While wandering along Princes Street yesterday in heavy rain, I stopped to grab a shot of the Scott Monument. Such sunlight as was peeking out of the clouds caused a degree of backlighting which meant that the detail on the monument had to be pushed using the highlights control in software. The other problem was the incredible amount of street furniture that the trams have brought. I had to wander back and forward like a sentry to find a spot that minimised the impact of the posts, this angle puts a post right in front of the right hand gothic upright and makes it less noticeable. I love the Scott monument and actually think that it suits the dark rainy weather.

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I had such a pleasant afternoon today. I was joining friends for a birthday in Newhaven, near Leith in Edinburgh for a 6pm dinner. This took me through Edinburgh Waverley station around 5pm as the light levels were dropping. I had my Canon 500D with me and its 24mm pancake lens was on. (This combination barely takes any room in my bag). I wandered around Princes Street for a short while trying to find a basic composition that pleased me as the street-furniture and crowds could be hard to work around. A zoom lens would have helped to get a shot more quickly, but my pancake prime required me to use my legs to zoom and I think that that might be no bad thing.

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On returning from a professional meeting in Edinburgh today, I was attracted to the view down Clermiston Road with the hills and swathes of Edinburgh below. I parked the car, nabbed my G3 and took 4 quick exposures. In one of these a black cat ran across the road adding a quirky interest.

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This Pretty seal-puppy is Abigail, Julie’s newish niece. We visited on Tuesday, and towards the end of the night as dad Stewart, was cuddling and playing with Abigail I grabbed my 500D with 40mm pancake and took a few shots without flash. This one was by far my favourite, shot wide open at f2.8. I got 1/125th sec using ISO 6400, and was astonished as always that even a 5 year old camera can deliver such high ISO performance. What surprised me even more was that the noise-fest that the RAW image was, was totally tamed by Lightroom’s noise reduction module. Much has been written about how good it is, but I don’t think it has been praised enough; I love it!

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These are Andy Scott’s magnificent Kelpie sculptures in Grangemouth by the canal. They have been there for more than a year now and I have never seen them. Today we took little HB to see them and naturally cameras were packed. The sky was very largely grey and overcast, so the focus really had to be on shape and form in the first instance, and then bold post-processing to emphasise contrasts and to make metals sparkle where possible. I had some fun just going-for-it I confess!

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Most were taken with the Sigma 10-20 at f6.3 You get a lot of Depth of Field with such a wide lens anyway.

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The lock-arm balances the foreground nicely in this one with the arm being parallel to the Kelpie’s head.

 

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Emphasising the foreground plates is fun too.

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One of the real challenges for Kelpie photography is the ugly cement and electrical furniture everywhere; I tried to make that stuff more of a feature in this one. The pylons have always had the connotations of darkness, horror and even dystopia, so a dark approach brings out the scarier side of the Dobbin duo here.

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For this one I used my 70-300 IS handheld and got a bit of distance between myself and the Kelpsters. The compressing effect of the long telephoto has squeezed the Kelpies together, almost into one beast, and set them in the landscape without local furniture distracting from them.

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