Walking the Canal – 12 July 2015

After a late start today we went for a walk along the railway from Auchinstarry to Twechar and then back along the canal. Weather was mainly dry with a couple of rain showers, nothing serious. The E-PL5 kept P7120156- blog--193.jpg going on to video mode without me realising it. It wasn’t until I got back home and looked at the pics, I found four short video clips. I’ve now switched off the instant video button on the camera to stop me pressing it by accident. What I did find that was interesting and useful was that when you are playing or scrubbing through a video in Lightroom 5, you can right-click anywhere and get a screen grab from that point. That’s how I got the bumble bee hoverfly shot. P7120148-3- blog--193.jpg

Had lunch when we got home and then read a lot more of The End of the World Running Club that Hazy recommended to me. It’s been a bit of a marathon (no pun intended) read and has taken me the best part of a month to slog my way through it, but I’m getting there now. I’m not intending to write a review of it here. I’ll keep that for Goodreads. Suffice to say that it may have been a long read, but it has kept me interested enough to finish it.

Dinner was the gigantic dinosaur bone that I got from JIC’s butcher. I’ve been holding on to it for ages until I felt I was ready to face this behemoth of the carnivore’s larder. I deemed that today was that day and while it defrosted ready for the oven, I went for a walk over to St Mo’s, armed with the Nikon, the Tamron lens and a Sigma 105mm macro. From the outset, it was plain that the Tamron would stay in the bag. This was a macro day where the weapon of choice would be the Sigma. There were insects everywhere. Some familiar, some not so. I’ve collected a set of them here for your perusal. Apart from the one on the left, the Scorpion Fly, I have no idea what they are. They are currently posted on Flickr and hopefully some kind person will ID them for me. That’s about it for the weekend. The dino bone was delicious by the way and I’m hoping to have the leftover bits for my lunch tomorrow.

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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.