The Art of Photography - Catterline

A picture taken from Catterline Harbour, looking towards Todhead Lighthouse.
A picture taken from Catterline Harbour, looking towards Todhead Lighthouse.

Catterline is, and has been for some time, an artists’ colony. This reputation largely comes from the paintings of internationally renowned artist Joan Eardley who discovered the inspirational piece of coastline quite late in her artistic career when she moved to Catterline. Joan, Lil Neilson and Annette Stephen and the rocky coastline have inspired artists ever since.

I remember seeing a photograph of Joan painting amongst the rocks to capture the full sensory experience of crashing waves which undoubtedly led to the wonderful mood of her paintings such as Winter Sea IV in Aberdeen Art Gallery.

If we have stormy weather like we had last week, I often head down to Catterline from Stonehaven to experience similar conditions. This month’s image was taken from the rocks at the harbour looking towards Todhead Lighthouse. The daylight had almost gone which meant that I could have extremely long shutter speeds using my tripod.

The waves hurtled on to the rocks but the long exposure of nearly thirty seconds has produced an other-wordly, misty result which is very effective in the blue light of afterglow. It was important also to fill the foreground with rocks and to retain front-to-back sharpness to give depth to the image.

If the last two weeks are the shape of things to come, there will be many opportunities this winter to capture the atmospheric seas that stretch from St.Cyrus to Newtonhill. It will certainly blow the cobwebs away.