Here is another of my favourite shots of 2017. This one is of a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) taken at Loch Sandray, North Uist this summer. I like this shot because it is reasonably sharp and the background is nicely blurred. The bird sat quietly on the fence post wathcing me as I gradually approached it, taking shots as I went. Eventually it had enough and flew off. The colours of the background grass make the bird stand out well, showing off its wonderful speckled plummage. This photo was taken using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 bridge camera at 108mm zoom (35mm equivalent of 600mm zoom), ISO 1000, 1/1000 sec at f/2.8, handheld. While not as good for detail as my DSLR this camera has the benefit of being relatively compact and a very good zoom range. Many of my best bird shots have been taken on this camera.
This is another of my favourite shots from 2017. This was taken somewhat opportunistically on our way home from dinner at the Applecross Inn. The light was not great, being quite late at night and fairly overcast but it works well in black and white. This was taken on my Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens at 24mm, ISO 2000, 1/6 sec at f/14 on a tripod. Due to the high ISO I had to do a bit of selective noise reduction but managed to retain the sharness in the foreground passing place sign. I am slowly working on a series of shots featuring passing place signs in interesting views so watch out for more.
This is one of my favourite shots of 2017. This area, Coigach and Assynt, in many ways appears to be very empty and devoid of human activity, and some folk might even think of it as "Wild Land". However, the land here has been managed by people for centuries and while the main concentrations of people today are around the coast there is evidence everywhere of man's influence on the landscape. In this case, in the far distance is the iconic Suilven and Quinaig and the rest of the image is largely composed of rough moorland and sky. BUT, in the foreground the peat cuttings are the sole obvious evidence of man being active in the area. I like the composition because of the counter-balance between man's activity and the wilder mountains, but also because the sky is fantastic and the line of the peat cutting face leads the viewer's eye nicely into the frame.
Over the next few days, as we approach the end of the year I will post some of my other favourite shots with analysis of why I like them. Feedback is, as always, welcome and fell free to share with your friends.
I had a rapid tour of Wester Ross yesterday, having to attend meetings in Gairloch and Ullapool, so I took my camera kit with me and made a point of leaving plenty of time to try and get some shots. The light was not brilliant most of the time but I had a bit of good fortune in some places. These are the best of them. mostly transferred into black & white since the landscape at this time of year is pretty dull brown, grey and black, unless you get a bit of sunshine peeping through the clouds..
I took this shot from the narrow bridge at Torgyle on the Invermoriston road on my way back from Inverness this afternoon. The river on this side (west) of the bridge is often flat calm and like a mirror whilst being rippled on the other side. I have often thought that there might be scope for a good photo looking west if the light was right and today offered a decent opportunity to try. The sun had just sunk behind the far hills (where you can see a couple of the new wind turbines) and mist was hanging in the glen. This stretch of road is notorious for temperature inversions and is regulalry very frosty in winter, so not surprisingly the birch trees were frosted pale purple. The sky was not very interesting so I concentrated on zooming in a little as opposed to going for the wider angle and I think it has worked reasonably well. No doubt this could be improved upon but worth a try and I'll keep my eyes open for another better opportunity.
I have just updated my Portfolio page with my latest images and added captions as well. I hope you enjoy looking at them and would welcome feedback.
I have seen this islotaed tree from the road for a long time and thought it would possibly make a good shot with the South Cluanie ridge in the background, if the weather was right. I took this shot this morning after a very early return trip to Inverness to get my car from the garage. The snow on the hills, not a complete covering, always adds texture and detail to the landscape and the tree growing out of the rock adds a lovely focal point in the foreground. The brooding sky behind the hills provided enough interest and colour to make the whole scene rather special.
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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