The last stop-off point during my few days in Moray and one very dear to me was Duffus Castle, or to be precise its ruins. Duffus Castle is only 2 fields distant from my dad’s old farm where I grew up, the castle being the target of many of my earlier adventures in those far off years. I even used to ‘liberate’ tadpoles from the castle moat and take them home as pets.
The castle is even older than me, in fact it dates back to about 1150 and is of Norman ‘motte & bailey’ design; at around the time King David the First invited Norman knights into Scotland to strengthen his power base. The castle was originally constructed in wood with the main tower on top of a large artificial earth mound (or motte) surrounded at the foot of the mound by a wooden palisade (the bailey). The existing structure was rebuilt in stone around the early 14th century. Unfortunately ‘father time’ has not been kind to old Duffus Castle as a section of the north wall of the main tower (containing the latrine) has slid down the hill, strangely intact. Thankfully, the castle doesn’t seem to have deteriorated further in my lifetime. Here is a link for more information about DUFFUS CASTLE.
Photographically, this isn’t quite how I had envisaged things. For a start it would have been nice to have had a lovely sunset falling behind the Keep as the position and time of day were about right; but the weather (like the north wall) was on the downward slide and the light was pretty flat. Composition was also a bit of a struggle as I didn’t particularly want to include the curtain wall to the left of the picture however I did want the arch of the bridge with the lovely stone road leading the eye to the Keep; unfortunately I couldn’t have one without the other. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this composition and I love the texture of the reeds in the overgrown moat. In the end it was a tough call between colour or monochrome but I felt the tone of the sky balances better with the rest of the image in mono than in colour.
0.8 sec @ f/16 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
‘Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, and snow
is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only
different kinds of good weather.’
JOHN RUSKIN (1819-1900)