Posts tagged ‘black and white’

Summer crops – fields of beauty


The countryside close to where I live is transformed at this time of year into what I can only describe as ‘fields of beauty’. A wonderful variety of crops which seem to be maturing earlier this year than I can ever remember. The beauty is visual, from both near and far as these photographs depict, but also beauty in the fact that in such a relatively short period of time a bare field can become a harvest full of goodness. Wheat, barley, oats and oil seed rape are all on show; the paths are overgrown and the pollen levels rise; it’s summer and who wouldn’t want to be outside to appreciate the crops on our farmland.







Early morning dew in Snowdonia – one from the archives


Having posted a few images taken in Pembrokeshire recently, I thought I would return to a Lightroom folder named Snowdonia, which I visited back in November 2015. I stumbled across this photograph which I had never processed before. It had just been sitting on my hard drive but I am rather glad I found it.

I remember the morning it was captured. The tree was backllit and the early morning light glistened on the heavy dew which had formed on the grasses overnight. The dark background was the perfect foil for the solitary tree.

There is always the temptation to process images soon after they were taken but there is also an argument that you should let images mature, untouched for many months and then return to them at a later date before processing. Something which was dismissed at the first edit, is re-discovered and what a pleasure this can be. Not only finding a ‘lost’ image, but in the process remembering the visit, the location and the conditions…….. a very worthwhile exercise in my view.

Isolation on the Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland is a very beautiful place. The landscape is varied; mountains, sea lochs, forests and wonderful sandy beaches are all to be enjoyed. It is also rich in wildlife and whilst I am not a nature photographer there are times when I would have liked a long lens in my bag. Eagles, otters, red deer, seals and an abundance of bird life are all to be seen if you have the patience and know where to look.

The island is a sparsely populated place and the single track roads with passing places slow the traveller down – the pace of life is just as I like it. Apart from Tobermory, which is the only town, there are a just a handful of hamlets and the remaining dwellings  are well separated. Solitude is easily found on Mull and this feeling of isolation is depicted in the three images shown here.



The first shot is of a single storey cottage in Ardtun on the Ross of Mull. The tall grasses in the foreground have been thrown out of focus, and if you were to crop away the top third of the image you would be left with a very abstract picture and it would be hard to make out the true subject matter. I particular enjoy this effect.




The second image is of a white rendered house, set all on its own at the foot of a mountain range which includes Ben More – the only Munro (a mountain in Scotland over 3,000ft) on the Isle of Mull. Fast moving clouds render the mountain range and the middle ground with a combination of light and dark shadow areas. Waiting for a cloud to darken the immediate backdrop around the lone dwelling has highlighted the mail focal point of the shot and isolation is very evident.



The third image in this short series shows an abandoned caravan of which there are a number on the Island. Surrounded by overgrown grasses, an interesting ‘s’ line is formed by the stone walling and the post and wire fence which leads your eye to the horizon and back again to the caravan. The strong winter winds will eventually destroy what’s left of a now forgotten temporary and isolated home.


To best appreciate these pictures please click on each one in turn to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Evening light over the Applecross Peninsular


There are times when I am out and about when a scene unfolds before me and stops me in my tracks. This happened a few days ago in Wester Ross in Scotland. The early evening sunlight came through breaks in the clouds to create glorious shafts of light and illuminated the middle ground. One problem; no camera on me to capture the beauty of the light. A cardinal sin for any photographer.

Fortunately I was only five minutes walk from the cottage where we had been staying. I rushed back, picked up my camera and some graduated neutral density filters. I knew I would need them to hold back the strong light above the mountain ridge; I just hoped that by the time I returned to a good viewpoint the ‘light show’ was still being played. It was, and I combined the 3 stop and a 2 stop graduated ND filter to balance the exposure. Even then the image required some careful processing to create the result you see here.

For the record I am looking towards Beinn Bhan, the highest mountain on the Applecross Peninsular in Wester Ross, Scotland.

Do click on the picture to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

The reader – an incomplete story to tell

There is nothing like having a good book to read. An enthralling piece of fiction and as you reach the last line on the page, the desire to turn over and read on is compelling. ‘I can’t put the book down’ is often the cry and the measure of a really good tale. Of course the author does not tell you everything and much is left to your imagination as the characters in the book start to take shape in your mind.

In much the same way a photograph also tells a story and by leaving key elements out of the image the viewer is left to wonder and to complete the story behind the picture in their minds eye.

This simple close up of a pair of hands and an open book is perhaps a good example. The hands give you a clue as to how old the reader might be; the jumper and corduroy trousers also suggest a person of a certain age. The reader is already a good way through the book which might infer a desire to carry on. As to the genre of the book itself we have no idea and with the limited depth of field, few words if any are discernible. The light on the hands and the book give the distinct impression the reader is outdoors, enjoying the sunshine but it’s still cool enough to be wearing warmer clothes.

I know the answers to these questions as I asked the person if I could take this shot. He was more than happy to oblige although he might have thought it strange that I would wish to do so.