|Creich Castle. OM2, 70-150mm f4 Zuiko|
Carnoustie sits on Scotland's east coast to the seaward side of the River Tay estuary. Most of the photographs I post here are taken within a 15 mile radius of the town in what is predominantly fertile agricultural land.
Even when I lived in Dundee, the main city in the historic county of Angus about 12 miles to the west, I still tended to go photo-hunting north of the Tay. However, venture south over the Tay Road Bridge and you're into the county of Fife - or "Kingdom of Fife" as it likes to style itself.
|Ruined Church. OM2, 50mm f2 Zuiko Macro|
I know the towns that hug the shoreline in this part of Fife quite well but there's an area of countryside no more than a few miles south of the river that I've hardly ever set foot in. It's this area where these pics were taken. There you find names like Glenduckie, Denbog, Lindifferon, Dandies Wood, Kilmany and Rathillet.
It's ancient countryside as I discovered, quite a few old, ruined cottages and a couple of churches with four crumbling walls and no roof. I spent a couple of hours driving around but I'd love to go back and get to know the landscape a bit better. The only drawback is that the roads are narrow and it can be difficult finding a parking spot within easy walking distance of whatever scene happens to catch my eye.
On this occasion, I had the Olympus OM2 loaded with Adox Silvermax. I really can't think of a better camera outfit for this sort of thing. The OM2's viewfinder is big and bright, the body is solid but not too heavy and the Zuiko primes sharp and contrasty and a nice match for the compact body. The intention was to develop the Silvermax in Spur HRX which meant a downrating from the normal 100 ISO to 50 ISO.
I could have done with something a little faster for hand-held work as the weather was, surprise, surprise, quite dull and I had to resort to the tripod much of the time. That's obviously no bad thing but I like to work more spontaneously when I'm using a 35mm SLR and a tripod tends to "cramp my style", as we used to say about a hundred years ago.
|Psychedelic caravan. OM2, 24mm Zuiko|
There were a couple of surprises that I stumbled upon on my travels. The first was Creich Castle, a 16th century ruin that has its origins in the dim and distant past when it was built as a defence against Viking raiders who took a shine to the surrounding gently rolling fertile hills and alluvial plain. I'd never seen it before and wasn't even aware of its existence despite the fact that it can't be much more than about eight miles as the crow flies from where I was born. It was owned by the Earls of Fife well into the 13th century and was the birthplace of Mary Bethune, one of the four ladies-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots.
It now seems to belong to the local farmer with its impressive location spoiled somewhat, in my opinion, by a backdrop of hideous, modern farm buildings that farmers somehow manage to gain planning permission for.
From certain aspects, however, it's still possible to capture a taste of its historic past although it's not always possible to excise all signs of 20th century living from the composition. As is usual in these things, it tends to be the best views of the castle that suffer the worst from the modern day intrusions.
|Another view of Creich Castle. Note the low level farm buildings just left of centre.|
OM2, 50mm f2 Zuiko Macro
|Ruined Church 2. OM2, 50mm f2 Zuiko Macro|
The other unexpected scene I found was the psychedelic caravan in a wood not far from a ruined church. There was a vaguely beaten path leading from the church into the wood and I couldn't resist the temptation to follow it. It was a surprise to find the caravan which, from a quick look through a window, was evidently in regular use as a home of sorts. There was even a wood burning stove in the living quarters.
The other pics are just a couple of shots of the adjacent church. There really wasn't much left of it but the chairs left lying about intrigued me.
The Silvermax negatives came out nicely and scanned with few problems. They've joined the sheets that have been building up in recent weeks and which are awaiting some darkroom time, something I'm determined to give them next week.
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