Making photographs, not just taking them – Dundee, Tayside, Scotland

Posts tagged “long exposure photography


Dundee Aurora

Tonight I noticed some mentions of an Aurora storm going on and being visible as far south as Tayside.  With that I grabbed my camera and took a quick test shot out of my bedroom window.

IMG_8459 - 27Feb2014

Imagine my surprise to see what the camera picked up while there was lights from a few neighbours houses.  Sadly I couldn’t go far, as I had the car battery on charge so I grabbed the tripod and a warm jacket before heading off to see what I could see.  I really should have taken a torch but forgot so ended up wandering around the fields/country lanes out the back of my house on the edge of Dundee, not easy to change settings etc in the dark!  That’s my excuse for not really liking these images but I share them anyway for anyone else that didn’t manage to see it for themselves.

Here is a selection of the images I got tonight:

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I even managed a couple of selfies:

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A bit blowy

Dundee was just hit by some stormy conditions (Tay Road Bridge closed most of the day, many houses in The Ferry without power) and my initial thought – long exposure images of the waves/clouds.  That’s right I decided to head out into those conditions with the camera and boy it was very windy and very very cold but boy it was worth it:

IMG_8644 - 16Apr2013

IMG_8651 - 16Apr2013

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IMG_8677 - 16Apr2013-2

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Note – most of these images and others are available to order either direct from myself (using the contact page) or via Photo4Me

Falkirk Wheel

As much as I’m looking forward to summer with the warmer days and lighter evenings, this week I was glad the evenings are so dark.  That is because I finally got to go on a shoot I had been planning since before Christmas and thanks to the good folks at the Falkirk Wheel, who kindly allowed us access after hours, I got to see and shoot a structure I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time.

The reason why I wanted to shoot this amazingly well engineered structure in the dark?  Because it is light with colour changing lights which can change the mood as the colour changes as well as highlight different sections.  The down side to this is I ended up with a lot of images as most compositions were repeated multiple times in order to capture the differing light and colour.  That is an issue I am willing to live with.

Other downsides to going at night in winter is that the wheel doesn’t turn at night and it was very cold.  But this didn’t dampen the mood and it is somewhere that I can see myself going back to visit either during the day to see it turn or again at night to try out other shots and I would highly recommend it to others too.

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Note – most of these images and others are available to order either direct from myself (using the contact page) or via Photo4Me

That Bridge

After a full week of very cold but dry weather I made to take a trip to North Queensferry hoping to get some images I’ve been wanting to get for some time.  Unfortunately the weather turned and the trip was cut short due to rain.  But despite the rain I managed to get some shots I’m happy with:

IMG_4837 - 30Nov2012

IMG_4837 - 30Nov2012-2

IMG_4838 - 30Nov2012

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Also enroute I stopped off to get some other shots I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, long exposures from above a busy road.  I’ve never found an opportunity or had the time to stop off somewhere to try this before but I had a spare 5 minutes so this is what I got:

IMG_4827 - 30Nov2012

IMG_4830 - 30Nov2012

IMG_4832 - 30Nov2012


Note – some of these images and others are available to order either direct from myself (using the contact page) or via Photo4Me

Glenshee night

So with all the good weather we’ve been having I ended up on another evening shoot with the folks over at PK Perspective. This time we decided not to the the usual and head to the coast, instead we headed inland up towards Braemar.  However, as we headed up towards Glenshee the mountain tops began to be covered by fog so we stopped half way up the Devils Elbow instead of going all the way to Braemar.

I was a little sceptical that we would find anything worth shooting there as the sun had gone, the landscape was very open with no points of interest and even the tops of the hills and mountains were hidden in fog.  However, after only a short walk down from the car park we dropped into a little river bed with a couple of smaller streams feeding into one.  Walking back up the other side we followed one of the streams and discovered quite a few good places to shoot.  Here’s a selection of images I captured all within less than half a mile of where we parked up, of a place that I’d never noticed before when driving passed on this road:

I came away at the end of that shoot thinking I hadn’t captured anything that I liked.  I just felt that there wasn’t enough to foreground or background subjects to make interesting images and also that there just wasn’t enough colour given the light available.  However, looking back now I am reasonably happy with what I got, yes there still isn’t enough foreground and background subjects for my liking (then again it is a very empty landscape) but with a little editing I have managed to bring out some colours to make interesting enough images.

Auchmithie harbour

Can't decide if I prefer landscape or portrait of this shot

Managed to get out on another evening shoot with the good folks over at PK Perspective.  This time we ended up exploring Auchmithie harbour, just up the coast from Arbroath.

Only one of the five of us had actually been before so we didn’t know what to expect, what we found was a brilliant little pebble beach and rocks next to a run down harbour, surrounded by cliffs.  It was a truly great place to be taking photos that night as the tide was on it’s way out (must have dropped 8-10 meters in the few hours we were there) leaving wet shiny pebbles, while the waves still crashed in.  Pity we didn’t get the sunset we hoped for (the sky never became colourful) but then again the harbour was facing East so it wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

Here is a selection of what I managed to capture:

When we arrived, yes you need to walk back up that path/set of steps!

With it being so light I was struggling to get long exposures till the light faded

But it got easier as the light went

Same as above but managed to capture a bigger wave

With only little waves

With bigger waves, and yes wet feet!

Again struggled to get a longer exposure without blowing everything out

Love the variety of colours of the pebbles on this beach

Trying to isolate the colours of the foreground pebbles

Can't decide if I prefer landscape or portrait of this shot

Sky, cliffs, rocks, pebbles, the little sand there was and sea all in one shot

Another brilliant little area to shoot

Similar shot but in colour

Again a similar shot but without a long shutter speed

So many vistas

Another shot trying to demonstrate the scene, hard to do without a wide angle lens

Of course someone always gets in the way when you do a long exposure shot!

Shot without someone in it

So many shiny pebbles of all colours and sizes

The only sandy part to the beach and again I got wet feet getting this shot

Due to all the pebbles I was suckered into playing around with them and trying out something I had seen over on 500px by Iain Blake (I would suggest people go and see his work):

For any local photographers interested in landscape or long exposure shots then I would recommend taking a trip down to Auchmithie harbour.  I’m hoping to return sometime preferably before sunrise to try and capture the sun coming up (or the colours pre sunrise) as well as the waves breaking over the rocks and pebbles.