Shetland Autumn 2011

Over the last few weeks I’ve managed my longest continuous block of time on Shetland – this has let me get into some sort of routine rather than needing to think about the ferry or flight south as soon as I arrived, and I did (as per my earlier post) just book a single fare to get to Shetland.

I had just about got into a pattern (mostly writing in the mornings, then a walk somewhere in the afternoon), when the clocks changed from British Summer Time to GMT, and it was suddenly getting dark at four in the afternoon. Despite not having to face the tyranny of commuting, I was surprised to find that this did change how I approached the day.  The actual number of daylight hours hadn’t dramatically changed, but it now seemed to be wrong not to be up and about by the time it got light, and if I didn’t start my afternoon walk until maybe 2:30, there was a real risk that I might be finishing the walk in the dark. Of course the real bonus is that you can go out and take sunset pictures, and still be home in time for afternoon tea and cake.

At this time of year, you can also expect to see every variant of weather on Shetland (although Shetland is capable to offering any or all of the four seasons on one day at any time of year).  Over the last few weeks I’ve seen shirt-sleeves warm through to horizontal hail.  From still air though to a howling gale.  From bright sunshine to steady pouring rain.  From crisp clear air to thick fog.  This has provided lots of different photographic opportunities – as my daily blips and Saturday posts have shown.

One objective on this stay that I’ve hoped to achieve was visiting more of the islands.  Since we bought the house the visits have been very focussed on the southern mainland – but I’m afraid that on this stay I only ventured past Lerwick on two occasions, once to get up to Northmavine to photograph the lighthouse at Eshaness, and once to go over to Bressay to see the lighthouse there.  Must make sure that Muckle Flugga features next time – at least that way I’ll see a bit of Yell and Unst.

Several themes have emerged in my pictures; wind- and wave-swept beaches, boats and lighthouses were probably pretty safe bets – they are part of every Shetland photo journal.  The other theme was ‘neglected stuff’.  I found that I’d taken a series of images of old boats, old building, and even an old phone box – all of which looked as if they’d seen better days.  There are more images from the last few weeks on Flickr

Next time I'm back up it really will be winter - hopefully with the Northern Lights and Up Helly Aa to add some illumination.

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