When I’m visiting family in Perth, Scotland I usually take a trip over to the harbour town of Arbroath in Angus, mainly to get Arbroath Smokies (a very tasty local speciality of smoked haddock) but also because its really photogenic, it’s a small harbour surrounded by brightly coloured buildings, there are sea defences being battered by the waves and the subject of this shot – the signal tower museum, although this image is black and white the building is white with red details, which always seems to go down well in photographic competitions.
I’m now back in Rugby, after a nightmare journey down from Perth, featuring a closed airport and lack of customer service from the airline, luckily for my next trip I will be driving.
I hadn’t actually planned to shoot anything on Wednesday, I’d been snowboarding up at Glenshee, without the camera gear, it was another perfect blue sky day of Scottish snowboarding. After getting back into town, we went to the Shake Bar for a Scottish tablet milkshake, which everyone should experience in their life. We enjoyed the milkshakes overlooking the Tay as the sun was setting and for some reason, the Tay was flat clam making the reflections of lights from the bridges really vivid. So we rushed back to grab the cameras and these are the resulting images:
After a couple of days with rubbish light, we were able to get out with the cameras again, we decided to keep it fairly local and walked to Kinnoull Hill on the outskirts of Perth. I’d remembered about a pond, that was used for the sport of curling in the olden days, from a previous trip, so we took a detour to find it again. The pond was frozen and the ice was pretty thick, certainly enough to take my weight. (Don’t play around on frozen lakes etc, it isn’t big or clever)
The real reason for choosing Kinnoull Hill, was Kinnoull Tower, a derelict tower perched on the edge of a cliff, probably a look out post to spot people coming up the Tay from the North Sea/Dundee. Its well positioned to catch the evening sun and with the Tay weaving away in the background. This afternoon the Tay was fairly full, with hardly a ripple and I really like the way this image has come out.
Also in Kinnoull Woods there are a series of wooden sculptures by Pete Bowsher (aka Chainsaw Pete), this bird of prey (looks like an eagle, but buzzard sized) was up near Kinnoull Tower.
Seeing as I’m up in Scotland, amongst some stunning scenery it would be silly not to make the most of it, so along with my Dad we are trying to get out to take photographs each evening, when the light is good.
Our first evening we headed north up the A9, past Dunkeld and then left the car and headed up the hill towards a loch that we thought would catch the evening sun. After a few wrong turnings we came out of the woods into a meadow, where we should have stopped, due to the sun almost having disappeared behind the mountains, but instead we carried on for the loch, by the time we reached in the sun had already dropped. This was a great shame, as the loch was frozen and there was a pretty green cottage on the bank. I’m pretty pleased with the image below, but can’t help wondering how much better it would have been 20 minutes before.
Even though I didn’t post it on the 1st January, the image below was taken on my way home from a new years party.
Being of Scottish/French descent a St George’s Cross isn’t something I’d normally take a picture of, but I thought the light on it was great. I was taking the scenic route home from my parent’s place and stopped at Fairfax’s viewpoint, just outside Naseby, hoping to capture the vista that Fairfax would have seen prior to the Battle of Naseby, minus all the armies etc obviously, but a farmer had dropped a huge pile of manure in the foreground of the shot, so a flag is what I took.
As I’ve already hinted at, 2010 is going to be a busy year, the motorsport season is going to start for me on the 14th February, with some rallycross at Mallory Park (being single on valentines day does have some benefits), with the Ma5da Racing season kicking off towards the end of March. As per 2008 & 2009 I will be covering all rounds of the Ma5da Racing Championship, including their add on series for the Mk3 MX-5s. When I have got more reliable dates for the events I am covering I will put a post on the blog, this should be in a few weeks after the Autosport International show.
My aims for 2010 photography wise are to get published in Autosport magazine again, get my website 100% finished and most importantly to take more photos for myself. In my personal life I’m aiming to snowboard more than I did in 2009, which shouldn’t be too tricky and to get my flat sorted out, before the 2 year anniversary of moving in. I will also make sure that I update this blog (and my development blog) more often.
I’ll leave you with a bonus picture from my new years eve celebrations, regular readers may recognise Simon, my little brother, who threw a nations themed fancy dress party to bring in 2010, any guesses as to which nation he is?
This shot was taken on Xmas day on the North Inch park in Perth while I was out for a pre Xmas dinner stroll in the snow, I did try a black and white conversion, but felt that this colour version worked the best:
Yesterday I made a large format print of one of my favourite landscape photos from 2008, this view across Derwent Water taken in December.
The detail in the full size print is incredible, it will be hung in a 70×50 frame and has been mounted with proportions similar to the mock up above (when it is hanging I will post a photo of the real thing).
To get to the required file size at 360 dpi for the printer we needed to create extra pixels, Lightroom 2.2 seemed to do this very well and quickly, however for the file we printed Genuine Fractals was used, this is a plug-in for Photoshop and is the industry standard for enlarging images. It had more controls than Lightroom (an took much longer to generate the file), but to my eyes the resulting 192Mb tiff files looked the same.