Category Archives: Landscapes
I was hoping for a decent sunset tonight, so I headed out to Stevenston on the off-chance that it would turn out okay. I have been meaning to visit these groynes for a long time but never got round to it till now. I spent a bitterly cold hour on the beach taking a few images. It wasn’t the best sunset I’ve ever seen but I did manage to get a shot I was happy with.
Grand Central Station from our New York Trip. This was a 5 second exposure using the marble banister to lean the camera on instead of a tripod. This type of shot has been done a few times before from this location, but not by me! I like the contrast the golden walls give and the blurred movement of the hurrying commuters.
Once we came off the Devils Staircase and headed back to the car, we were trying to think of a suitable spot to capture a decent sunset. Our first stop along the way was this small Lochan on the way to Glencoe village. The Lochan was nearly frozen over with the light pretty low on the mountains behind. This image required a bit of work to brighten up the foreground and highlight the frozen grasses and the patterns of the cracks in the ice.
It was now well after 2pm, with the sunset only an hour away. We made the decision that the best place to get something worthwhile would be on the coast. Castle Stalker, near Portnacroish, on the coastal route to Oban was a likely candidate. We had been before during daylight and we knew that there was a vantage point looking down on the castle which would hopefully give us a good sunset with the Morvern hills behind it. We headed off with the temperature dropping once again below freezing. We made it with about 10 minutes to spare before sunset. Unfortunately, as is usually the case for the west coast, the clouds had rolled in and the setting sun was hidden behind a low bank of cloud. We made the best we could of it and the image below is not really the best example of a sunset from here but I thought it was worth posting due to the effort and distance we travelled to get it.
All that remained after this was to make the long journey home in the freezing darkness. We had a pretty good days shooting, covering about 250 miles in the process and getting a few images I was more than happy with.
Once we had left Lochan na H-Achlaise, we headed for the Devils Staircase. This is a part of the West Highland Way and is a small section of the walk from Kingshouse to Kinlochleven. The main interest for us was not completing this section of the walk, but instead we wanted to use this path to gain some elevation and get a new view down the Pass of Glencoe. Once we reached the top of the Devils Staircase, which to be honest was rather disappointing as it was neither difficult or that much of a climb, we had a good view over to Ben Nevis and the Mamores. This was an ideal location for a panoramic shot. This is a large file of over 11000 pixels on the long side and is made up of 12 vertical images stitched together.
Another view, this time from a single image. This concentrates more on the wonderful mackerel sky.
We then decided to head towards the top of Stob Mhic Mhartuin which at 2100ft has quite a good viewpoint along the pass of Glencoe. Cameron so kindly provided a much needed bit of foreground interest in this shot!
We then headed back down and rejoined the original path near the bottom of the hill. I saw this small footbridge on the way up and thought it would be a pretty good lead-in towards the Buachaille (Stob Dearg). By this time it was mid-afternoon and the sun was starting to get a bit low in the sky. I had to use two ND grad filters on this shot, a 3 Stop soft and a 2 Stop soft for a total of 5 Stops, to try and hold back the sky and balance the exposure. I like the setting of the image but I think it might be better to revisit it at another time of the year when the light is a bit more favourable and the foliage is a touch greener instead of a dull brown.
Afther making the way back to the car, we then decided to head for a location to get a decent sunset. Again because of the time of year and the position of the sun, we decided to head for the coast and we chose Castle Stalker.
Early December and another trip to Glencoe. After a few days of cold weather we were hoping for plenty of snow. The morning started promisingly enough. The further north we drove the lower the temperature went. We arrived at Lochan na H-Achlaise around 8am with forty five minutes till sunrise and the temperature gauge on the car showing -7c. The snow cover wasn’t as much as we had hoped but there will still a pretty decent amount on the hills and sporadic patches at lower level.
Once we parked the car we saw that another couple of hardy souls had ventured out to capture the sunrise too. We quickly looked around and myself and Cameron split up and headed for the spots we thought were the best for the sunrise. When I say sunrise, I don’t really mean capturing the sun rising, as looking across Lochan na H-Achlaise towards the Black Mount is the wrong direction for a sunrise. We were more interested in the first rays of the sun clearing the hills behind us and lighting up the Black Mount.
The pre-dawn light was a bit special though with pink tinged clouds swirling over the top of the black mount. There was just enough of Lochan na H-Achlaise ice free to cast a lovely reflection too.
Once the sun started to light up the peaks of the black mount, it was as if the mountains themselves were glowing.
Once we had exhausted all possibilities here we headed for the Devils Staircase to hopefully get a few new shots of Glencoe from a different angle.