The scenic town of Haddington in East Lothian sits just 20 miles away from The Scottish capital of Edinburgh, and yet is nicknamed the "hidden toun" as it’s surrounded by its rural and open fields. It’s also near the rich habitat of woodlands in Butterdean Woods. Historical landmarks such as the Hailes Castle, S., Mary’s Kirk, and Lennox Lovehouse complement the open skies. According to Lomographer Mandy Kerr, a.k.a. mjanekerr, Haddington remains, for the most part, not as affected by the pandemic, although mobility is limited for safety measures. Haddington truly is a piece of heaven for difficult times. Join Mandy’s walks and strolls in the city in colorful analogue, home-processed all on her own.
Haddington is in the center of an area of Scotland called East Lothian, being directly East of the city of Edinburgh. It's a fairly large town, but with a village feel, and has a river running through it, with lots of farmland and countryside surroundings. It's only six miles from the coast, which has some beautiful beaches... which I've not been able to travel to for weeks sadly!
I have gone through several emotions during this time of a global pandemic, probably fear and uncertainty initially, but that fairly quickly moved onto anger/frustration, then just as quickly to feeling numb/detached, so for about two weeks, once lockdown began, I did nothing much other than help the kids with their homeschooling then sit and stare blankly at the TV news. I realized though, while I had a need for information, watching the news constantly like that was not healthy, so I started sitting out in the garden since the sun was shining! I paid attention to the blossom beginning to grow on the trees, and the wildflowers appearing in my garden instead. This, in turn, gave me the thought to make some "lockdown lumens" and then try out some cyanotype printing, which I'd been meaning to do for so long. A very welcome distraction! I went out on one of my favorite local walks that weekend, taking my camera bag with me, and shot the first roll of film in a while.
I feel fortunate to have such lovely scenery on my doorstep, and have always enjoyed long walks in the area, but as exercise had been restricted to around one hour, I've been walking a shorter, but still very scenic route, which takes me through a wooded area with bright yellow gorse bushes, past farmland with horses, and along by the river with swans, ducks and a heron. I find it really therapeutic to walk around here, especially now. I also love that I can be in the city when I feel like it, normally, in just a 20-minute drive.
I think it's fair to say that a large percentage of the images I've taken have been in my garden or through my windows, but there are a few places around Haddington I find myself repeatedly photographing, like the flowers/trees/leaves in the park, and there's a security camera in there that I seem to like shooting too! There's a cemetery I often go to, plus another small hill, with transmitters on top, and an old building, and some very weathered trees, which I call "Dali trees" as they remind me of his paintings! I like the beauty of nature alongside the man-made.
There was an electric power station not too far away, also in East Lothian, which used to be a favorite to photograph, again, because of the man-made, industrial element set against the natural beauty of the coast and fields, but that was demolished a few years ago now.
In this album, I was out on a walk, and simply took photos along the way of the things which caught my eye, the beauty of nature in these strange and difficult times. I tried a couple of night time shots, which I keep forgetting to do somehow, but I neglected to use a tripod, so there was a lot of camera shake! Tripod next time :) I overexposed a couple of images, as it had been such a bright sunny day, but that's always a risk as I don't use a light meter, and this camera, my Zenit B, doesn't have one built-in, so I just guess and hope! It's probably my most used camera.
I would probably suggest anyone visiting Haddington should go a walk along the river, or my favorite place to be here is a small hill, called Traprain Law, which has a group of wild Exmoor ponies living on it. Other than a few other small hills, East Lothian is pretty flat, so you get incredible views from up there of the entire region, on a clear day.
If it were not lockdown, I'd suggest driving a short distance to Yellowcraig beach. There is a wooded area on the way down to the beach, and the sunlight shining through the trees there has been the subject of several photos I've taken. Once on the beach, you can see a little island with a lighthouse on it, which is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island.
After this, the first place I'd like to go to is a group of hills in Edinburgh, called the Pentlands, which take a bit more effort to climb than my little local hill, but it's great exercise and there are some lovely views as a reward when you reach the top. Some more great trees on the way up to photograph too. Once I've got "hill fit" again (it's really going to be an effort the first few times!) I'd like to climb some more of the many Munros around Scotland...I started climbing them last year but didn't take a camera, as I didn't want the extra weight, but I found my Diana F+ and took it a couple of times, and my La Sardina, since they're nice and lightweight.
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