Saturday, 9 June 2012

Torrin Hills Timelapse (Stationary)

You've already seen the timelapse shot using the GoPro that featured the Torrin Hills, so for my penultimate timelapse from our trip here's a stationary one from the same location shot using the Sony DSC-R1 and remote trigger.

As well as watching the clouds move overhead, keep an eye out on the sheep down in front of where I'm shooting from.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Applecross Daytrip - Image - 24

Taken during our recent holiday which saw us leave Aachen and head over to the UK, where we stopped off at York, then up to Glasgow for a couple of days, then onwards to the Isle of Skye for 5 days, back to Glasgow via Applecross and Torridon before heading back over to Germany again.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Storr Daytrip - Image - 15

A shot of the Old Man Of Storr rock formation from our recent trip to the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Quiraing Daytrip - Image - 84

Another shot from that absolutely stunning sunset we had the pleasure of watching from the hillside to the East of Loch Dughaill on the Isle of Skye.

With the Cuillins in the distance, the sun couldn't have picked a better location to set.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rural Church

Rural Church, originally uploaded by

With so much of the scenery in the highlands and on the islands of Scotland featuring never-ending fields of greens, yellow and browns it's no wonder that when you find a pristine looking building to offset against those colours you try to make full use of it.

In this case not only did I have a bright white church to include in the frame, but also the water of Loch Harport and blue skies with white fluffly clouds rolling on past overhead on our drive over to towards Fiscavaig.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Green Pasture Up Ahead

Green Pasture Up Ahead, originally uploaded by

One of the funniest, yet true sayings that you hear quite often in the highlands and islands of Scotland is "If ye dinnae like the weather right noo, just wait 20 minutes".

I've multiple examples of just how much the weather changes in such a timeframe, but at the same time, when you find yourself standing with a decent view ahead of you, unless it's wall to wall blue skies, then you will most likely see a mixture of grey clouds and random spots of sunbathed colour.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Highland Road

Highland Road, originally uploaded by

With our Scotland trip in mid May getting nearer and nearer it's hard to choose photographs from elsewhere in the world to edit and upload, so it would appear that I'll be sticking with images of Scotland for the next few days.

For those of you who have been to Scotland and have ventured off of the main roads into the amazing countryside that covers the highlands, you will be used to seeing the road bob and weave in front of you, and the prospect of another fantastic view awaiting you turning the next corner up ahead.

I was looking through my photographs from the Isle of Skye for a specific photograph that I could still remember clearly in my head, which fulfilled the above conditions perfectly.

We had spent the day visiting the area of Tarskavaig on the Isle of Skye, and had been working our way around the coastline past Ord and had started to turn back inland again slowly snaking our way across the heather and peat rich fields.

We turned a corner near the brow of a hill and the view that greeted us was nothing short of perfect, the road disappearing down into fields of yellows, purples and greens. The rolling hills slowly dropping downwards towards the Sound of Sleat in the distance, with the final hills of Skye reminding us where we were and then further still, the dark shadow of the mountains back on the Scottish mainland.

It's all too easy to fall into visiting the real "tourist traps" when out in the Scottish highlands, when in fact some of the most picturesque locations are those that you just happen to find while exploring the scenery.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Callanish Sunset

Callanish Sunset, originally uploaded by

Still on the Isle of Lewis for todays offering, this time catching the final rays of the day with the standing stones at Callanish silhouetted against the colour-rich sunset sky.

What you don't see here is the fun of myself and Mireille running around like crazy behind the camera trying to escape the seventeen million, four hundred and thirty six thousand midgies which were a little unpleased at us occupying "their spot" to watch the sunset.

Midgie bites galore, but well worth it for some of the shots captured of the glorious Hebrides sunset.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Beached, originally uploaded by

Time to go back a little further into my archive of photographs to 2009, and today it's time for Scotland to feature with our countdown to our latest trip sitting at just a little over two weeks away, and more importantly it's time to feature a photograph from what was probably the most enjoyable and relaxing holiday I've taken in the last few years.

Most people head for the warmer climates when it comes to planning holidays, but for myself and Mireille we had our sights firmly set on Scotlands Outer Hebrides. Kicking off on the Isle of Skye we made our way over to the Isle of Lewis and then over the following 2 weeks, worked our way South island hopping all the way down to Barra and Vatersay which is linked to it by a single causeway before making our way North again and back over to the Isle of Skye.

This photograph was taken on the North coast of Lewis, at the beach which sits on the edge of the Atlantic at Port Ness. A rock which had found it's way onto the beach had undergone a transformation over hundreds and thousands of tidal changes into a colourful masterpiece of seaweed, moss and little shells.

Hopefully the weather will play ball for us in May, and we'll have a whole new batch of photos to share with you all from our favourite location of all on the Isle of Skye.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Half Dome (Yosemite National Park, California)

There's nothing quite like sitting back at the end of the Glacier Point road, with Half Dome sticking out like a sore thumb in front of you and just watching the clouds roll overhead on a warm summers day.

Definitely one of my favourite places to visit in California, never mind just within the confines of Yosemite National Park itself.

Colourful Valley Floor

Colourful Valley Floor, originally uploaded by

After having exhausted almost all of the main locations that were on offer to me during my first main stay in Oregon in the second half of 2010, I set my sights a little further afield to allow something new to be added to my ever growing portfolio of landscape images.

It was purely by chance that I even found out about the Painted Hills in Central Oregon, as there was a family event due to take place at one of the other areas that make up the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The story made me check the internet to see where the park was actually located and then while doing a google search a photo from the mid 1970's caught my attention.

A little digging later and I had found some up to date images and the info on how to get there and back and most importantly I was already dropping POI's into my satnav software on the laptop to help guide me to the right spots once I reached the park.

Just heading off to visit such an awesome place wasn't enough for me, by now you'll all be well aware of my crazy daytrips and weekenders which see me cover hundreds or thousands of miles just to take some photos, so I set the alarm for early o'clock in the hope of a nice sunrise over Trillium Lake, which lies just to the South of Mount Hood which itself is located South East of Portland.

Sunrise came and went, and I must admit I was a little disappointed in the lack of colour in the sunrise, but a few decent shots of the morning mist dancing on top of Trillium Lakes surface with Mount Hood's snow covered peak in the background made the early start worthwhile.

Onwards to the Painted Hills as a couple of carloads of weekend fishermen arrived to relax in front of natures spoils, and within a couple of hours I had passed the small town of Mitchell and was turning off the main road into where I hoped the clay-coloured hills would be hiding.

After visiting so many huge mountains the previous year I was kind of expecting a dramatic scene to unfold way off in the distance, but that wasn't the case, after turning a few lefts and rights, all of a sudden the small hillocks to the right of the road started to burst alive with reds and oranges that sparked new energy into me.

As nice as it was, I found myself thinking "surely this isn't it?", and ventured a little further along the snaking road until a small building came into view in the distance over on my left, with an American flag flying above it's roof.

As I was about to pull into the small dirt road that led to the building I had spotted a minute or two before there was something else catching my attention, straight ahead I could already see the sweeping hills with red clay flowing over and under, creating patterns that just screamed out to be photographed.

Considering the painted hills section of John Day National Monument is relatively small with several short and a few medium sized hikes, it just gives more power to the patterns and colours which were on show being 110% of the reason that I spent the entire day there until the sun began to drop documented the changes in the colours and textures as the light changed throughout the day.

Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake, originally uploaded by

A couple of days ago I posted up a shot called "Colourful Valley Floor" which was shot during my day at the Painted Hills section of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and mentioned that I had started off my day at Trillium Lake where I had hoped to catch a nice sunrise.

That may sound like a simple enough thing to do, but unlike a couple of Flickr contacts I have that live local to Mount Hood and Trillium Lake which lies to it's Southern flank actually being able to see Mount Hood was somewhat of a challenge.

I digress a little, 5 times in total I visited Trillium Lake over a span of around a year, and every single time I stood on the edge of the lake it seemed like someone had pre-ordered a huge batch of clouds or rain to roll in right at that very same moment.

I had almost gave up hope until the long range weather forecast for the weekend ahead back in mid-late June showed clear skies for the coming Saturday. Would this finally be my chance to shoot Mount Hood reflecting on the surface of Trillium Lake, or would the master of clouds and rain dance all over my planning with a wicked smile and dastardly laugh.

As I arrived at the small carpark on the edge of Trillium Lake the sun was just about breaching the horizon and I set the tripod and camera up to capture what I hoped would be a colour filled start to the day. Unfortunately it ended up being a relatively flat sunrise in general, so I opted for some nice arty farty shots of the morning mist rising off the surface of the water, and that reflection shot that had proved oh so elusive for so long!

If anything I would have liked at least a couple of little fluffy clouds to add some more oomph to the sky, but beggers can't be choosers as the old saying goes...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Tunnel View (Yosemite National Park)

It may be the most photographed location in Yosemite National Park, but it's not easy to drive on past the small carpark that leaves you standing above the valley floor looking ahead at the huge granite lumps that line it's flanks.

It's one of those locations of the world that many people who have never even had the pleasure in standing there and soaking in the view, yet they still know instinctively where it is.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

What Makes It All Worthwhile

There's always risk when you have the car packed with all your photography gear and set off on a mammoth road trip in the hope that nature will play ball with your best laid plans. Will it be sunny, or cloudy, will it pour with rain, will mist descend so much so that you can barely see past the end of your own nose?

In this particular case it involved me driving for around 8 hours from San Francisco Bay Area to Death Valley, with a few stops along the way to shoot the night sky and milky way in such a wonderful "dark sky" location and then finding my way to my chosen vantage point inside the national park before sunrise.

Fatigue had well and truly set in after the long drive coupled with shooting in absolute darkness for several hours, and I found myself thinking ahead to what the day might bring. As I stepped out of the car at Dantes View high up on the East side of the salt-covered valley floor at Badwater with nothing more than the stars above and the slight outline of the peaks and valleys in the distance, the strong winds and freezing cold temperatures hit me all so much harder than had I been more awake, and jolted me back to reality with an almighty thump.

A quick check of the time, 4.50am, which meant around 90 minutes until the sun was due to pop it's cheery face over the horizon, 90 minutes, "perfect" I thought to myself and set my alarm for 5.30am, time for 40 winks to prepare myself for the day ahead.

It seemed like I had just set the alarm seconds before, but sure enough a quick check of the time showed that I had been off in la-la land for 40 minutes, time to rise and shine. I brought the drivers seat upright again and setpped outside, the sky was still black, albeit with a very feint tinge of blue on the horizon, yes, things were shaping up perfectly, argh, I had forgotten all about the freezing cold winds, quickly, I retreated back to the cozy warmth of the car.

There was around an hour left to go until the sun would rise over the darkness that lay all around me, but already there were signs that nature was starting to put on it's colourful show, with those dark blues in the distance starting to give way to lighter hues minute by minute. Every 5 to 10 minutes I would venture out of the car, layered up to the max (minus a pair of gloves which would REALLY have come in handy, if you can excuse the pun) and shoot some frames of the changing colours whilst trying to stop my tripod and camera from doing an impersonation of a kite flying off into the distance.

In my head I started wondering once again if the sunrise was going to have been worth the torture that only those that have spent a night driving an unfamiliar and uncomfortable hirecar know, and then came the answer.

The silhouettes of the hills still lay shrouded in darkness whilst behind them the sky began to light up with reds, oranges and yellows, warming me up as they danced around, finally I had the answer I had been seeking all night, yes, it had been worth it, I now had an awesome sunrise shot from Death Valley to add to my growing collection of sunset and sunrise photos from around the world.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Dawn Of A New Day

Dawn Of A New Day, originally uploaded by

By now most of you who regularly visit my stream will know that other than shooting pics of Babo, Wage and the rest of the Uglydolls I tend to travel a lot with work.

While away I enjoy exploring the places in other parts of the world that obviously are now on my doorstep, I used to always say "I never know if I'll ever get the chance to see it again", and that kinda drives me to get up and go (normally leaving at stupid hours, and returning at even more stupid hours) when I have a weekend free.

Now, there's exploring and then there's my version of exploring - take my trip to Glacier National Park in Montana last year as an example, 1800 miles covered in 42 hours, and that included a few hikes and hundreds if not thousands of photos.

Nothing beats a great sunrise or sunset shot, if you need further proof just pop into my "In Search of Sunrise and Sunset" set and check out some of the others I've captured over the years in various locales around the world.

Anyhoo, back to the picture at hand, yesterday I left the hotel shortly before 2am and made my way over to Yosemite National Park in California (without a doubt one of the most awesome places I've ever visited, which Mireille got to experience with me last year too).

Sunrise was expected at 7.14am, so I planned to be in the park a good hour and fifteen minutes ahead of the game. My vantage point was very clear from the beginning of my planning, Glacier Point Overlook, why? Simple, you're over 7000ft up in the air, have a stunning view directly across the valley towards Half Dome and his buddies, and more importantly it's a complete rarity for the road still to be open at this time of year due to snowfall. There was a little snow in the forests to the side of the road, but the road was completely clear, just a few small icy patches at that time of night, but even without the snow it was bitterly cold up there!

Open, yup, it sure was and up the winding road I went, arriving at the Glacier Point Carpark in the cover of complete darkness, minus the pre-dawn light being shed by the almost full moon.

Now, with the positioning of where I was and what I was shooting, I knew that getting a shot of the sun breaching the mountain tops would mean sitting patiently for many hours, so instead my aim was to capture the light beginning to breach the mountain tops and then some of the early light flooding into the valley.

Here's one of the first shots of the light emerging over what in this shot is simply a silhouette but is one hell of an awe inspiring view in daylight hours.