Occasional Ramblings with a Camera

This blog is my occasional ramblings on here, there and about, with and very occasionally without a camera. Photography, art, landscape (principally Scottish), heritage and wildlife are the things that interest me the most, so thats what I'll be writing about and of course showing pictures of. They say that a photograph is worth a thousand words, well I'm not so sure about that but if it is then great as it will save me a heap of typing, all power to the image.

Glen Almond


A walk in from the Sma Glen and heading towards Auchnafree. Some snaps.
A good walk with the aim of visiting Clach Na Tiompan chambered cairn with accompanying remnant stone circle (pictured) and a small graveyard. A stunning day (Friday 17 May) in a wonderful glen. No walkers encountered but plenty of road traffic with mostly 4x4's coming and going. There are two main big house/ farm / estate areas; Conichan and further into the glen Auchnafree. A good area to explore further though the walk in (private estate road) can be a bit strenuous.

The corrugated building is lovely though uncertain as to its current use, looks as if it has been a chapel at some stage. The door was open and no one around but didn't seem right to be too nosey.
The roundal or stell is of a relatively recent construction though one stood there previously, there are others in the area though. They can be used to protect the sheep in the winter but also as a general corral. Just above the stell in the same field you can see the two remaining upright stones of a four poster stone circle.

Building Glen Almond © George Logan 2019

Gravestone, Glen Almond © George Logan 2019

Stone circle remnant Clach Na Toimpan, Almond © George Logan 2019

Stell Glen Almond © George Logan 2019

So Long


Rannagulzion © george logan 2019Thats so long since I last added a post, rather than goodbye. I haven't been idle though these past months, I've recently finished a short Arts & Archaeology level 11 module at University of Highlands and Islands from Orkney. Really interesting and a worth while three months. Especially as I spend quite a lot of time these days working with archaeology in one form or another so to combine the two is just perfect. 

Getting into understanding the medium of photography in relation to archaeology has been fascinating and I've still lots of books to read through at a more leisurely pace now. It also relates on my landscape work that is moving in various directions. Still projects to finish and now the course is finished I can get back to looking for a publisher for my Orchards work.

One area I might look at for a future project is the now in ruin upland farms, an extension from my interest in pastoral farming, farming on the edge. These might have slightly more connectivity as some will have only been unoccupied in the past few decades. How quickly they wither.

Not sure of my approach just yet, various options to mull over.

I'm getting a studio built so that will help in producing work, a better more creative work space. Really looking forward to it being finished, roof just going on and base flooring being laid today.

A few images from yesterday at a farm called Rannagulzion below Drumderg wind farm. Images for me to ponder on more than anything.

Rannagulzion © george logan 2019

Rannagulzion© george logan 2019

Rannagulzion© george logan 2019

No end for Many


shell shock © George Logan

The war might have ended, an armistice signed but for many the fighting continued.
These are images of a now unknown relative, I'm sure the same person. One image before signing up and the other taken while a resident post war(?) while admitted to Perth sanitorium. His uniform while there was pale blue. The photographer has retouched his side bald patch, evident in the before image and interesting that the hands have been shaded out. His 'thousand yard stare' is evidence of the trauma he has and continues to endure. It was this image that inspired my 'Foresight' series of images.

relative person © George Logan

Foresight ~ WW1 remembered


Foresight © George Logan 2018I've just uploaded a new gallery of images from my 'Foresight' series that was in part exhibited at Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh last year.

Gallery: HERE

It is of the right eye, the eye that aims via a gun foresight, of soldiers in the Black Watch regiment who fought in the first world war.

Stings like a bee (cringe)


Cargill © George LoganCargill © George LoganA short walk down to the river where I live yesterday revealed that storm Ali had put an end to a much photographed mature beach tree that stood on the edge of a small gorge. How the storm had found the tree amongst so many others is a mystery, some other trees had a few branches snapped off. Such is life.

(right click images and 'open in new tab' to view slightly larger)

Cursus in Crieff


Way back in 2017 I made a photograph with the pupils from Crieff secondary school, part of Crieff Strathearn Campus. It had them line along the underlying archaeology of a Cursus (pdf) that crosses a neighbouring field and road then under the Campus. What must have been a spectacular monument at one time. The photograph is at the top of the panel for which it was intended.

The information (and educational) panel is located at the Campus for all to see. The whole project was masterminded by Ian Hamilton and whose perseverance made it happen. Based on archaeology by Dr Kenny Brophy.

The panel was formally launched on 24 May 2018 and got a good spread of publicity. More info HERE (same pics:() 

© George Logan 2018

© George Logan 2018© George Logan 2018© George Logan 2018



Three butterflies found in the garden and down by the wood recently. Painted Lady, Tortoiseshell and Comma.

Painted lady © George Logan

tortoiseshell butterfly © George Logan

painted lady butterfly ©George Logantortoiseshell butterfly © George Logancomma butterfly © George Logan

comma butterfly © George Logan

This to that ~ and back again


I recently came across an old Christmas card that I sent out in 2002. It was my first encounter with folds (I kept calling them fanks for some time, until I learnt otherwise) associated with shieling grounds, in one of my favourite locations, Glen Taitneach. Though I knew nothing of their purpose, I assumed for sheep, even then could detect a certain resonance. I thought them curious and interesting. I definitely never realised how they would become an area of study and creation many years later.
I did have an interest in archaeology prior to this image, after I moved back to Perthshire from Skye. I sought out stone circles, that I recall making a good set of images from, also a good 'treasure hunt' in the countryside.
That circular enclosed space, how curious. So, Christmas card 2002 and 'the silence falls' 2018. Click on the images and 'view in new tab' to get a slightly larger view.

silence © George Logan

the silence falls © George Logan 2018

Auchintaple - Auchenchapel - Shadow Sites & Signs


As part of my interest (archaeological, visually and as conceptual metaphor) in upland folds associated with shieling grounds you can discover so much more by looking around the shieling area and approach. There is the landscape of course in which they sit that can be stunning and bleak. Often you can reason their placement but their remoteness reminds of a lifestyle that required long journeys (transhumance) to graze their cattle, something that fascinates me. Often the folds are associated with a shieling hut or two, as I found in Glen Taitneach, occasionally they sit remote, alone and now silent.

fold Auchenchapel area © George Logan

I recently went to visit a lone fold (56.776657 -3.299893) that I had't visited for several years up beyond Auchentaple Loch, Glen Isla and near the Cateran Trail that runs close by. What I found was that the heather that covered it previously had at some point had been burnt off, revealing the fold that lies in a dip (unusual) much clearer. A nice surprise and a nicely preserved fold that has a clearly defined narrow entrance. I looked around for any other features but nothing positive nearby, that is until I set off back home and came upon a linear feature (pictured bottom left one and two), obviously part of an enclosure or boundary wall. I followed this and as clear as day I came across a rather nice and sizeable shieling hut (pictured) (56.775806 -3.300502), a few yards away there is yet another but heather covered and unusually long. (I haven't shown the latter as the image is just too vague). So anyway a good and interesting day, plus pictures I can use for my Folds project.

The following week I made another trip, this time with a friend also interested in our heritage, he's a keen dig volunteer and new found skill as an historic researcher, so knows what he's looking at. It was an even more spectacular day of finds and interest.

The first items on our agenda was a hut circle I had come across some time ago (56.774945 -3.314938) (pictured here) and the nearby Golan Well that had a small frog enjoying the spring water.

Going onto the fold and shieling huts of the previous week we also found a few yards from the fold a really well defined (less so on the image to the left but definitely when on the beside it) and sizeable hut circle (56.776356 -3.300308), a nice start to the day. I should add at this point that none of these features mentioned in this entry have been ever recorded or on any maps. Apart from the chapel and farmstead and these are themselves poorly recorded.

Auchenchapel farm feature © george Logan

We then headed to Auchentaple farmstead (link to the only record)  hidden in part of a commercial woodland and near the loch that is contemporary to the farm, the woodland is currently being cleared. The farmstead is interesting and has several unusual features, like the walls that are just a mass of piled stones that are more complex than the linear drawing on an OS map indicates. There was also the feature (pictured), that had a some metal-work attached at some point as there was a single hole with lead fixing on each side. What is it ?? Its not a well we don't think as there are plenty of other water sources nearby.

On now to the chapel (Auchenchapel is 'Field of the Chapel) that is very interesting but what is particularly fascinating and not mentioned on any (?) sources is that at the south end of the knoll upon which the chapel sits is a natural rock outcrop and at the base of the rock outcrop runs a very free flowing spring, marked on the maps as a well but its relationship to the chapel is too coincidental, a holy well (?). Its not regarded as a holy well but perhaps at some point it was. Certainly to the builders of the chapel it was significant. Its interesting that the Golan Well up the hill is regarded on a couple of websites as a holy well, though no sources are mentioned to this being the historic case. And why not the chapel site that would make more sense.On the rock outcrop there is a small 'cup mark' (??) (pictured right), its about the size of 50p coin. Also worth mentioning is that the landowner has put a small fence around the well, perhaps to keep the cattle away and capped another adjacent part of the well.

Up the hill from the Chapel we came across a quarried area that was intriguing and further on a small circular feature (pictured) with a boulder collapsed into it (56.771889 -3.311640), too small for a habitable (?) hut circle but a feature non the less and this was near a linear wall/boundary (56.771955 -3.311381) (pictured bottom right). The linear feature can just be seen on some of the aerial pictures (Apple Maps)  A little distance away there is a sizeable very noticeable pile of stones, field clearance (??).

To our final destination; a feature I had come across some time ago while walking over the area and of course its not recorded, (56.774049 -3.315528) Its a dwelling (?) with a rectangular enclosure, very interesting. A good image of it can be found Here along with another fank that is nearby.

This whole area is covered in archaeological features that are worth noting and preserving. Other features include a possible hut circle (56.771025 -3.313551) that might be the feature mentioned by Margaret Stuart (link), plus other linear/wall features. If these aren't recorded then they might be destroyed by the likes of the scrape (pictured), lost then to all. 

Yes shielings and hut circles and field systems are found all over Scotland but that doesn't make them less important. Anyone interested in shielings and folds etc will soon find how little they have been studied and I think how under appreciated they are, marking as they do a sizeable population whose culture is now gone. I'll endeavour to have these features properly recorded and hopefully protected. For some bizarre reason the archaeology in Angus is covered by Aberdeen-shire council.

The grid references are from my Viewranger app on my tablet, the OS grid reference I then convert to be readable on Bing maps were I can save them and also double check position. The links (allow a few moments for the pinpoint marker to render) are to Bing maps that are by far the best for aerial imagery and OS maps but I've found Apples Map app (if you have an Apple computer you will have it installed) has crisper/clearer and closer view, plus the most recent aerial imagery, saving specific locations however is tortious.

Kinclaven Bluebell Wood panoramas


I've uploaded a couple of new 360° zoomable panoramas of Kinclaven Bluebell Wood near Murthly in Perth and Kinross. The wood is undergoing a change no thanks to the Scottish Woodland Trust who seem incapable of leaving alone or making minimal organic changes but are managing to kill what lovely atmosphere the wood had. Re directed paths with old routes unsubtly blocked by tree trunks, incapsulated posters everywhere, a large carpark etc.
The links are HERE and HERE or click the image. Note; they can take a little time to render, especially in full screen mode.
A near complete list of zoomable Panoramas can be found HERE.

Anyway; on occasion you can still find a silence and sense the woods inner breath and beauty.

kinclaven bluebell wood © george Logan 2018

kinclaven bluebell wood © george Logan 2018

New Work - Folds & Porticos



These are just two from an ongoing body of work under the banner of Folds & Porticos. Contrasting the Scottish subsistence farmers circa 1700 with the rich and colourful visions of those who embarked on the Grand Tour to Italy. The work is currently a wall piece but I'm considering it also in book form.

You can click HERE and HERE to download a more readable PDF file of the above.

Lone tree Lycondlitch


Lone tree Lycondlitch © George Logan

Photographed at Lycondlitch to the North East of Blair Atholl, now in ruin the shepherds cottage and out buildings also has this amazing lone gnarled Wild Cherry tree.
This interpretation is close to how I envisage it, frankly its just so easy to make something moody when the weather is dull. I could see it being the cover of some mystery paperback, possible with the addition of a lone crow in the sky.

Conference in Perth


I covered a conference in Perth Concert Hall this week. Always a little challenging, especially when you have speakers that are very animated and your working with a slow shutter speed to capture some of the ambient light in the venue. The mixed lighting also takes a bit to balance, especially to get good skin tones. Still, I got a reasonable selection of images that the client should be happy with. I was also shooting video that I'll add as an update (possibly) when done and if ever uploaded.

conference Perth © George Loganconference Perth © George Logan

My Old site - Out of site


I was just checking a few things on the Isle of Rum website that I designed many years ago, that still looks ok and works fine. I discovered to my surprise that my old photography website in part is still up and running and it looks actually rather nice if I might say so myself. Ok, its not responsive though it should look ok on an ipad as it has quite a narrow width. Anyway there's a good selection of images from times not that long gone by, some rather nice images:) It can be found HERE. enjoy.

Note; there might be a few broken links that I'll get around to sorting possibly.