Glencoe, arguably Scotland's most famous and most scenic glen, filled with history, romance and the ghosts of a massacre. An amazing destination for walkers, climbers and tourists. My goodness, so many tourists. So many foreign tourists! It was like a meeting of the U.N. at the Loch Tulla Viewpoint on the way up.

It's one of my favourite places in Scotland, no matter what the weather there is always something to see or, more importantly for me, something to photograph. The first photograph was taken just past the Loch Ba viewpoint on the A82. The second needs no introduction but for those that need the correct spelling: Buachaille Etive Mòr. 

Scotland is now in the last throws of Autumn with winter starting to find a grip, hopefully there will be snow in the glen next time I visit.


Loch Lomond

I have been meaning to post these images since Monday but it has been a very busy week. A spent Monday evening at Loch Lomond, on the East side near Balmaha. It was a beautiful summer day and the evening was nearly cloudless which made for great conditions for shooting a few photographs.

I was especially keen on taking some long exposure photographs. Realising that I didn't have my tripod with me when I was almost there basically killed that idea off... I tried improvising using my rucksack but there was still too much movement :-(

On the bright side, it's Scotland so there will be lots of sunny days like this to try again ;-)

I have also taken on the role of moderator for the Instagram Hub @pocket_uk which means I get to select some photographs each week from the UK to promote! Am quite excited about this as sometimes I see photographs on Instagram that just blow me away and I feel giving a "like" and a comment just isn't enough! If you have instagram photos of the UK go over to the @pocket_uk hub, follow them and tag your photographs with #pocket_uk and you'll hopefully get a feature! 

Here are the photo's that I did get from Loch Lomond. Click the thumbnail for the large version :-)

CSS and the Forth (Rail) Bridge

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on a former academic supervisor's pet project. It involves creating a new set of CSS code for his website to slowly drag it out of the dark ages (the late '90's when we still designed websites using tables). The first stage is to implement CSS rules and to discard the tables that currently hold the site together.

The task which at first seemed simple has turned out to be a giant monster that will seemingly never end. It took me roughly a week just get my head around how it worked. It's built around a database and perl code and is different from any other project I have worked on and it has been so: frustrating; fun; enlightening; educational; emotionally draining (depending on situation). Fortunately for me this is the kind of project I love working on :-)

Hand coding into a terminal window again reminds of how I built my first site on an Apple Mac I (yes, the 1984 one) at university in 1996. It was a amazing time with 56.6K modems and ytalk that allowed you to chat to other people on the network that was 'logged on'. I can't think of a word that is large enough to describe how much things have changed since then in technology. Anyway, back to this website that was built around that time... :-) I haven't put a link to the site because it would be nice to work on it until it has been totally overhauled and redesigned. 

So, last night I finally got out with my camera, and took a trip up to North Queensferry to try and get a moody shot of the Forth Bridge. Little did I realise that almost every route to North Queensferry would provide challenges. The route going through Kincardine was closed, and it wasn't possible to go back across the Kincardine Bridge, which I did not realise and ended up going around Kincardine twice. Eventually drove across the Clackmannanshire bridge along to the Forth Road Bridge missing my turn off on the Fife side due to the sat nav not recognising all the new roads built for the Queensferry Crossing. Thought I would be able to via Inverkeithing but alas the road was also closed here, for some reason that a local chap explained to me in an accent that was more alien than Scottish, of which I understood a couple of words.

Thankfully when I got there it was still a bit misty and heavy rain. All for this photograph. Soaked through to my skin the Albert Hotel then charged me £2.50 for the worst (instant) coffee that I have ever had.

Totally worth the hassle for this photograph though.





Still sculpture

It is well known that I am not the most spontaneous of people, but on Monday night I decided to take a drive to St Fillans, a small town in Perthshire at the eastern side of Loch Earn. It had been a clear cloudless day and I was hoping to get some photographs of the sculpture - Still, by Rob Mulholland. He is a sculptor and environmental artist based in the United Kingdom who exhibits throughout the U.K and world-wide.

From his website he describes Still:

The solitary figure stands at the head of a Loch Earn. The figure symbolises the physical and spiritual relationship between humans and the natural wilderness. The figure is in constant flux, the small panels that form the sculpture are being torn away with the prevailing wind, being re - shaped by the natural forces. It investigates the fundamental aspects of self awareness and our connection with our environment.
— Rob Mulholland

For a photographer it's an amazing thing to photograph as it looks very eerie standing on the loch. I spent at least two hours at the loch side taking photographs and meeting a fellow Instagrammer @davidmccr

The first two photographs were my favourite and these were "squared" and uploaded to my Instagram profile. These shots were featured in @icuscotland and @sunrise.sunset.scotland, which I was really happy about. It was nice to receive some positive feedback about them.

The next two I also liked, one wider shot than the other, the left one taken a little earlier than the right shot.

I was really happy with these photographs primarily because I think that I am starting to get a feel for taking more moody photographs, especially the darker shot in this series. Some of the ideas and techniques that I learned recently really paid off in this trip.

Friday Night

A little something from Friday night. Bonnybridge doesn't have many photographic locations that's worth spending time at, but this is one of them. This is near to the entrance of Chacefield Woods, just off the the Drove Loan, Bonnybridge.

A long exposure of 60 secs, f4.0, 24mm and little tonal changes in Lightroom.