That Lighthouse again.

More of Neist Point lighthouse on Skye, this time from high above on the cliffs before the long walk downhill to see it up close. Like drinking yourself sober, my procrastination elevated to a sufficiently high level that for a brief moment, it turned into motivation. I assume everyone has photos in their respective queues that have sat for 12+ months, waiting for attention.

This was shot with Julie’s 5D Mark 2 but I find since getting the Fuji X-T3 I’m just as likely to do a RAW to JPEG conversion in the camera, suck a selection of photos down to my phone over WiFi and fire them onto Instagram making only minor tweaks to levels. After the relatively instant gratification of a few likes gained, I put the set of photos completely out of my head. I might see them again when I eventually import the RAWs into Lightroom, but that could be days, weeks or months later. By which time, no matter how good the photo is, I probably won’t be too motivated to do anything with it. As a photo sharing platform, the blog is pretty much dead for me. It exists only as a means to put up a few higher resolution photos and have a whine about why I don’t post more frequently.

Well, that turned from a simple photo of a lighthouse into an existential crisis in record time.

The Fairy Pools

An interesting spot. Endlessly scenic (as is much of Scotland) and the kind of place you feel should be oozing peace and tranquility. It probably would, if not for the tens of thousands of tourists I had to somewhat skillfully avoid in order to get a photo that made it look like there wasn’t tens of thousands of tourists there with us. All the while getting a serious amount of stink-eye from someone trying to take selfies with her iphone on a tripod.

Work Resumes

More ways than one. Getting back to work on the Lightroom catalog following a creative cloud update that synced my synced copies with syncs of syncs. Lightroom on the iPad was a mess, Lightroom classic on the computer was a mess. I gave up on it over Christmas in favour of eating and drinking too much. Did finally get it solved, at the expensive of losing all the edits I’d completed on the Scotland photos. That was irritating.

Also back to work, which is similarly unfortunate and irritating. But on the plus side, the ferry is now booked for the ride over to and around France this year. That’ll add a 2019 set of France adventures to process alongside the other ones I have yet to finish. Ah well.

I suppose I should add some kind of context for the photo in this post. It was taken on Skye, after walking about two thirds of the way up to see The Storr. Then after promptly deciding that it wasn’t worth the massive effort to climb the rest of the way (what with the way the light was going and cloud rolling in over the mountain), I turned around and saw an amazing 180 degree view back over the island.

Neist Point Lighthouse

One of the destinations on Skye that I was going to get to, even if I had to crawl to it. After setting someone else’s photo of this location as my computer wallpaper many months ago, I needed to get here to take my own version. This isn’t it. It’ll be along shortly. The road to the lighthouse is very long, very single track and very full of animals. Also very full of tourists that randomly stop to take photos where there are no passing places. It was a somewhat frustrating drive with a very large reward at the end of it.

Toward Glen Etive

On the way back through Glencoe, we stopped briefly at the side of the road to have an in-car picnic. Mostly because the rain was so heavy, getting out of the car would have meant swimming toward the nearest picnic spot. As is normal in Scotland, the rain stopped and started every couple of minutes. The fast moving cloud created amazing contrast on the mountains in the distance. After taking this and checking exposure on the back of the camera, I do believe I even jumped around a little bit with delight.

Welcome to Scotland

Ahh Scotland, or in this instance, Glencoe. Less Specifically, it seems you can point your camera in pretty much any direction wherever you are in Scotland and produce something that gives the impression that you’re a decent photographer. This was taken after yomping through some very mushy ground to get various angles with my new best friend, Ms. Foreground Tree. There are many, many photos to sort through and many, many landscapes to oogle at. Expect more of this kind of thing over the coming days, weeks and potentially months. Interestingly, this was taken with a lens I didn’t originally intend on bringing due to it’s weight; the 70-200 f2.8L IS. More interestingly, that lens stayed on the camera for about 80% of the trip. Glad I brought it.

Stars in the Solar System

Back to Fountainstown and I’ve always loved the wide range of colourful rocks that are on the various small beaches on the walk over the rocks to Myrtleville. Even more colourful when they’re being tossed around by the incoming waves.

Also, I just noticed that when I posted an image in portrait orientation, it was about the size of a modest billboard. That’s somewhat fixed. Now less scrolling is required to see the full image. Sorry about that. I’m also thinking I need to revisit the categories on the blog, possibly adding an ‘Abstract’ category…

Offering Assistance

Wait, whats your name again? It’s only been [counting on fingers] June, July, August, September, October, November; Oh almost 6 months since I last pressed the export button on a batch of photos. I suppose as long as I post once a year I can still refer to myself as a (photo)blogger in the sometimes polite circles of whippersnappers that know about these things.

It seems the more cameras I buy, the less photos I take. The less photos I take, the less I open up Lightroom. The less I load up Lightroom, the more guilty I feel when I do eventually load it up and see photos from 2010 still sitting in my ‘to do’ queue. I blame a Catholic upbringing and the uncanny ability to feel crushingly guilty about almost anything at the drop of a hat.

So I found the 5D (classic*), charged up the battery and grabbed the 50 ƒ1.8 and Julie’s 100 ƒ2.8 macro. I was supposed to be offering assistance to Julie, who was shooting some knitty/crochety stuff. As usual, I proved absolutely useless by mooching around by myself and taking photos of grass.

My appreciation for the cheap and endlessly cheerful plastic 50 ƒ1.8 is intact and while it might not be the sharpest or best built of Canon’s lens portfolio, its hard to argue with the bang to buck ratio. Its also the first time in a while I’ve shot with a prime (I don’t know if the X100 counts here as you don’t really get a choice).

I’m mostly pleased with the results, if only because looking at them proves I actually went outside into the countryside with the camera. Shooting this kind of stuff brings me back in a big way to my first couple of years with a DSLR, then a Canon 20D. Shoot everything, get a 10% keeper rate then go absolutely nuts processing them. The once blue sky is now purple, rivers run orange, that kind of stuff. I am a serial abuser of presets and/or slide bars. I attribute most of my early preset madness to being introduced to the notion of post-processing an imagine in Picasa. The only thing that is missing from the equation is West Cork but that is a whole different conversation/blog post.

*5D Classic: What forum users now refer to the 5D Mark 1 / original 5D as. A moniker I don’t especially enjoy, possibly because I still own one. Tied in some way to my use of ‘whippersnapper’ in the above text.