Photographing Dundee in Lockdown

Train passing across the Tay Rail Bridge with a fog bank obscuring the Fife side of the Tay, Scotland. DD084
Train passing across the Tay Rail Bridge with a fog bank obscuring the Fife side of the Tay, Scotland. DD084

I’ve been spending the Coronavirus Lockdown in Dundee, on the ‘sunny’ north coast of the Tay in Scotland. Although generally occupied with reading, writing, cataloguing, and putting photos on-line, I have been out and about taking some photos of Coronavirus Dundee.

Fortunate to be living just opposite the Dundee end of the Tay Railway Bridge, I therefore have views across to Newport-on-Tay and Wormit in Fife, and down the Tay into Perthshire. I can (and do) monitor the trains across the bridge, and those passing between Dundee and Perth.

This means being able to keep an eye on the weather conditions and the light, as well as on the activities taking place on Magdalen Green, the strip of grassy park between the houses on Magdalen Yard Road and the Perth railway line. Taking the COVID-19 restrictions seriously I generally kept to walking distance from the house for my photography with just a couple of more-or-less justified excursions along the Tay estuary.

Sunny Dunny in the time of Coronavirus Lockdown

Young woman cycling past Covid-19 graffitti artwork in Dundee, Scotland. DD065
Young woman cycling past Covid-19 graffitti artwork in Dundee, Scotland. DD065

For photographing Dundee in Lockdown I have usually just taken my beautiful little Olympus OM-D E5 Mkii camera, which is a joy to carry and to use. It is almost identical in appearance to my first proper camera, the Olympus OM1n. At 16 megapixels and with a sensor one quarter the size of my Canon 5D Mk iv, of course there is a compromise in terms of image quality, but ‘the best camera is always the one you have with you’ – and can be bothered to take out of the bag!

Broughty Ferry Beach

Rotting groyne posts on Broughty Ferry beach, Dundee, Scotland. DD071
Rotting groyne posts on Broughty Ferry beach, Dundee, Scotland. DD071

The beach at Broughty Ferry, to the west of the city of Dundee, has low dunes protected by fencing. At the far end of the beach are some decayed wooden groynes, which have been placed to prevent erosion of the beach by waves and tides. Linear form and texture make attractive subjects for photography. Even in Coronavirus Dundee, a few hardy souls made it out there on a cool, grey day.

Group of young lads building on Broughty Ferry beach during the Coronavirus lockdown in June 2020, Dundee, Scotland. DD070
Group of young lads building on Broughty Ferry beach during the Coronavirus lockdown in June 2020, Dundee, Scotland. DD070

Tay Railway Bridge Keeps Serving

Long exposure image of the piers of the Tay Rail Bridge at the Dundee end, Scotland. DD092
Long exposure image of the piers of the Tay Rail Bridge at the Dundee end, Scotland. DD092

From where I am staying the Tay Rail Bridge is impossible to ignore for long, and the changing light on the Tay, the affect of the wind on the water, and the clouds and fog rolling in and back make for an infinite number of images – there are just a few here! Even in COVID-19 Dundee the trains have to keep on running. So here photographing Dundee in Lockdown felt like normal!

Brick and iron arch of the Tay Rail Bridge over Riverside Drive in Dundee, Scotland. DD093
Brick and iron arch of the Tay Rail Bridge over Riverside Drive in Dundee, Scotland. DD093
The Tay Rail Bridge at low tide from Dundee, Scotland. DD055
The Tay Rail Bridge at low tide from Dundee, Scotland. DD055

People Coping with Coronavirus Dundee

Large man and small dog walking under arch at Dundee end of the Tay Rail Bridge, Scotland. DD085
Large man and small dog walking under arch at Dundee end of the Tay Rail Bridge, Scotland. DD085

There are a few people around! And it’s always fun to see and photograph what they are up to. 

People exercising on the Riverside walkway during the coronavirus lockdown, Dundee, Scotland. DD080
People exercising on the Riverside walkway during the coronavirus lockdown, Dundee, Scotland. DD080

It took them a while to get round to cutting the grass on Magdalen Green, but they did it eventually. This photo should stand as one of the iconic images of COVID-19 Dundee.

Grass-cutting on Magdalen Green after the Coronavirus lockdown, Dundee, Scotland. DD087
Grass-cutting on Magdalen Green after the Coronavirus lockdown, Dundee, Scotland. DD087

Visiting Invergowrie

Invergowrie – just two minutes off the dual carriageway to Perth – can feel like a Highland coastal haven with its wooded shore and views over the wide expanse of the tidal Tay estuary across to the west of Fife. The large tumbled stone blocks of the old pier make an impressive photographic foreground. Although we can call this photographing Dundee in Lockdown, Invergowrie is actually within the Perth and Kinross local authority area. 

Corrugated-iron hut on the shores of the Tay, Invergowrie, Scotland. DD100
Corrugated-iron hut on the shores of the Tay, Invergowrie, Scotland. DD100
Derelict stone pier at Invergowrie, Scotland. DD102
Derelict stone pier at Invergowrie, Scotland. DD102

See More Photos In This Series

To see a larger collection of images visit the  ‘Photographing Dundee in Lockdown’ gallery.