Saturday, 23 October 2021

 Forest Frustration

It's been a while and I can't really blame COVID for my lack of posting but I can plead guilty to inactivity in the photographic department but Autumn's here so it's a big mental kick up the backside to myself to get out more

I've always been a tree person, climbing them when I was young, walking in them later and then photographing them when I grew up ( some say that has yet to happen ) but I never got round to photographing woodland

Being on FB and Instagram ( rabkerr55 ) I inevitably see loads of forest images most of which I think are great images so I made the decision to try some woodland / forest photography ( how hard can it be ), step away from the camera Rab, reality check, not only is it not an easy thing to do ( never thought it would be easy but . . . . ) trying to shoot woodland is hard enough due to non-existent light penetration but when you then convert them to MONO and discover nope that doesn't work it gets very frustrating but as with everything else perseverance is the key, the more time you spend in the woods the more you see

The biggest problem with woodland photography is overload and not being able to see what we are looking at, might sound daft can't see what your looking at WHAT ! but there is so much going on, stuff every where it's really difficult to filter out the good bits,  enter the mobile phone, great for framing up an image before you set up to take what you think is your next nugget 

Then in the Autumn you are not only given some fantastic colours but you also get fungi popping up underfoot ( word of warning at this point don't take your dog or you will suffer multiple breakages )   A tip given to me by a friend after a few less than satisfactory attempts at mushroom shots " take a small torch with you to light up the mushrooms " ( Thanks Mrs D ) 

I've been trying to get my head round woodland photography for a long time and "I" think I'm sort of getting there and the bottom line is if you don't get home with any worthwhile images you've had a great day walking in the woods. 


Rab .K

Monday, 20 July 2020

What started off as a trip to do some photography in the dark ended up not going past sunset at St Monans, the plan was to photograph the windmill in the dark and maybe do a bit of painting with light but when we ( we being Spud and myself  ) got along to the windmill we found the sails have been removed so it's just a tower now ( seriously disappointed doesn't cover it  ) had a scout about and decided we needed a plan B. NOT doing the BLOCKS / SQUIGGLY PIER what ever you want to call it so we decided on the near by ruined Newark Castle, by the time we got along we had maybe 20 minutes to try and salvage the trip before we lost the light, first stop was the Doo Crib as it was still in full light

As you can see, at this point I was in some long grass, not a good place to be. I caught up with Spud at the castle but he was having some camera /card issues  and I was paying the price for being in long grass but you gotta do what you gotta do but by the time we had decided what we were going to do the sun had gone too low, I don't think my pal would have got any decent images, ( I heard him using some fine Scottish adjectives  ). It was back into the long grass for me for one more before we went home from what could only be described as not one of our better trips

But it was good to get back out after lockdown 

               Rab .K

Monday, 26 November 2018

Loch Tulla Drive-by

My friend, hillwalker, V-blogger and photographer Ray Smith AKA The Renegade Scot told me this might be a good location for photography and although I've been to Loch Tulla numerous times ( coz it's a great place to photograph ) I've never taken this particular trail ( just past the bothy and head into the hills ). When you drive past the bottom end of Loch Tulla and into the Clashgour Estate the first thing you see is 

to get photographs of this you need to be on the other side of the river, which for Spud it was no problem ( Wellies ) for Rab ( boots ) water too deep so I made my way along the estate track as far as the green bothy and set up for my next "masterpiece", the weather forecast said light cloud with a breeze, as you can see from the above image light cloud for the BBC must mean something different, the breeze wasn't breezy enough to disperse the light cloud so we had it all day, but it's great for mono images, back to the green bothy

Played about here until Spud appeared all smug coz he got across the water to shoot the trees on the hill, yea whatever, only took three images all day and two of them were here, from the bothy turn 180 degrees and cross a wee burn and :-

As recommended by Ray I took the trail into the hills and Spud chose to stay and wait for better light, the trail follows the burn with lots of rocks, trees and segments of broken wall but be careful where you put your feet, I paid the price for looking and walking at the same time and ended up flat in a rather wet and muddy section of footpath, I have to say I left some prime adjectives on the trail and they will probably still be there buzzing about like a swarm of flies wondering what just happened, never mind wet and covered in mud, onwards and upwards and it was really worth it, low cloud in the valley between the hills  ( which never went away ) and the occasional breakthrough of sunlight through the light cloud STUNNING 

We called it quits around 1'o' clock, 5 hours, 3 photos, not a bad day

I think with snow on the ground this place will be unbelievably picturesque so I will return.
Bring on the snow - Thanks Ray

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

November 20th  2018

It's been over a year since I last posted here so to any one who is still looking SORRY and THANKS

Sunday past was a promising day so myself and two friends ( Spud & Gordon ) headed north to an area which I had never visited before, the south side of the river and loch Tummel in Perthshire. I'm glad Gordon knew where he was going coz me and Spud hadn't a clue, when you start on the road along the river you park up under the A9 and the reflections on the river were stunning, it stayed like that all along the river until Spud and Gordon could take no more and we had to make a stop and get on with what we were there for, the two of them headed back along the road and down to the rivers edge but reflections not a big thing for me so I headed up the hill on the other side of the road ( yea the side of the road where the sun is never going to reach at this time of the year ) because there was a tree up there calling to me, what kind of landscape photographer can resist a tree and some rocks, sun or no sun if you wait long enough you will get some clouds.

We spent a bit of time here, the sun was coming up and lighting the distant hill tops and it was a truly lovely thing to watch with a cup of tea in hand.
We weren't much further along the river and it was stop time again at a boulder strewn area of the river with some fast water and small water falls, this is Spuds cup of tea so we spent a bit of time there, nothing for me but it wasn't for the want of trying and any thing I did photograph wasn't worth keeping so they went in the bin. The single track road which travels along Loch Tummel is a great drive with a lot of nice scenery but we didn't stop again until we were past Loch Tummel and on to the road to Loch Rannoch.
On the road to Loch Rannoch you pass Dunaiastair Water ( which we have done many times ) It is a small loch and the edges are heavy with grasses and small trees so this time we stopped for a closer look and were rewarded with some OK images

In the background you can see the mighty Schiehallion with her peak cloaked in cloud, for those who don't know Schiehallion was the hill which because of its uniform conical shape was used in an experiment the gauge the weight of the world.
We then moved on further up towards Loch Rannoch but decided to head for home early from my first proper photographic expedition for some time, can't wait till next week end, if the weather is favorable I'll be out.

The images here will of course be turned into mono masterpieces.
Thanks for reading this drivel, till next time

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Good Plan - Failed Miserably 

The plan was :- Check the weather forecast was good / Drive to Glen Lyon / Walk for 15 minutes then climb a rather large hill and camp out the night to photograph the sunrise at 05:30 ( for Spud the colour junkie, sunrise loses all its splendor in B&W ).

Execution :- Weather forecast lookin good / Drive to Glen Lyon - done / Walk and clime the hill with camping stuff / Return to van for cameras etc. / Head back to camp site - Oops got dark quick / Found tents stowed gear, had a couple of beers and a wee goldie  ( just to keep the chill off )  / Set alarm for 05:00 / 05:00 unzip the tent to find two people who have set up camera gear in the prime positions to take the photographs we had camped out all night for, what the *">#** / Set up gear alongside our unexpected neighbors and wait for the main event. The glen was full of mist and every thing was looking great except there was not a cloud in the sky so the sunrise was a bit of a damp squib ( very nice but the colour junkies were a little disappointed ) But not a totally wasted trip, I got a couple of decent images which convert quite well to mono, don't know what Spud got ( he hasn't said ) 

Didn't quite go to plan but it gives us the excuse to go back and try again

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Return To Glen Lyon

I was directed to this location by my friend Ray Smith who does video blogging under the name Renegade Scot, I have traveled through Glen Lyon on numerous occasions but never stopped ( that wont happen again ) . Glen Lyon or ( Valley Of The Sun God ) on a good day is a truly beautiful place, on a normal Scottish week end it's just as dreich and dour as any place else but I wont dwell on that because WOW ! . I went up last week end and although there was plenty of snow, knee deep in some places the sky was heavily overcast and photography was a bit of a challenge so I went back one week later and WOW ! the sun was out in all its glory and I would normally complain at this point about clear blue skies but no it was a pleasure to be here on a day when the sun god had his hat on. My primary photographic target was The Praying Hands which are a split, upright stone about 15-20  feet high surrounded by fairly impressive hills

Looking East

Looking West

I ended up wandering about the hills for 5 hours surrounded  by small waterfalls, large boulders, single trees or small groups of trees ( 3-4 ) and glorious weather, some stuff is a bit of a climb to reach but it is worth the effort

Driving through Glen Loyn from Keltneyburn to Killin is a long single track road but stop and go into the hills and a peaceful, quiet and beautiful world is waiting for you. 

What a day !!
Sorry about all the colour on the page but I'm sure you'll get over it

Rab. K

Thursday, 5 January 2017


we headed south, I picked up Spud at 06:00 and we were at the Lindesfarne causeway by 8, unfortunately it didn't open until 10:15 so we decided to head deeper into the land below the border to Dunstanburgh Castle and the fabulous black boulder beach, as high tide was at 07:20ish the water was still well in giving us lots of wet black boulders which provide numerous and varied opportunities  for photography,

and a few mishaps, the breaking waves were unbelievable, big, noisy and constant so we finished with the boulders and decided to have a go at the breaking waves, which as you have probably already guessed is where the mishaps come in, on the rocks shooting waves, decides to move 3 steps sideways and the water was slightly deeper, enter huge wave, wellie full of sea :- *-:;##*- and a wee chuckle from behind but he who laughs last, 20 min's later the bold Spud decides to go one step further and enter the mega wave  WOOSH and spud is upside down and clinging onto a rock in what can only be described as serious surf, I was concerned for about 4 seconds then I thought how funny is that, Spuds reaction was and I quote " if you're not getting wet then you're  not trying hard enough" aye right !

If you are looking for photographs of breaking waves this is the place to go, really spectacular, Dunstanburgh Castle itself is quite an impressive ruin and if you want to photograph inside it will cost you a pearl diver so we didn't bother coz we're miserable gits and there are decent photographs to be taken of the castle without going in

Left Dunstanburgh behind and headed wet footed back up the coast to Lindisfarne for the last hour before the sun set. The 20 miles or so from Dunstanburgh to Lindisfarne is a great destination for any landscape photographer with castles, coves, a rocky coast line and up to the causeway which gives you access to the island at low tide.

We had a great day out, got some decent photographs and a bit of a laugh 
Well worth the trip