As an East Lothian wedding photographer, it’s not often that I get a Saturday off. But today was one such day and I decided to photograph the chimneys of the local Cockenzie power station being demolished. After a bit of research using Google maps I picked my location – the old Blindwells open cast coal mine. The mine used to supply coal to the power station, but it closed in the 1970, has been reclaimed and is covered in grass.
The power station itself opened in 1967 and for 48 years the chimneys have been a dominant feature on the East Lothian coastline. It was being demolished as it is too polluting, and coal fired power stations are being fazed out across the country.
And next week I’ll be back at work as an East Lothian wedding photographer, at a wedding in North Berwick!
The other weekend I photographed a highlands wedding which I can’t write about, or show any photographs from! The couple asked that no photos appear anywhere on the internet, as an increasing number of my clients do nowadays.
However, since my friend Peggy was visiting from Brooklyn, New York, I decided to turn the trip north into a tour of the Highlands, and these are her and my photos. It was, of course, a typically Scottish summer, with no sun and lots of grey cloud, but Peggy seemed to love every moment!
I don’t really do landscapes. To paraphrase Joe McNally ‘I’ve never seen a good landscape that couldn’t be improved with the inclusion of a person.” In the almost deserted Highlands, that person was Peggy!
We travelled to Lochinver (where the wedding was) via Glen Coe, Loch Ness and Ullapool, and returned via Cromarty, the Cairngorms and Braemar.
And although Peggy was keeping a sharp lookout, she didn’t see the Loch Ness Monster, or a single Haggis on the hills! To make up for the disappointment, on our return I introduced her to my favourite ‘wild’ animal, Freddy.
I’ve been to Marrakech many times over the past 8 years, but this was a visit with a difference – I was working at the American Society of Travel Agents Destination Expo conference. My friend Jennifer, who I met around 20 years ago, and haven’t seen for around 10 years, is the communications director, and she reckoned that the best way for us to meet up after she had flown all the way across the Atlantic, was to employ me! With the added bonus that my flights were cheaper than flying a photographer from the US, and that I already knew Marrakech and Morocco.
And so my 10 days in Marrakech began – with a free first morning which involved me showing some of the US travel writers around the bit of the Medina that I know, and continued into the conference. Every night there was a social event of some sort, which also had to be photographed, as well as all the speakers and exhibitors at the conference. Some very long days followed!
On the last day Jennifer and I joined others on a day trip to outside of the city, and then we had one last day together in Marrakech where Jennifer went shopping in the souks, and watched a craftsman actually make the pair of sandals she bought!
That left three days for me on my own and I explored bits of the Medina that I hadn’t visited before – the southern side, and particularly the El Badi Palace(with its famous nesting storks and selfie mirror) and the story-telling evening at Cafe Clock.
Finally, one last day of work photographing the area around the Riad Porte Royale (it’s in the very non-touristy north west of the Medina) and also of it’s newly painted terrace, to update their web-site.
I just love the mix of old and new in Morocco – the ancient crafts and way of life, mixed with excellent food, good communications (wifi!) and all the convenient modernities we take for granted in the UK. And there are now direct flights from Glasgow! I’ll be back…..