Light on a Distant Shore

Blogging, colour, landscape and nature

It has been a while since I’ve put a photo up. Other priorities getting in the way.

There was some dark, wet windy weather today in Edinburgh. With gaps in the clouds this can set off some intersting light when the sun breaks through. Cramond was unusually quiet, with most people avoiding the squally showers – but well worth a walk to blow away the cobwebs.

Light on a distant shore
1/100s, f/6.3, ISO100, 50mm lens

And now for something completely different

Blogging, Still Life

This is not the type of photography I’ve ever really thought about before. But I was inspired to give it a go following an article in the April edition of Digital Photographer.

I decided to go for something safe. This is a long way from good, but it did make me think! I wanted some strong sharp verticals that caught the light, and some contrasting colour and softness below. I was able to get that using a wide aperture. I’m quite happy with the apples and mango low down, even the pineapple and vagueness of texture in the material at the bottom was what I was looking for. But the bottle shows my lack of appreciation of  light in the moment.

There was a long window to camera left, three high level windows behind the camera, and a Manfrotto Lumie low to camera right. All of these sources have created distraction on the bottle. I should have repositioned to take advantage of the long window creating some edge light, somehow diffused or blocked the high level windows, and improvised a snout on the manfrotto to stop that horrible highlight hitting the glass above the label.

You live and learn!

Still Life1/250, f2.2, ISO160



Blogging, colour, urban

Another from Warriston Cemetry. This family name is well known and lives on with generations of Edinburgers. Sir James Young Simpson (1811 – 1870), or at least his surname, is best known for it’s association with Edinburgh’s principal maternity hospital. This tulip, I think – I’m not very good with flowers, almost radiated light from it’s centre, and sat within the monument that marks Simpson’s grave.

Simpson                       1/250, f/11, ISO160.

Simpson was a pioneer in the use of choloform in obstetric anaesthesia and at a time before the NHS would provide support to the poor. However even as a well to do Baronet and Obstetrician his family were not immune to the harshness of the age. The grave shows three of his children dying at ages 2, 3 and 15 years.

When Simpson died, it is reported that two thousand mourners followed the cortege, and 50,000 people lined the streets of Edinburgh.

Warriston Cemetry

black and white, Blogging, Uncategorized, urban

Tucked between the Water of Leith and Ferry Road is Warriston Cemetry. It is an overgrown cemetry with many ruinous stones and monuments. This was an unusual stone, simply saying “MOTHER” on a plain cross. It long ago had fallen off it’s plinth and is now embedded in the undergrowth, and there were no other clues of who mother was.

Warriston one1/250, f/5.0, ISO160

Edinburgh has a few overgrown cemetries. A number of cemetries were created under private ownership in the 19th Century. Many of these fell into disrepair during the 70’s and 80’s – all to be compulrsory purchased by the city council in the 90’s.

Allowing these sites and memorials to become so dilapidated is disrespectul, however I find them uniquely contemplative spaces.

St. Vigeans Church

Blogging, colour

Sitting on top of it’s grassy knoll, close to the Brothick Burn, St Vigeans Church has always been for me the epitome of a red sandstone building.

st vigeansIn this image, I’ve combined two exposures – 1/100 & 1/400, f/10, ISO160. At 1/100 the sky was white and at 1/400 the building was looking like dark shadow.

Someday I’d like to be there towards sunset on a clear day. The church tower faces west and the hue of the sandstone looks amazing against a darkening blue sky.


Steampunk Coffee

Blogging, colour, street

Stockbridge on a sunny Sunday has a great atmosphere. This Sunday had the first day of spring feel to it. Stockbridge Market takes place in the Jubille Gardens, with some fabulous food, streetfood and crafts. One of my favourite Coffee Shops (Steampunk, from North Berwick) are there with their VeeDub Campervan.

steampunk1/125, f/5.0, ISO400

Getting white balance close

Blogging, colour, portrait

It’s great when you learn something new. It’s also really satisfying to get something right in camera, and this little trick seems to work well for me.

Granted, it’s quite straightforward to correct white balance in Lightroom when shooting RAW. However either I don’t have a great memory for colour, or I don’t have a great eye for it. (Maybe that’s why I like black and white!). So that means I can take ages trying to get the colours right – and I often miss the colour cast entirely.

This trick is a variation on white/grey card, and is a close to zero cost hack on the Expodisc idea – especially if you have an Aeropress! All you need is an Aeropress Filter

Here’s the photo using Auto White Balance.IMG_2491

It’s Mr. Buzzington Buzz again. He’s sitting on a blue sofa, with a north facing window to his rear left. There’s a blue cast over him.

I placed the camera in front of Mr. Buzzington, facing back to where I was going to take the photo from. With the coffee filter covering the lens I took a properly exposed shot. (i.e. the histogram was dead centre). Here it is.


Not the most interesting photo! However I then used this to create a custom white balance. I use a Canon 80D, and that takes about 4 key presses.

Reshooting Mr. Buzzington Buzz (same shutter speed and aperture) gave the following result.


This is a much more accurate representation of the colours – and no fiddling about in Lightroom!