Well that’s another year gone and already we are well on the way into 2018! Last year I started out full of good intentions which somehow never materialised, some would say “events, dear boy, events” but whatever the reason I thought it worth a look back at the last year to see some of the things that I actually did do and to share with you some of my favourite photos from 2017.
2017 was in many ways a year of change both at a personal and a national and indeed international level. Here in Scotland we saw the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing and I was fortunate to have the opportunity of sailing under the bridge just before it opened in August.
While change and regeneration continues apace throughout much of Scotland there is much that remains little changed such as this view taken in December looking down Loch Leven from Glencoe village. There are many tourist hot spots such a Glencoe but there are still many places when you can drive let alone walk and scarcely meet a sole.
Even along the banks of Loch Lomond it is possible to go out for a mornings walk and at most only meet a couple of people.
While the opening pictures have all been landscapes it is inevitable that as a food photographer there should be some pictures of food, and drink! Taking good bottle photos can be immensely challenging due to unwanted reflections and highlights but when it all comes together it can be very rewarding; especially when it comes to the clear-up.
Another change that 2017 brought, in Glasgow at least, was a slow down in the number of hamburger openings with some venues even closing
However, elsewhere in Glasgow eating out was decidedly on the up this summer with a number of the city’s leading restaurants offering dinners the opportunity to enjoy a meal while suspended 200 feet above George Square
Glasgow has been unusual for the last few years in having its own Whole Foods Market but in November, a few months after the company’s take over by Amazon, it was announced that both it and its sister store in Cheltenham would be closing leaving only the 7 stores in London remaining in the UK.
Although I couldn’t compete with the variety of fungi that the Whole Food Market was offering this autumn I did manage to successfully forage for chanterelle throughout much of the summer and early fall. In my opinion chanterelle are really the best of mushrooms with such a wonderful flavour that you only need a few in a dish to totally transform it, if in doubt try 2 or 3 chanterelle halved and sauteed in a little butter and served with a couple scrambled eggs on a two slices of olive ciabatta seasoned with Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.Of course you can be more adventurous and cook something “fancy” such as roast duck breast with pan fried new potatoes and chanterelle as head chef Owen Morrice from No. 1 The Grange in Edinburgh is cooking here.
You can’t but help notice when you shoot in as many kitchens as I have done that chefs and tattoos go together as can clearly be see with Gavin Elden’s (Head Chef at Best Western Braid Hills Hotel, Edinburgh) fabulous tattoos.
Enough of food and drink let’s wrap up with a few pictures very different pictures starting with the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern which with its massive interactive public artworks is a must go to place on any trip to London (and of course Borough Market is only a few minutes walk away!).
In total contrast this space is while equally a must see location can hardly be called modern with the building of Ely Cathedral dating back almost 1000 years!
History and tradition also continue to play an important role in Cambridge even if the students are changing.
Little in the way of tradition here just two gannet skulls I found while walking on the beach at Troon in SW Scotland. Increasingly I like to combine text with pictures, maybe it reflects a desire to see my wr on more magazine covers!
Finally a reminder that warmer days are just round the corner and even sooner if you are prepared to travel as in this case to the eastern Algarve in Portugal.
With all best wishes to all for 2018!