Thursday, April 11, 2013

Talisker Bay

I spent a good few hours exploring the area around Talisker Bay. The drive to Talisker is quite stunning, as glimpses of the Cuillins emerge along various viewpoints along the way, like this view below of the snow covered peaks:
If you've ever been to Skye you will know all about the narrow roads with passing places. The road to Talisker is particularly narrow with quite a few blind summits, so care needs to be taken driving!
This corrugated shearing shed had a hint of Australia about it, which harked back to my childhood:
As did this rusty iron wall:
Talisker bay itself is described as one of the prettiest beaches on Skye, and certainly there are pretty elements as you will see below. However, being on the west of Skye, an awfulof debris gets washed up on shore. I didn't bother photographing the ropes, and plastic bottles and crates that spoiled this spot. Instead I concentrated on the natural beauty of the place.
The beach is a mixture of sand, pebbles and larger rocks, all rounded and smoothed by the ocean:
The light sparkled on the wet sand:

The sand is interesting-a mixture of black and white sand, which forms interesting patterns, changing with wash of the waves:
The sea was a gorgeous turquoise:
The natural inclination is to photograph landscapes in landscape orientation (it's not called landscape for nothing!!) But sometimes, it's good to turn the camera into portrait orientation for a different viewpoint. What I like about this photo is the horizontal bands of sky, water, waves and rocks:
And here the waves are crashing against the rocks:
I do seem to have a thing about rust-this was a big rusty cylinder, maybe a tank of some kind which was on the beach. Love the colours and textures:
And finally, one of the black faced sheep which roam all over Skye:
CLICK on the images for a larger view.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A week in Skye

I was hoping to blog daily about our trip to Skye, but  it turns out there are not enough hours in a day to do so. However, I'll just blog when I can!
So, let's start at the beginning. After a cold and snowy start in Edinburgh we set off and drove north into blue skies, sunshine and epic scenery.
Here are some photos of our journey up.
Click on the image for a larger view.
Our first stop for a cup of tea was at Loch Laggan. For those of you who enjoyed watching 'Monarch of the Glen', Glenbogle House (Ardverikie  House) is on the other side of this loch. The sand on the spit is so white and clean.
 We spent a good few hours in Glen Shiel. The surrounding hills were capped with snow. The sunshine and the still water made for great reflections. I love the composition of this photo-the way the eye starts on the rocks in the foreground, then is drawn along the diagonal lines traversing left to right up through the photo.
And in this photo I love that little twig-like tree that adds some foreground interest, and the bleached out colour of the rocks.
 What I love about photography is how it makes you see things in different ways. By photographing the rocks from above I've also captured the reflections of the sky. The sun was shining directly onto the water, and by moving my angle of view I was able to put the sun's reflection under the bottom rock, illuminating it a bit more than the other two rocks.

The driftwood on the loch shore was beautiful-this shot almost looks like the wild west I think, with it's bleached out colour-and I love the texture too.
 By the time we arrived at our cottage the sun was low in the sky and the clouds in the east were quite dramatic. The cottage looks out over the water and the mountains beyond-stunning!
 After tea we went for a local walk-I love how the setting sun bathes the landscape in a warm glow.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Maternity Photoshoot Edinburgh

A couple of weeks age I met and photographed Rebecca. Rebecca was around 36 weeks pregnant when I took these photos, and it was a pleasure to photograph her.
I think this is my favourite. Rebecca looks so beautiful-calm,and serene...
Don't you just love these gorgeous curves?

and this wee peek of baby belly?

I also love this silhouette with a peek out of Rebecca's back door, giving some context to the photos.
And finally, there's nothing like black and white to create mood in a photo.
Thanks for being such a great model Rebecca-wishing your a stress free straightforward delivery!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Studio Lighting Workshop

Last week I attended a studio lighting workshop. It was interesting, and surprisingly straightforward. I used my macro lens. which is something I don't usually do for portaits, and it worked really well, especially for the sharpness of the eyes. There was a lovely model called Hannah who was very patient with those of us learning the fundamentals of indoor portraiture.
Here are some shots from the evening:
The first type of lighting was Rembrandt lighting. This it lit by one soft box at 45 degrees to the right and 45 degrees above her. This is the type of lighting you would get through a window.and gives a shadow to one side of the face with a highlight on the cheek of the shadow side. In this shot a reflector has also been added to the bottom left to open up the shadows a bit.
This is the same lighting set up, but since Hannah's head is turned away from the key light she has more shadow down her right side. This is my favourite image of the night, but next time I would brush the hair back from the left side of the face, as I think the shadow created by the hair is somewhat distracting. I would also move in closer for a tighter crop.

This image is lit by the soft box and three reflectors. See how the skin has a warmer tone due to the use of gold reflectors:

And this one has a kick light in the background to add a highlight along the edge of the hair to separate it from the background a little.

The key light here is a beauty dish in front, and there's also a reflector underneath. this is butterfly lighting, because appearently the shadow under the nose is butterfly shaped-although I can't see it!

So I enjoyed the workshop, and learned a lot too.
But I still prefer natural light portraits!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Edinburgh photos

Well, it was a funny old day today. Woke to a light dusting of snow, but the day brightened up and was dazzlingly sunny this afternoon. A perfect day for a walk on the Union Canal around Lochrin Basin. See how that blue sky has created perfect conditions for reflections?
 And here's the same photo in black and white-it looks so much more atmospheric, don't you think?
Some detail on one of the houseboats:
Bollards-I can see myself using these bollards in a photoshoot.
 And another view of the canal development to finish up with:
So that was part of my walk. I found some great places for  location shoots too!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tis the Season...

...for a countryside walk. The sun was shining, no wind and it was a warm 11c so we decided to go for a walk around Pentcaitland in East Lothian. Although it's very close to home I've never actually been before as I have other favourite spots in East Lothian that normally get my attention first.
So here are a few snapshots from the walk.
Firstly Winton House, the big house on Winton Estate:
 I thought these chimneys on the gable end were interesting:

Winton House looks out over a terrace onto an ornamental lake:
The lovely iron gate through to the walled garden:

 A forest track through the estate:
So excited to see snowdrops in the woods-a sure sign that Spring is indeed around the corner:
 And finally, the church in Pentcaitland village:

It was so nice to get out into the fresh air, and explore somewhere new.

Friday, February 8, 2013

On location

Finally last weekend the weather and the light brightened up somewhat allowing me  a chance to do what I enjoy most-shooting on location. I love how being outdoors allows children the freedom to have fun and to enjoy themselves. Being outdoors allows them to forget about the camera. Being outdooors allows them to relax and be themselves. Being outdoors allows me to capture the personality of the child in a way that an indoor shoot just can't.
 This cheeky chappy was a real outdoors boy.
He loved playing peek-a-boo from behind the trees.....

Picking up sticks......

and throwing them......
snacking on raisins...
and playing hide and seek in the bushes...
What a great day we all had, and how fantastic to have captured some special memories for this family!