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Black Rock Cottage and Ashness Bridge


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Black Rock Cottage and Ashness Bridge

9 Aug 2021 11:02AM   Views : 408 Unique : 274


Iíve written before about what I call the Ashness Bridge problem. Today, yet another beautiful picture of Black Rock Cottage in Glencoe has reminded me of the difficulty of taking new and creative images of famous Ė or joining notorious Ė beauty spots. I suppose that the same problem may exist with well known models.

And with one short sentence I had eased the problem of illustrating this blog, because now I can include studio pictures of modelsÖ Although I do feel bound to use at least one or two shots of those well-known beauty spots.


I suppose the biggest thing is the way that pictures of places like these isolate the beauty, and insulate it from the mundane surroundings. My abiding memory of Ashness Bridge is of a Kensington tractor negotiating the humpback bridge with undue caution, underlining the painfully obvious fact that the driver didnít understand the width of their vehicle. (I have a firm belief that every owner of a sports utility vehicle should have to drive it once a month on a competitive off-road course involving mud, rocks, and a degree of panel damage.)


Black Rock Cottage used to be romantically sited in Glencoe, well away from the main road. The construction of a ski lift a little further up the side road that itís on has taken a bit of the gilt from the gingerbread. Iíd actually been looking for the cottage for years on the odd occasions when I drove through Glen Coe, and had always failed to find it because I was looking for a place that didnít exist anymore, isolated on the floor of the Glen. The very existence of a side turning near it meant that I didnít see it until 2014.

When I got there, found somewhere to park that didnít block the road, and set about exploring with my camera, I found that the standard view misses an important feature Ė the gate across the entrance.
Anyway, hereís the real view from the road, and a couple of portraits of models who are pretty well known in the studio photography world. Have a great week!


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
9 Aug 2021 11:03AM
My view, and someone capturing the more conventional view of Black Rock Cottage - separated by shots of Angel Price and Pinkylou...
Robert51 Avatar
Robert51 14 12 147 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2021 4:08PM
This has always been a major problem when taking images of anywhere well know John. I also feel it becomes even harder with a famous model or well know face as there are only so many set poses.
The only thing I do is to to get people to relax and try to get then to do something else. Something that you would not expect that person to be doing. With famous places I tend to use that old saying "Starting looking at something differently, and things will start to look different."
I was only talking to another photographer on Saturday and we were discussing the old fishing boats at Dungerness. We said then that give enough photographers a camera and the same scene and most would come up with the same images.

If you ever come across a way to overcome this John, please let me know...
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
9 Aug 2021 4:19PM
If I find the secret, Robert, you'll see it in my pictures...
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2021 4:43PM
Beautiful shots of the models
whatriveristhis Avatar
10 Aug 2021 12:31AM
The secret is... photograph something else instead. Problem solved.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Aug 2021 2:43PM
I agree, Alan - the first time I visited Ashness, I found a deserted area on the downstream side of the bridge...
JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
11 Aug 2021 6:00PM

Quote:we were discussing the old fishing boats at Dungerness.

Go there during a snowstorm in Winter but you will need about 5 layers of thermals !

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