Friday, 30 September 2016

Lerwick surprise

Lerwick always hold some surprises no matter how many times you visit. The boats are always changing bringing colour to the harbour. It may be a bit quieter as far as visitors go but a few folk still make long distance trips from Norway, America, France and Germany looking at the flags on visiting yachts, this may be down to the fact that it is Shetland Wool week 

The Shetland Wool week has now been going for 7 years and is now an internationally acclaimed festival. Another is the Accordion and Fiddle festival, we have tickets but many of the halls are already sold out. This is very popular with people coming from all over the world

Lerwick is a mix of old and new and offers many interesting subjects to photograph, you just have to get your eyes locked in and look for the creative photos

Wind farms are back on the agenda with the Shetland Island Council backing the development of major wind farm in Yell. This will be 17 wind turbines at 145 feet high , Scatsta airport, BP and the RSPB have all made objections.

Like the other proposed large wind farms including the Viking project, the go ahead will all be down to whether or not the Westminster government gives the go ahead to allow onshore windfarm to bid in the round of renewable contracts- Lets hope not !
                                                                 The view through a hole in the wall

It was interesting to find out that two Russian Bombers were intercepted west of Shetland by RAF fighters. It take you back to the cold war days when Shetland was considered one of the best places for an early warning system to be installed at Saxa Vord. This was dismantled not too long ago

More Shetland photos at

Friday, 16 September 2016

Sunny Autumn

This summer seems to have passed very quickly, the tourist season has nearly come to an end after an impressive number of cruise liners have called into Lerwick. However the last one, the Caribbean Princess was unable to off load its passengers due to a high swell

The same type of weather affected the ferry to Fair Isle. With only a few hardy birders on board it wasn't long before they hit Sumburgh roost and the boat began it hit waves. Whether the 3.25 hour journey was too much for the few we will never know but next month Shetland will be invaded by numerous birdwatchers keen to see the rare birds that turn up in the isles and some will take the ferry in worse conditions than this

                                                        Good Shepherd - fair Isle ferry passing Sumburgh Head

The last few days has been very foggy, dense in places but some people still drive about without any headlights- just asking for trouble. Today the weather broke and a thunder storm hit Shetland driving away the fog to leave a sunny afternoon but not before 200 lightening strikes had hit the island.

I have started to unplug my computer as we know a few people who have been hit by lightening blowing up all the electrical gear. As i have around 90,000 photos it would be a disaster to loose all these, although i do have them backed up.

                                                 Never too late for a dip in the sea

                                                                                                 View across Whiteness

                                                                                           Scalloway boats

                                                                                   Mackerel - a colourful fish

                                                                                            Keep an eye on you

The new intermediate photography course started on Monday and is going well, if you would like to join me on the intermediate course starting 31 October we will be covering the following subjects- Indoor portraits, Wildlife, Landscapes, Urban, Creative  Close Up's.

You can book on line at the Shetland Adult Education website or phone any normal working day - just a few places left so book early.

The Know your own camera and intermediate course Jan - March  2017 are both fully booked.

Full details on my website at

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Whisky galore

The weather has been remarkably good for this time of year, except today with gale force 7 winds. One of the problems with all this good weather has been the midges, especially on the west side which has really suffered.

One person I was talking to had to put on wellies, jacket, two pairs of trousers, gloves a hat which then had  a net over it just to go out birding. Not that you would have seen much in this (winter gear) or for the thousands of black dots flying about.


While we were on holiday many years ago a Highlander said the best thing for midges was whisky, not drinking it though. Rubbing whisky on the skin, an expensive way of protection may do the trick but how would you convince the police that the reason for smelling of whisky is purely for stopping midge bites. Many would prefer to drink the whole bottle instead, the draw backs would be numerous red dots where the midges have made their mark .


Our new neighbours (well two up) appeared at the beginning of this week and set to work doing all the repairs, they have said it will take a month to complete. The paintwork and roof really need attention and guess when they this started- yes during the gale a perfect time to paint !


Shetland offers so many great locations to visit and with sometime to explore we headed out to Whiteness the other day in great weather. The sky was amazing and no one else about. Then up to Kergord, where I had a plan to photograph the road and slow sign - what do you think?

The light wasn't really good so I will be back in winter when the trees have shed their leaves.

This area is one of the few places to see trees so you do get people making a regular visit to reconnect with nature. Apart from a few calling Goldcrest I didn't come in contact with any other sounds, no cars which was a surprise but it was lunch time.


While we are fortunate to live in Shetland some of the islands are not doing so well. News that the Skerries Primary School has been mothballed following the departure of its only pupil from the isles earlier this summer can only be bad news for the island.

With very little work on the island since Bound Skerries Salmon closed down earlier last year it doesn't look good for this or any of the small islands.

The current Shetland population stands around 23,500 people and although around 500 people leave Shetland each year another 500 or so come into live. This has been fairly steady since the year 2000.
Here in Sandwick since 2002 the population has dropped by around 400 to around 970 but Lerwick again has been stable since 1981 at around 6800 people. (Shetland Statistics up to 2011). Shetland at least has the lowest unemployment in Scotland.

Please take alook at my other Shetland Photos at