Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pitstop Practice



Today is the Official Test ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 13/14 June.  The 56 entrants for the world famous race will be joined on track for the two 4-hour sessions by the six reserve entries and two ELMS spec LMP3 cars run by Team LNT and will include Olympian Sir Chris Hoy getting his first experience behind the wheel of a race car at Le Mans.

Yesterday I was involved in organising the group shot of the 56 entries on the grid and my job, as it has been since 2012 was to position the cars in the right place by talking to the official photographer Eric Gilbert on the radio, who was positioned in a high lift 20 metres above the track.

Earlier I took the opportunity to walk around the pitlane, joining the public in seeing the preparations for today's test sessions.

KCMG were conducting a pitstop practice and using the X-T1 and the 10-24mm f4 lens, with the camera set to 8 frames per second, I captured some images using a slow 1/20s shutter speed which blurred the movement of the mechanics as they changed the tyres on the LMP2 class Oreca-Nissan race car.  




More images from yesterday's set up day can be found on the FIAWEC Facebook page HERE

All images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 with a Fujinon XF10-24mm f4 lens
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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Dandelion Clock



Bright sunshine, a strong breeze and a dandelion clock.  Trying to capture the moment the seed heads are caught by the wind is not as easy as it sounds.  

Holding the dandelion in my left hand and positioning it in the frame while operating the camera with my right hand was a bit hot and miss, even shooting a 8 frames per second.  It certainly took a long time to get the result I wanted.

However perseverance paid off eventually and these two frames made the effort worth while.


All images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 with a 56mm f1.2 lens
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Friday, 29 May 2015

Calton Hill Cemetery


Edinburgh is a very interesting city and with it being just a short 25-minute train journey from our home in Dunbar we do spend a lot of time exploring Scotland's capital.  

On of my favourite spots is the Old Calton Burying Ground at the foot of Calton Hill.  Many of Scotland's leading citizens of the 18th and 19th centuries are buried here and the brooding sandstone and granite structures make for great photographic subject.



I was in Edinburgh yesterday evening and had 30 minutes to spare while waiting at Waverley Train Station, so I walked to the cemetery, which is just 5-minutes from the station.  The weather was typically Scottish - overcast and slight drizzle which later turned to rain.  However the diffused light was almost perfect for the type of mono images I wanted to capture.



The graves and mausoleums are in some state of disrepair and the 'well worn look of decay' was exactly the feeling I wanted to portray in the set of images I captured on the Fujifilm X100.  The fixed 23mm f2 lens is perfect for this quick-fire type of project, I had to find the images that suited the wide angle lens rather than having two or three lens and finding the lens that suited the subject.  A single lens makes me think more and I find the challenge invigorating.



The reason I like photograph in cemeteries is the sense of history that is attached to each headstone or plaque.  These were real people but who were they? How did they live their lives?  What was it like living in Edinburgh 200 years ago? 

I find places like Calton Hill very peaceful and the one certainty in life is that we are all going to end up in a place like it.



Here are some more images in and around Calton Hill Cemetery including the monument to David Hulme, the great Scottish Philosopher and Historian, whose statue stands on the Royal Mile. 

Also below is the one of the few statue's to Abraham Lincoln outside of America and is a memorial to the Scottish soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.  More information on this monument is available on the blog I wrote HERE.







There are also memorials to people who would've long been forgotten but for the inscriptions chiselled into stone.  My eyes fell on one particular memorial to Major Archibald Argyle Campbell, an officer of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment who died in Plymouth in 1809 after the distinguishing himself at the battle of Corunna in the Peninsula War against the French.

I did a quick Google search and found a portrait of Major Campbell HERE and a transcript of the memorial HERE.  Without this 200 year old stone tablet tucked away in a corner of Calton Hill Cemetery no one would probably remember Major Archibald Argyle Campbell today.  This is why I consider churchyards and cemeteries as a door to forgotten history. 













All images taken on a Fujifilm X100 with a fixed 23mm f2 lens.

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Belhaven Sunset Timelapse Video


On Monday evening I headed down to Belhaven Bay to photograph the sunset and I posted some images on my return HERE

Prior to the sun setting I took approximately 1200 images on the X-T1 using the cameras Interval Timer Function.  I set the camera to take one image every 3 seconds and set the tripod with the X-T1, which was fitted with the 56mm f1.2 lens, facing across the bay towards North Berwick Law on the opposite side.

After the sequence of shots were recorded and downloaded, I used Windows Movie Maker to produce the 1 minute video below at 20 frames per second.  



I added the music, which is 'Wonder Cycle' by Chris Zabriskie, to the video.  The music is available at FreeMusicArchive.org


Kirk of Lammermuir


In the village of Abbey St Bathans is a beautiful small church, Kirk of Lammermuir, which is situated on the bank of Whiteadder Water close to the footbridge for the Souther Upland Way that spans the river. 

On my way back to the car I took some time to walk around the church yard and take some pictures of the Kirk and the gravestones.


HISTORY
The village of Abbey St Bathans has two main claims to fame. The first is its appearance at the top of any alphabetical list of Scottish settlements. The second, rather oddly given its name, is that it has never been home to an abbey. That is slightly misleading because in about 1200 a small Cistercian priory of 12 nuns was founded here by Ada, Countess of Dunbar.

The site was chosen because it was believed to have been that previously used for a tiny chapel established by St Bathan, a follower of St Columba, in the late 500s. The priory comprised a small church and an accompanying collection of domestic buildings. It was largely destroyed by English troops in 1543 and was probably no longer a going concern when the Reformation came along in 1560.

After 1560 the remains of the domestic buildings were reused in field walls and village buildings, while the priory church was repaired to become the parish church of Abbey St Bathans and Strafuntin.







History text courtesy of undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tyne Estuary


We decided to take quick walk out on the beach at Tyninghame in the spring sunshine.  The tide was out when we arrived and the rocks and pools of water were exposed along the estuary of the Tyne River.

I was drawn to the patterns and shapes formed by the lying water and the scattered rocks.  Using the Fujifilm X100 I captured a set of images from along the shoreline and the woodland.



I converted the resulting images in Photoshop using Nik Silver Efex Pro2 software.







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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Colourful Old Hall


If you read Saturday morning's blog about the rusty railings in Breedon Priory Church Yard you'll know that I am drawn to interesting objects that have interesting colours or textures.  

On Saturday morning I was exploring around the village of Abbey St Bathans in the Lammermuir Hills and came across this wonderful building at the edge of the village.  I can only assume it must have been the village hall or some such other public building (I don't know for sure).  

The structure is made of wooden sides with a corrugated iron roof that was painted in bright blue and red colours.  But time has taken its toll and the paint is peeling and flaking off leaving the wooden structure exposed to the elements.

The colours are still vibrant and in amongst the surrounding green trees and fields the building does stand out.  I used the Fujifilm X-T1 and either the 56mm f1.2, 55-200mm f3.5/48 or 10-24mm f4 lenses to capture these images in the bright sunshine.





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MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'