Grain Burn, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland by John Brooks

Picture Story

I would not normally venture into Scotland during the winter months as I dont like cold weather and i dont ski. Admittedly the charms of sitting in front of an open log fire with a glass of whisky in hand is appealing if ensconced in a Scottish boutique hotel but even then it would be with some reluctance being a "soft" southerner.

On this occasion however i needed to attend an important international conference and was even participating so no excuse would be accepted for my absence.

At the end of the event I set off from Edinburgh in the morning to head south for the 400 + miles having fuelled up the car. I always drive as I prefer it to rail, refuse to fly as I do not like "small" planes (less than a 747 in size!) and it quicker than the train and dont even think about a coach!

The route I always choose, as the conference is biennial, is to leave the granite city by the A702 which takes you through the Pentland Hills Regional Park, a slow road but a very pretty way.

As always it was bitterly cold and overcast with the threat of more snow which we had experienced during the several days of the conference.

When I skirted Penicuik and just before reaching "Grain Burn" to the right of the road i espied a frozen are of flooded field with a convenient parking layby immediately nearby.

I stopped and chose a suitable spot for composing the image and took a few exposures at varying angles and viewpoints to see what came out best. There was not much light and needed a wide aperture with slowish shutter speed and took care to avoid camera shake.

The resultant image was made great by the growth of plant projecting through the ice which had partly thawed and the background of the mist shrouded hills.

Later that journey the snow came and presented more opportunties for interesting scenes.

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