I had a quick visit to Strome Castle with some of my work colleagues this afternoon. Despite the slightly overcast weather there was the occasional patch of blue sky and the Oxeye Daisies were in full bloom at the castle, providing a beautiful frame for the ruins. The sky was a bit blown out, against the darker foreground so I applied a digital graduated ND filter to recover some of the detail in the clouds that was actually visible to the naked eye, which adds interest to the image.
Life has been pretty hectic over the past couple of months since I took on rersponnsibility for the management of the Isle of Canna in the Small Isles and I have also had my first ever photographic exhibition which went very well. One of the plus points of being involved with Canna is that i have had three trips out to the island in the past five or six weeks. These are some of the better shots I got while I was out in early June (7th-9th). Because you have to carry everything yo take I thought I would travel light so abandoned the Full Frame Canon DSLR and opted for my Lumix bridge camera. This offers a good 24x zoom range (25-600mm equivalent) and f/2.8 across the entire zoom, which makes it fairly good for poor light and fast shutterspeeds. That being said, there is no doubt that the quality is not the same as you get from the DSLR and the L lenses.
The weather was pretty good most of the time, and while I didn't have a lt of time for photography I did get a few good shots, particularly on the first and last evenings when the low angle of the light was very nice.
Following the end of my exhibition we all headed over the Pass of the Cattle (Bealach na Ba) to Applecross for Aileen's birthday dinner at the Walled Garden. Inevitably we were running a bit late so there was no time for photo stops on the way over. However, o the way back, quite late so the light was pretty dim, I did take the opportunity of shooting this shot of the Bealach. Due to the poor light (it being 10:25 pm) I had to up the ISO a fair bit, I could have probably gone higher, and I opted for a slow shutter speed hoping that the Canon len's Image Stabilisation would work. I had left my tripod behind so had to go handheld. The shot worked out better than I expected, although when you look closely it is a bit blurred and it was still quite noisy. I used Nik Soluntions' Define plugin to reduce the noise selectively and it has worked reasnably well, softening the hills only a little bit. I keep saying I will go back early in the morning and try and get a really dramatic shot from this part of the Bealach but have not yet got rond to it. Maybe this summer.
After dinner, before heading home I took a few shots of some of the flowers in the Walled Garden. Shot at even higher ISO they were very noisy and again the shutter speed was a bit low so they are not really sharp, but I have posted them here as a memory of a lovely family night out to celebrate Aileen's birthday. It has been a while since we were all out for dinner together. A great night.
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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