I was sitting having my breakfast this morning when the local red squirrel popped up to raid the bird feeders. I happened to have my camera nearby so grabbed a few shots through rather wet double-glazed windows so considering that they came out reasonably OK. It was also very dull light so my ISO was set at the max on my old Canon EOS 5D, i.e. 1600 so the images are a bit grainy. Lightroom has done wonders to bring these back from dark grainy images into something verging on acceptable.
Today I had a wee five mile walk with the girls along the Crinan Canal and got a few decent shots. There was a fair breeze so the reflections were maybe not quite as nice as they might have been but there were some reasonably sheltered spots with good views. Most of these have been converted to black & white using Nik's Silver Efex Pro2 which I like a lot but one or two have been kept in colour because I really liked the tones. The gypsy caravan and the red roofed cabin obviously had to stay in colour too.
Today we had a short trip from Kilmartin to Tayvallich and Taynish in Knapdale. I took the shot of the jagged rocks on the shore near Taynish Mill. I thought the formation was quite striking, albeit fairly small. The steps were at the rear of the mill, rising up into the birch-oak wood and the light made it a dramatic mix of dark and light. The bracket fungus was on a birch tree by the path to the mill, the tonal variations of birch have always attracted me and the fungus provided a great focal point. There were lots of foxgloves in the area as well so I tried quite a few different setting to get a decent image, this one probably being the best. Finally, the old croft house was by the road on the way down to Kriells.
This afternoon was spent driving around the Moine Mor near Kilmartin and various historic sites. Most notable were the ancient hill fort, or Dun, at Dunadd where the first kings of Scotland were crowned. They apparently used to place their foot in the obvious footprint hole (clearly seen in the photo) when they were being crowned. We also visited the standing stones at Temple Wood and Crinan Ferry. The whole area looks fantastic for a serious exploration on the bike, with the camera of course. The standing stones at Temple Wood are really fascinating, having been partly buried in a chambered cairn. The final image is of the gate into a lovely little property known as the Change House near Crinan Ferry. The house and outbuildings are all in perfect order with wonderful stone walls. I didn't feel I could take lots of photos of the property as it is obviously private but I took this image of the gateway, shifting the zoom as I shot it to get this weird effect, only chance made the focal point the gate itself, creating a mystical effect I think.
We arrived at our friends' (Steve & Lena) house in Kilmartin yesterday afternoon and after settling in and dinner we popped down to Crinan to catch the end of the day's light. It was a lovely calm evening and I got a few shots around the locks and a decent sunset looking NW towards Mull. I hope to get a geed few images from the area over the next week or so, particularly of the numerous archaeological sites.
As always it is time for the selection of my favourite photos from the last month. A few less than in previous months but yesterday did add a couple of contenders. Here they are:
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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