Posts Tagged ‘united kingdom’

Blackrock Cottage Panorama

Photo of the Day

Scotland’s dramatic vistas attract landscape photographers in swarms. The dependability of certain spots is clear when you scout out locations on Google Maps: you can often find photographers with cameras set up on tripods pointed at prime locations on the street view.

The Blackrock Cottage, just east of the entrance to Glencoe, is another one of those iconic views that every photographer has to grab if they’re anywhere nearby. On a trip into the highlands, you pass within a mile or two of this picturesque home, so of course, on the way up I had to stop and try my luck.

I tried to put my own spin on the oft-photographed view by making it into a panorama and capturing a little more of the stark surrounding countryside and not just the cottage with the imposing peak of Buchaille Etive Mor in the background.

Click to see a larger image:

A panoramic view of the Blackrock Cottage with Buchaille Etive Mor in the background, near Glencoe, Scotland.

Lunga Island Puffin Call

Photo of the Day

Some of the tiny, uninhabited islands off the western coast of Scotland make ideal fare for a boat excursion thanks to their wild, isolated landscapes and some excellent wildlife opportunities. The Treshnish Isles, a group of small islands west of the Isle of Mull offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the cutest of all birds, the Atlantic Puffin.

These hilarious waddlers stumble along the edges of the island’s cliffs and trip over themselves to get into the small holes they call nests. With how ungainly they are on land, you’d swear they were related to penguins. And while penguins show their grace in the water, the puffins get to be quick and nimble in the air. Darting from cliffs to sea and back, they move in blurs. It’s only when they get back to the cliffs that they start flopping around in an effort to get one foot in front of the other.

While you can’t exactly cuddle with them (and believe me, you’ll want to), they’re surprisingly tolerant of human presence on their island. Us big mammals have the habit of scaring away some of the puffins’ predators, so they don’t mind if we’re getting a few feet away from them with our cameras whirring away like paparazzi on the red carpet. The one in the image below was calling out to one of his puffin compatriots, perhaps wondering who they guy with the big lens in his face was.

Click to see a larger version:

An Atlantic Puffin on Lunga Island

Over Eilean Donan Castle

Photo of the Day

I’ve recently returned from another great week in Scotland. They all seem to be great, but this one even had the weather contributing to the quality of life. Sunny skies have browned my arms while hiking through gorgeous glens, trekking up and down hills overlooking lochs and castle, and spotting just about every bit of wildlife that the UK seems to have on offer.

One of those lochs and castles visited was the magical Eilean Donan on Loch Duich. It’s one of my favourite places in the world and I keep hoping I get to be in its neighbourhood every time I go up to Scotland.

For today’s photo of the day, I embarked on a little trek that quickly got a lot longer than anticipated when I was struggling to get the view I wanted. Driving up the tiny country road that provides views above the castle wasn’t quite good enough for me, but I couldn’t find an accessible path up to the hills. A couple miles of driving, a hefty climb, and then a couple of miles traversing steep slopes back to almost where I had started and I wound up in the spot I wanted just as the sun was descending.

The result is below showing the sun touching the mountains in the west while the colours sweep across the panorama of the lochs and castle below.

Click to see a larger image:

South Stack Lighthouse at Dusk

Photo of the Day

Here’s another shot from last Easter Weekend. This is the South Stack Lighthouse on the Western Coast of the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.

Giant cliffs loom over the rocky peninsula where this beacon shines out into the water and when the light spins around, it casts an eerie glow back onto the land. My camera didn’t pick up the light returning back to the land and though I probably could have done a longer exposure to show the spotlight’s streak upon the cliffs, I thought it would have started looking pretty artificial, so I went for this classic view of the lighthouse at dusk instead.

Please visit my Wales image gallery to see more photos of North Wales.

Click to see the image on a black background:

The South Stack Lighthouse at dusk on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, UK.

Photo of the Day – Manchester Civil Justice Center (part 2)

To follow up on yesterday’s Photo of the Day post, I thought I would give you another view of the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.

This is one of the sides of the building in Spinningfields designed by Australian architects Denton Corker Marshall.

This photo and the previous one come from an all-too-brief weekend in which I had the chance to use a brand-new Nikon D3 and a wonderful 14-24mm lens to accompany it. Nikon loaned the gear to the studio where I work so that the photographers could take a test drive. Now if only we had had the budget to drive it off the lot – it’s great equipment and I’d love to be able to use it more. The D3 lives up to the hype on the high ISO front and that 14-24 lens is gorgeous.

This image comes to you from my architectural photography portfolio and it is also visible on flickr here.