As usual it is time to decide which were my best photos taken in last month. There were noticeably fewer images to choose from this month, probably due to a mixture of poor weather, bad timing with work commitments and me spending so much time working on my Higher Photography project report. That being said I think the number may have dropped but the quality has maybe not. Here goes...
Just after posting about the gorse being in full bloom winter arrived again on Wednesday and Thursday. With the snow coming quite late it did offer some interesting photo opportunities so I got a few images but didn't have time for much. That being said we then had no internet for two and a half days (thanks to a brushcutter severing the telephone line!) so no opportunity to post anything. So, here are the best of those I took over the past couple of days.
The above shot was caught early on Wednesday morning from the road through Badicaul. The following shots were taken on Thursday evening, about 9 pm, between Drumbuie and Erbusaig. The first image is an HDR image of the spectacular sunset colours on the clouds and reflecting on the loch. After that are a couple of shots of the skye over Raasay, from much the same spot, and then finally a black & white version of the first one, using Google's Silver Efex Pro software for the conversion - very dramatic tones - I quite like it.
I took this shot this morning while out walking the dogs with my little FujiPix F660EXR camera. Not a bad shot for a little compact camera which just goes to show you don't always need a big DSLR I guess.
Beautiful full moon tonight. This shot is in B&W which works quite well as it removes the strange colour fringes that creep in around the moon.
It was a truly beautiful morning today in Lochalsh so I stopped off at Eilean Donan on my way through to Inverness and got these shots. I could probably have stopped many many times along the way today but sadly had to go to a meeting, still it made for a nice drive.
I popped out for a quick bird survey this evening but had no great joy regarding the birds but the evening was rather fine and I got a few nice shots of the setting sun over Skye from Dubh-aird, Plockton and then drove down to Plockton village for a try to get some shots of the full moon over the Crags. The composition was nice but it was perhaps just a bit light for the full effect to be perfect but it did allow some of the detail in the foreground to be captured. This needed a long exposure and with the breeze there was a little movement on the camera, even on the tripod and with mirror lock-up engaged, but I think it works quite well. I also converted t to Black & White using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 just to give it a go, see what you think.
Yesterday I went down to Edinburgh & Glasgow with Aileen (she was going to see Muse in concert at the Hydro with Caitlin) and on the way down we stopped for a coffee at the Loch Ericht Hotel in Dalwhinnie. Just before we headed off I noticed that the light was quite interesting on the snow covered hills east of the A9 so I popped down to the river side and grabbed a couple of auto-bracketed shots. These are the results.
I received my first medium format film images back from Peak Imaging today. These photos were taken on my Bronica ETRSi medium format camera using Ilford Super 400 Black & White 120 film. I got them scanned onto a CDROM so I could print them off myself if I wished. here is a little selection - no editing required. There is definitely more depth of tone and greater contrast than with digital. Given that I wasn't sure if the lightmeter would work properly I am pretty pleased with the exposures too. Now I am looking forward to doing more film work once the Higher Photography is finished.
I just remembered that I had not yet selected my three favourite shots from march, so here goes.
Inevitably, since I am doing the Higher Photography project at the moment, I had quite a few images to choose from in March, so from that work and others that I just managed to get while traveling around the area day-to-day. It was quite difficult to choose but probably since I have been spending a lot of time looking at the photos for my project, all in black & white, you might not be surprised to find that my three favourites are all in colour and a couple don't come from the project shots either....
This was my third choice, basically because I managed to capture the flapping of the wings reasonably sharply, and the colour in the head shows up nicely too. The image could be a little bit sharper but not bad for a dull day, hand-held.
I really like this close up shot of the mechanics of this classic old red Fergie tractor. The worn rusty colour against the deep blue sky provides excellent contrast and a great sense of age. This one still works as far as I am aware, they just seem to keep on going, great stalwarts of the crofting areas.
I must say that I am not normally a great fan of shots of places like Eilean Donan or Plockton for example as they tend to be a bit commercial and touristy, and pretty thick on the ground as well. However, I really like this one which I caught on my way home from Inverness just as the light was right illuminating the castle and the hill at Carr Brae to the left. I managed to get the foreground nice and sharp while retaining decent sharpness on the castle, and the contrasting colour of the bouy, the creels, ropes and the old boat add to the context really nicely. But most of all the combination of light and blue shies with snow on the distant hills of Kintail made this just one of those days wen it is great to live where we do.
I got this shot today on our way home from another visit to the Skye Pie Cafe at Glenview, just south of Staffin. The light was intermittently decent but the clouds were low over the Storr so I took a set of three auto-bracketed shots (+/- 1 stop) with the intention of applying HDR processing when I got home. As you can see the result is fairly dramatic, and perhaps a little more impressive than the reality if I am honest. I also cloned out the power lines that were running right across the middle of the shot. Anyway, I like the result - what do you think?
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer with his own part-time consultancy business and I work as an estate manager for a national conservation charity in Scotland. I am based in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Scotland, just next to the Isle of Skye.
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