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.
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:
I even managed a couple of selfies:
Today was a bit of a special day for me and one I’ve waiting on for a long time. Yes you might think I’m sad but I don’t care, why? I’ll tell you why.
I grew up in a house that overlooks the main East Coast mainline (that’s the railway for those that don’t know) but more specifically overlooked a big shed that housed an express passenger steam locomotive – the Union of South Africa (60009). So for years everytime the engine was being taken out it sat where I could see it from the living room window for a couple of hours heating the water in the boiler until it was up to steam. Of course being a kid watching from a window wasn’t good enough when I could be out there over the road watching it up close. And that is what I did many times during my childhood. Until one sad day, the day I watched this loco being loaded onto a flatbed truck and driven down south, that day way sometime in May 1994 and I haven’t seen that engine since…..
That was until today. Today was the first time she has come north of Fife, today was the day she hauled a train from back from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and today the first time I’ve seen her in almost 20 years.
Unfortunately she wasn’t hauling the tour up to Aberdeen but I thought she was still going up with it. It turned out that she got hauled up an hour before by a diesel loco so sadly at lunchtime I had to make do with a Class 5 loco pulling the Great Britain VI:
But I did know that later the Union of South Africa was hauling the train on the return trip so I took position at the south end of the Tay Rail Bridge and waited. First to appear was the diesel loco that went north with the Class 5 earlier:
Then a little while later I heard the distinct whistle of the A4 class locos before seeing her in the distance making the approach to the north end of the bridge. Robert (Robert Garside Photography) who was with me managed to get a good spot looking right along the bridge:
Meanwhile I was on higher ground and balancing one foot on a stepladder the other on a very shoogly fence post:
After this we jumped in the car and made the most of the 20minute stop at Leuchars so found a position towards Dairsie further down the line so we could get another pass:
Ok so some of you might still think I’m sad, but I don’t care as I’m happy 🙂
Note – most of these images and others are available to order either direct from myself (using the contact page) or via Photo4Me
The last assignment over on PixelatedPhotographer.com was ‘Engineering’. Being short of inspiration I decided not to try and come up with an interpretation/play on the work Engineering but instead simply go on a hunt to find some good old fashioned structure that could be considered Engineering.
With this I had a day off a couple of Fridays ago and seeing as the sun was out and bright I headed on down to riverside in Dundee. The rough plan was to photograph the Tay Rail Bridge and/or the Tay Road Bridge. Starting with the Tay Rail Bridge, I managed to grab some decent images:
I also managed to take the following image, I say image but there are actually two as I applied different LightRoom pre-sets to them and can’t really make up my mind which I prefer:
Overall I think I am more impressed with the black and white image as it isolates the bridge from its surroundings (i.e. removed the hills in the background). But I still really like the colour version as it highlights more detail in the structure of the bridge as well as showing the light coming across/through it.
In the end I decided to enter the black and white version as my assignment entry – like many other members on the site black and white seemed to be the obvious choice for the subject of Engineering. But this is a perfect example of how simply applying a pre-set within LightRoom can dramatically change an image, the trick is finding and applying the correct one for that image and for that scenario.
Note: and seeing as it was so cold with the wind channelling down the Tay I decided not to bother photographing the Tay Road Bridge, that can wait until another day.