The other evening I popped out for a short walk and took along my APS-C cropped sensor Canon 250D fitted with my Sigma 105mm macro lens, which is equivalent to 168mm on a full frame camera. I was inspired by the latest edition of Outdoor Photography magazine which had a really interesting article on photographing flowers and plants. There were not too many good photo opportunities during my short walk but here a few of my results - more practice needed and perhaps I should take the tripod with me next time as getting these remotely in focus was challenging.
A great day today, with the relaxation of travel restrictions we had a trip to Spean Bridge and Loch Arkaig to meet the in-laws for the first time in 16 months. We had a lovely picnic lunch in the sun at the Forestry car park at Eas Chia-aig waterfall. Despite it having been a long dry spell and most of the watercourses along our journey being pretty dry, this fall was still flowing well, although nothing like it would when the river is in spate. The falls are in three steps, these two being the lower parts, with a magnificent pool at the base. The early spring colours offset the brown of the pool and the blue sky really nicely, providing good contrast and texture in the woods around the falls.
I used my Zomei ND64 (6 stop) HD Schott glass filter to allow the use of a long shutterspeed, in this case 1 second. This produced a lovely smooth effect on the water, capturing the sense of motion really well. It is easy to overdo this by using too long an exposure and all the water just becomes a blur with no details remaining. I tend to favour 0.5-2 seconds depending on how much water is flowing. I took a few shots from different vantage points with the above being my favourite, but I like the following two as well. The first captures the rocks in the foreground, while the second was taken from between the two falls, and I like the patterns in the rocks, all of which are obviously covered in water when the river is in full spate.
Life has been very busy lately and that, combined with lots of rugby to watch at weekends during the Six Nations Championship, and some poor weather meant that it had been almost one month since I last went out for a walk with my camera. Today, after doing some work in the garden, I took advantage of the lovely afternoon weather to head over to Duirinish & Drumbuie for a walk round the coastal path. I almost opted to take my film camera with black & white film, so perhaps that mood was upon me as most of my final processed images from the walk ended up being in monochrome. When we have lovely blue sky with crisp white clouds I love the contrast provided by applying a red or yellow filter, which darkens the sky and makes the clouds pop. Today, I took my relatively portable cropped sensor Canon 250D with a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens (equivalent to 16-32mm on a full frame camera), so ultra-wide angle landscape shots only and lots of scope to capture expansive skies.
The first image (above) was taken from close to the shore at Port Ban, looking across the croft land towards the Bealach an Ba in the background. I was drawn to this shot because of the lovely fluffy clouds suspended amid the vibrant blue sky, which is why I composed it with the sky filling the majority of the frame. I cropped the bottom off the image as the wide-angle lens had captured a lot of not very much in the foreground, which tended to detract from the composition. The image was initially post-processed in Lightroom Classic and then exported to Silver Efex Pro 2 for conversion to monochrome where I also applied a selenium tint (which was a favourite practice of Ansel Adams) and a light vignette as well as the rough border.
The remaining shots were taken aroud the coast looking either north towards the Bealach na Ba or south-west towards Skye. They are a mix of monochrome and selectively coloured black & white conversions which create a de-saturated and interesting alternative. These conversions were all done in Silver Efex Pro 2 which I really like as a plug-in to Lightroom and Photoshop.
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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