Saturday, 8 November 2014

6 Days On Skye

Sat 1st November
The drive to Skye didn't fill us with enthusiasm, it was blowing a gale and driving a monsoon before it and to make matters worse the forecast for Sun wasn't much better.

Sunday :- Day 1
5am rise and a 1 hour drive to the Quirang in the north east of the island for sunrise, hope it does, and it did - in style. The pleasure of being in a spectacular location coupled with the magic of sunrise cannot be put into words or captured with photography, this is a fabulous place to be at this time of the morning, not just my opinion, I have never seen so many people with cameras in one place in my life, we were there from about 07:00 to round about 11:00 and there must have been another 30 photographers during that time and they were still arriving when we left. The Isle of Skye can be a nightmare for photography especially in the winter months but our first morning was glorious. From the Quirang we went to the impressive falls of Rha at Uig and from there to the Fairy Glen but by that time the weather was back, heavy rain was blowing through, by 2'o' clock the light was well and truly busted and by 3'o' clock we were back on the road heading for home

Quirang at sunrise

Monday :- Day 2
Another 5am rise with the plan to head south to Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig, the day promised so much, we could see stars when we were loading the van, half an hour later it was raining and it rained all day at the south end of the island. The area of Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig has a lot of potential if the weather gods are in a good mood but not today so we headed back north and made for Lovaig Bay just north of Dunvegan for the last of the daylight and salvaged the day with some nice reflections and a reasonable sunset.

Morning at Ord

Tuesday :- Day 3
Late rise this morning as we were planing to shoot at the Neist Point Lighthouse area. Morning was very windy but dry and our early sojourn took us to the south side of the lighthouse ( not the classic shot but worthwhile ), from there we drove to a small harbour at Lower Milovaig where the shore is covered with large stones which are black when wet, the shore is also frequented with sheep which graze on the seaweed and don't mind the occasional photographer, then on to what was our prime target for the day :- the lighthouse at Neist Point at sunset and predictably the rain was off and on and the wind was doing its best to blow us and half a dozen other photographers off the cliff. we stayed for the sunset which the colour junkies enjoyed. The weather forecast for Wed is good all day so Arthur and I decided to return for morning shots before heading to Talisker Bay to meet up with the other guys.  THAT'S THE PLAN !!

Wednesday :- Day 4
Well it did what it said on the tin.
Gordon, Martin and Phil headed of south just after 06:00 and had to scrape ice from the windscreen, Arthur and I had another hour then set off to Neist Point for sunrise and it was well worth the return trip
Neist Point taken on Tues

Tues at sunset there were about a dozen photographers at Neist Point but on Wed. morning there were two and sunrise wins hands down.
Arthur and I as planed headed for Talisker Bay while Gordon, Martin and Phil were shooting at Silgachan Bridge then meeting us at Talisker Bay. The tide was out early doors so the sand was uncovered giving us some wide shots with good lines in the sand then when the tide came in flowing through the rocks the photography was all about slow shutter speeds, AND the sun stayed out all day :- 5 happy guys.

Thursday :- Day 5
TOTAL WRITE OFF
Gale force winds and horizontal rain put paid to any photographic aspirations today so we all huddled round Martins laptop and he gave us an idiots guide to Lightroom. Thanks Martin.

Oor Digs for the week

Friday :- Day 6
The forecast was promising so we drove south to Elgol for 09:00 another one of the iconic photographic locations on Skye, we stayed there for a couple of hours waiting for the light or the clouds or the tide all in pursuit of the photographers dream, needless to say it didn't happen but we all took some OK photographs. We took to the road again stopping at every other "passing place" for a tree or a lochan or a wee hoose and finally made it back to Tokavaig for the last of the light on our last day with the intention of covering some stuff we were unable to on Monday when the weather was only slightly better then horrid
Iconic Elgol

The Isle of Skye has many iconic locations Quirang, Storr, Fairy Glen, Neist Point and Talisker Bay which are a must visit for any photographer but once these "bankers" are in you must seek out your own images and this is not always easy when it's lashing down with rain and blowing a gale but this is our drug of choice.
DO WE REALLY DO THIS FOR ENJOYMENT

Sunday, 5 October 2014

East Neuk Workshop

Spent a very pleasant morning at Elie with some new and some not so new members of Kirkcaldy Photographic Society on a sort of workshop day out, Phil, Spud and myself were nominated "in charge" cos we organised it but thanks to Grant for for his input. Phil spent some time demonstrating and talking about slow shutter speed and ND filters, I was talking mostly about photo awareness and how easily we can get seduced by part of what's in front of us and although it might be spectacular, if the rest of the frame doesn't stand up then it's wasted and Spud was doing photo technique and the use of graduated filters.
Elie is a good location for this type of half day out because it offers so much variety in subject material, stone tower, lighthouse, rocky shoreline, harbour, sandy beach and dunes. It's also an area you can frequent time and again at different times of the day and different tide heights which will give access to different  photographic opportunities and it's local


Part of a washed up log with stuff growing in it

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tentsmuir Beach

A glorious Sat. morning, great cloud formations, can't not go out and take photographs to make the best use of the big sky. Lets go to the beach, phoned Spud and we drove to Tentsmuir ( North East Fife ). Spent about three hours wandering around the south side of the beach and the sand dunes. The big skies didn't last long ( I suppose it was it was a bit too much to expect ) but the light was great and a breeze provided some movement in the grasses which border the beach. There's always photographs to be taken at Tentsmuir whether it's the classic sand dunes or waves and sticks or the little bit more obscure close up shots of the grasses or sea shells or dead stuff, you are always going to get photographs of some sort.
Tentsmuir is an enormous sandy beach and there is always bits and pieces being washed up providing photographic interest everywhere. The north end of the beach is usually populated with seals and there a lot of anti tank blocks and concreate fortifications, heading south from there it is endless sand, it is a great place for a walk and a great place to take photographs.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Glen Esk & Loch Lee
The early mornings are upon us again !
Took a run up to Glen Esk & Loch Lee today Sun 21st Sep with Spud and Phil
With the promise of good weather it was worth the drive, we got there before the sun came up, ( well it came up but it didn't come out until mid-day ) While the sun was trying to break through we went our separate ways looking for inspiration ( didn't happen ).
 Phil was first to draw stumps and look elsewhere, 20 min's later I decided to join him and 3 miles later I caught up with him parked at the side of the road, asked where's Spud? and got the reply :- not with me! (oops ) better go back and get him then.
Glen Esk is a smashing location for anybody interested in photographing trees, there are Rowan trees dotted everywhere in groups and singles without having to travel to far from the roadside.
Didn't venture too far along the Loch but there are numerous walks and trails leading to waterfalls and bridges so yea it's worth another visit

Thursday, 11 September 2014

High Tide At Clackmannanshire Bridge

I cross this bridge every other day and I see the river at all levels but it's not very often it reaches this high, maybe twice a year, so when I was coming home from work on Tues and saw it was a high one and I have been waiting for it for more than a year I thought BINGO ! the tide is high and the time is good.
Wednesday I loaded my camera and tripod into the van and I will get the photograph once again on my way home from work, you can guess it didn't quite go as planed ( well it wasn't really planed, more sort of grabbed ). What I didn't do was take my cable release or my wellies ( what a dope ), I'm in position and the water's getting higher, ( braw says me ) and  higher ( braw says me again ) and higher ( shit says me ) I'm standing in the river Forth and the water's still got six inches to rise.
I was hoping for a 15 - 20 second exposure but no cable put paid to that plan then no wellies put my chosen position out of reach so I shot off a couple of frames and moved to some dry ground, shot off another couple of frames and called it quits.
A year plus I've waited for that tide at that time and it happened on a good day, everything fell into place, well nearly everything.


All good things come to those who PLAN !

Saturday, 3 May 2014

It's Been A While

The only thing I have been doing latley is working my way through a list of possible locations and getting not very much in return.
We all do it, we see something and mark it as "must investigate"
Well I've been going through all my targets and coming up blank every time, thankfully most of them were local but the last one was a 2 hour drive to a location Arthur and I have tried to find twice before, well Ifound it and it wasn't worth the drive and the 2 hour walk over the hill. Arthur was peased when I told him because I had gone myself as he was doing other stuff, what other stuff comes before photography is anybodys guess but I suspect it was wife induced.
We are now getting to the time of the year when stuff starts growing and hiding all the things I usually photograph so it will be back to beaches and loch sides for some more wet photographs, keep off the hills there's stuff growing.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sunday 12th Jan
 
Arthur, Colin, Phil & Myself took a run to the Northumberland coast starting at the Lindisfarne area at sun up until around 12 then went down to Dunstanburgh Castle for a couple of hours, we stayed on the mainland side of the causeway where there is not a lot to photograph but if you look hard enough you will usually find something.
The sunrise and cloud formations were stunning and the tide was out so we got out onto the exposed sand/mud at the Pilgrims Way
 
 then went walkabout on the shore for a couple of hours on a photo hunt, found a gap in a fence then had to wait for the sun to break through some developing cloud.

 
On to Dunstanburgh and the tide was just on the turn, this is a popular destination for photographers with a ruined castle and a coastline covered with large round boulders which are almost black when wet but also rather slippery. At the north end of the rocky coast there is a spectacular sandy beach which I was more interested in, if you are on a beach shoot the sea, there is always something to shoot on a beach it just so happens to be a large round black boulder
 
 
We had a pleasant day and home for tea time
 
                   R