This is a photo series that I shot during lockdown, from March 23rd to June 25th 2020. I never thought of the Firth of Forth as nature, or anything particularly inspiring. Growing up in Newhaven, it always felt industrial, grey and dirty to me. When I was younger I didn't I think of going for a walk to take photos of it, to stare out at it in awe or even to really appreciate it. But over the past three months my perspective has flipped. Lockdown has given us all the time to look closer at our local surroundings, to hopefully see the beauty and appreciate it more. Staring out at the Firth of Forth over lockdown, I let nature illuminate what it had to offer. It was the weather, the sun, the changing conditions which showed me what my camera captured. The boats stopped to allow the water to make its own patterns, the planes no longer flew over the sky so the clouds could form naturally, sunsets could create neon landscapes, and lots of people were walking around the waterfront, staring out to sea. I started to really look at it, as Mary Oliver says, "I look; morning to night I am never done with looking. Looking, I mean not just standing around, but standing around as though with your arms open." I began to notice, and be obsessed by the fact, that each day the water and environment was ever-changing - its colour, patterns, speed and every single particle involved in its movement and view. The tides at different levels revealing new things for my camera to expose - seaweed, shopping trollies, shells, rocks and bubbles. It was impossible not to find something new to shoot, a different perspective each day roaming close to home. I have a new appreciation of the Firth of Forth and I hope that other people do too so that we can continue to care, It's about seeing and thinking about what you see. It's about appreciating and caring, being conscious of what is around us.. Give nature the chance to show you its beauty and in return we have the chance to protect it. 

[To follow the chronological order of the series, start from the bottom and scroll up...]
When you see water in a stream
you say: oh, this is stream water;
When you see water in the river
you say: oh, this is water
of the river;
When you see ocean water
you say: This is the ocean’s water!
But actually water is always
only itself
and does not belong
to any of these containers
though it creates them.
And so it is with you.
- Alice Walker
"When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."
- Wendell Berry
Visiting a river today (the only images not shot of the Firth), I saw another side of water. That which has gripped me during lockdown, now moving so much quicker than the sea. "All the mysteries are in its movement." Nan Shepherd.
Lost, by David Wagoner
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have make this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
For when the tide is out. 
Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh
"My work.. which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." Mary Oliver
Looking out to see
Looking out to sea
 - March /April /May / June 2020
I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it nothing fancy. But it seems impossible. Whatever the subject, the morning sun glimmers it. The stones on the beach... Each one could be set in gold. - Mary Oliver 
"I go down to the edge of the sea. How everything shines in the morning light! It’s like a schoolhouse of little words, thousands of words. First, you figure out what each one means by itself... Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story" - Mary Oliver
"Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another." John Muir,
“Between 10 and 15 million years ago, the Atlantic seaboard of Europe subsided, the forest plain linking Scotland to Norway was submerged under the North Sea” W.H. Murray #beautifulscotland
Socially connected, physically distant. Light painting with the North Star. Something so far away but which still manages to brighten life. Sort of how things feel right now.
“As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can".” ― John Muir
Water. "All the mysteries are in its movement." Nan Shepherd. #thelivingmountain
I’m finding the little moments in a familiar place so satisfying. A simple leaf floating by, as fast or slow as the sea will take it \\ Firth of Forth, Edinburgh.
Water speaking this morning.
Simply calm or not.
"What a life I lead when the sun breaks free As a giant torn from the clouds" Sun Giant, Fleet Foxes
"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water" 
"The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. " the blue of distance By Rebecca Solnit, from A Field Guide for Getting Lost.
“I look; morning to night I am never done with looking. Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around as though with your arms open.” Mary Oliver 
Start here. ​​​​​​​
Back to Top