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.
I'm Mike, I am the (Self appointed!) web master for Fraserburgh Photographic Society (FPS). I started taking photography seriously a couple of years ago and joined Fraserburgh Photographic Society