Always grab the opportunity

Across Loch Eil
Across Loch Eil

There are occasions when a quickly taken shot can make for a pleasing image even if there is virtually no time taken to adjust the camera settings and compose the picture.

This photograph of Loch Eil in Scotland is a case in point. Back in 2011, I was travelling by train from Glasgow to Mallaig on the west coast. Having left the town of Fort William the train continues it’s journey taking in some spectacular countryside along the way. In fact this route is considered to be one of the finest railway journeys in the world. As the track passed alongside the Loch, the cloudscape and light across the water just had to be captured. I really only had time to turn the camera on, swiftly compose the shot through the window of my carriage and press the shutter. Although the train was not moving that fast, if I had taken the time to check or alter any of the settings on the camera, the opportunity to take press the shutter would have been lost several hundred yards back down the track, as this view soon disappeared behind a line of trees along the shoreline.

The image straight out of the camera was pretty poor. In particular the horizon was far from level and the exposure was definitely out. Fortunately I was able to straighten and crop the image and improve the overall tone in Lightroom. I think the final image is very pleasing. It may not be prefect and I know that had I been standing by the loch, with a tripod and time to move around, I would have composed and exposed the photograph differently. Nevertheless as a quick opportunistic shot taken through the window of a moving train, it still works for me, and I would rather have the image in my collection than  nothing at all.

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