'Tides - Clashach' © 2020 Jim Robertson

It's hard to believe that it was 50 years ago when I was first introduced to Clashach Cove or Cove Bay as it is known locally. The two areas are distinct but so close are they in proximity that one can refer to the other and vice versa. Ordinance Survey seem to prefer 'Clashach'. Three school friends and I had left school 'early', if you follow my meaning, and had driven down from Elgin on a warm early summer afternoon. The year was 1970 and we huddled precariously beneath a sandstone overhang high up on the cliff which forms the western edge of the cove and there read from Book 2 chapter 6 'Lothlorien' of Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings'. A magical book in a magical location. Of course that all seems to me now to have happened a long time ago but it's not until one realises that the Old Red Sandstone found in the area was formed around 360 to 415 million years ago and that the New Red Sandstone in this area was formed a mere 200 to 300 million years ago that the human notion of a 'long time' pales into insignificance! Over the years I visited the cove on countless occasions but it wasn't until around eight years ago, when I first looked at it and the surrounding area with photography in mind, that the idea for the project was formed. I would like to thank George G Meldrum BSc, MSc, Honorary Fellow of the School Of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, not only for his knowledgeable input but also for his encouragement of the project.

Landscape photographers are drawn to the cove and nearby areas and I've had the pleasure of meeting some of them. Names like Neil Gove, Douglas Griffin and Grant Willoughby spring to mind and of course Ian Cameron who, certainly in my opinion, has made some of his best photographs in and around the area. I've never had the pleasure of meeting them but Joe Cornish has also made photographs here which he included in ‘Scotland’s Coast – A Photographer’s Journey’ (Pages 138 – 141) and Paul Wakefield tells me that it is a place he really likes visiting.

The project was featured in On Landscape - April 2013 and again in August 2016. It's an 'occasional' ongoing project as I still update the set every now and again. It's hard to let go I suppose! Thank you for looking and please be aware that, although all thumbnails for the images appear in portrait mode, images in landscape mode are also included in this selection. In his book appropriately titled 'More Than A Rock' Guy Tal uses the word 'explorations' rather that 'projects'. His point being that a 'project' really requires to be completed for it to be seen as a success! An 'exploration' however is just that. In his words, 'I find ample and sustained reward in merely being engaged in something that interests and fascinates me: a journey that is more important than any preconceived destination'.

Finally, here are some links to additional information about the 'Cove':

Geograph - Sandstone geology at Clashach Cove

The Geological Society - Clashach

The Elgin Marvels - Neil D. L. Clark