June is a significant month marked by several important dates. One of these is the summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest declination, resulting in the longest day of the year. Additionally, we must not forget the anniversary of the D-Day landings on June 6th and think about the sacrifices made by others so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. However, for the Gala Camera Club, June signifies our much-anticipated summer outing. This year, we chose to explore the picturesque St. Abbs and its environs. (Twinned with New Asgard)
Carpooling, we commenced our journey and assembled at the Nature Reserve around 11:00 a.m. Upon arrival, participants were presented with two options. Some members had opted for a boat ride to capture images of the seabirds near St. Abbs Head, while others decided to explore the reserve and the nearby town. Originally scheduled for 16:00, the boat ride was rescheduled to 14:00, and then we were offered the opportunity to join right away. Excitedly, seafarers and landlubbers headed to the harbour to witness the departure of the bird photographers.
With the boat group safely aboard, they set sail on the high seas. Meanwhile, those who remained on land chose to amble around the harbour or take a leisurely walk towards Coldingham. The weather was ideal, neither too hot nor too breezy. Although the sky could have benefitted from a touch more cloud structure for enhanced landscape photography, there were ample other captivating subjects to capture in St. Abbs.
During the day, we made stops at various cafes for refreshments then, forming small groups, gradually made our way back to the reserve to seek out new photographic opportunities. The clifftop walks along the coastline provided picturesque views and close-up shots of seaside flora. Notably, wildlife was abundant as well. One fortunate member spotted a young deer amidst the tall grass, and another keen-eyed photographer discovered a Common Blue butterfly. Unfortunately, upon sharing this find with nearby photographers, they all rushed in to capture images of her find, reminding us of a valuable lesson: keep a good find to oneself until after securing the shot.
Eventually, the seafaring group returned ashore and joined us in exploring the reserve. One member even ventured to Eyemouth to test out his peculiar “frying pan” tripod. It is a long story but hopefully, he will share the secret and accompanying images on the club’s blog.
It’s a well-known fact that few photographers manage to carry just the essentials, and most of us end up burdened with excess gear. I, too, fell victim to this tendency, lugging around a camera, an 18-150 lens, a macro lens, a 70-300 lens, a mini tripod, batteries, a flask… the list goes on. Most of the gear was not used. It is a lovely walk around the reserve but it’s a bit of a trek with what seemed like the weight of another person on my back.
Photography over, and memory cards full of stunning images, gradually, we made our way back home, stopping at The Waggon in Kelso for a much-deserved meal and refreshing drinks. Now, the question arises: Where shall we venture next year? It’ll soon be time for the club members to put on their thinking caps and decide on the next exciting destination.
I forgot to mention that only two members fell over this year.
Ford Renton LRPS Chair GCC