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APPLECROSS AND SHIELDAIG | WESTER ROSS

I have always wanted to visit the remote village of Applecross, so when Aspect2i announced their workshop to Applecross and Shieldaig in Wester Ross I jumped at the opportunity. Naturally I could have explored the area myself but I appreciate the fellowship of being in a group of like-minded photographers; besides which Paul Gallagher, as one of the leaders of the workshop, already knows all the best locations in the area to photograph!
Here are some of my favourite images; on a closer review of the same I seem to have moved away somewhat (for the present at least) from excessively long exposures, while getting back to employing more “normal” shutter speeds.

 

the quintessence of Scotland

the quintessence of Scotland’s West Coast

For me, this image is the embodiment of Scotland’s west coast; and whilst standing at the edge of this sea loch I was instantly reminded of the sights, sounds, smells and emotions of visits to the west coast with my parents as a wee boy, the best part of 60 years ago. Time changes nothing, neither the distinctive smell of the sea-weed covered rocks; the call of gulls wheeling overhead breaking the gentle lapping of the sea against the shore; the occasional optimistic glimpse of blue in the sky but more generally a blanket of grey cloud and nearly always an atmosphere of dampness hanging in the air to veil the majestic far mountains. Ultimately, a feeling of remoteness, solitude, peace, even sadness.
1.3 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coast | Wester Ross

coast | Wester Ross

Empty beaches.
1/13 sec @ f/16  ISO 125  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

reflections on an ebb-tide| Wester Ross

reflections on an ebb-tide| Wester Ross

I’m sure I could have done more with this image but was pleased to have captured the sand patterns glinting through the shallows; within minutes the ebb tide had drained the low-lying area and the reflections likewise had disappeared.
1/100 sec @ f/16  ISO 1600  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

evening | Wester Ross

evening light | Wester Ross

Heading back to Applecross and looking west in the direction of the isles of Rona and Rassay; this panorama is a composite of three vertical frames merged into one, giving a fantastic feeling of tranquillity.
1/50 sec @ f/11  ISO 400  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

The rocks in this image and the image which follows really were covered in this amazing yellow-green coloured moss!
1/5 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

An abstract in yellow-green moss-covered rocks.
1/125 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm

 

mussels | rockpool | Wester Ross

mussels | rockpool | Wester Ross

While clambering over dangerous rocks, I spotted this secluded rock-pool with its very own miniature waterfall surrounded by mussel-covered rocks; within a few hours all would be submerged again by the flow tide.
181 sec @ f/16  ISO 400  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

basin in the rock | Wester Ross

basin in the rock | Wester Ross

Really chuffed to have spotted this water-filled natural basin hollowed into the rock; the orange-red of the basin contrasts nicely with the blue-grey colours in the background.
108 sec @ f/11  ISO 160  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

submerged rocks | incoming tide | Wester Ross

submerged rocks | incoming tide | Wester Ross

Twice a day the sea reveals and conceals these wonderful rock plateaus.
81 sec @ f/11  ISO 125  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

submerged rocks | incoming tide | Wester Ross

submerged rocks | incoming tide | Wester Ross

The “last-gasp” rock in the middle ground makes this picture for me and leads the eye out from the shelving rock in the foreground
70 sec @ f/11  ISO 125  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

derelict cottage | Wester Ross

derelict cottage | Wester Ross

This would be a great subject for shooting in Infra Red; unfortunately I haven’t got round to having a camera body converted for IR shooting as yet.
1/125 sec @ f/5.6  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

window | derelict cottage | Wester Ross

window | derelict cottage | Wester Ross

Great use here of “swing” on my tilt + shift lens; as I was able to stand towards the right-hand side of the window, then “swing” the lens out to the left thereby avoiding my reflection in the glass. I love the wonderful textures revealed in the weathered wood and wall rendering.
1/50sec @ f/11  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

woodland | Wester Ross

woodland | Wester Ross

Isolating a single tree by the use of shallow, differential focus.
1/160 sec @ f/5.6  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm

 

Gallagher

Gallagher’s Trees | Applecross | Wester Ross

This and the following image are an homage to my friend Paul Gallagher who has been known to photograph this group of trees near the village of Applecross on many occasions.
1/15 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 116mm

 

Gallagher

Gallagher’s Trees | Applecross | Wester Ross

1/10 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm

 

forest of burnt trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

forest of burned trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

This and the 4 following images are an exercise in finding pleasing compositions within a forest of burned trees; I’m pretty happy with these.
1/8 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

forest of burnt trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

forest of burned trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

1/25 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 102mm

 

forest of burnt trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

forest of burned trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

1/25 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm

 

forest of burnt trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

forest of burned trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

1/20 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 116mm

 

forest of burnt trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

forest of burned trees | Shieldaig | Wester Ross

I particularly like the receding pattern created by the fallen trees in this image; the lens has been “tilted” to achieve front to back sharpness.
1/25 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

in the Torridon area | Wester Ross

in the Torridon area | Wester Ross

I love the subdued tones of this loch-side view to the middle ground trees and the towering, still snow-speckled mountain.
1/13 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

The next 4 images pick up on my love of recording movement by using slow(ish) shutter speeds whilst keeping the tripod-supported camera rock steady.
13 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

13 sec @ f/16  ISO 160  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

I captured around 20 exposures from this stand-point using a wide variation in shutter speeds and the timing of the breaking waves; but this is the image which works best for me.
3 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

I thought to remove the trio of small sea-shells in post-production but I’m glad I didn’t; in a sense they serve to point to the roughly triangular-shaped group of rocks in the background standing proud of the breaking waves.
6 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

rock face | Wester Ross

rock face | Wester Ross

The water at the foot of this rock face looked so inviting for a dip!
1/30 sec @ f/8  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 78mm

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

Using the cleft in the rock to direct the eye; a strong foreground is particularly important when using a wide-angle lens.
15 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

Again, using leading lines to direct the eye!
1/10 sec @ f/16 ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

coastline | Wester Ross

coastline | Wester Ross

A dramatic sky “makes” the picture for me.
4 sec @ f/16  ISO 400  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

ebb and flow | Wester Ross

ebb and flow | Wester Ross

I love the swirling effect of the ebbing and flowing tide.
4 sec @ f/16  ISO 400  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

 

woodland stream | Wester Ross

woodland stream | Wester Ross

10 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

springtime | Wester Ross

springtime | Wester Ross

This and the following image show a late sprinkling of snow on the mountain tops (like the icing on a cake) giving them shape and contrast to the wonderful, warm-brown lower slopes.
2 sec @ f/16  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

sublime mountains | Wester Ross

sublime mountains | Wester Ross

Iconic west-coast scene.
1/30 sec @ f/10  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt+Shift lens

 

end of day | Wester Ross

end of day | Wester Ross

What a way to end a workshop! An irregular line of stones edge into the loch whilst leading the eye to the distant hills receiving rays from the sinking sun.
10 sec @ f/19  ISO 100  Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt+Shift lens

  • Paul Gallagher - What a talent you are Sandy. Totally beautiful work. A pleasure to work with you my friend!22/11/2015 – 10:22 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you so much for your kind comments Paul; I’m simply following in the footsteps of a true master!23/11/2015 – 12:34 pmReplyCancel

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