These two shots were taken from the roadside just above Gesto Farm on Skye looking south towards the Cuillins, late this afternoon. This is a popular viewpoint for photographs but I thought the afternoon light was rerally nice today so called a halt to take these shots. The contrast of the blue of the sky and sea against the bright green and oranges of the land lit up by the low sun, with the attractive farm steadings makes a really interesting scene. The farm is situated on one of those isolated areas of relatively fertile land, surrounded by rough grazings and rocky hills and mountains. You can guess that folk have farmed here for many centuries. I took the second shot in portrait with a bigger zoom to try and bring the mountains closer to the farm in the foreground. It worked relatively well but I could not use quite as big a zoom as I would have wanted because capturing the whole of the farm complex was my aim. I like both shots but possibly prefer the portrait shot as it holds slightly more detail.
After dropping my eldest daughter off at the train in Kyle this morning, at 6.12am, I took the chance of going for a walk around Duirinish and Drumbuie crofitng townships before going to work. It was a marvelously frosty morning with muted colours becoming more vibrant as the sun rose above the hills to the east. This first shot was taken from Drumbuie, overlooking the crofts towards Skye in the distance. The bare tree adds interest in the foreground, highlighted by the rising sun behind me as I took the shot.
The following shots were taken during my walk. Some are in colour, but with the muted colours, especially in the sky I converted most to black & white which I feel adds drama and impact to the images in these conditions.
Last week I took advantage of a few hours after a training session to visit RSPB's Vane Farm and Loch Leven Reserve to see what birds might be around. I took along my Canon 5D Mark II and my Kowa telescope with a view to trying out this combination for a bit of digiscoping. Effectively by using an DSLR adaptor you can convert your scope into a long lens. The technique requires you to use fully manual mode on the camera, including manual focus. In the past I have found focusing very difficult but this time round I used the live view function and it was a bit easier, although the camera shake made it quite difficult still to know when you had a really sharp focus. This image was the only one using this technique which came out reasonably sharp (this final image was cropped a fair bit). I took a few shots with my Sigma 150-500mm lens for comparison but it did not really have the reach as the bird was a fair way off, and ironically, using auto-focus did not provide any really good sharp images either. All in all worth perservering but probably only for birds that are happy sitting still!
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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