Corran Lighthouse

I hadn’t been on this ferry for years and all of a sudden it has become a regular crossing, so I thought I would share it. This particular shot was taken with a Nikon VR 300mm lens handheld at F8 – I think you agree it is reasonably sharp – I will publish shots of the lighthouse in it’s situation but I am waiting for certain combination of weather before I do. I had intended to publish some of my property work but that will have to wait as I am out and about too early tomorrow – enjoy

Landscape, Lighthouse, Photography

Corran – Scottish Lighthouse Series

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Clearly we were seeking more than relaxation and expensive wine. The whole point of our little adventure was to witness the Aurora first hand. As I said previously Hurtigruten are so confident you will see the Aurora Рthey offer a weeks free holiday if you fail to see it. The weather in the early part of the trip was cloudy and frustrating, I was closely monitoring the weather and had convinced myself we were going to miss our chance. Then as we approached Havoysund Port on a clear starry night I got my first indication that tonight was going to be different. The temp was around Ms 8 minus windchill. As we sat in port bang the sky went mad, out came the tripod, ISO was set for 3200 and a 15 sec exposure at F4. After my first couple of shots I realised the only chance of capturing the aurora effectively was to be on land as the long exposure not only caught the wonderful colours but drew seagulls with stars from the ship movement (no matter how calm the sea). The first shot you see is what we saw in Havoysund, it was snatch shot as the Captain decide to depart port just as I was getting the hang of it (something to do with a schedule to keep). The challenges were obvious, loads of ambient light and movement, but I know you get the idea. I have not tweaked the colours at all in fact I had to reduce the highlights & clone out the wobbly stars.

First Light

We took lots more shots that night but from the deck of a moving ship – disappointment – that said we had both been told it’s not about capturing just absorb and value the chance to see the lights this freely. We had 3 straight nights of Aurora lasting about 2 hours each. We had learnt a huge amount about what settings to use; so I was ready when at midnight the following evening we sailed in to Tromso. I knew we would have 3 hours in port on a steady-ish platform. We had a view of the Arctic Cathedral which was going to be an excellent subject for some night photography. Anyway we docked up I hit the office and the light show begun – the next shots were my best auroras of the trip.

Tromso Artic Cathedral Lightshow

One final Aurora was taken using the relative steadiness of the lifeboat (moving in unison lol) – anyway I will return to Norway with this experience under my belt fly and drive next time so I ensure a steady shooting platform but either way it was a wonderful experience for Mandy and I.

Lifeboat Aurora

My Norway blogging is not complete – so keep watching :-)

Cityscape, Landscape, Norway

Norge ~ Finding the Light (Aurora Borealis)

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Kristiansund

This is Kristiansund a long exposure taken from the deck of the ship (why you can see a little movement in the ferry) The sky behind me was black but as you can see there was a great cloud formation to the aft of the ship. Kristiansund was the most visually stunning city we visited as the ship docks right in the centre of town, you sail in under a huge bridge, clearing the bridge by no more than 15ft and dock right by the “Chippy”. The town is built up from sea level – absolutely stunning. A Midnight Sun arrival could be spectacular.

Risoyrenna Channel nr Harstad

A view from my office Рthe temperature was around Ms 8C (plus wind chill) so gloves, buff and michelin man jacket are essential togs to be out on deck. The ship navigates the shallow waters of the 3 mile Risoyrenna Channel, where the sand banks and the sea-green waters are clearly visible on either side of the ship. You can see the light Aqua shallower area very close to the ship, next stop Lofotens

Nidaros Cathedral Trondheim

The final image is the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim The history of this magnificent building began in 1035, and the Cathedral was completed around 1300. Being damaged by several fires in the 15th and 16th century, large parts of the Cathedral lay in ruins for several hundred years. In 1869 extensive restorations were begun, and a century later the Cathedral was fully restored to its original grandeur (Welcome to Norway website)

 

Landscape, Norway, Photography

Norge – Ports, Channels and Cathedrals

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So as we steamed North hunting the light – I was getting used to my new office.

The Office

Occasionally we were teased by moody 90 degree landscape light

A Dusting of Light

Of course I had my Lighthouses to keep me amused this is Kjeungskj√¶r Lighthouse which is located on a small rock beyond √ėrlandet. This lighthouse, or ‚Äúfyr‚ÄĚ in Norwegian, is considered to be one of the most beautiful along the Norwegian coast. An interesting fact passed on by our cruise director is that the last lighthouse keeper raised his five children in this lighthouse. Yes, they had their schooling in the lighthouse as well. As we sail past, it‚Äôs hard to imagine how the parents manage to maintain sanity with five children in the lighthouse (Wikipedia)

Kjeungskjær Lighthouse

Munkholmen (Norwegian: the monk’s islet) is an islet north of Trondheim, Norway. It sits in the Trondheimsfjord about 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi) northwest of the island of Bratt√łra and the mouth of the river Nidelva. The islet has served as a place of execution, a monastery, a fortress, prison, and a World War II anti-aircraft gun station. Today, Munkholmen is a popular tourist attraction and recreation site. (Wikipedia)

Munkholmen

Landscape, Lighthouse, Photography

Norge – Hunting the Light

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Loch Leven and the Pap of Glencoe

Well firstly let me wish all my fellow bloggers a healthy and Happy New Year. I trust you were all able to spend it with your family or at least have some contact with them. This is a pretty typical shot of Loch Leven with Eilean Munde the famous burial ground clearly visible just below the Pap (the conical hill) – eilean Munde is a small island in Loch Leven, close to Ballachulish. It is the site of a chapel built by St. Fintan Mundus (also known as Saint Fintan Munnu), who travelled here from Iona in the 7th Century. The church was burnt in 1495 and rebuilt in the 16th Century. The last service in the church was held in July, 1653.[1] The island is the site of a graveyard once used by the Stewarts of Ballachulish, the MacDonalds of Glencoe and the Camerons of Callart. The clans shared the island and the maintenance of the graveyard, even when there was conflict between them.[2] (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Probably wont post again until nearer the 20th of the month as Mandy and I are off to Norway for a cruise so high hopes to catch some stunning Norwegian scenery – tbh I am struggling to contain the excitement. Anyway have a lovely and I look forward to viewing you fabulous images throughout the year.

Historical, Landscape

Loch Leven and the Pap of Glencoe

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After Dark Strathisla Distillery

 

This image can be purchased in a variety of mediums (Canvas/Print/Framed/Unframed) from this link

Experience the age-old craft of whisky making at first hand. Dating from 1786, much of the buildings have changed little, from the old cobbled courtyard to the distinctive double pagodas, making it one of the most picturesque distilleries in Scotland well I think so anyway.

Historical, Landscape, Photography

After Dark – Strathisla Distillery 1786

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Normandy Graves

 

In Flanders Fields

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Inspiration for the poem

Flanders poppies

Having read John McCrae‚Äôs poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ Moina Michael made a personal pledge to ‘keep the faith’. She felt compelled to make a note of this pledge and hastily scribbled down a response entitled ‚ÄúWe Shall Keep the Faith‚ÄĚ on the back of a used envelope. From that day she vowed to wear a red poppy of Flanders Fields as a sign of remembrance.

 

We Shall Keep the Faith

by Moina Michael, November 1918

Moina Michael

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Historical, People

100 years on – We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields.

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