Tag Archives: photos

A Grand Day Out – Abbotsford


Abbotsford house autumn

Today was a special treat for me.  I was booked in on a photographer’s workshop at Abbotsford.  Abbotsford was the home of novelist Sir Walter Scott.  It sits on the bank of the mighty River Tweed near Galashiels here in the Scottish Borders.  It has recently undergone extensive renovations and was just re-opened by the Queen.

Abbotsford house autumn

Abbotsford is a magnificent country house built by Scott in the early 1800s on the site of a traditional farm.  The interior is full of Scott’s eclectic collections of books, guns, armour, art and quirky interiors salvaged/collected from all kinds of famous and unlikely people and places.  It is full of treasure and a great place to visit.  The gardens are lovely too and the setting is absolutely stunning.

river tweed at abbotsford

The objective of the day was to use a SLR digital camera (I have a Nikon D3000) and tripod (Christmas prezzie from Mechanic Man a couple of years ago) and practice taking shots in manual mode (no Auto!).  We were to choose appropriate exposure times and depths of field.  All very technical I know – I usually use the auto settings but do occasionally fiddle about in manual so today was an opportunity to spend time practising with manual.

vriver tweed at abbotsford

Basically I took hundreds of photos using different settings – longer and shorter exposures – for example and then chose the best ones.  Normally, one doesn’t have the luxury to spend all day trying to get a good shot but that was the point of today.  I didn’t really know what I was doing but I just kept at it, experimenting.   Tea breaks and lunch were laid on as part of the package!

garden gate at abbotsford

river tweed in autumn abbotsford

Today, the weather was good so I concentrated on taking photos outside – it was cold and windy and a bit gloomy this morning but not raining!  The sun conveniently came out in the afternoon just before it got dark!  Despite the cold air, I was cosy in my new hat.

I was determined to get at least one good photo of the house and one good snap of the trees and/or River.  I took nearly 300 photos and these are some of the best (in my opinion).  I really should do this type of thing more often.

autumn trees at abbotsford

secret garden abbotsford

garden statue abbotsford

abbotsford house

autumn trees river tweed

This last photo is the new visitors centre at dusk, taken as we were leaving.

abbotsford visitors centre at dusk

Photo Competition Time Again


Tomorrow is our village’s annual flower show.  I Usually enter all kinds of stuff – baking, knitting etc, this year I am only entering the photography section unless I finish my Union Jack cushion today!  I have won the trophy twice in the past!  Last year I didn’t enter because the categories were too boring.  This year, the chap who is my major competition is judging! So if I win anything it will be a hollow victory although I will be chuffed that such a good photographer likes my pics. Anyway I’m going to share my entries with you and tomorrow I’ll let you know how I did.  I love the idea that I could win but I am a good loser if I don’t.  The fun is in the taking part – no really.

The categories this year are “water” and “wheels” – last year it was something like “view of our village” or something equally unispiring.  Now, we do live in a spectacularly beautiful village but such a title cuts out any beautiful snaps taken elsewhere. We can enter 6 photos in total – maximum size 5×7.   All my pics were taken this year.  First my “water” pics and then my “wheels” pics.  Enjoy!

sunset over loch morlich near aviemore cairngorm national park scotland

Sunset Over Loch Morlich, Cairngorm National Park, Scotland, March 2012 – taken with my iphone

Olympic London Illumination

Olympic London Illumination – August 2012 – taken with my Lumix Panasonic DMC-TZ20

Sea beach and water fountain at Bexhill on Sea

My Wee Man at Bexhill-on-Sea – England – July 2012 – taken with my Nikon D3000

borris free rental bikes london

Boris Bikes, London, August 2012 – taken with my Lumix Panasonic DMC-TZ20

london eye and big ben from the southbank centre london

London Eye and Big Ben from the South Bank Centre, London (as viewed through a milk carton sculpture)!

August 2012 – Lumix Panasonic DMC-TZ20

"The Italian Job" Bus on top of the Pavillion - Bexhill on Sea, England

“The Italian Job” Bus on top of the Pavillion – Bexhill on Sea, England – July 2012

– taken with my Lumix Panasonic DMC-TZ20