Up with the lark

I hadn’t been up early enough to catch a sunrise so decided this was the day, bearing in mind most sensible photographers don’t try this in the summer when the nights are short and days long, meaning you need to get up a silly o’clock (which in this case was about 3 AM) before an hour and a bit drive to the site!

Dunnottar castle was my objective and that is about 1:15 – 1:30 hr drive from my home, so equipped with freshly made coffee I set off, getting there around 15 min before sunrise; so had to quickly find a good spot. I was surprised to see another couple there waiting to catch the same sunrise with their phone cameras, apparently, it was something on the ladies bucket list to do before her 50th!

Anyway, the time came and went for sunrise and it wasn’t the best I had seen but there were moments of clouds clearing and bright sunshine beaming across the landscape, I wanted to get a shot of the castle with the sunrise as a backdrop but it just wasn’t happening. In the end, I decided to try a silhouette effect on the castle and the sun shining through the clouds.

Once sunrise had come and gone I decided to move down to the shoreline and see if there were any scenic opportunities there, I used a long exposure method to try and smooth out the water and give a surreal effect, a few of the results are below, see what you think.

Out and About

Well, the weather this weekend has been great and the forecast for next week is just as good if not better, so I decided to go on a minor trek Saturday up to Moncrieffe hill, which is just a mile or so outside of Perth. It is a beautiful area of woodland (and hill) with a couple of hill fort sites from the stone age I think, although there is not much left of them to see, however, once you are up there the view is extraordinary!

 

Night Wanderings

I decided (last minute) to try out some urban landscape photography, at night, something I haven’t really done much of. So this week I popped out around 10 PM on a dry but chilly evening into town, there were a couple of buildings nearby I was quite keen to have a go at.

The first seen below was the Concert Hall in Perth, the area this is located in has been refurbished recently so is not looking too bad at all, luckily for me this evening was fairly quiet, although to be fair I suspect the concert hall had only closed a short while before.

Concert Hall
Perth Concert Hall

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my lens hood so I picked up a bit more lens flare in the images that I liked, I needed to do a little post-processing in Lightroom to try and get rid of as much as I could.

 

The other location I wanted to capture was the council offices of Perth & Kinross Council, it’s a very attractive building inside and out I think, at night it is beautifully lit up with various coloured lights.

PKC Offices
Council Offices

I chose to use a wide angled lens for both of these shots although, for the council building I used portrait orientation on the lens, a tripod, of course, was also necessary for both images as they were going to be long exposures (around 20 sec) for each.

As a first stab, I don’t think things went too badly, noting of course next time the need to bring my lens hood!

 

Scone Palace

So I was set a task this week, by persons who shall not be named, that is to get some photos of a peacock, preferably with its tail spread out. So where better to find peacocks than Scone Palace, just up the road from us, so off I went.

Scone Palace is an amazing place and set in some beautiful scenery, there are various animals as in highland cows, various birds etc including some lovely and reasonably friendly peacocks.

Peacock tail
Peacock with tail showing

Scone Palace was the crowning place of Scottish kings where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned.

 

 

 

 

 

When the feathers are opened up they are really quite lovely, its obviously part of the mating ritual for the male to display his feathers so not quite sure what to think of him when he opens them out form me taking a picture, maybe he wants me to put them on a dating site for him. 🙂

On the way home I stopped off at a nearby burn where because of the recent rains I knew the water levels should be half decent, I wanted to see if I could get some long exposure shots of running water in the woodland.

Waterfall
Long exposure of a local burn

 

Picture in picture

I had a trip up to Bruar falls today ( Falls) near Blair Atholl, its been ages since I was last here but theyLower falls didn’t disappoint, it’s a bit of a trek up the hill although the bridge and first falls seen below are not too far from the car park.

in this photo are the lower falls and they are around a 10-minute walk from the car park, there is a viewing point just around on the left of the bridge where I took the next phot. it is really a beautiful area to take a walk and enjoy the scenery

 

Falls view
View of falls from the parapet.

The next image is a shot of the falls as seen from a small viewing platform (it’s a natural rock formation) found to the left of the bridge and going through a gap in the rocks.

The water below was so clear but looked very cold so I didn’t fancy a dip, however, I did spot there was a nice location for a shot on the ground to the left next to the water’s edge; it looked a bit tricky to get down there so I didn’t try it today, maybe another time!!

I also thought it might be interesting to show you how I set up the shots above, so the next image below gives you an idea of that. (Clicking on the image will open a new page with a larger image)

Setup shot
Bruar Falls Setup

 

 

A bit of a stroll!

Today was a lovely sunny day, so I decided to visit a local loch intending to get some photos as its pretty picturesque.Rohallion

It’s not far from Perth where I live so didn’t take long to get there and is called Loch Rohallion.
As it was such a lovely day I decided to walk around the Loch and up the hill a bit as I knew there was a dam nearby, it was one of those I’ll just see whats over the next hill type of walks, and there were quite a few hills and corners!

On the way up the hill, I came across a grand building in the middle of the forest called Rohallion Lodge, a very impressive old building with a beware of the dogs notice so I didn’t venture too close!

Eventually, I came across the dam, which was more of a small loch to be honest, although I know from Wikipedia that it was man-made and called Robin’s Dam, again a very picturesque scene complete with swans and ducks etc.

Leave the dam / small loch and heading uphill the views across the countryside just got better and better, soon I was getting high enough to get a really good view of the surrounding country.

I was also by this time getting pretty pooped, so decided it was time to stop for some refreshments, picnic with a view sort of thing. It had probably taken around 2 hours to get to this point.

I hadn’t thought to measure it on my phone on the way up but did going down and it was just over 2 miles for near the tp to the car on the main road.

After a short break I started back up the hill, although I did make a quick detour off road to see if I could get a decent view of the Lodge from above, after a couple of slips and falls on the boggy ground I could just see the lodge from above, but there were too many trees in the way for a decent photo!

Continuing up the hill, the track started to become frosty and had a scattering of snow on the ground, making progress a little bit tricky at times, eventually though I came to the summit of the hill and had some amazing views up there.

The walk back down was easier although no less tiring and so by the time I got to the car I was read y for home and some decent to eat, I was starving after more than 4 hours out.

Route
Route up

 

 

Up a hill we go.

Well the weather is certainly doing it’s thing at the moment, today a good lot of snow falling and more to come, just the kind of weather where I wish I had a nice 4×4 Landrover (other 4×4 models are available!) rather than a small mini cooper; not the kind of transport to be driving out and about in this kind of weather.

So I decided to use version 1.0 mode of transport, my legs, and took a walk up Kinoull hill which is not far from home, its usually around a 45 min walk but in this weather took a little over an hour. Exhausted, I eventually arrived at the top where the views are normally amazing, with the weather as it was it was impressive.

Selfie
Obligatory selfie

The Bruce

Robert the Bruce King of Scots 1274 – 1329 was a classical Scots hero and no friend of an Englishman, below is a photo of his statue at the Bannockburn heritage site near Stirling. Taken on a very early and cold morning, in the hope of catching a nice sunrise with the statue in a good position, as it turned out although fairly short-lived, the sunrise was extraordinary!

Bruce
The Bruce

The Glencoe Experiance!

The waters which tumble from these high mountains and give rise to a series of spectacular waterfalls gather initially at the ‘Meeting of the Three Waters’ to form the River Coe. Less than a mile lower down, at the very heart of Glencoe, the river widens briefly to form the sombre yet beautifully situated Loch Achtriochtan.

Glencoe
Meeting of the 3 Waters

The mountains of Glencoe are built from some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world. They were subsequently moulded, sheared and repositioned by a geological event known as a ‘cauldron subsidence’ which took place 380 million years ago.

The mountains which first greet the visitor arriving from the south are the strikingly beautiful and instantly recognisable peaks of the Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, – ‘The great’ and ‘The little’ Herdsmen of Etive. Magnificent though they may be, neither of these mountains is the reigning peak of the Glen or the district. That distinction belongs to the peak of Bidean nam Bian; whose main summit is hidden above and behind its more famous outliers, three great-truncated spurs known as ‘The Three Sisters of Glencoe’.

The Falls

Braan falls can be found near Dunkeld in Scotland, just along the road from and another impressive fall at the Hermitage, this image is of the falls just before the run under an old stone bridge into a deep gorge. It quite an impressive area altogether.

Falls
The falls at Braan water

The bridge this river flows under is known locally as the “Rumbling Bridge” when you stand on it with the water in full flow you understand why!