I am enjoying revisiting Galloway. Not that I ever stopped of course, how could I with such a wealth of material on my doorstep? It's more like I am retracing my steps from the ongoing series of journeys I started taking back in the early 80's.
I have already accepted with some relish that It's going to be an extended déjà vu and one with I hope many personal memories, memories of the type you only get from the precise sense of place that locations gave you on your first encounter. There is an innocence and receptivity involved in landscape photography and it is that initial encounter that rarely fails to make an impression. Experienced photographers may concur here that it is often the first shot you take in a shoot that ends up being your favourite. This is not say that I believe you should shoot from the hip per se, I most definitely advocate a thorough reccy of the scene before the camera comes out of the bag.
Anyway I was reminded the other day of how others might perceive the photographer's domain. A nice lady I met in a shop was pleased to meet me as she had always wanted to make paintings from some of my Galloway images but had restrained herself as she did not want to infringe what she imagined was copyright. With some delight I assured her I was flattered by this kind of thing and encouraged her artistic pursuit wholeheartedly, without any recourse to any copyright issues. Interestingly it was an image of Sweetheart Abbey she was most moved by and to add to the fun she had imagined I had climbed some impossibly big hill at 4 in the morning to get it!
Truth is there is wee back road you can take to get the view and you need hardly even get out of the car!
The upshot of this chance encounter was that I felt compelled to return to the exact spot I took the original picture in approximately 1988 to see what 25 years experience and the latest equipment might bring to bear on this subject. As you can see very little has changed in terms of the Abbey and the village, only the trees have grown a bit. It is interesting that the new shot I chose (not the first one of the shoot alas) is from almost exactly the same angle as the shot I took back in 88 - rationality or instinct, or both?
One was sunrise and the other sunset, guess which?