Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle Panorama

Photo of the Day

Happy 2012 everyone! Let’s start the new year off with a photo of one of my favourite places on earth: Eilean Donan Castle.

This is one of the first castles I ever visited and I’ve been hooked on the things ever since. I grew up reading Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and whatever other fantasy novels I could get my hands on, so if I couldn’t spend any time around knights or dragons, a castle would suit me just fine. Unfortunately for me, you don’t find a lot of epic castles in western Canada.

So when I took a trip to Scotland in the year 2000, I was awestruck. All my romantic, idealised visions of medieval Europe came to life. I had never walked a castle’s walls until Eilean Donnan, so it holds a pretty special place in my fantasy-loving heart. After all, you never forget your first castle, right? It was just as great when we got the chance to last year.

This particular shot of the castle deviates from the usual views you’ll spot on the postcards in that it’s shot from the East to the West. The castle itself doesn’t cut quite as interesting a profile from this side, but this blossoming sunset was too good to pass up especially after a mostly rainy day driving up from Northwest England on our way to the Isle of Skye.

This panorama was a challenging one to get exposed properly. The sun obviously overwhelmed the scene on the left side, so I bracketed exposures through the whole panorama. There was a fair amount of post-processing work that needed to be done to align the photos and get the different exposures working together, butI got there in the end to reveal this photo which captures some of the warm glow that bathed the castle that evening.

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Eilean Donan Castle


Glenfinnan Monument Panorama

Photo of the Day

The drive up to the Isle of Skye is a fairly long one by UK standards, but it certainly has a lot of possibilities for stopping points along the way. Though this was a little bit out of the way for our route, the view is worth it.

This the Glenfinnan Monument which presides over Scotland’s Loch Shiel. The monument commemorates Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite uprising – Glenfinnan was the place where he raised his standard to begin his campaign.

I was only able to get this photo after making a couple of trudges up the hill behind the monument. When I first climbed to the viewpoint, the weather decided to be rather uncooperative. As soon as my camera was out, it started to rain. I put my camera away, and the sun briefly broke through. No sooner was my tripod set up again and the rains came back. The fast-moving clouds seemed to be taunting me.

I headed back down the hill and I wandered out to the monument with my very patient wife. On the way, the clouds parted and dramatic bursts of light dappled the loch. Back up the hill I went. I got there just in time to catch the last rays hitting the hills before being sealed up behind the clouds.

This shot was easily worth two trips up the hill.

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Glenfinnan Monument Panorama


Sligachan Bridge Panorama

Photo of the Day

On my way up to the Old Man of Storr to try to catch the sunrise, I was driving past one of my favourite sights on Skye and had to stop to catch the dawn breaking over the old bridge on the river Sligachan. Despite having gone past this place a number of times, this was the first where there was good light, so the Storr would have to wait a few moments.

I’m glad I did stop because the sunrise at the Old Man was lacklustre that day, so I happily took this as a consolation prize.

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Sligachan Bridge Panorama


The Old Man of Storr Panorama

Photo of the Day

I haven’t had much time to process many of the photos from the trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland and, this Saturday, I’m set for another jaunt. This next trip is to Alston and Hadrian’s Wall will likely be the main subject of my photos. My hard drive will soon be overflowing and I’ll have even more images to try to catch up on.

One of the few photos I’ve had the chance to pay attention to is today’s photo-of-the-day offering from the Old Man of Storr. The Storr is a rocky hill sitting on the ridge that rises over much of the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye and the Old Man is the jagged pinnacle you see in the photo below.

It took a couple of attempts to get this photo. The first morning I attempted the ascent to this position, the clouds swept in before I was in the right spot and no amount of cajoling would make them leave (actually, that seem to anger them and they rained on me fast and hard).

The second hike up the hill was much more fruitful than that blustery morning. The Isle of Skye is full of magical places and this might be one of the most magical for me. The pinnacles of rock are far more immense than this photo conveys in low resolution. The full res shot reveals a head-high sign on the path and it is completely dwarfed by the Old Man’s gargantuan size. Walking amongst those giants is like living in a fantasy novel. It’s quite a place.

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The Old Man of Storr Panorama


Panoramic View of the Cuillins from Elgol

Photo of the Day

The Cuillins seen from Elgol on the Isle of Skye in Scotland stand as one of Britain’s classic views. The jagged peaks rising directly from the ocean make for an impressive sight.

In shooting a panoramic, I had hoped to capture both the forbidding Scottish peaks on the other side of the water and also the rocky coast in the foreground to give a wider sense of what it was like to be there that evening.

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Elgol Coast


Loch Slapin on the Isle of Skye

Photo of the Day

A recent trip to Scotland’s Isle of Skye was accompanied by some predictably damp Scottish weather. What I hadn’t predicted was that the tail end of a hurricane would be sailing overhead and drenching the land beneath.

For a couple days, the driving rains kept most sensible folk inside. Apart from a few stubborn moments that resulted in unusable photos of raindrops on a camera lens, I was sensible too.

But on the day of this photo, the rain had started to abate, so it was time to start exploring in earnest. While coming back from a drizzly stop in Elgol, the clouds briefly parted and illuminated the hills behind Loch Slapin and I jumped from the car excited that I might actually get to take a photo without having to hold an umbrella over my head.

A rainbow bloomed to the left and yellow light bathed patches of the landscape and this panoramic shot is the end result.

Click for a larger image:

Loch Slappin


Edinburgh Panorama at Dusk

Photo of the Day

With this panorama, I wanted to try it from a different viewpoint than the shots frequently seen from Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat. While those are, of course, great views that I visited as well, this one gives a view of the city from within the city.

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Edinburgh Panorama at Dusk


My Flickr Is Alive (Again)

I’ve decided to give Flickr another try. It was about two years ago that I was at my most active there and while it was a bit of fun, I got a little bit bored of it.

This time, however, I am treating it as a bit of an experiment. With the community’s ever growing visibility, more and more success stories, (just see last month’s American Photo story about flickr superstars if you don’t believe me), it makes sense to see what kind of opportunities an active participation can yield.

I certainly don’t expect any over night fame, or really, any fame at all for that matter. I’m mostly just curious about whether regular flickr usage can do a few simple, positive things like drive traffic to my site or result in a stock sale or two. Perhaps a commission here and there? Who knows. I personally know people who have done just those things.

Besides, if nothing else, I’m bound to e-meet (and real-life meet) a few people and make some contacts or even friends. So, without further ado, my first new addition to my Flickr stream is right here:

Sunset Over Edinburgh

And please visit my photostream.

Lastly, is you are interested in licensing this image or purchasing a print, contact me here.

 

 

 



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