Thursday, 30 April 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Take Two, originally uploaded by North Light.

Tuesday late afternoon, I went out to Brims Ness to see if I could get a photograph of the set up for the surfing competition, but the competition seems to be on a smaller scale this year, another World Qualifying round is on in California at the same time, I guess the water is a touch warmer! I digress, so nothing to photograph, the sky is overcast and the tide well out, but this building and the view east looked good. The compact was struggling with the contrast levels, so a washed out sky.
Back to Brims the next day, some sunshine and a good sky, so "Take Two", it works, the vivid green of the grass in the foreground providing a good contrast to the sky.

An interesting aside is a comparison of the two compositions, different cameras were used, compact on day one and a DSLR on day two, the equivalent focal lengths are similar but I made no attempt to produce an exact replica yet the composition is almost identical.
Thought provoking.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Photos that bring Tourists to Britain

103 - Bank Holiday Beach, originally uploaded by North Light.

I've just watched a short film on the BBC News website, "The men who photograph Britain, about two of the most respected British landscape photographers, and how their photographs are bringing people from abroad to the UK to holiday, excellent, exactly what I'm trying to do with my own photography, but my focus is on the north of Scotland.
An interesting short film, and I'm glad that their work is being appreciated outside the UK and that the value of photography is being understood, but I do have a complaint , the last part of the film, describes the two photographers as using "Victorian Technology", and "artists who have stuck with traditional film to keep the details of our landscape true". Er, well, the technology they are using might have been developed from "Victorian Technology", but I would argue that so is digital photography, what winds me up most though is the idea that to present a landscape in a way that is true. The suggestion that you have to use film to portray a landscape in it's true form is not correct, it's a bit like the wonderful old statement, "The Camera Doesn't Lie".
These are two outstanding photographers, who use large format film cameras because of the resolution they offer, and the "Movements" that allow you alter depth of focus and perspective, can you do the same with digital technology, yes of course you can, but the cost of a full frame digital back for a 5" x 4" plate camera is huge, and only designed for studio work, so at the moment the most practical technology is still film if you want to use large format cameras on location.
Having got that off my chest, do look at the work of these two guys, Joe Cornish and David Ward, I would list them amongst the most influential British photographers in my own work, and in my opinion amongst the finest living landscape photographers.

Now how do I get more publicity for my images and the far north of Scotland?

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Number 100

The one hundredth daily photograph of the year completed, looking across to the Wind Farm on Dale Moss from the A9 on the Causewaymire. I've had this photograph in the back of my mind for a couple of years now,and whilst it has achieved what I wanted to illustrate, how the Moss has been used over the years, I do think there's a better photograph to come yet so some revisits will be needed.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Sliding through the year

91 - Beach Mirror, originally uploaded by North Light.

April already, the prospect of better weather ahead and the probability that the worst of the weather is behind us
For the last few years April and May have brought some of the best weather of the year, with the O'Neill Highland Open World Qualifying Series Mens Professional Surfing Contest starting at the end of this month and Northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival over the Easter weekend lets hope that we get a repeat of the early good weather.
But can we please have a good summer as well? The last two years have been relatively quiet as far as individual tourists are concerned, at the moment the early indications are that this year may be a little better, but some weather to match this prospect would be good.
In all seriousness, the North Highlands of Scotland are very beautiful, and will reward the more adventurous tourist, so please come and explore the "Other Highlands" north of Inverness.

OK, I'll take the hotelier hat off now, and put on the photographers. The last few weeks has produced some very changeable weather, and hence some interesting contrasts, one day one is working in the summer, the next the depths of winter, a better illustration of this is the contrast of Saturday, awoke to a dusting of snow, frequent winter showers and cold winds, during the afternoon I was taking photographs on Dunnet Head, 2.5℃, much lower with the windchill. Tuesday evening, at Gills Bay, still a cool wind but a sunny spring evening and temperatures of 15℃, duvet weather to T-Shirt weather in two days!