I took this shot yesterday afternoon/early evening on our way home from afternoon tea at the Bealach Cafe at Tornapress, well worth a visit if you have not already been. As we came up over the top of Glen More the hills on the south side of the loch were lit up by the low sun and the clouds added some shadow areas as well. The windy single track road leads nicely into the frame as well.
I am just back from a four day trip to the Borders with my wife Aileen. We spent most of the time simply touring around lots of different places which provided a few good opportunities to take some nice shots. The first couple of days were particularly good weather-wise and the above shot was taken from the road heading west from the Hermitage towards the A7. The light was brilliant and in combination with the autumn colours and the folds of the hills I think this is definitely my favourite shot from the trip. The following shot was taken just a short distance back up the road and I also like it but it lacks the focal point of the small farm and the little green patch of fields. The shot above reminds me of one of Charlie Waite's taken in the Alps I think.
The remainder of the images include the Hermitage Castle, once home of the Armstrong Clan and Gilnockie Tower, specifically home to the notorious Johnnie Armstrong, once arguably the leading Riever in the borders. I also got a few good shots of various birds, the highlight being the heron which was fishing by a small waterfall in Hawick while the sea trout were jumping. It had first been scared off by a much larger trout that almost hit it as it jumped up the falls, but eventually managed to catch this much smaller one in mid air. The Nuthatch was also a first for Scotland for me and the Tree Sparrow is one we don't get up north yet either.
My happy companion for the four day tour. She was in her element searching high and low around the old stomping ground of her Armstrong ancestors. I'm not too sue how they would have felt about her marrying a Turnbull though.
The above statue was erected in Hawick to commemorate the event which according to tradition led to the establishment of the Turnbull Clan. The story goes that Robert The Bruce was hunting in Ettrick Forest when he was charged by a bull, or in some versions a wild boar. He was sure to be killed when a member of the hunting party stepped in the way and wrestled the bull away. His reward from the King was to be named Turn The Bull and he was given the lands of Bedrule, near Hawick.
I am not sure what type of flower this is but if anyone knows please let me know. Thanks. I really liked the effect of zooming ion on these seed heads. They are a bit reminiscent of Alliums but the leaves are different.
I took these shots in Plockton yesterday afternoon during a quick visit to check on progress with the renovations of the visitor centre at the main car park. I have photographed this boat previously, last winter, when it was situated just outside the visitor centre. This time it was on the shore surrounded by creels and wit the backdrop of Harbour Street I felt it made an interesting composition which I had visualised in black & white.
The following shots were taken on the pontoon and on Bank Street, which is I think the most traditional looking street in the village. The colours of the maple were amazing, this shot has not had any enhancement.
I grabbed this shot of my brother-in-law, Ross, last night while he was trawling the internet looking at cameras :) This was taken in a fairly dark room with a lamp behind him and to his right, with the camera handheld. So I had to use a pretty high ISO to get a decent shutter-speed. I was pretty pl;eased with how sharp it was, the wonders of Image Stabilisation and a good lens, oh and of course a good subject who stayed still, or was it engrossed..
Once again the Aurora has been active. Alerted by my phone app I headed out on the road between Balmacara Square and Duirinish and got this shot at the water tank looking NW. This is the best shot I have managed to get yet, despite the clouds and a pretty bright moon as well.
As I said in my earlier post today I headed out early to try and catch the morning light as the sun rose on south-west Ross. Here are a few of the best images I managed to capture on my way from Balmacara to Kinlochewe. The shot above is a favourite spot where walkers park to head up Beinn Alligin, taken from the bridge over the Abhainn Coire Mhic Nobuil looking up the river with its modest waterfall and Tom na Gruagaich in the background. The contrast of the shady glen and the brightly illuminated hills in the background posed some practical issues for this composition. I used my medium Cokin ND 4 Graduated filter to darken the sky and avoid it being blown out by the need to compensate for the darker foreground. The result I think is a very striking vibrant image which has actually had very little need for post processing, other than a bit of spot removal and enhancement of the structure/clarity to emphasize the textures of the rocks and the trees.
The shot below was taken just around the corner from the one above, and provides a slightly more open view of the hills and emphasizes the Scots pines in the foreground. The same technique was used to balance the exposure of the foreground and background in this one, although I did lighten the big Scots pine tree a little just to bring out the detail a bit..
The first stop on my trip was at Ardarroch, Kishorn, down by the shore, to try and capture the first rays of sunshine on the Bealach a Ba. I timed my arrival perfectly and shot a lot of frames of the view as the sunlight moved down the hills from the top left corner. This image is probably the best one with most of the hills illuminated by the early sunshine and with the autumn colours providing a lovely rich russet effect with the texture of the hills emphasized by the shadows. I positioned myself on the shore behind some foreground rocks in order to avoid the lovely view being spoiled by the old oil rig yard at Kishorn. Maybe this is creating a false impression of the reality but I think the result is a much better image. Maybe, as part of my West Highland Project I should do another with the warts and all included. I hadn't thought to use the ND Grad filter when I took this shot so I applied that retrospectively in Lightroom, which has worked reasonably well but not nearly as well as the real thing. I also lightened the foreground a bit and emphasized the textures using increased structure and clarity settings.
By simply turning 90 degrees west I had a fantastic view over Loch Kishorn to Skye and the Cuillins. The following image was taken, again without benefit of a grad filter and so again this was applied retrospectively in Lightroom. Otherwise, I brightened up the Cuillins a bit but otherwise this is pretty much as shot.
The last three shots were taken on the way from Kishorn to Torridon. The first is a view across Loch Dughaill, near Shieldaig, which was mirror calm and I could not resist stopping to try and capture the reflections of the trees and the illuminated hillside in the loch. I am not sure it works that well, perhaps because I zoomed in to just include the hillside and loch reflections, with no sky to help act as a point of reference, but the colours are nice.
The second is a view of Beinn Damh reflected in Loch Coultrie by the road from Kishorn to Shieldaig. The little bits of light at the top of the hills and the reflections in the loch make this image work so well I think, especially with the reeds breaking up the expanse of the loch.
The third is a simple shot of Beinn Alligin from the south side of Loch Torridon. This is a very popular viewpoint, for obvious reasons, so nothing special in terms of composition, etc. but it was great light and who can resist such opportunities. In this case I used the Cokin ND4 Grad filter to darken down the sky.
Another early start today on my way to a meeting at Kinlochewe. I went via Kishorn and set up to try and catch the sunrise on the Bealach na Ba. I took lots of images and combined them into this short video/timelapse. I sadly moved the camera a couple of times so it is a bit jumpy, and I have not mastered the Lightroom Slideshow tool yet so the fading in and out is a bit rough too, but I am sure you will get the effect. I cannot embed the vidoe here so you will have to download the file, I hope this works.
Yet another beautiful autumn day today so another quick jaunt out with the camera to try and catch the excellent vibrant colours. I used a CPL filter to try and capture the depth of the blue sky and avoid it being blown out as I tried to also capture the colours in the landscape. This worked really well for these first two shots where the sunshine was behind and to the left side, but less so in other directions. The shot of the road leading to Duirinish is one I have tried to capture before without much success. This is a fairly steep and twisty downhill section through lovely broadleaved woodland and it always looks at its best in autumn. The sky was a bit blown out so I had to reduce the brightness of it using Vivezia Pro2 but otherwise came out not too bad.
Had a very early start today for a trip with Yvonne MacDonald up to Troternish on the Isle of Skye to catch the dawn light. It was a great start to the day looking east towards the mainland and then over Loch Mealt, near the Kilt Rock, to the Trotternish Ridge. We had great light and fantastic reflections on the loch. After that we headed for Staffin to try and get good views of the Quiraing, which worked pretty well with the fantastic autumn colours. Unfortunately we didn't have long before the cloud obscured the sun's light so we headed round the north end of the island to Uig and a quick visit to the falls at Uig Wood by which time the sun had reappeared so we headed back over the Quiraing road to Staffin and back to Portree and home. Great views, fantastic light and colours and brilliant company too.
It was such a beautiful sunny day today that I just had to get out with the camera. Normally I don't particularly like taking photos on days where the sky is completely blue, with no clouds as they tend to look a bit bland and uninteresting. However, at this time of year when the autumn colours are really beginning to show the contrast against the bright blue of the sky can work really well. I used a Circular Polarizing Filter (CPL) on most of these shots. Some of these may well feature in a new slideshow we are preparing this winter for the Plockton Visitor Centre for next year.
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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