New year in Kilmartin Glen

_MG_0658-2So Happy New Year to all of my friends from all around the world. It was interesting to look at the stats from my web provider last week and to note how incredibly international the hits to my photo blog are. In fact only a tiny proportion of people from my own native UK and Scotland are visitors. My main visitors seem to be from the US and China!

Anyway, I am bringing in the new year here in Scotland in pretty much the centre of the ancient Celtic World! I am a guest in Julie’s mum and dad’s wonderful bed and breakfast in Kilmartin. The brightly lit corner house in the centre of this image is where they live and it overlooks the burial mounds in Kilmartin Glen where there must be the largest concentration of standing stones and ancient burial mounds in Scotland.

Anyway, late this afternoon in pouring rain, I walked down with my Canon 7D and my rarely used Manfrotto tripod and found a spot with my back to the burn (river) and engaged this portrait photographer’s least used function, “mirror lockup”. To my horror the camera misted up in the soaking conditions so I had to wait while getting soaked as it slowly cleared. Anyway, the point of today’s exercise was that I had holiday time and I know that I don’t take enough pictures these days, so I had resolved that whatever the conditions I would try something. I was out for a run an hour earlier and noticed that the village sat very broodingly above the glen in this awful squally rain. I strolled back down after changing out of my running gear and thoroughly enjoyed getting very very wet. I had to dry what was in my camera bag on returning so I hope that my Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom doesn’t suffer any damage!

The picture required a lot of post-processing in Lightroom, and for the benefit of my hosts this crop shows their house fairly clearly.

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So mirror Lockup on, remote trigger (reliable and £5 from ebay), f11 from memory and composed using live view. You really should go and enjoy this lovely area using the Rosebank bed and breakfast hosted by Isobel and Tommy McLaughlin.

Note: I have re-edited this image in Lightroom. I looked again today, the 2nd January and wondered what I was thinking about! I had pushed the vibrance/saturation to a point that had allowed a purple hue to dominate. The hue must have been there as I didn’t add it, however the saturation push grossly overemphasised it and even though I am relaxed with strong post processing if it works, this was just awful. Anyway, The image was just flat and toneless to start with, my lack of landscape expertise, general rustiness, relief at reclaiming anything from a grey rainstorm in near darkness, and half a bottle of wine meant that my judgement was way off. I am happier with the re-edit but didn’t wan’t it to be uploaded in secret. (Take the shame Matthew :-))

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