Challenge Accepted! (16 January 2016)

One of the first things I did in 2016 was to join up with the Arcanum.  It’s a web based educational community for photographers (and other artists too).  The idea is that the apprentice (me) learns new skills & techniques from their master (in my case, well known Australian photographer Glenn Guy ) and the other apprentices within his group by working through various challenges.

My first photography challenge since joining was to spend a day making as many photographs as possible and then to select what I considered to be the best one to share with the rest of the group

So yesterday I spent most of the day making photographs using filters that my wonderful wife gave me for Christmas.  It was the first opportunity I have had to play with them so it’s been interesting!

I took about 300 frames in all, but some of those were 3 shot bracketed exposures, so in terms of actual compositions it was more like 150 several of which are just slight variations of the same thing.

I started off in the morning heading for Millarochy Bay on Loch Lomond which is just over 30 miles from home.  I’ve been to Loch Lomond many times, but this was my first time at this particular location.  I spent about an hour trying various compositions of trees & rocks with long exposures to smooth the water.

My next stop was another place I’ve never been to before.  Devil’s Pulpit is a deep sandstone gorge with a small river flowing through. The colours are spectacular with bright green moss covering much of the red rock.  It was a brilliant stroke of luck that I happened to meet another friendly photographer there who showed me the way down into the gorge as I doubt I would have found it in the time I had available.  Thanks Kevin!  I didn’t really get the shot I wanted here though as I was pushed for time, needing to get back home for a couple of tasks. I’ll definitely be going back there though.

Once I’d done my chores I took a few photos of an old dockyard crane at James Watt Dock about a mile from home.  I’ve photographed it before, but I’d had a different angle in mind for a little while just waiting for good light.  I think I was successful in that location, but I haven’t properly edited those images yet.


Late in the afternoon I headed back to Loch Lomond with the intention of making a photograph in the same location as the morning’s session, but with the post sunset glow in the sky.  On the way there I had to pull over and take a few shots of a farmhouse with Ben Lomond (it’s a mountain, not a person) in the background.  The sun was just above the horizon and the snowy peak was glowing brightly.  I really could have done with being 15 minutes earlier to get set up and composed, but I had to just make the best of it before the sun disappeared.

This shot of the tree at Millarochy Bay on Loch Lomond is my favourite of the day.  It’s probably one of the most photographed trees in Scotland, as evidenced by the fact that there were already 4 or 5 other photographers there when I arrived!  I don’t think I’ve processed a sunset into black & white before, but I was inspired to try it after seeing an image by inspiring photographer Christian Meermann recently.  

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