Oh dear, I do believe I may have temporarily misplaced my photographic mojo!
To return from an otherwise enjoyable three day excursion into Fife and the East Neuk * with relatively few keeper images (even by my standards) was disappointing; but for some reason, I just didn’t seem to have that all important “connection” with some of the images I had shot and they quickly fell to the DELETE key. In my defence, I wasn’t feeling at all well into the second day away with photographer friends, David Shawe and Rod Armstrong; and for much of the time, a provocative little voice would be whispering in my ear, “Sandy, what ARE you doing?” or “Why ARE you taking this shot?” or most destructive of all, “Why bother?”
Admittedly, this is a dreadful state of affairs but on a more positive note I am far more selective with my keeper images, which is no bad thing really. Essentially, I need to have that “feeling”, that “connection” with the subject in front of the lens; in short, images have to “speak” to me as being worthy of keeping. So here are my “keepers” from the trip; I do hope you enjoy them!
* “Neuk” is the Scots word for nook or corner; and the area has many picturesque fishing villages dotted along the Fife coastline
This is the first shot captured on my new Nikon D810 bought after the demise of my D800 camera body in Glencoe back in February. his is the old pier at North Queersferry which used to serve as the car ferry crossing point on the Forth before the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in 1964. The grey drabness of the day is relieved slightly by the hint of yellows and reds in the stonework with the pier is pointing toward the 1964 road bridge.
10 sec @ f/14 ISO 200 Nikon D810 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
I was fortunate to spot the interesting shape formed by this broken wooden fence.
1/6 sec @ f/16 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt + Shift lens
I was attracted to the warm colours and the interesting structure of the harbour wall.
1/13 sec @ f/8 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 150mm
This is a composite of three frames shot in landscape orientation to give a wide panoramic view of the busy harbour; although not having the benefit of the shift function of a tilt+shift type lens. The Infrared capture has worked well with this high contrast scene.
1/320 sec @ f/8 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 16mm Infrared
An idyllic scene; the eye follows the line of the ladder, then across the boat hulls before resting with the fishermen, deep in conversation.
1/250 sec @ f/8 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 135mm Infrared
A simple composition made more interesting by the textures brought out in the stone and in the rusting metal, juxtaposed against the sea-water smoothed by the longish exposure.
8 sec @ f/16 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt + Shift lens
I didn’t know this snake-shaped sea wall existed and but is rightly described as a hidden-gem as it lies sea-ward, well obscured by the present harbour wall. This capture was made at low-tide which David & Rod felt was a problem, however, I’m well chuffed with this image and together with the brooding sky, it works for me.
124 sec @ f/13 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 20mm
This is essentially similar to the earlier image but has been taken from a position slightly to the right; arguably offering a stronger base composition with a different mood due to the monochrome presentation.
153 sec @ f/13 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 22mm
St Monans harbour with a strong foreground interest. The colour version was a bit too chocolate-box for my liking; this mono version is much more subtle, also the eye is not drawn to the red cars parked in the background. I love the sky!
6 sec @ f/13 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt + Shift lens
Nice use of a slightly longer focal length here to compress the perspective.
6 sec @ f/13 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 102mm
Concentrating the eye on the business end of a working pier.
20 sec @ f/5.6 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 70mm
“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky”
[John Lennon – IMAGINE]
1 sec @ f/16 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
The intended subjects are, of course, not the seagull but the jetty and the dangerous rocks rearing up just beyond the safe haven of St Monans harbour. Interestingly, as the outline of the gull is well defined, it must have remained stationary for most (but not all) of my 123 second exposure, impressive! I was tempted to remove the bird in post-production but then felt that it added a little something to the image. Small touches!
123 sec @ f/11 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 102mm
Under a heavy, brooding sky these ridges of rock, shaped like the scales on the back of some pre-historical animal, run off into the grey Firth of Forth. On the horizon towards the left-hand edge is the distinctive outline of the Bass Rock and in the centre is cone-shaped North Berwick Law.
8 sec @ f/16 ISO 160 Nikon D810 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
Possibly my favourite composition of the trip, executed under tricky weather conditions as umbrella-brandishing Rod kindly fended off the spots of rain from my lens and filters which would otherwise have ruined the capture. I find the close relationship of natural and artificial objects a particularly interesting subject for photographs.
30 sec @ f/16 ISO 64 Nikon D810 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
Ancient stonework in the ruined St. Andrews cathedral; an interesting juxtaposition of the rough and smooth textures.
1/160 sec @ f/8 ISO 200 Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 35mm