The old wood-built, tin-roofed Clachnaharry signal box plus wooden fence and gate leading across the single track on the main railway line travelling northwards from Inverness – perfect for this week’s Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge and Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge: Fences or Gates 🙂
My phone takes perfectly decent photographs for general use – I mean, I know my camera takes technically ‘better’ pictures, bigger sensor, bigger lens, better light intake, more pixels. So usually for ‘proper’ photographs I prefer to use my ‘proper’ camera.
But sometimes, to my surprise, I actually prefer the less than perfect images produced by my phone, especially when looking into the sun. The limited light coming in to the limited sensor can create a much darker, moody image than the more visually balanced ‘correct’ version made by my camera, and I really like the way the increased highlights and low-lights give an altogether more dramatic effect that captures far more accurately how I’m feeling at the time.
So sometimes, from a creative perspective, I find that art trumps science and photographically less really is more… 🙂
Looking out across the Beauly Firth from Clachnaharry, Inverness 🙂
I’ve got a real soft spot for this dinky little swing bridge carrying the single track railway line across the Caledonian Canal at Clachnaharry, Inverness. I walk past it regularly and there are myriad photographs of it in my image archive, often caught with a train crossing over, but so far I’ve never seen it open.
It swings open at right angles on a pivot to allow boats to pass through, either coming into the canal from the Beauly Firth through the Muirtown Basin or going out of the canal in the opposite direction. Apparently it’s a 126ft girder railway bridge that has been in situ since 1909, replacing the original bridge of 1862, and is painted white to reduce expansion in hot weather.
Luckily for me there is a pedestrian level crossing on either side of the bridge, allowing for some really up-close-and-personal images to be taken from the middle of the track itself. Maybe one day I’ll catch it opening up for a boat to go through! 🙂
One of my favourite walks close to home in Inverness is to tramp along to the very end of the Caledonian Canal where it finally meets the sea at Clachnaharry Sea Lock. I’m a creature of habit so walk here a lot, sometimes with my camera and sometimes just my phone, and tend to take very similar photographs every time I go. I’d really struggle to choose a favourite image out of all I’ve ever taken because I genuinely love them all in different ways. The scenery remains pretty much the same every time, but the weather changes along with the seasons and the tides. This morning it was dry and cloudy with intermittent sunny spells but OMG it was really windy – my hair was whipping about in all directions and was in knots when I got home! 🙂
My favourite vanishing points usually include train tracks – they have such a strong sense of infinite continuity, I find them quite hypnotic to look along. This is the single track railway swing bridge crossing the Caledonian Canal at Clachnaharry, Inverness. Because there is actually a pedestrian level crossing here, I’m OK to be standing on the tracks to take this shot 🙂
Although the opening of the Kessock Bridge in 1982 speedily carries the main A9 trunk road north across the water with no discernible diversion to its route, the main rail line north still necessarily snakes sideways west from Inverness along the southern edge of the Beauly Firth until it reaches Dingwall, where it then splits in two with one scenic line continuing west to Kyle of Lochalsh and the other heading north to Thurso and Wick.
On its way out of Inverness, the railway line crosses the northern end of the Caledonian Canal at Clachnaharry, where its single track is carried across the water by a narrow swing bridge with a pedestrian level crossing at either end of the bridge. Approaching trains sound their horn before reducing speed and creeping slowly across the bridge, making a perfect photographic opportunity for those pedestrians waiting to cross the line to access the continuing path to the sea lock on the other side of the railway line.
It’s been a while since I’ve been for a Sunday stroll along the Caledonian canal from Muirtown Locks to Clachnaharry Sea Lock, and although the rain threatened a few times I had no more than a few spots here and there to contend with. But oh, it was bitterly cold today, especially with the bracing sea breeze that’s never far away.
Whenever the sun came out (decidedly intermittently) I snapped whatever I could landscape-wise, and whenever the dark rain clouds dampened the light I concentrated on close-ups of whatever I could find around me. I was out for an hour or so and came home with frozen fingers, pink cheeks, windswept hair, and a big happy smile 🙂