Thursday, 31 May 2012

Picture of the Week: Old Wharf Building on the Grantham Canal

The Grantham Canal goes from Grantham, through the Vale of Belvoir, to Nottingham where it joins the River Trent.  The canal hasn't been used for many years but it does provide some beautiful walks and some great photographic opportunities.  This building near Harby is one such opportunity which attached to a farm next to the canal it probably served as wharf for loading grain and other goods onto canal boats.  There is also a disused windmill in the background of the first image.





ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Roman Bridge in Verona

Thinking ahead to our summer holidays in Tuscany this July I thought I would post one of my favourite images from our last trip to Italy in 2010, the Roman Bridge in the beautiful medieval city of Verona, famous, amongst other things, for Romeo and Juliet.


Our trip to Tuscany is planned for the end of July and will be our third trip to this beautiful country but only our first to the region.  In 2008 we visited Naples and the Amalfi Coast and in 2010 we stayed near Lake Garda in the north of the country.



ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Northumberland Coast

Last weekend we visited Northumberland to take a trip out to the Farne Islands to photograph the Puffins and other seasbirds.  We also took the opportunity to visit the Northumberland coast, which has some of the most beautiful stretches of sandy beaches in the UK.

Alnmouth
Low Newton by the Sea
Bamburgh Castle

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Monday, 28 May 2012

A Trip Out to the Farne Islands

The next three weekends I will be working at Le Mans for the build up and the 80th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is also the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship so we decided to head north for my last free weekend.  We've always wanted to see Puffins while we are on Mull but are usually too early or too late to see these beautiful birds. However the Farne Islands in Northumberland are just 3 hours up the A1 from here so we booked a hotel and spent the weekend just south of the Scottish border.


We booked a trip out to Staple Island, which is part of the outer Farne Islands, from Seahouses on Sunday morning.  The weather in England has been glorious but as we parked the car we noticed that we couldn't see anything out to sea due to the heavy fog.  Luckily this didn't stop the boats going out as visibility wasn't too bad and the fee of £35 for two adults and one child was also not too bad.

A trip around the various islands seeing the bird colonies on the stacks and cliffs, plus the grey seals, we landed on Staple Island for 1 hour.  The islands are part of the National Trust and a landing fee is payable but as we are members of the National Trust we didn't have to pay the £15.50 fee.  The walking areas are roped off but you can still get very close to the puffins, cormorants, shags, gulls and guillemots that are nesting on the island.  The noise and smell is over powering but it is an amazing experience.

We came to see Puffins and with 10,000 on the island we weren't disappointed.  The little birds were everywhere on the cliffs, popping out of burrows on the grassy top of the island and in the air.  The 60-minutes flew by and we had to head back to the boat to go back to Seahouses.

There are various boats that go out to the islands everyday and you can choose to spend longer on Staple Island if you wish.  We went out with Billy Shiel's Glad Tidings which had plenty of room for the 20 people who made the trip with us.  For more information visit - http://www.farne-islands.com/index.htm







ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Friday, 25 May 2012

Early Morning Walk

Earlier this week I decided to get up at 4:30am and go out to the Vale of Belvoir for the sunrise to get some shots of the Grantham Canal for a long term project I'm working on.  There is something magical about that time of the morning, even if the sun doesn't make an appearance due to the mist.  There is no one else about and everywhere is still; it is a fantastic feeling.  I walked for nearly three miles taking shots at various points along the stretch of the disused canal near the village of Harby.  

This morning in the Vale turned out to be a recce run as the light was very flat due to the mist.  I noted the likely spots for images on my OS map and I took some shots for the file.  I will return at a later date when the light is better, but that is the nature of landscape photography, it all depends on the quality of the light and there is very little a photographer can do but wait for the right conditions or return another day.

Grantham Canal near Harby in the Vale of Belvoir


ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Three Cameras and Two Hybrid Racecars

The following images were taken at Spa-Francorchamps at the FIA WEC event at the beginning of May.  The second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship was supposed to be the first endurance race between the Audi R18 e-tron and the Toyota TS030 hybrid cars but a big accident in testing at Paul Ricard forced Toyota to delay their race entry until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.  However Toyota agreed to some publicity shots of the car with the Audi on the Wednesday before the 6 Hours of Spa on May 5th.  

The following shots were shot on three different cameras with three different lenses but they all produced shots that were used by the media once they were unveiled on Thursday morning.

The shots were used by The Sun, L'Equipe, Motorsport Aktuell, Sport Auto, Autosport and other magazines

Audi R18 e-tron and Toyota TS030 - Nikon D3 12-24 f2.8
Audi R18 e-tron and Toyota TS030 - Nikon D300s 18-50 F2.8
Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Anthony Davidson with the Toyota TS030 - Nikon D90 10-20mm


ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Picture of the Week: Dandelion Clock

I came across the Dandelion Clock while out in the Vale of Belvoir.  The morning mist had left the seed heads covered in morning dew.  The shapes of the water drops on the seed heads produced some interesting patterns and with the Nikon 60mm F2.8 micro I managed to get a few different shots.






ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Clematis Close Up

I don't have 'green fingers' so our back garden resembles a jungle at times but we do have a beautiful Clematis (Clematis Montana Tetrarose) near our garage that flowers without fail every year.  Armed with a Nikon 60mm micro lens I took some close ups of these beautiful flowers.








ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Monday, 21 May 2012

Aros Falls, Isle of Mull

The fourth part of our Islandscape photo tour, which was actually to the first stop of the day.  The weather was typically Scottish and Sam Jones had suggested starting at Aros Falls as there is a covered viewing platform near the car park, which is situated just off the main Salen to Tobermory road.




On arrival I decided not to go for the 'safe' option and went off for a bit of rock scrambling to try and get a lower view of these magnificent falls.  Because of the rain during the past week there was plenty of water coming off the mountains to feed the falls and I felt a low shot would provide a great image of the power of the water.


A mad scramble on the slippery rocks got me to the vantage point I had selected and sheltering under an umbrella provided by Sam I managed to keep the camera and lens dry - well mostly.  With camera firmly fixed to the tripod I was able to select a slow enough shutter speed to get movement in the water.


I then headed back up to the viewing platform to see what I could get from the high vantage point the platform provided.  Using a telephoto I was able to select large rocks at the base of the falls and with a slow shutter speed I was able to blur the surrounding water cascade to provide the effect I was looking for.



The Islandscape photo tour was a great day out and if you are visiting Mull I can highly recommend a day out with Sam.  She caters for photographers of every level and tailors the tour accordingly.  Visit the website at www.islandscapephotography.co.uk


ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Quaraing, Isle of Skye

This was taken in August 2009 after an early morning start was rewarded with some beautiful Scottish light bouncing off the low clouds. The Quaraing is one of the most visited and photographed places in Scotland, and quiet rightly so. However I love to try and get something a bit different from the picture postcard views and this black and white image hits the spot for me.  I hope it does for you too.



This shot was taken during a climb with resident wildlife photographer Tom Hodgetts (www.tomhodgetts.co.uk).  We are heading to Skye for Tom's wedding at the start of June when he gets married to Beccii in Elgol and yours truly is acting as the official photographer.  Can't wait!

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Saturday, 19 May 2012

From the Archives - Ruffed Lemur

I'd love to say that this shot of a Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) was taken in Madagascar but it was actually taken at the Parc Zoologique Cerza while on holiday in Normandy in 2006. It was an open enclosure where you could walk alongside the lemurs so I was able to get some images close up without any fences getting in the way.





ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Friday, 18 May 2012

A Supporting Role

For landscape photographers a good tripod is essential and I love my SLIK PRO 400 DX. However when travelling on business I have found it to be, quite frankly, a pain.  For my fortnightly two day trips to France I like to travel as light as possible and so I pack a camera body, three lenses, spare batteries, filters and a Hama Traveller Mini Pro tripod.

Hama Tripod on left, SLIK on the right
This little tripod has provided my camera with support on the last three trips to Paris when I've been out and about at night at the tourist spots and also to Florida when the FIA WEC raced at Sebring.  

Notre Dame at night.  The Hama tripod was placed on the bridge
It is lightweight, weighing in at just 740g, and only measures 400mm folded, extending out to 1150mm.  It isn't the sturdiest of tripods when fully opened out but I tend to use it folded up, or with one leg extension used, and in this configuration for long exposure shots at night it has proven to be a winner.  I actually got this tripod as a free gift when I subscribed to Practical Photography magazine but I have checked with some photographic retail sites and this tripod is currently being sold for just £20, which is an absolute bargain in my book.

Eiffel Tower - 30s exposure using the Hama Tripod
I will always take the larger SLIK tripod if I am travelling by car or for an important shot but on business travel I always take the Hama Traveller tripod with me.  I wouldn't leave home without it! 

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Croig Harbour, Isle of Mull

Part three of our Islandscape photography tour of Mull took us to the natural harbour of Croig on the north west side of the island.  A very picturesque place, with the heavily laden sky adding a bit of drama to the scene. I chose my first scene as the shot looking out to sea from the top of a small hill next to the fisherman's quay.


Next I turned my lens on the rusty chains and lobster pots that littered the area surrounding the quay.  Some close up shots using the 60mm Nikon micro produced some interesting images.


I took the next shot from the wall of the quay looking inland towards the hills of Mull.


We then walked a short distance up the road on the right back towards the  wrecked trawler that lies beached on the shoreline.  Not as well known, or photographed, as the three wrecks at Salen on the north of the island, the wreck at Croig is still an interesting subject to photograph.  Mull is littered with boats that have reached the end of their working lives and have been stripped out and left to rot.  




We began our photo tour at Aros Falls near Tobermory and I will post some pictures from this part of the day next week.  Remember to visit the MacLean Photographic website at www.macleanphotographic.co.uk


ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Picture of the Week: Cormorants on Staffa


Cormorants on Staffa 
 One of my favourite shots from the trip out to Staffa on the West Coast of Scotland in 2010. The Cormorants were resting on the rocks, some drying their wings after diving for fish, but they were lined up like they were waiting for the boat to come in and pick them up.


ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Competition Winning Picture is Hung on the Wall

Jeff Carter's winning image of Tobermory Harbour has been produced as a 70cm x 50cm photo canvas, courtesy of Jessops, and now hangs on the wall at home.


The photograph, entitled 'Early Reflections', is now available to buy as a limited edition photo canvas in two sizes - 40cm x 30cm (16"x12") and 60cm x 40cm (24" x 16") - in the online shop on the new MacLean Photographic website at www.macleanphotographic.co.uk

New Website Goes Live

A new look MacLean Photographic website has gone live today and includes an online shop where visitors can purchase limited edition prints.  The site also includes links to the MacLean Photographic / MacLean Communications Facebook, Flickr and Twitter feeds, as well as a link to this blog.  Please check the new site at www.macleanphotographic.co.uk


  

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cnoc Fada standing stones, Dervaig

While on our recent trip to Mull I went on an Islandscape photography tour with local photographer Sam Jones.  Last week I posted about the Tobermory Chicken Shed that produced some great images and one of the other areas that Sam took us to was the standing stones at Dervaig on the north of Mull, which I'd never visited before.  


Listed by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland as the Cnoc Fada standing stones, or sometimes by the more unimaginative Dervaig B standing stones, they are situated In a clearing in trees at the south end of Cnoc Fada, 850m E of Dervaig and 230m NW of the road from Dervaig to Tobermory. There is a linear setting of basalt blocks extending over a distance of 18.3m, with only two of the stones remain upright.


These shots were taken in late afternoon on an overcast day, which produced a diffused light that was almost perfect for taking images in a clearing of trees of this ancient monument.


There are ancient monuments all over Mull and I have also photographed the standing stones at Glengorm, situated a few miles away from the stones at Dervaig.  I find standing stones fascinating ever since I visited Stonehenge as a boy.  Who put them there and for what purpose, the answers lost in the mists of time.  But these monoliths remind us that people lived on these islands long before written records were kept.




ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON  FLICKR