Tuesday, August 23, 2016

St. Giles Cathedral Ceiling

ceiling with columns, vaults and stained glass
St. Giles Kirk Ceiling
St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh Scotland is a national landmark.  It's also very photogenic.  And most important for a photographer, they allow photography with tripods for a small fee.  Having a tripod makes the difference in a dark cathedral.  It allows long exposures, letting the light pour onto the sensor.  Cathedrals do not really move so these long exposures work wonderfully here.

I took advantage of my 17 millimeters tilt shift lens and pointed it heavenward.  As I shifted from side to side, I was able to take in a huge amount of architectural information.  I tried very carefully to obtain a symmetric image.  I stitched these pictures Lightroom postprocessing.  With my lower ISO settings I was able to bring a lot of the detail out of the shadows including the rich color in the stonework.  Please enjoy.

Black Rock Cottage Sunrise

black rock cottage in glencoe scotland sunrise
Black Rock Cottage with Buachaille Etive Mor and Sweeping Clouds
I believe there is such a thing as luck and on my first sunrise in Scotland I received beginners luck.  It does take some effort to rise early in the summer at such a northern latitude.  My alarm clock went off at 3:30 AM.  Sunrise started developing around 4 AM.  On this day I did not regret losing any sleep because some wonderful clouds were filling the sky, sweeping from the south to the north.

I expected the sunlight would color these purple or orange.  They also seemed to fill in the space between the distant mountains.  The one on the left is the famous Buachaille Etive Mor.

This monolith plays a major role in this photograph.  The other players include the quaint Black Rock Cottage, the sky itself and an minor role is played by the foreground grasses.  Everything works together in this photograph to create a strong and beautiful image of Scotland.  The Highlands are majestic.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Glencoe Reflection

dawn cottage and mountain reflection in the water
Glencoe, Scotland at dawn
My first morning and my first shot in Scotland is posted here.  I woke up early, so early at about 3:30 am so that I could actually see the sun rise at about 4 AM.  June in Scotland's highlands means really long days and short nights.  Catching sunrise feels like severe sleep deprivation here!

Driving along the road through Glencoe Valley I searched for a good location.  This massive mountain and its' quaint cottage made me stop and shoot.  I wandered along the stream looking for the right height and location to capture this mountain reflection in the calm stream.  The cottage stands far enough away that it cannot be reflected.  

Everything felt cool and quiet.  That's what I think of when I see this photo.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jumbo Rocks and Ansel Adams

Round suspended boulder
Marbles in Suspension
Ansel Adams is justifiably famous for his incredible black and white landscapes.  Yosemite, Sierra Mountains and Joshua Tree National Park are all associated with his masterful skills.  Two of his famous photos comes from the Jumbo Rocks campground at the heart of Joshua Tree.  Many photographers have seen what he saw and taken the same picture he took.  Spending a few extra moment to capture the scene as he did is what I did here.  I copied the master and enjoyed nature while doing so.

Ansel Adams boulder and tree picture
Tree and Standing Boulder