Abstract textural photography.

Yesterday I returned from a long weekend on the South East coast of Scotland – North Berwick, Dirleton and Yellowcraigs to be precise. I was running a photography tuition course on Saturday and quite remarkably had fantastic weather all weekend, as my sunburn demonstrates.

At one point during the course, in a shady little woodland just off the main road through Dirleton, I had been using my camera on tripod with a longish exposure of 1.6 seconds and using the self timer as I was too lazy to plug my cable release in. A minute or so later I was demonstrating to one of my clients how to frame up a particular scene and immediately realised, on hearing the self timer beeping, that I’d made the amateur error of forgetting to reset my camera to a more sensible setting. No matter, only a few seconds lost and even though it’s a digital camera, why waste the frame? So I pointed it at a large cluster of wild garlic and began weaving it gently just before the shutter opened and until it had closed again. The following image is the result.

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Colzium House walled garden.

Yesterday I took a well earned break from sitting in front of the computer getting my new gallery shop website live and took a drive to a local council park which has a wonderful walled garden at its heart.

Things didn’t go entirely as planned. While I was selecting the equipment to take with me I picked up my Manfrotto Carbon One 441 tripod and, as usual, checked it over carefully. Unfortunately one of the leg sections had completely seized up, likely due to not having cleaned it carefully enough after my last sandy and salty expedition to a beach. I spent about twenty minutes working on it but it remained firmly seized and I needed to leave as the gardens have limited opening hours. So off I plodded with all the kit I normally use for garden photography apart from what is probably the most fundamentally important tool for such work – my tripod.

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Loch Fyne

Today we drove up the West side of Loch Lomond, across to Arrochar at the head of Loch Long and then on over the Rest and be Thankful to Loch Fyne. The weather was dry but extremely cold, much more so than on Rannoch Moor yesterday, but there was high level blanket cloud cover with no gaps for the sun to shine through. This leaves colours flat and uninteresting on the whole and you can pretty much forget capturing wide vistas with snowy mountains against bright grey clouds!

I’ve got a couple of reflection based images that hold promise, but need some effort put into processing them carefully. For now, I’ve done a very quick B&W conversion on one and left the other unedited.

Tomorrow, I rest. No more driving for several hours to find myself swearing at the sky on a regular basis for a while yet.

Rannoch Moor and Glen Etive

Yesterday I spent the day doing photography stuffies through Rannoch Moor and Glen Etive in the Highlands of Scotland (right beside Glencoe, if that helps you pinpoint the location). The weather was variable to say the least, with several experiences of finding a wonderfully lit spot, stopping the car, setting up cameras and discovering low cloud had obscured everything more than a few dozen metres away. Yet we persevered and I managed to grab a number of images I’m happy with. Here are a few samples with no editing at all yet.

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The Alcoholic Koala

My mind comes up with some fairly odd things to photograph – this set is actually pretty normal by my standards. The idea came to me a year ago while I was drinking some whisky and I’ve slowly developed it in my head until I finally got around to setting it up a couple of weeks ago.

The premise is simple, take a fairly standard product setup and play with it. So the first photograph of the triptych is a straight forward photograph of the three miniature Glenfiddich boxes. By the time I was ready to take the second photograph of the sequence, this cheeky little koala had wandered onto the scene and started drinking the whisky with a straw! Needless to say, he worked right through all three bottles before sauntering off just as I was ready to capture the final image. Shortly after, he fell over and passed out and I can’t tell you how bad his hangover was when he woke up.