Last Week’s Shoot – Aberdeen

Gordon Highlanders Statue Aberdeen

I’m nearly caught up with the processing from my recent trip to Scotland, so this is a shoot from last month rather than last week!  I’d never been up to Aberdeen before but wanted to have a look round, so I’d booked an advance trip as it’s still a fair distance up from St Andrews where I was staying – which gave me a decent rail fare but not much control over choosing a day with suitable weather…

Aberdeen Fishing Industry Memorial at Aberdeen Maritime Museum on Shiprow, Aberdeen
Aberdeen Fishing Industry Memorial at Aberdeen Maritime Museum on Shiprow, Aberdeen

Needless to say, on arrival it was tipping down, so the photography was off for at least a while and I took refuge in the rather excellent Maritime Museum on Shiprow near the harbour – well worth a look if you’re visiting, with exhibits on Aberdeen’s fishing heritage right up to modern day oil and gas platforms and tidal energy.  The rain had eased a bit when I came out, so I had a look at the lovely Aberdeen Fishing Industry Memorial in front of the building.

Robert the Bruce Statue at Marishal College on Broad Street, Aberdeen
Robert the Bruce Statue at Marishal College on Broad Street, Aberdeen

In the rather grey and gloomy weather statues and architectural details seemed to be the order of the day – and the mounted statue of Robert The Bruce by Alan Beattie Herriot looked great against the grey granite of the Marishal College building (now the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council).

Rainbow Steps in Aberdeen
Rainbow painted steps at the Bon Accord Centre at Flourmill Lane and Upperkirkgate

Round the corner from Marishal College along Upperkirkgate, some colourful rainbow painted steps on the corner of Flourmill Lane added a splash of colour to the almost monochrome conditions!

Marishal College former Univeristy of Aberdeen building now Aberdeen City Council HQ on Broad Street
Marishal College former Univeristy building now Aberdeen City Council HQ on Broad Street

A further shower forced me into the Tolbooth Museum, which was very interesting.  It was primarily used as a jail – sometimes a sort of open prison for debtors but also numerous Jacobite prisoners were held there in one of the tiny cells – rather sobering as it felt claustrophobic enough when I was there on my own!  When I emerged the rain had eased off again and there were signs of the clouds clearing away and blue sky and sunshine arrived as the sun set – adding a touch of warmth to the grey granite of Marishal College.

Castle Street in Aberdeen
The Mercat Cross on Castle Street at dusk with the Town House in the distance

The clear sky made the dusk shoot more appealing so I headed back to Castle Street where I’d sized up various blue hour shots to take if the weather allowed.  The Gordon Highlanders Statue by sculptor Mark Richards looked good as the lights around the square came on, with the Salvation Army Citadel making an imposing backdrop (featured image, top).  Looking in the other direction from the old Mercat Cross down towards the Town House looked equally impressive.

The Tolbooth Aberdeen
The floodlit tower of The Tolbooth incorporated into the Town House building

The old Tolbooth tower is interesting in that it’s completely surrounded by the more modern Town House and Sheriff Court buildings.  It was the only floodlit part of the buildings along Castle Street and Union Street too, so it looked rather curious peeping over the rooftops!

Aberdeen Maritime Museum floodlit at dusk
Aberdeen Maritime Museum floodlit at dusk

I’d booked my return trip about an hour after sunset, so I just had time for another look at the Maritime Museum on the way back to the station and it looked lovely floodlit at dusk.  The building is interesting too as it’s in a former church and Provost Ross’s House with a modern link building between the two (which makes it fun inside too as you’e constantly wandering between open plan modern spaces to tiny rooms with creaky floorboards!).

All of the images from the shoot are up now in the Scotland gallery on the website.


About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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