developing my photography in Moray & the Scottish Highlands
One of the Elgol series of images which I cant make my mind if I like the view is great but is the foreground interesting or just a distraction.
I have been hankering at taking a minimalist soft focus image – which was inspired by work from a few of my fellow bloggers. I wont name names at this point but those who follow similar artists to myself will have a reasonable idea. Anyway something a little different which evokes the moodiness of Scotland at it’s best. Enjoy
Sandwood Bay (Scottish Gaelic: Bàgh Shanabhait) is a natural bay in Sutherland, on the far north-west coast of mainland Scotland. It is best known for its mile-long beach and Am Buachaille, a sea stack, and lies about 5 miles south of Cape Wrath. Behind the bay’s large dunes, stretches Sandwood Loch – a freshwater loch full of brown and sea trout. Though remote, and with no road access, the bay is easily reached by a 4-mile long, yet well-trodden and fairly flat, path leading from the gravel car park at the hamlet of Blairmore. Sandwood Bay is part of the Sandwood Estate which is run by the John Muir Trust. The beach is considered to be one of the cleanest and most unspoilt beaches in the whole of mainland Britain.
Well I have only managed 4 posts this month – in the past that would have phased me. I have been focussing on sorting out our home and carpeting has been the task of the moment. My thinking is if I can get our house how I want it then that will fre my mind to be creative and get out and about. Meanwhile I continue to shoot property for a posh estate agent and I am enjoying that immensely much more than I thought II would. Anyway thank you for sticking with my sporadic appearances – as always – enjoy
This is the famous Jacobite Steam Train on the Fort William to Mallaig Line (also known to some as the Hogwart’s Express from the Harry Potter Movies). Although the weather wasn’t the best I was set up to include the mini Lighthouse on the right and Ben Nevis in the background – definately a good recce shot for a better day (works quite well in mono but we shall keep that for another day) enjoy.
An exceptional morning on Lossiemouth West Beach, Covesea Lighthouse has just succumbed to the first light of the day. The tide is full out offering a glass surface reflection.
This is the second from my last trip out to Torridon – although rather than focusing on Beinn Alligin the view looks towards Torridon across the Loch Beag then Loch Sheildaig and finally just before the mountain range you see Upper Loch Torridon, it is quiet rare to see this view on such a clear day – enjoy
after the Speyside Way this is where my body is……………..
The Torridon hills as viewed from near Ardheslaig ~ Liathach which dominates the skyline here is one of the most famous of the Torridon Hills. At a height of 3,140 feet (957 m), it lies to the north of the A896 road, in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, and has two peaks of Munro status: Spidean a’ Choire Lèith at the east of the main ridge, and Mullach an Rathain at the western end of the mountain. The name Liathach is pronounced [ˈʎiə.əx] in Scottish Gaelic, and means ‘The grey one’. Liathach conveys an aura of impregnability when seen from the roadside below, as the slopes appear to rise up in a series of near vertical rocky terraces
I love capturing the light pre-sunrise especially when there is high clouds to catch the light, here the sun has actually risen above the horizon but I have rapidly withdrawn to use the dunes as filter, I hope you like the result as much as me.
The view from my bedroom window – which can be spectacular at times
Another pretty bland view which to be honest I wouldn’t give a second glance towards unless I was witnessing this incredible surreal lighting situation where the sun is setting behind me generating this intense backlight against a stormy sky and it was being punctuated by lightening bursts being filtered by the cloud – One of the most dramatic light dances I have ever witnessed.
Here we are in the depths of winter and I realised I have not generated a good old fashioned sunset since mid November – now there is a reason for that of course (I am working when the light departs) but I was down the beach last weekend when this happened and I thought you may like this little chase of light……
Driving towards Inverness this weekend my eyes were drawn by the first dusting of snow on the mountain’s of Easter Ross. I couldn’t resist the temptation of capture autumn colours topped contrasted against the snowline. Was even lucky enough to get some good sunshine kindly dance across the peak of Ben Wywis, Easter Ross. This a long lens landscape taken from the dam at Loch Glascarnoch about 25 miles NW of Inverness.
congratulations London 2012 and good luck Rio 2016
Not a great deal to say hear – simply a powerful light show amplified through the still reflection of an ebbing tide.
A lack of sunshine has got me trying some low light images
I seen an image of one of the Moray coastal fishing villages which I knew was tweaked but I didnt understand how so I went along took my own shot and have atempted the same effect – I spent alot of time trial and error but think I have got the hang of it. Anyway you wont see too many of these – but I do feel this particular location works well for the tiltshift process. Tiltshift for the uninformed is gausian blur applied across all but aband of the image which you want to remain normal plus a little boost the contrast and saturation offering a dreamy toy village effect.
I am very proud of this shot which I took back in 2011, compositionally I took 4 subtly different shots of this boat and selected this shot (no cropping. I had the opportunity to take some shots in to the camera club and receive some critique from fellow members – all were complimentary on the composition and light but one person suggested the sky lacked sufficient contrast to compete with the lovely reflection. Well that was me off in to the archives to pull the RAW file and here we are. Now I think this pops whereas previously it was a nice shot – it is now on sale and getting growing interest – have a lovely week chaps.
An inspirational lift after all the dull lifeless skies we are having
The magnificent Chapter House of Elgin Cathedral “The Lantern of the North” – boy what I would have paid to see this in it’s day – certainly prior to the sacking by the “Wolf of Badenoch” in 1390 where it was not simply a Cathedral but entire community nestled behind a huge curtain wall. The Chapter House which you see in the middle of the shot is the only completely intact part of the Cathedral. I have some shots of that room under editing. I had reccied this angle several weeks ago but the light was bland. Today spoiled us with some cracking late winter sunshine generating some fantastic shadows and offering real detail in the stonework. Anyway I am really pleased by the shot – I think it punches you with colour – enjoy
This is the story of the simple silhouette – the sun was setting and it was demonstrating potential, so I hung around in anticipation and hope – the scene which was unfolding was nice but unspectacular. The large ball of fire was becoming filtered behind a wall of cloud – just so-so nothing more. I noticed how defined the lighthouse was black against the sky and spotted the seagulls floating around – but then came the “Big Yellow Taxi” our Search and Rescue Helicopter (Sea-King) and I bingo I saw the image in a flash. I adjusted to a faster shutter speed and waited for it to swing around in to profile. Press and the image was captured and so was created the Trilogy Silhouette – more an interesting image than a great one – enjoy 😀
I have been so many locations recently when the sun hasn’t even peaked out from the cloud and I have nt had the time to hang around for the light to change. This can leave very flat opportunities – until recently the camera would probably have remained in the bag. But as an amateur with limited time out and about I have to deal with what I can get and lets face it this is the Scotland many people are faced with so your challenge here is to look that bit closer for the light it is there very subtly – these locations and conditions always generate a calm which relaxes me.
You will have gathered I am messing around with subtle hues and textures currently. This is a retake of an long lens landscape in Glencoe. On this occasion as well as the contrast with the dead ferns (rusty colour) I have captured the reflection in the Lochan too – not a brilliant image but interesting
It has been a while since I shared a Lossiemouth image with you – this is nothing special compositionally – however it does for me perfectly reflect the colours often seen on the Moray Coast – subtle hues of colour the very essence of Lossiemouth – Pale Aqua – enjoy
I suppose this type of image is starting to define my style – large open spaces mottled by a variety of light. I do love those aftersun shots – for me more interesting than the big warm ball – thoughts
I thought I would offer a compare and contrast of the same view from different locations – The first image was taken a few weeks ago and the second back in 2010 when I first moved to the Highlands. I pass this view every time I head out to Inverpolly – I usually stop and in fat I intend to stop on each occasion and see how many variations I get.
I tend to remove all trace of human impact on the environment but on this occasion the road was my main focus to lead you through the landscape and allow you to feast your eyes on the sumptuous light – It could be almost anywhere in Scotland but this happens to be Skye
This view is taken from Captain Bertram Dickson’s Grave in the Cnoc na Bain Burial Ground. By all accounts he was a pioneer and almost certainly one of the forefathers of the formation of the RAF. It is a fitting and supremely tranquil location for such a pioneer to finish his days, whilst it is not perhaps at it’s photogenic best – the view is none the less dramatic – enjoy
A spectacularly clear day – with Lismore Lighthouse and Duart Castle clearly visible
I know you will be used to seeing reflections in my work – on this occasion however I have used farmland in varied state of being farmed. I like the collection of soft browns and autumn colours all being amplified by the depth of the reflection – but natural enough to display a range of surface textures – enjoy
I must apologize for such limited participation in the world of blog – but work is distracting me – cannot wait to retire and focus on my photography…. meanwhile I am limited to Moray Firth, which has been no bad thing – forcing me to revisit old haunts and try things – I have been developing my lightroom skills and intend to practice longer exposures all good fun. This was the night after Scouting for Girls recorded their latest Video in Lossiemouth. The tide was on the turn and the sunset had failed to live up to it’s billing but then some 15 minutes after sunset we got this – I was quiet happy as I had watched many photographers depart and there was me getting bitten by midges just waiting for something mellow – to enchant you with.
It is moments like these that have convinced me to live here on the Moray Coast. That pre dawn moment, the town is still asleep not even the dog walkers are out just an idiot with a tripod – a calm nervous silence is all around.
Post sunset hue signals the last action of the day
I cannot deny that whilst watching the story of the extreme weather unfold in many parts of the UK leading to, what is for many a horrible nightmare, I wish anyone suffering from the flooding and high winds that spring is on it’s way. Fortunately we in Moray have been blessed by much kinder conditions. As i was selecting a blog post I realised that many of my recent images have reflected those milder conditions which we have been experiencing. Therefore – I decided to attempt to reflect my feelings at this point of the year when the nights are drawing out and we all look forward to the clocks changing and areal sense that Spring is in the air – unfortunately this image simply says “cauld”
Back in November of last year I posted an image which was a 5 shot panoramic stich – this is one of the closeups I got that day ( I felt you needed a break from Lighthouses 🙂
The footbridge at Lossiemouth leading across the the estuary to the spit of beach which leads along golden sands the seven miles to the neck of the Spey river famous throughout the world for salmon fishing.
the thing that gets you is – the almost perfection you are witnessing, the thing that define’s to it is the fact you are experiencing it alone.
This another long lens landscape – I took several shots to get what I was seeing through my eyes, I was messing around shooting across the light. I loved the unsmooth patch of water and I loved the light on the trees to the left of the image, but was failing to join them in an interesting way so I moved my perspective more in to the light and hey presto the graduation you can now see before you with strong light and reflection fading to wards the patch of different water. In the end I moved from being frustrated to being satisfied. I hope you enjoy it too.
This an image which I mono-fied for entry in to Google+ #Minimalist Monochrome – well I rather like it and decided to use Lightroom to bring back the slightly overblown highlights in the water – I think it has worked out quiet well. I hope you will agree – enjoy
gone fishing, Burghead, Moray
I love when the forecast says ‘Sunny Interval’
Typical Scottish Weather conditions create a moody calm
Normally I share the sandy beach side of Moray but it has a quiet a diverse The coastline and settlements of Moray are linked by a waymarked coastal trail of approximately 50 miles from Findhorn to Cullen and all the places between. The route can be extended from Findhorn to Forres along a section of cycle route. With its marvellous landscapes from rugged cliffs, caves and sheltered coves to fishertown harbours and sweeping stretches of sandy beaches, Moray has a coastline alive with wildlife that would be the envy of many other regions in Britain.
A perfect late autumn day in Argyll, Scotland
a little blue sky thinking for Lyle Krahn – a shocking tale of sunshine in Scotland
This was a wonderful sky which I caught in my rear view mirror whilst returning from Wester Ross – it isnt what you would call a sunset it was more of a lights off. I have to admit it caught me by surprise and I made some basic exposure errors which has left a lot of noise in the image (so it wont be entering any competitions – but I felt it was worthy of sharing with you – have a great weekend.
This is from a wee walk on the West Beach the other evening, the longer evenings have been great but I have been unable to grab the opportunities with a multitude of personal inputs. I have a horrible feeling my last year in the RAF is going to be like this. Where I hope to ease in to my new career but the reality wont allow me to go quietly. This typical Moray lots going on – texture and light changes, reflections etc etc – I hope you enjoy. Your continued support is appreciated and highly motivational – Scott
A favourite place of mine to catch a sunset – simple colours and shapes produce an inner calm – whilst sunsets may be out of fashion I for one cannot resist ~ enjoy
I have posted over 500 images here on WordPress most are dynamic wild Scotland with some fantastic light. This image however is probably at the other end of the spectrum – an underwhelming subtle hue of pink and blue on an abnormally calm summer’s evening. Take time to look at the subtle hue and reflections within this almost Turner like effect.
So what have we here? Some sand dunes – a bit of light n shade and a little puffy cloud – I wanted to post something bright and cheerful – equally I wanted to post something which wouldn’t be seen as one of my safe standard shots
One of the hardships of shooting property for a living is the fact that you have to travel to photograph the properties. Unfortunately for me I had to head up towards Kyle of Tongue (Mandy and I even managed to turn it in to an overnighter – benefits of freelance) where I found this magical combination of a rustic abandonment and wrecked boat – throw in a dark sky and light over my shoulder and voilà – enjoy
Possibly one of the most specular sight’s I have ever witnessed, the rainbow was almost missed because of the quality of the existing light and reflections. I think I would have to place this in my top three personal favourites………….
Bow Fiddle Rock, a large rock about 50 feet high just off the coast. The quartzite rock has a large sea arch, which somewhat resembles the bow of a fiddle.
As Lyle is beginning to believe is permanently bathed in sunshine, I thought I would take you back a week or so to the period of strong winds which we had – I tried my level best to trash a 24-85mm Nikor attempting to take a dust bowl live (silly me). Realising I was loosing out badly to nature I headed to the field next door and got this. It doesn’t quiet help you appreciate the weather condition’s. However if you look across the the image there are clues everywhere. Perhaps there is a bit too much going on – either way we needed to move away from Torridon just briefly.
Looking back over the year – I feel I have moved forward particularly my night photography and composition – I know that I have not been so prolific this year in fact there are many images I have not published because I just don’t feel the are the standard I want. I have messed around with tonemapping – so I guess it has been more an experimental year. I have high hope photographically for 2014 I hope to be in wilder locations at just the right time of day for the most intriguing light I can lay my hands on. In the middle of the year I am planning to upgrade my kit (which will be exciting) – so I am hoping 2014 will be “Scott’s year of creativity” stay with me it could be a fun ride……. slainte mhor
Summer colour – Moray in May
The mist is still on the ground as dawn rises in to the sky in Moray. I thought to myself have posted some nice light for a while – so here you go – enjoy
we all need some space for reflection – a Moray moodscape
open me for full gallery view
sgàthan (mirror in Scottish Gaelic) is a smooth light reflecting surface – which is pretty much an accurate definition in my books
low light engagement – Moray Firth – Scotland
I apologize for not replying to all of your recent comments but I wanted to share an image before departing for the weekend. I promise to catch up early next week. I wish all the mothers a happy Mothering Sunday so make sure you spoil your Mum for at least one day of the year 🙂 Anyway I dont post many Black and White landscapes but I thought the contrast in this scene lent itself to some mono treatment. I am rather pleased with it. I edited it in Lightroom 4 which I bought at student rates (I am a student after all) using my paypal account generated from my sales so I actually earned this software which gave me areal thrill. I am hoping the reinvestment will pay for itself. Have agreat weekend everyone and happy blogging.
lots of subtle light varied in the way it is has dappled itself unequally across the sky and wet sand – somewhere in Moray – well you cant have all the details or you will be on my doorstep pinching my great sky’s
What a summer Scotland has seen – I tend to find this is my least productive period of the year as the images don’t jump out at you like the do in winter and spring but
I loved the fading telephone poles and the shape of the emerging crops
Ben Nevis topped with cream for afternoon tea
A becalmed view stretching across the Cromarty Firth from the Black Isle to Invergordon. A mere 24 hours on from the Spring Tide storms.
This image was taken the same day as Misty Perthshire – 2 very different photographs by simply swinging through 45 degrees 🙂
This is a dark and foreboding Rothes Wind Farm near Glenlatterach. A fabulously dark sky coupled with a slow shutter speed to display the movement of you love it or hate it wind farm. Renewable must be Scotland’s future. BT has agreed a £300m deal to buy enough energy to meet the needs of all its Scottish operations for the next 20 years from a wind farm in the Borders. I dont want to be held to ransom by foreign energy markets
wonderful light at Inverpolly
Apologies rather busy just now and not getting out and about so have been delving in to the archives and this appeared.I was drawn to the sun attempting to break through the thick cloud over the Cairngorm’s – with limited effect.
A return to safe ground – the good old fashioned sunset. The tide is weeping back in to the estuary at apace you wouldn’t notice and there not so much as a breath of air. With just sufficient clouds around to capture the backlight – cheers
Looking towards Skye from Applecross Pass in the foreground are the small Island’s of Scalpay and Raasay
You have no idea how often I have tried photographing trees – with a very low success rate. Mr David Oakes however rarely gets it wrong – please check out his blog http://davidoakesimages.wordpress.com/ to guage for yourself. However on this occasion the sun was particularly low in the sky and just tickling a few branches with just enough light to be interesting – so there you have it a “homage to Mr Oakes” – enjoy
This was one of those locations which has an immediate impact on you. Our first visit – tide was out light was special but couldn’t spend too long as we had to get back – but one thing was for certain – I’ll be back sorry cant tell you where it is – we all need some special places – enjoy
Classic Scotland nothing more to say – on sale at Photo4me.com
I am afraid I have not been out and about recently as I am extremely busy which disappoints me immensely so rather than dig in to the archives this time I have decided to publish an image which has lain on the cutting room floor so to speak. I promise to catch up with all you wonderful blogs over the coming weeks. Enjoy
Last weekend the Met Office predicted a high pressure weather system would park itself right over Scotland so we headed out seeking some perfect reflections in perfectly still lochs – luckily the weatherman was right and we witnessed weather perfection in mid November – enjoy
I love the light variance in the sky and the water from strong sun over my right shoulder.
This time generate a mixture of feelings here we are hanging on to the last warmth trying to avoid switching on the central heating – outside still lots of sunshine – darker sky’s and each evening brings an earlier sunset – curtains are getting drawing earlier each evening and autumn is well under way. Perhaps we appreciate the days more because they are shorter, in the next couple of weeks I can get some easy sunrises without having to get up too early so there is losts of promise. Here the crop is at it’s peak and ready for a golden harvest
The Conon Hydro-Electric Power Scheme, which lies to the north of the Affric-Beauly Scheme, is centred on Strathconan and Strath Bran. The second stage of development focused on Conon Valley where dams were built at Loch Droma and in Strath Vaich to create high level reservoirs. Water descends to a power station at Loch Glascarnoch, a man-made reservoir with a substantial dam 28m (92 feet) high and 510m (1673 feet) long, and travels on to Mossford power station. It is then discharged into Loch Luichart, which drains the area around Achnasheen.
peace and tranquillity on the Moray Coast
Breaking the rules shooting straight in to the sun on Cullen Beach – there is a lot going on if you take your time and scour the beach scene.
I do like this image – I feel like it meanders to the distant skyline – lots of texture and engaging light – I am enjoyiing working through unedited shots or shots previously discarded (due to being unhappy with the colour). You will also note more Mono shots appearing ~ I hvave no intention of walking away from colour but I am definitely enjoying mono more. As always enjoy – critiques always welcome – Scott
At this time of year the days are very short here in Moray and a little darkness can fill your mood – this dusk image seemed to capture that feeling – a lone tree peaking through twilight mist – spooky in a sensual way…….
The sun about 10 minutes before it’s death – calm and tranquility
This is ashot I took along time back which compositionally I was happy with but the upper part of the Sky was alittle blown so I thought I would mess around with some infrared & mono interpretations. Anyway the long and the short of it is I rather like this and may well try some more IR shots. Enjoy
Looking towards the neck of the River Spey ~ The World Famous Salmon River
Well I though I would demonstarte the diversity of textures in the scottish landscape – even on adrich day contrasts can be found – less than 300 meters from my misty Loch Duich was this stark contrast – by avoiding the mist and dricht using along lens to isolate the reflection – I ended up with this. I was drawn to the circular shape and the title fell from that – enjoy
I hope you enjoy this – because I am no lark!
a magical scottish beach
This is an archive repost from the “Burghead Sunset Sessions” a seminal week in November 2011 where I witnessed several wonderful sunsets in the same week.
This dam is located 13 km below the natural outlet of the loch, and thus raised its level to provide flow regulation and a degree of storage for Fasnakyle power station (see separate listing). The reservoir is supplemented by water from Mullardoch dam at the top of Glen Strathfarrar (see separate item) which passes though an underground power station before entering Loch Beinn a Mhedoin upstream of Bennevean dam. The water level in the loch is closely controlled to ensure that the level remains virtually constant, ensuring that the scenic amenity of the upper Glen Affric is affected as little as possible.
I loved the vibrant colours of the houses against the wilderness of Coigach
Well as we head towards the long dark nights of the Scottish Autumn – I thought this was an appropriate shot. Invergordon and Nigg Bay have serviced numerous Oil and Gas Rigs during the North Sea Oil boom years – which naturally followed by a decline however more recently with the renewable’s market – the energy sector is generating work again so this image hopefully shows there is beauty in all things even industry and just perhaps we are slowly heading out of recession.
the calmness around post sunset – The Moray Coast
I thought it only right and proper to share the other side of Skye (the we dont often have sunny days here Skye) this image was captured about 10 hours prior to Elgol 50 which allows for some compare and contrast. The shot is slightly further up the beach but in essence it is the same view (just a little tighter) the mountains had been drifting in and out of cloud – but on this occasion i liked the fact that you could see just the hills and cloud obscures the rest of the view. The challenge here was keeping the lens dry…. Enjoy
paddling at Cullen on the Moray Coast
I thought I would just quickly share this before abandoning the PC and telephone conversations with HMRC to spend 4-5 hours in the Lossiemouth sun. This was taken last night with a .6 ND Grad filter . According to all the magazine articles it is a landscape photographers bread and butter requirement. It certainly kept the sky under check and reduced post processing time which must be good. Anyway as I said sunshine here I come.
a pristine glass reflection
This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite mountains and I have only seen it from about 8 miles out. That said I have seen it from every side and in most weather conditions. I do think framing it from the Loch with the small tree island places it in a truly grand setting. Oh by the way I did say mountain but technically it is only a Corbet but with such a dramatic shark fin shape and steep slopes it deserves real consideration – enjoy.
what you cant surmise from the photograph is how cold it is 🙂
I am having a lot of fun trying lots of different things currently – moreover I have been trying hard to mix up my posts to hold your attention. But I cannot denty that I was rather flattered by a recent comment which said and I quote “your trade mark wide open space”. well to be honest that simply got the creative juices flowing and headed off to find some hardcore Open Space” – enjoy
late autumn sun almost at the death lays artificial warm tones on the rocky eroded coastline of Moray – what you cant sense is how bitterly cold it is as the wind chill bites at me.