Castle Stalker

This is Castle Stalker in Appin in Northern Argyll.


ISO 3200   22mm x 1.6CF   f9   1/20

Today was a wet and overcast day with nothing exciting in store, so for some reason it occurred to me that doing a landscape would be an interesting challenge. Apart from anything else, I have had some nice Cokin grad filters for 2 years now and haven’t even put them on the camera! So arriving in Appin the weather was bleak, drizzly and uninspiring. I walked a little to find a position that seemed to best set the castle against the background mountains, and set up my rarely-used tripod. I added the grad filter, and looked at the effect using live view to place the grad line for what I thought was the best effect. I then proceeded to make the most enormous mistake that a novice landscape shooter can make, I entrusted the ISO setting to auto! Considering I used my tripod, set mirror lock-up, used a remote release to minimise shake, this was colossally negligent; the result was ISO 3200! I spotted this thankfully, and shifted manually to ISO 100 to take my subsequent pictures, but oddly, this was the one that I liked best. Technically it was noisy, however, Lightroom did wonders for the noise levels, and I applied a nice treatment preset that I had downloaded through the Lightroom plugin site, (Mixtonesoft by Gavin Phillips), and then made some spot adjustments to bring out details.

There you have it, it shouldn’t have worked, but I like the result anyway.

Lessons: 1. Don’t trust Mr. Canon to set your ISO, he always seems to get it wrong. I know this from portraiture anyway, so what was I thinking!!! 2. The weather being crappy doesn’t stop you having a go; post processing can really accentuate moodiness.


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