Homeward Bound – 26 May 2015

DSC_2570- blog-146.jpgAll good things must come to an end, and so it was for us as we left Digg and Staffin and Skye behind and headed back down the road. We stopped for a while at Eilean Donan castle for coffee and a scone. I wandered round the exhibition of photos celebrating 100 years of something – wasn’t really interested in what. Most of the photos were clichéd shots of the castle, with only a couple that held my interest for any time. Needless to say, those were B&W. The worst ones by far were the ones that had accidentally (I hope) fallen into a bucket of Photomatix and had turned out all grungy with too light shadows, too saturated colour and too sharp detail. Just dunk them in the HDR mix, drag them out and that’s it done. Hmm, I used to play with HDR too, but you have to be so careful not to produce rubbish from what could be a decent photo. End of rant.

I took some photos of the castle. It’s difficult to get a ‘different’ viewpoint for this well known piece of stonework, but I tried.

Coffee over and photos taken, we got back on the road and after stopping for lunch at Spean Bridge, and re-fuelling at Fort William our next stop was Loch Lubnaig where we parked up at the new parking place at the side of the loch. A wee bit clean and tidy, but much better than the way it was before with a load of dodgy characters overnight camping and leaving the area in a real mess. The sun came out when we were there and I did manage a few shots in good lighting before we drove the final few miles home.

Loch Lubnaig photos:

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The ups and downs of walking in Skye – 25 May 2015

A dull day. Not unknown on Skye, but as we’ve found in the past, even dull days can be turned around. Wandered round Portree taking to occasional shot. I wanted to visit the bakery tea room as one of my Flickr acquaintances has done a sketch/painting from there. It was P5252377- blog-146.jpg mobbed, but I got the view he’d painted. I’d like to have the guts to sketch in such a public place. Maybe some day … Anyway, I got myself a new shirt in Skye Batiks. Rather a grungy red and black one with a white batik pattern on the back. Such comfortable shirts. Expensive, but comfortable. Then is was on the road back to DSC_2434-2- blog-146.jpg Staffin. We stopped at the waterfall because I wanted to try a ‘new’ method of shooting multiple images and then blending them in Photoshop to simulate a long exposure. I’d initially intended using a variable density ND filter to do the job in one shot, but forgot to pack the ND. It’s just a cheapo, so it’s not great, leaving light blotches on the finished image, but it’s good for experimenting. The results, while not perfect, show that I am on the right road and with a little more tweaking, ok, a lot more tweaking, I can dispense with the bog awful variable ND filter entirely. Well, after all, that’s what Photoshop is for isn’t it?!

Just in case anyone is wondering why I’m belting out so much text, it’s to pad out the blog to see how Ecto – my latest contender for Offline Blog Editor is going to handle the text and images. So far it’s very favourable, almost as good as MarsEdit.

After I managed to work out the practicality of making the multiple shots – camera manuals as PDFs and tablets that can read them are a godsend – we headed back up to Staffin.

Heading for Skye

Up and out to the gym and then found that I had a chunk out of my tyre, so it was down to the village to get it replaced.  £60 lighter, but feeling more secure, I headed home

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They’ve been cutting down loads of trees on Skye and stacked them in tempting piles like this. Such a photo opportunity.

to pack for our trip to Skye.  Set off around 12.30pm which was an hour later than we had planned.  Trip was fine except the Tamron 70-300mm started acting up again and had to be replaced with the old Tamron 18-200mm which is not a bad lens at all, not as good as the 70-300mm, but at least the focus motor works properly!  Stopped at Dornie to take some photos of the ubiquitous Eilean Donan castle (see below) and again at Storr to photograph the timber piled at the side of the road.  Finally made it to

Staffin at about 7.00pm to a well earned dinner and a wee dram.  Tired, but happy to be in this beautiful place with brilliant people.  Onward to Glen Brittle tomorrow I believe.


Biscuit tin castle
The castle that has graced more than its fair share of biscuit tins. It’s Eilean Donan, of course. 365/142