nikon d90

A Highland Adventure Part 2

Hello! It's been a long time since my last post (part laziness, part real-life keeping me away), but during this christmas break, I've had the time to look over my images from the past year. (It has also inspired me to do a sort-of self review - more to come later). In the mean time, I have been busy finishing the images taken during our trip to the Scottish Highlands. Some of them I have been posting on my Flickr page, but many I have not shared with anyone...

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the main reasons for the trip was to try out my new Nikon 16-35 mm lens and Lee Little Stopper. Therefore, many of the images contain the sort of things you would expect - smooth(ish) water, blur, all that lovely stuff!

Interesting granite rock formations in Scotland - always seem to be on a slope! This is the Bowfiddle on the north coast; the rocks are beautiful colours (especially with the different flora growing on it).

A different take on the rock formation from the previous post. The difficulty here was the level of the tide - we were pushed quite far back, so couldn't quite get the perspective I was after. I had seen this location before, in a video by a photographer called Craig McCormick (YouTube link: The other challenge was the amount of light; even with the Little Stopper I couldn't get the shutter speed low enough to get the proper blur in the water.

Fairy Glen Falls - accessed via a lovely walk (about 30 minutes), with a slightly tougher section of stairs and slippery ground at the end. Worth it!

One thing the Little Stopper was (of course) good for - waterfalls. As you'd expect, lots of beautiful waterfalls in the Highlands, and this one was no exception. The tripod (3 legged thing) was in the middle of the pool, and I managed to get a nice blur in the water. Getting good movement like this is partially dependent on the recent weather - lots of rain a day or two before can really help make the image. This one in particular looked much more colourful and saturated in Lightroom, colours never seem to pop as much on websites...

This is Black water river in the north of Scotland. A beautiful, dynamic piece of water.

The final image here illustrates some of the difficulties we have as amateurs travelling when we can and shooting when we have the time or happen to be at a location. The sun is actually above the bridge here, so obviously shooting contre-jour is not exactly ideal for contrast etc. However, much of the detail in the shadows (I exposed for highlights here with the LLS again) was rescued in Lightroom. So, we have to work with what we're given - but we're lucky enough to have amazingly powerful software at our disposal.

A Highland Adventure


We've just got back from a trip to the Scottish highlands, and so begins the big task of selecting and editing the images to share! There were two main toys I wanted to play with on this trip; the Lee Little Stopper and the Nikon 16-35mm f/4. Both of these were bought specifically for this trip, and so most of the images were using one or both of these items!

This image was captured at the Bowfiddle rock formation in Portknockie. A really sleepy fishing town; it was so quiet here we had the little beach to ourselves.

Bowfiddle RockNikon D90, Nikon 16-35mm f/4 @ f/22, 24mm, 2.5 second exposure [Lee Little Stopper].

P.s. To get a really smooth sea, I could have done with the Big Stopper...


Le Tour en Cambridge!


The Tour de France had its Grand Depart this past week in the UK. The third stage left from Cambridge, my home city and luckily my place of work closed for the day! So I got into town early and pitched up outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. This is the photo story of the day, enjoy! [All images captured with a Nikon D90 and either a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 or Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens]

People arrived early in Cambridge to grab the best vantage spots.

A few lucky cyclists were allowed to cycle part of the course a few hours before the race came through.

The caravan is a tour favourite - the cars of the sponsors speed through a couple of hours before the cyclists, chucking out freebies (sort of) towards the spectators.

The French sent over everything with the tour - their own police escort included!

The crowds slowly built up throughout the morning. Every cyclist that came through got a big cheer!



And was time for the tour to come by. So many photomotos accompanied the peloton.

Hours of waiting for around 30 seconds of seeing the tour. But completely worth it - the atmosphere was amazing. The cyclists looked like they were really enjoying seeing all of us by the road to send them on their way.

Team Sky in particular got the biggest cheers of the day, being our home team.

A huge fleet of support cars followed the peloton through. All of them trying to keep close to the cyclists led to a few close calls...

Some vehicles were lagging behind.

And then it was all over. Time for everyone to make their way home.

Cokin filters at the seaside


Hunstanton-wide-3450 When I went up to Hunstanton, I knew one of the things I wanted to practice was using filters more to achieve some interesting effects. Now, I know a lot of people go down the route of blurring the incoming seas, but I like the effect and wanted to try it for myself!

One problem - I don't currently own a "big stopper". The darkest ND filter I own is a 1.2, so I could only reduce shutter speed to about 1/2 a second. Even so, I still got some pleasing blur of the tide.

Oh, another problem - the hitech filter was great, nice tones with little colour cast. The cokin filter however; this produced a huge magenta colour cast that had to be removed in Lightroom. So, the tint slider for this image is actually way over to the left in the greens! This is the problem with filters, and the reason I guess why so many people go for the Lee resins. Maybe one day...

[Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/22, 1/5 sec, ISO 200]

Rough Seas

Hunstanton-mono-3427 The joy (and sometimes, frustration) of shooting outdoors is competing with the British climate!

The north Norfolk coast is almost infamous for the high winds and sudden downpours, and on Monday I experienced a bit of everything! However, this made for a more interesting backdrop to the North Sea. I felt this image was best suited to a mono conversion, with all the white horses in the sea and the clouds behind. [Nikon D90, 50 mm f/1.8 @ f/16, ISO 200, 1/80th sec]

On this trip, I also played around with my ND filters and got some interesting effects. More to come.