I have been giving this topic quite a lot of thought of late and I think now have the answer. If you don’t want to read the whole post then just skip to the end to find out. Read more
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.
Irrespective of whether or not you are a regular church goer, the flowers arrangements on display this Easter at Fishbourne Church, near Chichester, were simply quite beautiful. The way in which flowers have been chosen to complement the images depicting ‘The Stations of The Cross’ is thoughtful and artistic. The hard work by a handful of people has to be admired.
Do click on one of the images to view a larger version, and then scroll through all the photographs in the lightbox.
Although we are frequent visitors to Dorset we have never visited the Isle of Portland before, well until this week. Portland is approached from the town of Weymouth and strictly speaking it’s not an island, as it can be reached by road over a causeway from Chesil Beach. Only four miles long by one and a half miles wide, Portland juts out into the English channel and is very exposed to the elements.
At its southern most point lies Portland Bill with its prominent lighthouse which is virtually surrounded by old quarry workings of Portland Stone. This famous building material has been mined since Roman times, and from the early 17th Century was shipped to London for the construction of many buildings. St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and The Bank of England to name but a few.
Portland has three lighthouses but only the one pictured in this post is operational. Built by Trinity House in 1906, it stands 41m tall and was automated in 1996.
As an aside and for those who like reading about cameras and processing etc, this shot was taken with a Leica M9-P and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens. The M9 was Leica’s first full frame digital rangefinder camera and was introduced back in 2009, so is now some 8 years old. Superceded by the M240 in 2013, which only this week has been replaced by the new Leica M10. A remarkable camera I’m sure and whilst technology has moved on considerably since the M9 first appeared on the scene, it still performs extremely well. Of course it is not as advanced and has its limitations in use, but the image quality is still outstanding. The image was processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex.
There is something rather magical about the light at the end of the day. It is of course often referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’. It can be a lovely mix of warm tones in the sky, contrasting with the cool tones in the landscape.
Instinctively you almost know this photograph was taken at a time of year when Autumn merges into Winter. Most of the leaves have fallen to the ground. It has been a cold, clear day; with little or no wind and you begin to wonder what tomorrow has in store.