2015 – September – Flowers in Water

I was a bit bored, so I thought I’d try something different.

It’s small flowers floating in a jar of water and shot in natural light.

All manual focus.

2015 – August – The Devils Pulpit

I’d seen photos of a gorge near Loch Lomond called The Devils Pulpit and decided I wanted to go and have a look at it.

Simon, Linda and I jumped in the car and headed off to the deepest darkest depths of Finnich Glen near Drymen.

When we got there, there was a couple walking around and looking lost. The bag gave the chap away as either a fisherman, or photographer; the presence of the female made the fisherman unlikely so that left photographer. It turned out that they were from Spain originally, but were living in Winchburgh (just around the corner from here) as they found the Spanish climate disagreeable. So they moved to Scotland ….

Anyway, the 5 of us strolled around for a bit, and eventually found the gorge – you’ld be surprised at how cunningly disguised a 100 odd foot hole in the ground can be – but couldn’t work out how to get down to the bottom.

Help arrived in the form of a returning group, who rather nicely gave us (correct) directions

There are some pretty steep and worn steps leading down to the central chamber, so be careful if you go. I didn’t shoot these as I wanted to get something different than most of the shots I’d seen, so off came the boots and on went the waders …

2015 – June – Dedridge

Messing around with long exposures at the local pond.
The weir is in full flow with both flood routes active beside the 3 main sluices, leading to a horse-shoe shape of white water.
These shots were taken in the evening. When I returned in the morning with the dog, the weir was back to it’s normal trickle

Under the Bridge
Under the Bridge
Beside the Bridge
Beside the Bridge
The Monarch at Sunset
The Monarch at Sunset

2015 – March – Alternative Lighting

There was some major sun-spot activity, and increased sun-spots means an increase in the Northern Lights activity.

There had been solar-storm warnings, and this was expected to make the Lights visible as far south as Estonia.
So, armed with camera and tripod, off I went.

I didn’t go far, as the fog had come in, and the sky was 100% cloud.
So I shot this instead …

Misty night
Misty night

 

Staying local, there is a large old Scots Pine (if it wasn’t for the fog you could see it in the image above) near me that I’ve been wanting to shoot for a while … but make it different.

No cloud, no moon … hmm why not.

Off I trundled, camera, tripod and timer in hand and shot some star trails over the top of the tree.

This is 60 x 30 second images that have been layered together to show the motion of the Earth. I could have done this as one exposure, however the amount of light pollution would have meant a really rubbish image.

Dedrige Monarch
Dedrige Monarch

The Milky Way over the top of this tree would be a great shot, but unless there is a power cut that affects the entire central Scotland belt, I don’t think it’s going to realistically happen.

 

2015 – January – The Dragonfly and the Coot

January has been a bit of a mixed bag so far.

It’s been cold, wet, windy and snowy. In fact, the weather has been against me as every time the skies been clear, I’ve gone out to try to re-take star trails over Dedridge Pond, and within 10 mins of setting up, the clouds have came and hidden every thing, so I’ve given up and gone home.

I set out to take some long exposures of the weir at the pond and I’d just shot this image

20140110_mucking-12-Edit
Dedridge Pond – 1/40th Second, f18

and out came the snow
Snow’s a bit of an understatement.
Blizzard, really.

So I retreated under the bridge to keep the kit dry … and to carry on shooting

Dedridge Pond
Dedridge Pond – 121 Seconds at f13

and from a slightly different angle

Dedridge Pond
Dedridge Pond – 76 seconds @f13

So I went out one night around the pond in the snow. It was clear – and bloody cold – and after I set up, out came the clouds and the clear skies vanished, along with the stars, leaving a flat, boring orange sky.

Swans
Swans – 52 seconds at f10
The Walkway
The Walkway – 61 seconds at f10
The Dragonfly and the Coot - 70 seconds at f10
The Dragonfly and the Coot – 70 seconds at f10

 

2014 – October – Chrissie Red

October saw another shoot with the totally fantastic Chrissie Red deep in the autumnal depths of Perthshire.

We shot on a hill side

We shot in a wood

Chrissie got a bit wet posing in the river (and at that time of year it would have been cold)

I got some bloody fantastic shots

 

2014 – August – 2

Another pond, another orb … Simon is getting pretty good at these.

This was a test run of a new wirewool rig and it works pretty damn well.
I’m not going to go in to what we’re now using, but it’s pretty damn robust and can take a greater quantity of wool, allows for greater airflow through the wool, and as it’s heavier, you can build up greater speed.
Greater speed = further spark travel

20140905-Orb-2-1

 

Still in August …. and another pond.
Three ponds in one month. Anyone would think I like them.
This is the Dedridge Pond Dragonfly Sculpture and I thought I’d try out the new spinning rig on my own

20140909_Dedrigde Pond-5-1

Now, this didn’t work the way I wanted it to … I wanted the sparks to bounce along the sculpture (I gave myself a massive blister doing this from the spinning line. Wuss that I am), and accent the line of the tail.
This didn’t happen, despite using several grades of wool, and several images later I gave up on that idea and settled for the below shot, which to me looks like golden rain.

20140909_Dedrigde Pond-8-1

But you can make your own mind up

 

This is what the Dragonfly normally looks like (well, in a long exposure on a windy day)

Dedridge Dragonfly
Dedridge Dragonfly

2014 – August

August saw a bit of fire spinning down one of the local ponds (I have two within a 5 minute walk from where I live).
I’d had this idea about this pond, especially liking the leading line that the bollards produce. (I’m sure that they are supposed to be stepping stones … for the really brave!)
Simon went down that end, ball of wire wool and spinner in hand; I stayed up this end with the camera.
Did I mention that this is in the middle of a housing estate in full view of a busy major road?
No?
Well, it is …

 

Needless to say, no one gave a hoot what we were doing …

2013 – September – Dumfries And Galloway

I had a weekend away with the Camera Club and we stayed at an activity centre on the edge of one of Scotland’s Dark Skies National Parks.
Living 13 miles from Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, it’s really difficult to get any decent astrophotography due to the amount of light pollution there is bouncing off of the atmosphere.

All I needed to do was become a decent astrophotographer …