Liffey Falls, Tasmania

We’ve had a welcome break for a week, and visited friends in Tasmania. We did some touring of the national parks around Cradle Mountain, and made our way to Liffey Falls, where we went for a hike through the rain forest. It’s a beautiful place, with lots of shade beneath the trees, and the ground is easy going.

The Liffey Falls themselves are a series of falls, and the track takes you down them, with great lookouts along the way. At the bottom the trees overhang the edges, creating patterns of light that dance on the water.

I took this with my Fuji Film X-E1 and 14mm lens, along with a B+W 10 stop filter, on a tripod, to get the long exposure. The light weight of the Fuji Film gear, along with a carbon fibre tripod makes a big difference in the “carryability” of my setup – especially welcome on the upward climb!

The Pineapple

My previous post mentioned The Pineapple, an eccentric example of architecture commissioned by Lord Dunmore. It’s worth visiting if you are ever in the area (Falkirk, Scotland), and we visited often when we lived in the area – it’s a peaceful place and has a large walled garden, which is perfect for a picnic.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

We savoured Scottish summers – both because they were so short, but are also a magical time when you live so far north. The scenery is bursting with life – the grass lush and thick, the trees hanging with fruit and the flowers in bloom. The nights can stay light past 10pm, and occasionally we would catch sight of the northern lights.

What better way to enjoy a Sunday than to pack a picnic and seek out and architectural gem – the Pineapple. The Pineapple is a wonderful testament to British eccentricity. A summer house that has beautiful sloping lawns and fruit trees surrounded by a huge walled garden, it originally looked quite unassuming when first built in 1761 by the 4th Earl of Dunmore. When he was forcibly brought back from serving as the Governor of Virginia in 1771, it was common practice for returning sailors there to put a pineapple on the gatepost to let everyone know they had returned home. A bit of a wag, the 4th Earl built a huge stone pineapple on the roof of the house!

Now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the Pineapple is a secret gem – we would often be the only ones there, and spread out our refreshments beneath the trees, running and throwing a ball to each other on the well-kept lawns, returning for fresh strawberries, Scottish smoked salmon and iced water. If you ever fancy visiting, you can even stay in the house as a guest. Good times!

This is my submission for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Bangour Village Hospital

Bangour Village Hospital is an abandoned mental hospital in Scotland, near Livingstone. It has it’s own church, and many buildings which lie abandoned, boarded up. It would have been prime development land, and was purchased by a large development company, but with the GFC, wasn’t considered worth developing.

I am not usually keen on the over-cooked HDR look, but for the mood I wanted to bring out, I pushed things a bit further.

Beneath the canopy

It was hot. 36 Celsius and no breeze. The summer was coming to an end, and making one last attempt to zap anyone foolish enough to go outside with UV. But my five year-old son needed to let off steam and do something physical, so we headed up the mountain to Katoomba, and took his favourite train ride (the world’s steepest!) down from Scenic World, to the rainforest below.

It’s beautiful down here. We hike and have a picnic together. It’s green and lush and cool beneath the canopy.

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