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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Foggy


Nikon D70 @ 25mm, 1/25 sec, f/3.8, ISO 200


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I wish I had more time to update this site - I always seem to end up sitting at 12:30am posting away when my time would, surely, be better spent in bed. Ah well.

After a hard day at the office, I walked home through the fog and battled the sub zero temperatures. Seemed like the perfect night to stay in and keep warm. But where's the fun in that? Yip... time to get the camera out. I only had a couple of hours to spare, so I went for a quick walk around town, taking shots here and there. I've recently discovered that taking pictures in the fog isn't as easy as it looks.

This was actually my first shot of the night, taken near my work on Charlotte Square. Hopefully there's a few more decent shots from the shoot. Stay tuned!


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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Victoria Street


Nikon D70 @ 27mm, 4 secs, f/8, ISO 200


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I didn't manage to take any shots this weekend, so a mid-week session may be in order to fuel the blog. I can never understand how the weekends manage to pass so quickly!

Anyway, this shot was taken shortly after my last post's, at Victoria Street. I've been meaning to get a shot of this street for a while, but I'm not sure that I'm convinced with this one.


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Friday, January 27, 2006

The News Steps


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 10 sec, f/8, ISO 200


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Sorry about the slow update, but I tried to make this post last night and forgot about blogger being down for some scheduled maintenance.

I took this shot a couple of nights ago while killing some time before meeting someone. My wander confirmed that I'm finding it incredibly difficult to find night scenes at the moment that I want to photograph. Not necessarily because I don't like the look of the scene, but because the dynamic range is often way off the scale. I know I could blend a couple of exposures if I wanted to, but I prefer to avoid that if at all possible. So I ended up only taking pictures at 2 scenes, which, for an hour and a half, seemed almost like a waste of time.

Anyway, self induced moan over!

Having said all of the above, I'm actually quite pleaseed with this shot. I think this may be another one of those shots that I don't think many people will be particularly taken by, but feel free to change my mind! This was taken at the opening to a fairly hidden lane in Edinburgh and the sign grabbed my attention as I was walking by.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Meet Monty


Nikon D70 @ 70mm, 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 + SB-800


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For those of you who thought you had stumbled across the wrong blog after yesterday's post, here's another one to confuse you!

Taken before Christmas for a "client" (read: work colleague!) I was assured that this little dog would sit nice and still for me. But alas, the adage never work with children or animals was confirmed: I spent most of my time running after him! The lighting was very poor, so about half of my 150 shots came out blurry. I was getting quite worried when I was sifting through the shots on my computer until I got to this one; which ironically was literally my last shot of the day.

Never really tried this kind of shot before so it was a new experience. Was it a good experience? Hmmm ;)


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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

(Frozen) Still Life


Nikon D70 @ 48mm, 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 200


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I actually took this shot on Christmas day - it was really foggy and I thought I would get some shots of the countryside engulfed in the white stuff. But I didn't really find what I was looking for so didn't stay out for long. That, plus the fact that I had a huge feast waiting for me at home - made all the more appealing by the fact that I was freezing my chops off!

Horticulture isn't my strong point, so I'll let someone else explain what this is. But I liked the way it looked with the frozen dew, and that's all that matters :)

I took this shot from very low down so that I could get the fog to make a nice simple background for me. A very slight vignette added in photoshop finished it off.


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Monday, January 23, 2006

Buachaille Etive Mor


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 1/3 sec, f/22, ISO 200


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Even though I knew the weather was going to be poor today, I quite fancied a trip up to the Glencoe area just to make sure everything was still there. An early rise at 6.30am was somewhat wasted as the completely overcast skies rendered the sun rise practically non-existent - I certainly didn't see it anyway! I think the last time I was at Glencoe when the sun was out must have been almost a year ago now - maybe I'll have better luck next time.

Anyway, it wasn't a complete waste of time as I quite like the way this one came out - the overcast skies here probably did me a few favours.


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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Early Morning Stroll


Nikon D70 @ 70mm, 1/125 sec, f/16, ISO 200


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I took this shot a couple of weeks before Christmas for someone's website. I had been trying to get shots of Arthur's seat for the previous few weekends but the weather had been so bad that I didn't even bother to leave my flat. On this occassion though, I decided that I would go regardless of the weather. And I'm glad I did - the weather was great!

The only trouble was that I had to get up really early, and this is never a good thing to do on your day off. We set off to walk up Arthur's Seat (a hill in Edinburgh) about 20 minutes before sunrise, so it was still really dark. The guy who I was taking photos for is a personal trainer so as you can imagine we weren't going at an easy pace either!

But the weather was ideal, I bagged my shots, and we both went home happy. Couldn't have asked for more.


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Deserted


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 1/30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200


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The 'diner' was dead at this point, but you could see from the mess that the crowds weren't long gone. I liked the vintage feel to this scene so thought that the sepia tone would work well.

For any Weegies in the audience... this was taken just off Sauchiehall street.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All Wrapped Up


Nikon D70 @ 50mm, 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 + SB-800


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Another milestone reached... post number 250!

I've been incredibly busy recently (trying to keep this site updated amongst other things) so I apologise for all the emails I've neglected recently - I'll reply to them asap... promise!

This is (yet) another shot of my favourite model taken from my archives and given a high key effect in photoshop. I'll really need to get some new material soon, but the weather's been really bad recently. Fingers crossed for the weekend!


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Urban dereliction


Nikon D70 @ 70mm, 1/25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200


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From the country to the streets, and introducing a little more grit back into the blog! I know this image isn't going to appeal to everyone, and I can understand why. But it was just one of those scenes that I felt completely compelled to photograph. Perhaps it was because it was completely out of character with the rest of the affluent street. It was also one of those kind of shots I take with specific post processing in mind.

I think I'm going to start putting a sig on my images again. After tweaking the site a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd just leave it out as it makes the site look more aesthetically pleasing. But already I've seen a couple of my images being passed off by other people... and it really annoys me! Give me some credit at least. Or some money :)


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Monday, January 16, 2006

Cold Loch


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 6 secs, f/8, ISO 200


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You may recognise this scene from my post at the beginning of last week, except this is how it looks during the day. This was actually the first shot I took when I was away for New Year. The loch was situated at the bottom of our cottage so it was naturally the first place to check out.

It was quite cloudy on this particular day, and I was lucky that the clouds parted (slightly) to let me capture this one with my IR filter. I'm actually quite glad that it wasn't too sunny, as I often find that the results are too harsh when shooting in IR. Instead the lighting conditions allowed me to capture a wide tonal range.

It was absolutely freezing when I took this (as you can see from the ice on the Loch!) and so I kept a blue tint to the image to reflect this.


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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Out of this World


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 1.3 secs, f/10, ISO 200


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From the end of the world, to out of this world! This was a shot I took last summer from Glen Etive in Glencoe. I have posted the "normal" colour version of this shot before in this post but thought I'd have another go. This one was taken from the same position as before but instead I used my infra red filter.

The landscape in the Glencoe area is really spectacular, and I wanted this photo to reflect how unreal it can sometimes appear. This kind of infra red effect seems to have a love it or hate it response... either way I'd love to hear what you think!


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Friday, January 13, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 493.4 secs, f/3.5, ISO 200


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Help, we're under attack! It was like a scene from Independence Day - the skies were glowing red from the flames of the burning cities in the distance. I managed to capture some of the aliens' bombs as they hurled towards earth. Luckily I had my wooden hut to save me.

Ok, so perhaps I'm exaggerating slightly here...

I took this shot over New Year while I was staying beside Loch Coldingham. As I explained in this previous post the stars were absolutely spectacular one night, so I just had to go out and take photographs. I had seen this hut and trees the previous day and thought they would make nice additions to a star trail shot. So I set up my tripod and started taking short 30 second exposures, trying to get my composition right. Because it was pitch black I had to rely on the previews displayed on my LCD to compose the shots, tweaking the position of my tripod slightly after each one.

As you can imagine this took quite a while, and before I knew it I looked up only to discover that the stars had disappeared! A huge cloud had come out of nowhere and obstructed my view of the stars. Disaster, I thought. I took another shot anyway, to see if it was at all salvageable. Then appeared an incredibly bright sky - it was the glow from the lights of a nearby farm. Perhaps this would work after all.

Now, I had a nice colourful sky, but a black foreground. I had anticipated this and so had my SB-800 flashlight with me. I was able to trip the shutter with my remote, walk up to the hut and trees and manually fire the flash about 15 times or so. The thing about this method is that you have to watch where you stand - if you're standing in between the object you're flashing (oi, behave!) and the camera then you will appear as a silhouette. And that explains the faint figure standing on the left hand side of the hut - that's my shadow!

I also think that the cool colour temperature of the light from my flash helped exaggerate the warm temperature of the sky. I liked the effect so much that I altered the hue of the sky ever so slightly so that it appeared a little redder. Very little post processing was done apart from that.

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing your comments on this one, as I have a feeling it may attract divided opinions. Does it work for you?


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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Loch Ard Revisited


Nikon D70 @ 25mm, 4 sec, f/10, ISO 200


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I was looking through my archives and wondered why I had passed this one by the first time round. It was taken back in the summer on one of my trips to the Trossachs. This is the pier at Loch Ard - an oft photographed spot which I always think is quite funny considering it is beside a sign which says "private property - no tresspassing".

This is another example of my infra red filter saving the day - the overcast conditions rendered my normal colour shots very dully and boring. Thank you R72!


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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

University of Glasgow


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 30 secs, f/3.5, ISO 200


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Somehow - I'm not quite sure how - The Daily Exposure has managed to become a finalist in this year's Best of Blogs Awards in the Best Art/Photography/Poetry category. So firstly, a massive thank you to whoever nominated me, and secondly, another huge thanks to the judges at BoB who shortlisted me. It has given me a great feeling that all the time spent building and maintaining the site has been worthwhile!

Anyway, if you're interested in voting then please have a look around the site and see what you think before recording your vote. I can honestly say that I'm not expecting a great result, as I'm up against some other fantastic (and much more popular) blogs, but any votes would be very much welcomed and appreciated! As far as I'm aware the voting should open at some point today so I'll keep you informed.

Onto the photo…

I took this shot of the main building at Glasgow University when I went back home for Christmas. It was one of the rare times in Scotland when the sky was completely clear, so I felt that I should make the most of this opportunity and include the stars which were shining very brightly. I was actually quite lucky to get this shot (and another one which I'll post sometime soon), as it wasn't long before they switched on the spotlights to illuminate the building. While the spotlights make the building look very impressive at night, it's an absolute nightmare to photograph – the dynamic range of the scene is just too much. So in this picture it was only a few streetlights from below that were providing the right amount of artificial light to balance with the ambient light.

Because I was trying out a number of compositions, I didn't want to take any super long exposures. But next time (if there ever is a next time) I think I'll opt for the star trail effect and see how it works out.


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Monday, January 09, 2006

Coldingham Bay


Nikon D70 @ 25mm, 1 sec, f/22, ISO 200


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I took this one at Coldingham Bay, while I was away at New Year. As I was walking down the path towards the beach I saw lots of black objects bobbing about in the sea, and thought they were seals. It turned out to be about 40 surfers! Man, they must have been cold surfing in those conditions!

Anyway, nicely wrapped up, I took pictures of the rocks that were jutting out of the water. There were actually so many of them that it was difficult to decide which ones to focus on. I ended up preferring this shot because of the nice pastel colours created by the sun which was just about to set.

I used my relatively new 3 stop grad ND for these shots, and am really (nicely) surprised at how gradual and unnoticeable the filter is.

At first I thought this shot was a little too "pretty" for my liking, but it's slowly growing on me!


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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy New Year (again!)


Nikon D70 @ 34mm, 1/3 sec, f/4.2, ISO 200


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I took this one a couple of nights ago on one of my late night wanders and thought I better post it quickly while it's still relevant! The image was projected onto the walls of the city chambers, just off the Royal Mile.

As part of updating the site you can now find my blog at thedailyexposure.com as well as the original address of thedailyexposure.blogspot.com.


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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Lindisfarne Castle


Nikon D70 @ 25mm, 2 secs, f/11, ISO 200


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On the last day of our trip we took a trip to Holy Island to see Lindisfarne Castle. It's a really great place, and definitely worth a visit if you're ever nearby.

Unfortunately when we got there the weather was incredibly overcast, and all of my early shots were very dull, flat and boring. But I think all you need to be a decent landscape photographer is...

patience! And lots of it!

I saw that the clouds in the distance were clearing and so we went for a wander to kill some time. After about 45 minutes the sun finally showed itself. Great, I thought. But the causeway was about to close in 20 minutes or so and as much as I liked the place I didn't fancy being stranded there! So this shot was taken incredibly quickly - I practically ran to a location I had spotted earlier, and fired off a number of shots. This particular one was shot in infra red and converted in PS.


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Starry Starry Night


Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 583 secs, f/5, ISO 200


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Sorry about the slow update, but I've been tinkering about with the design of the site. I want to try and get some more consistency back with the format.

This one was taken over new year while I was away. I know I said I was going to Berwick, but it was nearer Eyemouth, so I was actually still in Scotland. We stayed in a cottage in a fairly remote area and so there was very little light pollution from the surrounding areas. On one of my coal trips outside I noticed that the sky was completely clear - no clouds at all - and the stars were absolutely amazing. I don't think I've ever seen the stars so bright, or so many of them for that matter - there were simply thousands of them. Really, everywhere you looked the sky was packed full of them.

So I could hardly pass up this opportunity! Got the thermals on and headed out. Naturally the clouds started to come out just as I was getting my compositions right, but I was still very pleased with this one. It was actually the last shot I took before my battery died - I've really got to get some replacement batteries for these long exposures in sub zero temperatures!

The shot was taken just 5 minutes from our cottage at Coldingham loch. The boat stayed remarkably still considering it was a 9 minute exposure.


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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!


Nikon D70 @ 62mm, 1/8 sec, f/8, ISO 200
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Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a good one!

I entered this shot in the latest fujimugs open challenge - Nature in Black and White - and was delighted that it won first place! Here is the original entry together with all of the very generous comments. A very nice way to start the new year!

About the shot itself...

I was driving home on Boxing day and the was mist starting to gather in the surrounding fields. I'm always on the lookout for a new photo, but when I saw this scene - as I was going round a roundabout no less - I just had to stop my car. Luckily I had my camera and tripod in my boot, as well as my newly purchased 3 stop grad ND. Excellent, I thought. But my battery was extremely low... not so good.

I managed to pop a few shots off before the battery died, but I wasn't happy with any of them. I knew the shot had a lot of potential, so for the next 15 minutes I waited for a while to give the battery time to get some juice back, then fired a shot off before it died again. Eventually I got one that I liked - and just in time too.

I said to my girlfriend (jokingly at the time) that I'd buy myself the sigma 80-400 OS if I won the challenge, so I might just have to now :)