Loch Chon as the Heavens opened.

Loch Chon Rain and Reeds

Loch Chon Rain and Reeds

Camera work: Canon 5D3 with a 17-40L at 17mm, 0.4″@f/16, ISO 100.

Conditions: Moderate breeze. Heavy rain.

Out at Loch Chon in the Trossachs area near Aberfoyle for sun up today. Thanks Manoj for the company and your patience in the face of being soaked to the skin to get a photograph.

It rained heavily and incessantly for hours and hours. I love these conditions. It’s challenging but pays off with the beautifully muted colours and the separation the rain creates between the Island in the middle of the loch and the forest behind.

At this point I dropped my camera into the loch and my morning’s work came to an abrupt end. Had to happen someday. This is the danger of working with a tripod in the rain while up to your knees in water. I must ¬†buy one of those fancy camera bags that allow access to camera without having to juggle on open sack on your knees. My apologies to everyone I previously told that such bags were a gimmick. Consider me bitten in the bum.

Isle of Harris Beach Scene

The scourge of digital photography is the “costlessness”of pressing the shutter release. Excuse the invention of a new word for this. This is a case in point. I took about 10 images of the same scene. I like them all. They are all my babies. Then I have to pick a favourite. Film was easier (…is easier if you’re Bruce Percy…) I guess as you had a single chance and that was it. Perhaps film was harder as you had to be sure of your intention and timing. After much pacing around and squinting at the 10 this was the one that won out… For today.

For the large version please click on the image in gallery page 2.

Stormy Beach, Isle of Harris

Stormy Beach, Isle of Harris

 

Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year: Winning image in seascape category

I was delighted that my image of cows having fun on the beach at Laig Bay, Isle of Eigg, has been selected as the seascape category¬†winner in this years SLPOTY competition. It’s the first time I have entered a competition like this for a few years and I am thrilled that this image was appreciated in this way. I understand from the administrator of the competition that there is a blind judging process (to avoid bias towards photographers with an established reputation) with a few hurdles to cross before the winning image is awarded. I am humbled to see so many photographers I already admire on the commended list and the portfolios of images by the overall winner and runner up are just stunning. Check out SLPOTY.co.uk.

For a larger version see gallery page 1.

Cows at Laig Bay, Isle of Eigg

Cows at Laig Bay, Isle of Eigg

Olive Trees and Grass, Umbria.

Olive Trees and Grass, Umbria.

Olive Trees and Grass, Umbria.

Conditions: Early evening, light breeze moving the white grass around. Light filtering through olive trees.

Tech:Canon 5Dmk3, 30 secs @f/11, ISO 200. No filters, 70mm focal length.

The light on the grass was beautiful if a bit hard to keep from over exposing.

 

St Monans Breakwater

Image

St Monans Breakwater

Good day out on the east coast with Niall and Joe. This great looking breakwater hides behind the harbour wall at St Monans. The stormy weather and tidal surge created some nice water movement and moody sky.
Camera work: Canon 5Dmk3, ISO50, 1/4sec @f/16. 17-40L lens at 21mm. 3stop ND grad on sky and further 3 stop ND grad over entire frame. Lens cloth working furiously to clean the sea spray off the front.

Balance and Weight

portencross sunset small cloud

Portencross Sunset with Small Cloud

Technical: canon 5D3, 17-40 lens at 20mm, ISO100, 2″@f/16. Lee filters on the sky.

Conditions: slight breeze at sunset with a gentle swell on the water.

I can’t make up my mind about the balance of this image. There is a diagonal that goes up to the small cloud and seems to balance with the small rock lower left. It’s bottom heavy. Perhaps a square aspect ratio but then those nice lines in the rock are lost.

Trophy Hunting

the hermitage in autumn

the hermitage in autumn

Technical: Canon 5DMk3, 17-40 lens at 22mm, 25 seconds at f/16, ISO 100. Polarising filter and a 2 stop NG soft grad.

Conditions: Mid afternoon. Slight breeze with hazy cloud cover.

If you are looking for some clear advice on landscape technique I would recommend the ebooks of Darwin Wiggett. He has one in particular called “Trophy Hunting” in which he discusses the pros and cons of making images at well known and sometimes over-used locations. This is a day when I must confess to setting out to “bag” a certain shot. My 10 year old son and I had a budget of 4 hours to make the 2 hour round trip and make the shot. Darwin talks about finding a new angle, a new way to imagine the scene. I didn’t do that. I did what every one else does because there was such a pull on my preconception neurons that I was dragged into a creativity black hole. I could not imagine it any other way. So I took the shot just as my son fell into a large pool of water and hence did not notice I had stuffed up the focus. Oops. Guess we will be coming back here some day for some more trophy hunting.