This weekend Julie and I walked up to the lovely Dun na Cuaiche folly above Inveraray castle. At 248 m high, not a major hill-walk, but with our near-10 kilo baby, (yes really!) in a backpack carrier, it turns into some serious exercise. To my shame, despite visiting Inveraray for 8 years on a regular, (like twice weekly) basis, I have never walked up to the folly, (Dun na Quaiche). Anyway, it is a lovely walk, if steep, of about an hour taken easily. These are two views from inside the folly, which I believe was always decorative, not functional. The first is a tripod shot using my smaller EOS 500D and my carbon-fibre Giottos tripod. The point I think might be interesting to photographers is that the first shot uses the extensive adjustments now available in Lightroom 4 to create a virtual HDR effect from a single exposure. (ISO 200, f16, 1/25 sec, 22mm (x 1.6 crop factor))
This next similar picture is a genuine 3-exposure HDR from the same tripod and camera. The three exposures were blended in “photomatix pro” and exported back into Lightroom. I chose monochrome mainly because I love monochrome HDR images, but also to give variety in my post, but the point is that using a Raw file on a tripod exposure, Lightroom is now good enough to get close to an HDR look, without the “ghosting and softening” of real blending of exposures. The first is arguably a better, truly sharp, High Dynamic Range image; Lightroom just gets better and better!
Stepping out of the tower, this is the lovely view of the planned town of Inveraray. (Really worth a visit if you haven’t been there). Loch Fyne is the adjoining loch. The very gothic Inveraray castle, the seat of the Campbells I believe, is obvious on the lower right.
And now using my 70-300, fully extended, I thought you might enjoy the sheer gothic wow factor of the very striking castle from above.
The 70-300 employed now to frame the promontory town that is Inveraray. Am I the only person who sees a vague resemblance to Ullapool in the way it juts into Loch Broom in the Highlands.
These are some really straight and tall trees by the path on the ascent. I love the effect of a wide-angle lens and very straight trunks with nice warm light striking them.
This one is an abstract, picked out from the folly, 250 m above using my 70-300 again. I love the simple curves of the shore against the trees.
Here’s a snatched shot of Hannah’s gorgeous mum using her beloved 500D and Sigma 18-70 capturing Inveraray as well!
Back at the castle estate on the way down, I realised that you could see this unusual little Doocot (dovecot) in the distance along one of the avenues. I thought it would be interesting to try the 70-300 again to compress the distance and to allow the road to lead you to the building. Just as I was focusing a grouse strolled across the path forming a blurry moving silhouette against the shockingly white building. (read about it here).