Saltcoats sunset

My first landscape pictures for a while and funnily enough it was only a mile from my door!

I watched the sunset develop from my house and when I decided that it might be promising, I left the house.  In the end the sunset didn’t really meet my expectations, the bank of cloud I had been watching for the previous hour never moved on quick enough to give me some clear sky around the setting sun to really light up the clouds above.

Still what I managed to get was okay and I chose these four images as my pick of the bunch. This was an ideal restart to my landscape shooting as I was only out the door for an hour at the most:).

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Ardrossan sunset

Another year, another new camera!  This time I finally succumbed to the delights of a Nikon D800.  I had been sort of wanting one for a while but kept putting myself off.  A couple of weeks ago one came up at a great price so I couldn’t resist.

The last couple of weeks have been really bad, weather wise here.  Almost constant rain and wind.  I took the chance on this night even though it was very windy out and not really ideal sunset conditions.  I went down to Ardrossan north shore and decided to use the concrete covering of the outlet pipe as a lead in line.  While getting everything set-up, a gust of wind managed to blow over the tripod.  Luckily I caught the tripod and camera before it fell over, but it was a scary moment.

The first image from on top of the outlet pipe.

Ardrossan sunset

It was an okay shot, with at least a touch of colour in the sky.  I went down onto the beach hoping to use the line of cloud reflected in any pools of water on the beach.  This was probably the best one of the night.  Again, the high winds was making it difficult to get an image that wasn’t blurry due to the tripod moving on the wet sand.

Ardrossan sunset II

Altogether I spent about an hour in the freezing cold but I did manage to get two images which were alright.

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Autumn colours at Glentrool

Autumn colours at Glentrool

The last of the Autumn colours at Glentrool, two weeks ago.  I arrived before sunset to be greeted by a cloudless sky, so I had to focus my attention on the details around the Loch.  I liked the way the golden leaves of the trees reflected in the misty water.
The Last of the Autumn colours

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Turnberry Lighthouse

Turnberry Lighthouse

An image from a trip to Turnberry lighthouse for the sunset last week.

The lack of cloud in the sky for the sunset meant that I had to search for an alternative viewpoint. I captured the rays of the setting sun illuminating the lighthouse and rocks with a golden glow. I used a Lee ‘Big Stopper’ filter to lengthen the exposure to 2 minutes to blur the incoming waves.


Turnberry Sunset

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Adventures with film

Adventures with film

A few years ago I was given a Bronica ETRS medium format film camera.  At the time I received it, I was full of good intentions to have some adventures with film.  I bought some 120 slide film (Velvia 100) and then the good intentions sort of disappeared.  That single roll of film took me the best part of two years to finish.  For various reasons, I just never got round to finishing the roll.  Anyway, I eventually finished the roll and I sent it off to be processed.

Within a week the developed film arrived back.  What really struck me about the images was the vibrancy of the colours and the way the image seemed to leap out at you. It’s hard to explain, but maybe the fact you are holding the image you produced in your hand without any help from computer enhancement  This could, in part, be down to using Velvia slide film.  Velvia is known for it’s super saturated and vibrant colours.

It’s not like digital where the files live on a hard drive and very rarely get printed.  Film is tactile, you can hold the slide film up to the light and just marvel at the richness of the colours of the image.

Once you have your film, there are a few options.  You could get prints made from the negatives, or you could scan the negative and you then have all the options that you would have had with a digital file.

Why bother then, I hear you ask, if you are going to scan the negative and use a computer with the scanned image.  Why not just shoot digital to begin with if you are still going to end up with a digital file.  There are a couple of reasons to bother.  The fact that film only has a finite number of shots per roll forces you to take a bit more time with each image and slow down your approach.  This can only be a good thing as the extra time taken with each shot makes you concentrate a bit more and get the best composition.  There’s no machine-gunning of images like digital can be, hoping for a decent image amongst a handful of frames.  Film also has a unique look, various types of film give a certain look to images.  This can be reproduced in photoshop with certain plug-ins but to me it’s still not 100%.

Bronica ETRS

Bronica ETRS

My first roll of 120 film in the Bronica ETRS

The Bronica shoots 6×4.5cm images and a 120 roll of film will give 15 images per roll.  Here are some images from my first ever roll of Velvia slide film.

buachaille Etive Mor

Buachaille Etive Mor (Stob Dearg to give it the proper name)

St Monans Windmill, St Monans Fife

St Monans Windmill,  St Monans, Fife.

Elie Lighthouse

Elie Lighthouse, Elie, Fife.  You can see how the sunset reds have been super saturated by the veliva film.  I had to tone down the reds in the scan as they were just too bright!

Lady Janes Tower Elie Fife

Lady Janes Tower, Elie, Fife.  Another image from the same night as the one above.  The ‘golden hour’ about one hour till sunset.

Loch Ard

Loch Ard, Aberfoyle.

I was very pleased with the results of my first film, so much so that I have since put a few more films through the Bronica along with buying a few other additions for the camera.

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