Donald Ford Images - Scotland's golf and landscape photographer

Another over-optimistic weather forecast.....

Some years ago I was lucky enough to catch the superb panorama over Edinburgh from the wonderful vantage point of the Braid Hills. Sadly, the timing of that visit was not ideal and did not produce the classic early morning or late evening shadows and contours across the panorama of the city. A return visit was thus overdue and, with the recent high pressure firmly in charge of the weather across the east of Scotland, the forecasters' predictions of a fine, 4.42 a.m. sunrise from cloudless skies prompted a VERY early Carnoustie departure to ensure that the target destination was reached in good time. If there were doubts in the photographer's mind when he saw pretty stubborn high level cloud on leaving Angus, its visible presence to the east during the seventy-mile journey to the capital did little to encourage him as he crossed the Forth Road Bridge and headed towards the city by-pass.

Regular readers of this blog will already have guessed the next bit of the story, I'm sure. At precisely the planned arrival time in the Braid Hills car park ( ten minutes before sunrise ), mental gloom was already setting in. Within ten minutes, the chosen vantage point ( almost exactly the same one as the previous occasion ) had been reached. High above the city, with some four or five miles of its west-to-east architectural magnificence spread out below me, the prospects of early sun hitting the chosen composition were, to say the least, remote. Granted, the high cloud which made a total joke of the previous evening's forecast was moving, but at a rate which inevitably would destroy the planned angles and lighting from the sun - if, indeed, its rays would have had the desired strength to do the needful for the camera should it break free.

There aren't many things that you can do on your own for two hours up in the Braid Hills. The first aeroplanes of the day swept up from London, went over Portobello, out into the Firth of Forth then slowly turned to make their pretty laborious approach to the airporrt at Turnhouse. Two joggers passed; I had a nice chat with a local resident walking his dog and trying to recover strength in a damaged foot ( his, not the dog's! ). Eventually, the greenkeepers appeared; I watched in amazement as they hooked up some seventy yards of a yellow hose I had seen lying beside the eighteenth green ( some five hundred yards away on Number One course ) and towed it behind their wee vehicle over humps and bumps to the sixth green on Number Two. Now out of sight, my curiosity was rewarded when spouts of spray began dancing up and down - above the mound of gorse some hundred yards below me - as the sprinkler tap was turned on. I stared in wonder at the millions of beautifully developed grasses all around the hillside behind me, fully seeded after near-perfect weather conditions and producing lovely patterns as the wind blew them around; the multitude of colours which they display are just stunning - yet, without thinking, we pass them every day in normal circumstances and never give them a second glance. And so, despite the natural beauty all around, frustration grew as the minutes just dragged on.....

Two hours after sunrise, the cloud eventually cleared and a few photographs were taken; mainly record shots as the anticipated effect of sunrise across the city below had long disappeared. Please regard the attached as no more than a challenge; I'll try again in a month or two - weather permitting!

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