romani
Minimal depth of field – Rob Romani
Pamela Stuart
Nice shallow depth of field in this macro shot by Pamela Stuart
Mike Murty
Mike Murty’s version of the pond
Kirsty Russell
Even with the gate closed:  the interior of the walled garden by Kirsty Russell
Eileen Rodgers
Tighter crop version by Eileen Rodgers
David Davidson
Trevor, Eileen near the walled garden by David Davidson
Anna Horne
Straight up by Anna Horne
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Nice bokeh – David Davidson
Annette Murty
Tree bark by Annette Murty
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Stone rope by Pamela Stuart

 

Please note: All images on this website are copyright of the respective photographer(s). Contact us for licensing via the contact page.

 

Visions at Fittie

Last month a few of us wandered around Footdee, the old fishing village of Aberdeen. To make things more challenging we were handed a brief to take foto’s fitting the following categories: Action, history, colour, texture, different perspective. Here are a few of the shots that members posted on Facebook:

Puffin hunting – 7 June 2018

On the 7th of June Visions organised a wee trip to RSPB Fowlheugh Reserve at Crawton, just south of Stonehaven. Thousands of seabirds nest here on the steep cliffs, mainly razorbills, kittiwakes, guillemots, fulmars and still a few puffins. As puffins are cute and colourful they are a popular bird to photograph.

Puffins only come ashore to breed and make their nests in burrows on cliff tops. This protects the young from airborne predators, but makes them vulnerable to predators like rats, cats etc. They spend the rest of their lives out at sea. Puffins mainly feed on sand eels, which seem to be less abundant in this area possibly due to the warming of the seawater or overfishing in the North Sea. This has led to a  decrease in puffin numbers, but we still found a few who were eager to pose for a few environmental portraits.

Click on an image to display a larger version.

 

Fire Spinning on the beach 5 April 2018

Kevin organised a brilliant evening on the beach to demonstrate his fire spinning skills. An unprecedented number of Visionares turned up near the Beach Ballroom armed with with cameras and tripods. Basically Kevin stuffs some fine wirewool in a whisk attached to a piece of string. He lights the wirewool with a small battery and swings the whisk around. It is advisable to stay well clear as the sparks fly a considerable distance. Not that impressive to see in real time, but when it is dark enough and you take a long enough exposure (10 secs or so) the resulting image is quite spectacular. Below a small selection  culled from Facebook. Fascinating to see the different shots that were posted up.

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A small plantation of tripods

It took a while to get dark enough, so there was a bit of talk amongst yourselves before the fireworks started.

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Sharon Forsyth
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Sharon Forsyth
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Anna Horne
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Rob Romani
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Tony Jones
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Gregor McAbery

Someone suggested we used the Beach Ballroom as a backdrop, very effective.

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Alan Meek

Later the action moved to the tunnel under the road which produces a nice rectangular frame.

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David Davidson
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David Drage
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Michele Emsley
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Michele Emsley
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David Davidson
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David Davidson
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Kirstie Russell

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