Having seen a couple of friends pictures posted on Facebook taken in The Trossachs, it struck me that for some unexplained reason I seem to overlook the potential of the area for photography! So taking the bull by the horns and setting (for me at least) a very early alarm I duly completed the hour and a quarter journey to my target with the aim of arriving at Loch Voil before sunrise. I happily spent the major part of the day photographing by the banks of this beautiful wee loch in Balquhidder Glen, together with the surrounding woodland and the burns flowing into the loch. As you will see, I had opportunity to bring into use for the first time my recently converted Nikon D3 camera body for infrared photography and I wasn’t disappointed with the results. These are my favourites from the day’s shoot.
The “blue hour” witnesses the first light of the day, before sunrise. By 6:55am the loch was reflecting back that first light; and with subtle highlights picking up ripple patterns being carried away from me by the gentle breeze kissing the surface of the loch.
0.4 sec @ f/16 ISO 400 Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 200mm
Driving a bit further down the loch-side, I spotted this structure of stones piled one upon the another; the cairn was about 3 feet in height and I knew would give strong foreground interest to any picture. However careful composition meant that I was able to place it within the tunnel of light reflecting on the loch. Also I think the cairn balances well with the open sky towards the top which might otherwise have been a distraction. I love the calmness of this image as dawn gave way to a weak sunrise.
120 sec @ f/16 ISO 125 Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
autumn’s edge | Loch Voil | Stirlingshire
Every few hundred yards I would find something else of interest; in this instance a “necklace” of golden-brown leaves gently curving along the water’ edge. A polarising filter has muted the sunlight glinting off the surface and allows a view into the water.
1.3 sec @ f/16 ISO 125 Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
While exploring sections of a burn further up the side of Balquhidder Glen I couldn’t resist this composition of water rushing down the hill-side split by boulders trying to block its path. I tried various shutter speeds but this 6 second exposure works best for me.
6 sec @ f/16 ISO 100 Nikon D800 with 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 20mm
Here, the fast flowing burn required a shorter exposure and 0.6th of a second effectively records the rhythm of movement whilst retaining structure in the water.
0.6 sec @ f/16 ISO 500 Nikon D800 with 45mm f/2.8 Tilt + Shift lens
By early afternoon Loch Voil began to take on the appearance of a “chocolate box” picture; I like the composition in the image beginning with the stones at the bottom left then curving up through the autumn-tinted trees to finish at the bottom of the distant “V” shape formed by the sides of the Glen.
20 sec @ f/16 ISO 80 Nikon D800 with 24mm f/3.5 Tilt + Shift lens
These final images were shot on my recently converted Nikon D3 camera body and were my first attempts at Infrared since attending an Aspect2i workshop on this type of photography back in July 2014. In this gathering of silver birch trees I spotted the shape of the leading tree on the right; I thought it resembled the prow of a Viking long-ship while the strong side lighting aids the illusion of depth in the image.
1/320 sec @ f/8 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 200mm
It’s easy to get carried away with IR photography but I couldn’t resist this “wow” tree.
1/320 sec @ f/10 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 70mm
Again, I love this simple but effective image of a “stand” of silver birch trees.
1/160 sec @ f/11 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 140mm
With the wind picking up and some serious weather coming my way, I took this opportunity for a last shot. A longish exposure of 20 seconds has softened-down the now choppy waves in the foreground, focusing attention to the drama going on in the sky.
20 sec @ f/16 ISO 200 Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 105mm