After leaving Irvine, I drove on to Portencross – one of my favourite photography locations. Unusually, I didn’t settle on the pier itself; instead, I walked on along the rocky shoreline which ultimately leads to Hunterston. Finding a good spot, I made this long exposure of two and half minutes.
On an exceptionally warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, I drove to Irvine on the Ayrshire coast. Getting out of the car, I saw this scene before me. This is the bridge which used to lead across the river to The Big Idea, a place which made science fun and brought it to the masses. Now, it is closed but the bridge remains, as does the building it once led to.
This image is comprised of three different exposures, fused together at the processing stage.
The evening I made this image, I had spent around six hours on this beach. Within the first hour, I had decided that what I wanted was a dusk shot, so I began the waiting game. And it was worth it. As dusk began to fall, the light changed dramatically, the colours in the sky lit up and reflected beautifully on the moving water, catching the crests of the waves and painting them with flecks of molten gold. I had been photographing out to sea when I happened to look round and saw these two men walking out on the quayside. Praying they would stand still long enough for me to make a good exposure, I was delighted that they did, and the image was made.
A quick trip to the Ayrshire coast yesterday gave me this shot. A blustery day to begin with, standing literally on the edge of the waves was a daunting experience, as the wind got up very quickly and I wondered if the tripod would still be standing at the end of the two minute exposure. It was pleasing looking along the coastline toward the majestic rock of the Ailsa Craig, far in the distance.
Begun sometime around 1360, Portencross Castle has a long history and was the setting for the signing of a number of Royal documents in the time of King Robert II. From the 1600s, the castle was inhabited by local fishermen until the roof was lost in a storm in January 1739. More recently, a local group called The Friends of Portencross Castle set about refurbishing the place – now, it opens to the public for periods during the year.
It is said that Portencross Castle was the last resting place of the great kings of Scotland. Legend has it that they were transported via the castle on their way to Iona, for burial. They lay in state at Portencross Castle for a short time.
Photographically, the castle adds a new dimension to the wild rocky shoreline of the area, a good focal point and interest in the landscape. In this particular image, the approaching storm provided a very good backdrop to the structure of the castle, and it was perfect for conversion to monochrome.