Well I managed to get along to the opening round of the Scottish Cross Country (SXC) Mountain Bike Racing Series 2014. This round was held in Forfar, well in the hills/quarry just south of Forfar.
I didn’t make it the whole day (had a birthday party to take the kids to in the morning) so by the time I got there the females race(s) were finished and they had already started the kids/junior races. Even the kids races were full of action (partly due to the brilliant course they had) and great to see so many youngsters pushing so hard and already being so good on their bikes.
Next came the men’s race(s) which to be honest I wasn’t prepared for, it was just full on racing (and I do mean full on) and it stayed like that for the full race. That was impressive enough until I then went round the course and discovered how many ups and downs there were and how technical some of the descents were.
Anyway enough words, here’s some shots of the action:
Oh and after all that racing the series of images near the end above show the 1st and 2nd place Mens Elite riders battling for the line – it took the timing chips to seperate them!
UPDATE – I have also put together a short video from the racing action which can be found here.
Last night was another outing with the good folks of PK Perspective and Robert Garside Photography where we all headed to Auchmithie. This is the second time we have headed here for an evening shoot and again we discovered that it isn’t the best location for sunsets. However, it is a good location of long exposures with the movement of the water over the rocks and pebbled beach so when I heard that was where we were going I knew I was in trouble due to having no filters and it being a sunny day. But with this in mind I came up with a plan – there is a MachineMart near where I work so I nipped in and picked up some welding glass to see how well that would work as a replacement for a 8 or 10 stop ND filter.
So with a £3.50 something piece of glass off I went:
Turns out that it works ok, it’s not brilliant in that the colour cast it gives means all the images look very flat and it takes a lot of editing to bring that back whilst at the same time brightening most of the image. But as an emergency filter it does its job, without I could only get exposures of up to 1/4th of a second and with it I could get up to 25 seconds. I say up to 25 seconds but I discovered around exposures of between 8-15 seconds worked better. This is because how the glass fitted my Cokin filter holder meant there was a gap between the lens and the filter so light was getting in there after bouncing off the wrong side of the glass so giving a weird effect on the images. This is one of the worst examples I got:
I have thought of a solution to this (i.e. to fill/cover this gap) but in the future I will simply avoid doing longer exposures than 10-15 seconds. But one thing I have learnt is that I need to get myself a proper set of good quality filters as they are essential for any daytime long exposures.
I also took other images I took whilst there and without the welding glass:
While we were there we kept our eye on this very suspicious character who seemed to be taking an age to work out how to use a camera of some description!!! (I say camera but it had “NIKON” etched onto it so I don’t believe it’s a camera at all)