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Bittersweet Picture | by MuddyBoots.
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Bittersweet Picture

I thought I would post this as it sort of follows on the previous image of Bamburgh Castle, however, it is an image I wouldn't normally upload but for the story behind it. It is a great example of no matter how much you think you have got the right conditions, circumstances will still conspire to balls up that 'great' shot.


This time last year I "nipped" up to Northumberland with a couple of shots in mind; one of Lindisfarne Castle with the sky above it, and the 'classic' shot of Bamburgh Castle from the beach at sunrise.


The taking of these two shots in one short trip depends upon a number of conditions being right. The main one is being able to get onto Holy Island and off again before the tide cuts you off - it is accessed via a tidal causeway and tide tables need to be consulted before making the journey. The tides had to be right so I could get on for about 11 pm and off again for about 1:30 am to then drive down the coast to Bamburgh for a 5 am sunrise. A second condition is a clear sky - obviously required to see the stars, and the third condition was it needed to be at a weekend so I had the time to drive the 4 1/2 hours (220 miles) up there to get the shots as I work during the week.


This particular day all the right conditions coincided, so I set off on the long drive to Northumberland. I had a nice, relaxed evening meal in a pub in Bamburgh, and then as late evening approached I finished off the journey to Holy Island. I drove through the silent and empty streets and parked up, and walked up to the castle with my bag and tripod - it was pitch black and the stars twinkled brightly above me! I could just about make out the path to the castle and was aware of the dark bulk of the building below the perfect sky. Excitedly, I set up the tripod and camera and took a few test shots so I could get the composition correct - I just knew this was going to be a great photograph... I just knew it! I set the parameters for this type of shot and pressed the shutter button a few times and on checking the camera's LCD screen I was horrified to learn that despite everything being the best it could be, some thoughtless bugger at The National Trust had decided to shroud the whole building in metal scaffolding and thus ruin my perfect image! At that moment I did a reasonable impersonation of 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch.


I prowled all around the perimeter of the castle trying to get anything without the scaffold showing and it was just impossible. Dejected, I walked back to the car cursing the photography Gods who were looking down on me and laughing loudly. Anyway, the early morning at Bamburgh more than made up for the Lindisfarne disappointment, so all was not lost, and it gives me the opportunity of 'having' to go back up there again when the conditions are right.


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Taken on August 26, 2017