North Sea, Scotland

Sometimes you get lucky and get a great shot when you least expect it. On this occasion, we were on a cruise around the British Isles and we had left the Orkney Islands around 6pm. Being summer and being so far north, it stays light very late into the evening. We ate dinner and retired to our room about 10pm. I laid down and began to doze off when the phone rang. Our friend Nancy was on the phone and said "Look at the guy, quick!" I jumped off of the bed, ran to the door, looked out the keyhole and saw...nothing. The hallway was empty. I called her back and told her there was no one there. Her comment was, "What is wrong with you? I said look at the sky!  Bring your camera with you." I grabbed my camera, slid open the drapes and captured this image. Nice to be lucky and have a friend to help when you are not thinking or hearing straight. Thanks Nancy.

Imposing Entrance

Culzean Castle, Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland

One of the cool things about Europe are the amazing old castles that can be found just about anywhere on the continent or British Isles. One of my favorite castles is Culzean Castle which is located on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. Little did I know when we pulled into the parking lot and walked down a long path, I would see one of the most imposing castle entrances ever. The massive stone gate stands guard to the beautiful castle inside. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792 and is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, which has done a magnificent job restoring and maintaining it. The castle now is home to a hotel and offers tours that transport you to a time long ago. Since 1987, an illustration of the castle can be found on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Back Alley

Edinburgh, Scotland

This is an image from the archives that I took on vacation in the British Isles in 2007. We took a cruise that stopped in various cities in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France. This is a back alley in Edinburgh, Scotland. The interesting thing is that I shot this image on one of the days of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Tattoo is a famous show that features military bands as part of the Edinburgh Festival that is held in August each year. The Festival attracts over 200,000 people and it seemed that there was at least that many on the streets. What amazed me most about this image is that there was no one in this alley, unlike almost every other alley that I passed that day. It's like the photography gods wanted me to shoot this scene.