Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed my first dive for many months at St Catherines Loch near the west coast of Scotland. After my diving club buddies and I descended down to 15 meters we could see an abundance of marine wild life including a purple Scorpion Fish, Crabs and even Lobsters. As a trainee diver, taking underwater photographs is not encouraged, and I should have resisted taking out my Intova compact underwater camera. The dive leader signalled to me not to take any photos so I tried to put my camera back into my trouser leg pocket, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to fasten the pocket shut, so I put the camera strap around my wrist.
Unfortunately when my auto dump was refusing to release air as we glided into the shallow part of a reef, I started shooting up to the surface. Unknown to me my camera had unhinged itself from my arm and was lost for good. In the commotion, my diving buddies had seen my camera shoot up to the surface but it was nowhere to be seen afterwards.
I searched all along the coast line to see if my camera had been washed ashore but it had gone. So my advice to other trainee divers is – not only should you not take photos on a training dive, but leave your camera at home until you get qualified and more experience. With more experience comes greater awareness under the water and you are less likely to lose gear which may be expensive to replace.
I have learned my lesson and won’t take another camera into the water unless I’m on a dive specifically for photography – after I’ve finished my training of course.
Rich in historical and natural heritage, Loch Leven provides fantastic landscapes for photographers and artists alike. Full of mystery and inspiration, I have over the last year, taken every opportunity to explore and photograph aspects that intrigue me. Loch Leven castle is so old that no one really knows who built it, but it has been visited by some of Scotland’s most profound historical idols including Mary Queen of Scots, Robert the Bruce, and William Wallace. As you drive by Orwell Farm you will see the two ancient standing stones – little is known about them, they stand like a magical neolithic gateway. They mean something and like a beacon they drew me to my favourite dog walk up Kilmagad Wood. I found that by taking Angus up this walk I would feel a sudden relaxation – a positive change in mind body and spirit. After several months of experiencing this, it suddenly dawned on me that I was walking in direct alignment with the famous healing well at the foot of the hill, which since medieval times, has been reputed to have medicinal properties. As you ascend the woodland path you can see the village of Scotlandwell below. On a clear day, to your left, you can view Berwick Law and the Bass Rock in East Lothian. You can also observe St Serf’s island which was inhabited by monks in the 11th century. They built their monastery on the island to avoid Viking invasions. If you’d like to visit Loch Leven castle, Historic Scotland run seasonal regular boat trips to the island from the Lakeside Bistro shore.
This week I was approached by an Edinburgh based author to produce a 30 second video clip that can be used to promote her debut novel on social media sites and the internet. More authors now are realising the importance of digital marketing techniques and the use of social media to promote their works. One of the possible locations will be Loch Carron which is not far from Skye. It looks like I may be camping so am looking forward to this project as it will be nice to get up into the highlands again. Again I can only hope and pray for dry weather. More updates to follow folks.
Well as the end of term approaches at Perth UHI I am looking forward to re-branding Jinja Ninja Productions as Vincent Anthony Media, offering the new services of Motion Graphics and Web and Graphic Design at long last, along with Moving and Still Image capture services. I will also be looking at obtaining funding to start the Kinross Animation Workshop which will be a Community Educational Project aimed at promoting the local wildlife and heritage of Loch Leven and the surrounding areas. I hope to have a trial workshop carried out in the summer holidays and hopefully with positive feedback from the client group, this will help support funding applications. Will keep you updated folks!