With the busy Christmas schedule behind us, Lesley and I headed north to the beautiful Scottish highlands, we booked a cottage to get away from the hectic lifestyle back home not just for sake of having a break, although I’m sure Lesley will disagree but it’s the lure of being behind the lens, seeking the light, that is often elusive or fleeting on the west coast of Scotland due to weather systems coming in from the Atlantic. The days are short during the January months, and the sun hangs in the sky much lower, even at mid day which still provides beautiful lighting for landscape photography. driving on our way to the cottage we pass our first location, Lochan na h Achlaise, It provides an inspiring view to Black Mount, suddenly I become energized, passion takes over and already I can’t wait to get out there! I resist the urge and drive on, we need to get unpacked and settle in before an early rise takes us back to Lochan Na h Achlaise, having already had ‘my first’ glimpse, I can’t wait!
Lochan Na h Achlaise
January 21st 2011
It’s 8:00am, I’m stood at the edge of Lochan Na h Achlaise, my composition is set, clouds ebb and flow, I’m waiting for them to reveal Black Mount before I release the shutter, the below freezing temperatures have caused the waters along the edge of the lochan to become frozen, Hoar frost has covered the grasses, an undeniably beautiful sight. The clouds begin to lift and everything starts coming together, After an initial test shot, I adjust the exposure and set the camera to auto bracketing, three images, one stop apart ensures an exposure with a great range of tones, No grads were used as the contrast at these times of day are relatively low.
Frozen | Lochan Na h Achlaise
Time of Day: Dawn/Twilight
Waiting for the Light: 30 Mins
Post Processing notes: White balance was set to auto in camera and left unchanged during post processing. Our eyes and brain are complex, they constantly correct such colour casts whereas our cameras don’t, it’s up to each individual whether to correct this blue cast during post processing, often I may well correct this myself. However my aim here was to retain subtle shades of white across the snow capped Black Mount and frozen shore in the foreground, this helps me to convey the original mood back to my viewers, the lighting was soft with no presence of direct sunlight, therefore no contrast adjustments were made, adding contrast to this type of scene would be wrong. My aim with these notes is to help one understand why and when to deviate from a more standard approach to post processing.
For a colour corrected version of this image, please see here
Next part coming soon!