Last week we got the results of the first of the monthly competitions. You can always learn from competitions, you might not agree with the judges remarks, or marks for that matter, but there is always some truth in what they say and more times than not it is worth taking on board. The meeting report and winners can be found here. Below are the three images that I submitted.
Room For One More
The judge thought that this image or at least the presence of the gull in flight could have been an accident. It may have crept into the frame of what was going to be a picture of gulls lined up on the railings. He did however say that that did not matter as many a good picture was the result of serendipity. I honestly cannot remember if the flying gull was there by luck or excellent timing and judgement on my part. What he did criticise was the fact that it should have been the flying gull in sharp focus not the ones on the railing. He liked the composition of the railings going diagonally though the image but expressed concern that there was not enough space between the flying gull and the op of the image. I agree and it concerned me when I put the image into the competition. His solution, that did not occur to me was to extend the canvas upwards and fill the extension with sky colour. He gave this image 14 out of 20.
T S Royalist
The judge liked the panoramic crop of this images and the way the sailing ship, the subject of the image was well framed by the other two elements, the beacon and the wreck. He felt that the subject matter displayed good tension between the old, bur seaworthy TS Royalist and the new but wrecked fishing boat. This tension he said helps the viewer construct a story or at least makes the views think about the image. He told us that some people believe that there is a convention that an object travelling from right to left in an image symbolises going back into the past. The sailing ship is therefore strengthening the narrative of the picture. He liked the lighting coming in from the left giving a 3D effect to the wreck. This lead him to think that the image could be converted to black and white to be more effective. Score - 15
Loanhead Stone Circle
The judge thought that the HDR treatment of this image was effective as that technique works well in picking out textures. He said he would like to have seen the whole of the foreground stone in the image and this was a composition issue. He noted that the clouds on the right were burnt out (over exposed) and said that with the closeness of the sun this was more or less inevitable. However it should not have been kept in the image. The right hand clouds should have been cloned out and carefully replaced with well exposed clouds. He emphasised that these were not journalistic or nature images and that sort of change was perfectly acceptable. He liked the star burst effect of the sun at the top of the foreground stone. This one got 16 points.
The other big development of the past few weeks has been my acquisition of a new, to me, lens. It is a sigma 150 - 500mm f/5-6.3 APO HMS DG OS lens for a canon. I bought it on an E-bay auction, a first for me previously I got thing from E-bay on a 'buy it now' basis. Its main function is to take wildlife shots. There are several thing about the lens which are new to me and with which I am impressed.
1st the large front lens lets in a lot of light so even at the long end of the lens it is often possible to get a fast enough shutter speed to use it hand held.
2nd the image stabilisation seems to be better on this lens than my old 70 -300 canon lens again making 'hand held' an option
3rd the auto focus is quicker and quieter then any other lens I have got.
4th and surprisingly it seems to be well balanced enough for me to carry it about without and discomfort even though it is heavy.
5th the images come out all right as well!
Here are a few of my efforts with it
Other notable events include a couple of runs out on Stuart Fenty's RIB, a couple of photo shoots one to the Montrose area the other to Gamrie a trip to Edinburgh and the zoo and the return of the geese to the Loch of Strathbeg. Here are a few more images
What has been happening over the summer
It's been a good summer. Lots of sun here in Fraserburgh, lots to do and lots of photographs taken. And summer is not over yet. S o please accept my apologies this blog will be a bit long
In May I refound Pitfour Estate outside Mintlaw. I had been there several years ago but now it is open to the public and has good paths round the lake and woodlands. It is a graet place for photography ....and fishing.
I had a trip to Edinburgh calling at Scone Palace on the way there returning via Glenshee and Loch Muick. All providing more wildlife photo oportunities
In June there was an event on every weekend
Vintage Car Rally 1st
RNLI Open Day 7th
Phase One 27th -29th
Phase One was a new visual arts exhibition. Fraserburgh Photographic Society joined with three art groups to put on an exhibition in Dalrymple Hall
The Queens Baton Relay arrived in the Broch on 29th
July was a scorcher. People flocked to the beach
And at the end of the month there was a Fraserburgh Photographic Society mini photo shoot. Four of us gathered at St Johns church, Gamrie to watch the cruise ship 'Ruby Princess' go past. The others had better images than mine!
The focus of attention at the start of the month was at the beach. Two windsurfing events took place. 'Windfest Scotland' and the only UK leg of a European surfing championship
Another trip I undertook was connected with the Facebook Group 'NE Scotland Wildlife. Normally you post things up oto Facebook and comment or like other peoples images and posts. Breaking away from this norm the organisers of this group set up a meet for any group members at the Ythan. It was great to meet the people you only knew from their images and it awas a great wildlife day out. Lots of Terns, a Little Egret and at least five Ospreys.
The above was by no means all that was happening over summer. Supper Saturday markets went from strength to strength. Witherspoons opened the Saltoun Inn, there were Galas, harbour open days and of course lots og photographs taken.
Now my only problem is which 10 to select for the Fraserburgh Photographic Society meeting on 11th September? The programme says ' bring along up to 10 Images to show what you photographed during the summer break.'
In time honoured fashion here are a few more of my summer images
A is for Aurora
It has been a good month for the Aurora Borealis. With clear skys and displays on at least three occasions. And as with all things practice leads to improvement. and to learning. Here are the images I took on the first night I saw it (8/02/2014)
There are a couple of things to point out in these images. The first is clear - car trails - As these images were taken from my garden they are difficult to avoid. So are the wires, but they are not as intrusive. The second is more difficult to see in these images. There was a thin layer of cloud so only a few stars were visible. As you will see they are blurred and show as little streaks. The streaks are because the image was taken on a 90 sec exposure and stars move. But I could not work out why they were blurred. It was dark and so difficult to focus on the sky so I focused on the furthest away object I could see. Clearly it was not far enough away. The ISO was 100 aperture f6 and focal length 18mm.
The Aurora was showing again on the 16th.
To get these shots I went down to Cairnbulg Harbour away from the lights of Fraserburgh and from car trails. It was a clearer night so I was able to focus using live view. The results were better. I still had the streaky stars, exposure time was long. And instead of the car trail I got a ship trail. ISO 400, aperture f7, focal length 18mm.
The Aurora showed again on 23rd.
This time I thought I would crack the focus issue. As the stars were 'infinity' away I turned to focus ring right round. As uyou can see it did not work. I had discovered, too late, that the infinity focus is not quite all the way round. I took thirty shot one after the other to get my first time lapse video. 90 sec exposures,ISO 800, f7 focal length 40mm. Unfortunately I can't upload it to the blog but you can find it on Facebook here
The final show was on the 27th, and what a show. I have nearly nailed the exposure - all the way round and then back a bit - still not acurate but a lot better. If any one knows how to get it nailed on please let me know. The dispay was so bright that only 3 - 4 second exposures were necessary and so high it was easy to avoid the car trails.
The top three images are close to reality. The only processing was to push the clarity and vibracne sliders a little in Abobe Camera Raw. The bottom images have been enhanced by just clicking on the Auto Fix button in Photoshop Elements 10.
B is For Book
Aberdeenshire Council set Photographic Clubs in the county a challenge to take images of various places described by the councils 'ambassadors. So in addition to aurora hunting I have been visiting three of these places. Crovie, Aden Country Park and Collieston. Unfortunately we are not allowed to publish the images we subbmitted without the councils permission. I have asked if I can put them on the web site but haven't got an answer yet. One image from each location will be published in a glossy table top book. Here are some of the images I did not put into the challenge.
If permission is granted to put up the submitted images I will do so.
C is for Competitions
There have been two competition results anounced in the past few weeks. You can see the winning entries by following this link and read a report here
Here are the ones I put into the 4th monthly competition
The Judge in this competition was harsh. For the Rhea he suggested a crop that took out the light spot on the top edge towards the left. The waterfall was too grainy and lacked contrast. He quite liked the bridge.
Here are the changes. Any better?
I submitted these three to the print competition. The judge was a lot more generous with his marking and more constuctive in his comments. But then I would say that because the storm picture won the competition. It was suggested that the road and cars should be cropped from the fishing village scene and that there should have been a wider depth of field given to the taod to better show the colours and textures in its throat.
....a selection of other images I have taken over the last few weeks
Storms - and an occasional lull between them
The storms seem to have been constant during January. With a SE wind this has resulted in some big waves hitting the coast. Every photographer in the area seems to have been out at one time or another to take pictures. Here are a couple of mine but you will find more on the Fraserburgh Photographic Society Facebook page. From 13th February these will be in a slide show at the Lighthouse Museum in Fraserburgh. Well worth a visit I'm sure
The rain that has accompanied the wind has lead to some flooding but nowhere near the extent being experienced in England. This is Longside Golf Course, about ten miles from Fraserburgh
And here is a lull
Digiscoping the next instalment
In my last post I said that I had sent away for a piece of kit that would attached my camera to the new telescope. Well It arrived and I was getting al set to use it but...in taking the eye cup of the telescope the top section of the eye piece came off as well. When I eventually got the eye cup and the bit of lens separated I put on the new bit of kit and, guess what, I could not get that off the eye piece. The telescope went back and I ordered a different one. It has arrived and the whole digiscoping set up fits together. So here are the first images that it produced
You are right. There are not very good. They are washed out, not very sharp and rather grainy. One reason is that they were taken in the late afternoon and it was overcast so there was not a lot of light. A setting of ISO 6400 could only get me a shutter speed of 1/80. The other thing that I found was that at a low magnification the setup could not do close focus. These birds were about 5 meters away. Up the magnification and focus could be achieved but only at the expense of light. And at high magnification the sharpness of the image is on the wane. Camera shake is also a problem. Although its all mounted on a tripod the slightest thing will shake it.
My next try was on a trip to Rosehearty to find a White-billed Diver. I found the bird, too far away even to try to get an image of it. But there were boats anchored in New Aberdour Bay. Here are two image of the same boat. One through the 'scope the other with my zoom at 70mm. So for stationary shipping at least the system does what it is supposed to do.
So I went back to the garden birds. The light was better and I was able to increase the shutter speed to 1/160. It still needed a further two stops of exposure Adobe Camera Raw Editor. But the results are a significant improvement.
The other thing I have learnt is that post processing is just as important for these 'record' images as it is for competition entries. Here is what I mean. For quickness, I pressed 'Auto Smart Fix' in Elements 10 for the first digiscoped picture above. I went back to one and did a full edit. Below are a straight from the camera image, a 'Auto Smart Fix' image and a full edit image No prizes for guessing which is which.
Still not sharp though.
A couple of other points to make. First is that the telescope and tripod are heavy and require a heavy tripod. I had problems getting it to stay fixed on one point. I would fix on a point tighten up the tripod and the scope would drift away. Second is focusing. There is no auto focus. Focus is achieved using the telescope focus wheel. I found that it had to be done using live view. So keeping the set up on a fixed point, focusing and working the cable shutter release needed three hands!
More about digiscoping in future blogs
One of my other activities over the last weeks was to go with my youngest daughter looking at pre history sites in Aberdeenshire. She was staying for a couple of days. We managed to find several carved stones, a stone circle and a vitrified fort
And some more images from the past few weeks
A Mini Photo Shoot
The first weekend of the New Year saw three of the FPS members getting up at the crack of dawn, actualy an hour before dawn, to get to Rattray Head for sun up and a low tide. We were looking for the wrecks that are suposed to be there. No wrecks but the was a good sunrise
And the opportunity to take other photographs as well. With appologies to Ally Hederson I found some foot prints (they were Stuarts) ans some marron grass in the sand
On the way home I found some decay and deriliction at the old Crimond air base. Members of FPS are collecting these for the themed competition in March. I also found a Little Egret at the Loch of Strathbeg
Playing with Lenses
On one of my walks around the area I had a little play at taking a long exposure 0.25 secs and zooming the lens at the same time. With the same long exposure I also shifted the cameras in a vertical plane. The first of the images below is the only one of these that could be published. I think that with more practice and more thought about subject mater I could get something out of this. They were done hand held and using a tripod might be more effective.
A new Toy for Digiscoping
On the subject of birds I have just got a new telescope. I have also sent away for the bit of kit that lets you put a DLSR on the eye piece to make it into a camera and 'telephoto lens that gives a magnification of 24 - 48 times. Its called digiscoping. I am told that it most effective at the low magnification. But even this gives an effective focal length of 1200mm. And theoretically at maximum magnification the effective focal length would be 2400mm. The telescope is a lot brighter and sharper than the one I had to replace. Time will tell if images from the system will also be bright and sharp. By the way my intention is to use it for bird photographs. So in the meantime here are a few garden birds taken with my 80 - 300mm lens.
Sheep and a Deer
The other mamal story is much nicer. The sheep have arrived in the field across the road. It seems to be January migration. The firast ones come down the road. Later arrivals come in a lorry. The field has neeps for tem to eat.
The final story is about storms. Up until now this neck of the woods has had a quiet winter at least compared with the rest of the UK. However all that has changed. The last few days has brought strong winds, rain and high tides. It all makes for dramatic photographs. The Lighthouse museum has a competition about weather to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the highest wind speed on the UK coast click here for details about how to enter. A lot of people were out taking the chance to get dramatic images. Here are some of mine. Can anyone with extreme weather images post them on the FPS Facebook page please. All images posted will make up a slide show that will be on view at the same time and in the same place as the Lighthouse 'Brock Storm Competition exhibition Click here to go to the page
a few more images from the last few weeks
The images in this blog were taken by Stuart Fenty, Michelle Scott, Brian Sandison and Mike Chandler
On Sunday 29th December four of us representing Fraserburgh Photographic Society mounted an expedition to the Dee valley. Stuart had done all the research. So we knew where we were going and we knew that the weather would be favourable. The aim was to find bridges and waterfalls. Stuart also took on the task of expedition driver. (I suspect that the we would have been hard pressed to stop him.) The start of the journey was perilous with ice on the road. It wasn’t until we hit the roundabouts of the Aberdeen ring road that we found out what Stuarts Audi S6 5.2 v10 could do. I don’t think the boy racers in the Astra knew what had left them standing.
But enough of the transport the expedition was about photography. The other two intrepid photographers were Michelle Scott and Brian Sandison. Our first stop was at the Falls of Feugh. Plenty of water but treacherous underfoot - ice. Long shutter speeds were the order of the day. We found that this was not possible on the foot bridge as the slightest movement on the bridge led to camera shake and a blurred image. The solution was to make our way down the river bank, get close to the water, then try set up the tripod to be steady on the stones and roots. The alternative was to go onto the road bridge and dodge the traffic coming over the narrow roadway.
A few other experiments were tried here. Brian had some welding glass to strap to his lens in order to stop down the light and achieve the slow shutter speeds required to get an image showing a milky flow of water over the rocks. The experiment failed. The light in the valley was poor and the glass only served to virtually block it out all together. The task I set myself was to tackle the extreme lighting conditions looking down stream. The dark wooded river banks contrasted with the reflections on the river itself and in the distance was a white house brilliantly highlighted by sunlight. Michelle tried the same shot. Meanwhile Stuart was trying out his hired Canon 24-70 F2.8 lens. Brian had a go with it, well it did have a neutral density filter that preformed better than the welding glass.
The second stop was Potarch Bridge. The light had improved. The steep sides of the river Feugh were replaced by the wide banks of the Dee itself. The light reflecting off the river onto the underside of the bridge was something special and well captured by the expedition. The Potarch Hotel next to the bridge was empty and boarded up and may have provided expedition members the source of images to enter into this years themed competition ‘Decay and Dereliction’.
The next objective lay in Dess Wood by Kincardine O’Niel. Stuart in his research on Google maps had found a waterfall on Dess Burn. We found where to park, there was another group of photographers just coming out of the valley. They assured us that although there were steps down to the valley floor it was not an easy descent but the rewards were worth the effort. They were right in every respect. There were steps they were wet and slippery and with a rise of a couple of feet per step. The hand rail did little to give one confidence in the descent; it wobbled and had gaps where no gaps should have been and at one point was freshly broken. But all that was forgotten by the sight of the waterfall. There was just the right amount of water to provide a fantastic spectacle. Stuart had put on his wellington boots so was able to go out into the burn to get his shots. The rest of us stayed on the bank. This was a waterfall where taking good shots was easy, taking great ones was a possibility. Even for non photographers this is a ‘must visit’ place. I am sure I will return many times in an attempt to capture its different moods.
There was no stopping us now. We had got the waterfall bug, so it was on to the Burn o’ Vat in the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve. We got to the visitors centre and our hearts sunk. The car park was full this must mean that we would have difficulty getting clear shots. Still we decided to give it a try. Following the advice of Ally Henderson we all put on wellington boots . Making sure Michelle got the ones with pink flowers we followed the path. It was a bit up and down. Certainly the furthest we had had to walk all day, but much, much easier than the climb down, and back up, to the Dess Burn. None of us had been here before. You could feel a little disappointment that the stream we were following didn’t seem to fit well with the image we all had of a great waterfall. However this soon evaporated as we saw where we had to go. The path went into the stream, we were glad we had followed Ally’s advice with the wellies, and led through a small gap in the bank ahead of us. Six feet high and less than two feet wide and ten feet deep the gap opened up into a wide ’pot’. Just that sight was awe inspiring but at the far side of the pot the waterfall finished off the scene to perfection. And, amazingly, we were the only ones there. Angles and views were found and images taken just as more people started to arrive. By this time we were all well used to slowing the shutter speed to capture the essence of the flow of water over the falls. Down in the ‘pot’ it was quite dark and a neutral density filter was hardly necessary. By now we were all weighing up the options of tasking bracketed exposures to ‘HDR’ the final images.
Our final destination was due to be the falls at the Linn of Dee. However on the way there we made an unscheduled stop at Invercauld Bridge between Crathes and Breamar. On this streach of the A93 we had another demonstration of the power of Stuarts Audi. There were ‘Sunday Drivers’ out on the road. Stuart found short straights to overtake by throwing us back in our seats as the G force created by the acceleration as he manoeuvred (quite safely) past the sightseers. At Invercauld we found not one but two bridges, the old one now closed to vehicles, and the not so old one carrying the A93 across the river Dee. An unscheduled stop means that forward planning gets a bit tricky. We pulled off the road and down the track to the old bridge stopping just in front of the bollards stopping cars going any further only to be accosted, albeit quite nicely, by the lady in the house just by the turning that we couldn’t park there. Stuart had to find another place. As it turned out over half a mile back the way we had come, to park. Two bridges both worth photographing. I have a little beef about the old bridge. It had at some stage been repointed. I have no problem with that because if it wasn’t it may fall down. However they, the pointers, had nearly covered all the granite stonework with their cement which took away some of the beauty of the graceful old bridge. By now it was starting to cloud over. The surrounding hills were snow covered. This presented different challenges again. How to make the sky look interesting? How to get the snow into the frame? Where to find colour in a grey sky, grey river and grey granite stonework? All things considered I think we managed to answer these questions quite well.
There was a lot more snow as we got closer to the Linn of Dee but not enough to cause any problems. There was more walking from the car park to the falls but all on the flat. As we got closer the signs ‘Deep Gorge Ahead’ seemed to get more urgent. When we got there we found the swift flowing river Dee channelled into a gorge. The force of the water as it cascades down the narrows is to be seen. The task for us as photographers was to capture the force of the torrent and the scale of the gorge that it had created. I hope that we managed to do it justice. By now the rain had started. I don’t think anyone noticed until we started to make our way back to the car.
It was a long day. Starting at eight in the morning and getting back after six. As with other photo shoot trips I am sure that many of the images will be seen in various competitions and I some I am equally sure will score top marks. Thanks must go to Stuart Fenty who drove all day, did all the planning and thought up the whole venture. My thanks also go to Michelle Scott and Brian Sandison who along with Stuart were amiable and at time daring companions willing to share their knowledge and help to make the trip so successful. I wonder where the next one is going to take us?
Lets catch up with what I have been doing in the latest club competitions
In the second of the monthly competitions one of my images came third 'Bow Fiddle Rock'. To see the other winers go to the 'Monthly Winners' page. The other two images I submitted did all right as well
In the third of the monthly competitions none were placed in the top three but then again none were totaly rubbished by the judge either. Here are the images I submitted
There was also a themed competition 'Night Time' in which again I did not get placed but did not disgrace myself. Here are the images To see the ones that won go to the 'other competitions' page
Now I have a difficulty in choosing which images to put into competitions. Here are some other Night Time ones I could have chosen
One of the things I have been experimenting with recently is Textures. Getting close up to subjects and making an abstract image that highlights the texture. The subjects I have looked at have been rocks and trees but I have Ideas to do the same with other subjects. To get it all in focus the surface has to be flat and you have to be able to get the focal plane of the camera parallel with the subject. You also have to have enough light. The shots using flash did not look that great.
I have managed to get some bird pictures over the last few weeks. Getting the subject to fill the frame is one issue that has to be tackled with bird photography. The trick is to either choose a big birds that will fill the frame or get ridiculously close to them. I have tried to stalk birds to get close but nearly always I get found out. So use my car as a hide which has its limitations. Getting a portable hide is on my list of things to get. Another way is to find semi tame bird in a zoo or public park. I took pictures of Puffins at the Treshnish Isles on the West Coast of Scotland this summer. They are so use to visitors that you can get really close to them. The gulls in Fraserburgh Harbour are also tame or is it fearless? A third option is to concentrate on garden birds. Putting up feeders attracts them in and hiding in the house or garden shed can be rewarded with some good shots. A fair bit of gardening is required to ensure that the shots look natural. Going to a nature reserve isn't as good as you might expect. Although there are hides these tend to be a long way from the birds. Often the best opportunity to get close to birds at a reserve is at the feeders they put up near the visitors centre. This has the drawback of often having to include the feeder itself in the shot.
And of course you will need a ridiculously long lens no matter how close you get. If you look through the FPS competition winners you will find some great bird images. There have also been some good ones that have just missed out on a place.
Here are a few of my recent bird pictures
Finally a few more recent images
At the begnining of the month Rosehearty and Cairnbulg held there firework and bonfire nights. So there was another oportuity to take some nighttime shots. The fireworks were not as spectacular as the ones last month at Aeen, but then they don't have the same sort of budget as oil giant Shell. But they did have bonfires which is a different challenge and stalls selling hot dogs, burgers, kippers and cullen skink soup
Fiddling,...... and Accordions
Last Friday was the chance to do some indoor photography of a concert. The Scottish Accordion Group was playing at Lonmay Public Hall and we have managed to get tickets. Here are some of the shots. The drummer we ere told was 93 years old so Charlie Watts has a fair bit of catching up to do. As well as fiddles and accordions the capacity crowd were entertained by singers and stories, poetry and a special numbers arranged for massed spoon players.
I did another couple of shoots at the nearest stretch of water. A pond set up for shooting wildfowl. When they are not shooting it holds all sorts of ducks and a couple of hundred whooper swans. They fly in at dawn from their roost on he Loch of Strathbeg and a little later fly of again to feed. They are in small family parties so there is never a great mass take off like there is with Pink-footed Geese. It is another low light level photography challenge.
I probably failed the nest low light challenge. I wanted to take shots of car light trails. So I set myself up on a hill looking over a nice bendy road, the one that goes past the Cairnbulg cemetery and the Waters of Philorth. Camera on a tripod, low ISO, f11 and consquently a shutter speed of 20 - 30 seconds. Just right for the cars to go round the bends. My mistake was that I pressed the shutter rather than put it on a remote or self timer. The result was camera shake which can be seen in the lights of Fraserburgh in the distance. But here they are anyway. I will go back and get it right sometime.
here is a selection of other images taken in the last few weeks
The last couple of week seem to have been about lighting up the sky. There was one man made event 'Aden-een' and several natural ones.
Aden-een is an event run by Theatre Modo involving hundreds of local school children. Basiclly Theatre Modo teach the children basic circus skills, stilt walking, fire dancing, drumming and so on. They then get dressed up in fabulous costumes and put on a show. Aden-een was all about scary things in the night. Bands of the children were strategicly places thought Aden Country Park woods and visitors to the event followed a circuit round the woods to be scared, entertained and amazed by the performances, costumes and the whole spectacle of it all.
The finale is a firework display sponsored by Shell using the ruins of Aden House as the setting.
This is only the second time I have been serious about taking images of fireworks. By serious I mean that I had a tripod and thought about what I was going to do. The first time was last year when I got far too close to where they were being set off and so was unable to get much in the frame at all. This time thing seem to be better. ISO 400 and 800, Shutter speed 1sec or there abouts, aperture f6, focal length 18mm to 30mm. Now I have some decent firework images I will be a bit more adventurous next time (Nov 5th Rosehearty, Nov 9th Cairnbulg).
Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis
Two days before the excitement of the fireworks we ere treated to a natrual display that plays out on a much grander scale. A phone call from our friend Lesley got me out into the garden to photograph the Aurora Borealis. She had recommended ISO 800, a 30 sec exposure widest possible aperture and widest possible focal length.
Although the neighbours lights were annoying, look at the lens flare, they did light up the trees. I think that some foreground makes a better images.
I tried a few pictures up the road away from the lights. At one point in the pitch dark I got the fright of my life when a large furry thing brushed against my legs. I quickly switched my torch on only to discover it was our cat, Sith, who had come to see what I was doing. He then proceeded to ruin a few shots by knocking into the tripod.
At the end of the show I tried other camera settings. Bringing down the ISO to 200 and increasing the exposure to 50 seconds. Here is the result a much crisper image with les noise. The light on the left if Fraserburgh
Sunrise and Rainbows
Two more natural wonders that light up the sky. I have to admit that the colours of the third image owe a little to Photoshop Elements.
Lighting up the Sky with Life
Early in the morning, before the sun is up, is the time to witness another natural spectacle that fills the sky with life. Goose watch at the Loch of Strathbeg. It starts quietly with a skein of a few hundred geese or a flight of wigeon or whooper swan fly past.
Then suddenly the noise starts, its difficult to know where it comes from, it seems to be all around a cacophony rising in volume untill it fills the air. Then they lift off. Not hundreds, not thousands but tens of thousands of Pink-footed geese take to the air filling the sky not with noise but with life. It is one of the natural wonders of Scotland, of the UK, of Europe, and it is not to be missed.
You would be forgiven for thinking that I have been going round with my eyes pointed skywards all the time. But not so I have been looking for other things to photograph. Here are a few other images from the last couple of weeks.
The first of the at Fraserburgh Photographic Society That I haven't mantioned here so I will now.
The first Monthly Competition winners were announced on 3rd October. One of my images came third. Click here to see the top three. Here are my other two entries.
The judge thought that 'Daffodil' had too many other bits in ti such as the leaves poking up from the bottom. I think that I agree. He said the background in 'Buzzard' was too yellow. I don't agree with that.
The second one was the first print competition of the year. The winners can be seen here. Here are my entries
Now you want it what colour?'
The judge said that he would have preferred the foreground of the wall to have been sharp and was too dominant. He thought that there should have been more contrast to highlight the bridge and that the two cars under the bridge were distracting. I tried but could not clone out the cars and get a match with the bridge. One member came up with the solution that just had not occurred to me, make the wall higher to hide them.
'Does my bum look big in this?'
I unknowingly committed a cardinal sin with this image. It included a rival photographer!. If I had known I would have cloned him out, I do now. Apart from that the judge said it was a little soft.
'Don't come any nearer'
The judge felt the position of the seal was a little awkward and that there was a lack of detail in the fur .
So things learned and mistakes made and hopefully not to be repeated.
Two grandchildren and their mother came to visit for a few days so here are a few family snaps. We went to Fraserburgh beach and play park nd we went to the Macduff aquarium had luch at Duff House and went to Duff House play park. Oh and we carved a pumpkin.
The first stormy day of Autumn arrived on the 10th. I suspect we will get worse as it turns to winter
And finally a few more images from the last two weeks