Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture


Leave a comment

20170202 – Museum Designs

Visit to National Museum of Scotland (AKA Chambers Street Museum), Edinburgh

The museum recently underwent an internal refurbishment of galleries replacing and organising exhibits.  Susan was keen to see the new Art & Designs Galleries in particular the Fashion & Style Gallery.  Her desire to visit the Styles and Fashion Gallery arose out of her voluntary work with SCDA (Scottish Community Drama Association) clubs where she costumed shows and acted in plays. I liked the challenge of taking pictures in the museum using just their or natural light and used it to test out my Pentax K-1.  Kit used Pentax K-1, Sigma 18-270 Zoom.

Ship in a Glass:

 

I do have filters but rarely use them.  As I said I like the challenge of taking a picture in the museum. That challenge is to get  good image, clear and details on point of interest yet retain some reflections. I’m content to please myself, I’m not selling my images, my photography is for me.  Of course I’m happy if other enjoy the result as well.  The image is of an engineer’s model of the Trans-Atlantic Communication Cable laying ship in a glass case surrounded by numerous lights and reflections.

 

Technical details:  Pentax K-1 (full Frame), Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 29mm, f3.5, Shutter 1/40th Sec ISO 3200

 Fashion and Style:

Sublime to !

 

Fashion and Style, not something I take much interest in especially in clothing. Susan keeps telling me I should. 🙂  Anyway our visit to the museum was to let her have a good wander around the refurbished gallery.  I, as usual, rush through stopping to take the occasional picture.  The image to the right was taken from the 3rd floor gallery looking down and gives an impression of the range covered by this exhibit.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 35mm, f4 ISO 3200 shutter 1/30th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

A Fine Gold Hat

Specially made for a pop star (I believe)

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 58mm f4.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/25th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

 

Walk in These Shoes

 

 

I do not need to or want to walk in any shoes like this.  However, to the “In Crowd” they would be a must.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 68mm f4.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/50th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

A Dress for the Royal Court

 

Susan related a tale of events caused by such a dress in a play our friend Angela was acting in.  Costuming was fine, alas the set doors were not wide enough.  Hmm I was under the impression that the ladies just sort of did a sideways glide through narrow doors.  18th Century Court Dress.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 29mm f3.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/40th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

Over the years we have spent many an hour in the museum, going to the free and chargeable exhibitions.  Eventually we took out joint membership and have made good use of our membership. It is a perfect way to while away a wet day, get lost in the past and if you are our generation become shocked at what was once our goods and chattels but are now historical artefacts.

 

 

Gallery

 


Leave a comment

20170201 – Butterflies in Winter

Visit to Butterfly World, Edinburgh

What better place to visit on a cold February day than Butterfly World at Dobbies, Lasswade.  Preparations on protecting the camera to the sudden temp change. A search on The net gave this advice:

“Condensation occurs when moving from a cold area into an area with warm moist air as the cold lens elements cool the air causing moisture to precipitate out. As stated previously, good practice is to put the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag before moving from the cold area. This traps dry air around the lens and gives the glass time to warm up. Do not seal the camera in a plastic bag when moving from a warm area into the cold! As the warm moist air inside the bag will start to condense as the camera cools.”

The atmosphere in Butterfly world is hot and humid so give your camera time to adjust, especially if you visit in winter.  I would also suggest that you pre-fit then lens of your choice and stick to it for the whole session.  Changing lenses in hot, humid temperatures is not recommend .

Hot, Humid Stroll:

Although I purchase a guide to aid identification of butterflies/moths it usually gets lost.  No change there then 🙂 Camera used was Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270 Zoom.

Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 150mm f6 ISO 250 shutter 1/125th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 270mm f6.3 ISO 800 shutter 1/100th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

It is not just butterflies/moths one can see – there are lizards and insects

Snakes Alive

 

Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 270mm f6.3 ISO 250 shutter 1/13th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Gallery

 


Leave a comment

20170120 – Road Trip Killin

Visit to Killin

We usually visit Killin at least twice a year January and May.  It is a historic village and the ancient burial ground of  Clan McNab  is accessed via the old Killin Bridge.  Wikipedia has this to say about the village “The west end of the village is magnificently sited around the scenic Falls of Dochart, the main street leading down towards the Loch at the confluence of the rivers Dochart and Lochay. The falls are crossed by a narrow, multi-arched stone bridge carrying the main A827 road into Killin.”  The charm of Killin is the villagers and their community spirit.  As I said we go at least twice a year, January to see their pantomime and May to support the Killin Komedy Festival.  This trip was also a proving trip for my recent acquisition a new Pentax K-1 full frame DSLR.

Loch Lubnaig

Our route takes us past Loch Lubnaig – a very picturesque loch.  The loch has a remarkable mirror reflection, provide the conditions are right.  It is one of our regular stops:

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 43mm f10 ISO 100 shutter 1/13th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Susan – My Partner

I like this picture as it shows Susan’s remarkable outlook at life.  Hard to believe she is recovering from a serious fight with cancer and at the time of this picture was still waiting the all clear. ( Which she got later in the year)

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 80mm f10 ISO 3200 shutter 1/125th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Falls of Dochart

I suspect one of the most photographed water falls. I have several pictures of the falls in various states this was a first as I managed to cross to teh centre without getting my shoes wet!  The main channel flow was that abated.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 29mm f9 ISO 3200 shutter 1/40th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Gallery

 


1 Comment

20170104 – Sun Cats

Visit to Five Sisters Zoo

A New Year dawned and we felt enlivened.  The long slog from 2015 to the end of 2016 was over and the news at the end of 2016 was optimistic.  I am making a few changes to the format of this blog.  No long-winded text, just 1 or 2 images with comment and a link to the album on Flickr.  I’m not touting for business so I select the picture(s) that pleased me or/and Susan.  I would welcome feedback – provided it is constructive and not abusive.

Two images from our visit to Five Sisters Zoo, Polbeth, West Lothian on the 4th January 2017.  The sun was shining and a bright future beckoned so what better way to celebrate than visit the ex-circus lions at the Zoo.  It is often hit or miss when one goes to the zoo, in all likeliness the animal you wish to photograph fail to show, this time the four lions were out on their hill.  I had decided not to lug round all my camera lenses (mistake) and opted to use my Pentax K-50 with fitted with a Sigma 18-270 mm zoom.

The Sun Cat

Technical details – Pentax K-50 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 210mm f5.6 ISO 400 shutter 1/250th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Kings of the Hill

Technical details – Pentax K-50 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 210mm f5 ISO 100 shutter 1/200th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Gallery

Sun Worshiper

 


Leave a comment

Our Holiday Adventure 2016 Part 2

As mentioned in part 1 we had 4 main objects to meet on this holiday they were:

  1. Travel on Strathspey Railway (See part 1)
  2. See Dolphins
  3. See White Tailed Eagle
  4. Enjoy ourselves

We had hired a caravan at Coulmore Bay, North Kessock, Inverness from Val Beales Chalmers.  We hired her smaller caravan before, but this 6 berth was a superb base for our touring around Sutherland etc.

Dolphins – The Moray Forth Dolphins are an established tourist attraction and attract large crowds.  Most dolphin watchers head for Chanonry Point.  During the high season there is restricted parking facilities.  However we had arranged for a trip on the Gemini Explorer. a converted ex-lifeboat. This was a much better option for us. On our trip around the Firth we were lucky to see a super pod of 26 dolphins (several pods working together hunting fish).  We were surrounded by the dolphins, who provided a natural exuberant display including bow riding. (Click on image left or here to see gallery)

Applecross Pass -Bealach na Ba :  Bealach na Ba, meaning pass of the cattle, was used in earlier days to drive cattle from Applecross and surrounding settlements to other parts of the Highlands, it was not part of the historic Drove Routes. – Susan and Sid often suggested that I should drive the route.  It now forms part of the North Coast 500 tourist route. It is not an easy drive and I considered the options.  I wished to enjoy the sights and knew if I drove I would be too busy watching the road over the pass and miss the sights.  The solution take a bus tour and let the bus driver do te driving and I could enjoy the sights with Susan.  Highland Express Tours Inverness had such a tour which would take all day.  Gary (our driver) really made the trip special along with the views as well 🙂 . (Click image on right or here to view gallery)

White Tailed Sea Eagle: Having declined to drive the route to Bealach na Ba I found myself driving part of the route as we headed for Island of Skye via the Skye Bridge.  Our destination was Kylerhea and the Glenelg Ferry. I should have realised that the trip would not be a simple one or straight forward.  We crossed the bridge and after about 1 mile we turned left off the main road heading down a single (with passing places) dirt track road with some ineradicable sights and heart stopping drops.  Thanks fully it is not a busy route or else congestion would occur.  It is also not a route for the faint of heart.  We sat for 2 hours waiting and watching the sea eagle both of us feeling privileged to see such a magnificent bird.  We opted to take the ferry across to Glen Elg and complete a circular tour back to our holiday caravan HQ.  The drive up and down Glen Elg was worth doing on its own right.  There are two view point where one can get photos of the “Five Sisters” of Kintail.  As we made our way back to base we reflected on this trip which so happened to have completed three of our four objects.  As for the fourth object I could tell that our 14 days in the heart of Scotland had re-invigorated my partner. Whilst her energy and stamina were still below par there was once again that zest for life.  She once told me that it was the simple things that brought her great pleasure but it was the mountains of Scotland that fed her soul. We had many adventures (or trips out if you prefer) that helped to restore the zest.  One was a simple walk from the centre of Inverness to North Kessock across the Kessock bridge. Outings to Dingwall, Glen Ord Distillery (need to be 18 0r over to visit web site)(purchased a 12 year old and 18 year old bottle of Glen Ord Singleton.  Inverewe Gardens, Loch Maree, Rogie Falls, Plodda Falls Boat trips from Inverness and Gairloch Harbour.  The longest trip was to Orkney which included a ferry crossing the longest non ferry trip was the Wester Ross Coastal Trail.

It has taken me a year to update this blog.  There are many reason for the delay and hopefully now equilibrium has been achieved I’ll have time to catch up to this years adventures with my Partner Susan.  As for the blog I have not finished with 2016 yet :).  For those who took the time to read through this rambling blog my thanks for taking the time I hope you enjoyed it and followed the links to the albums.  Even to a city bred boy the highlands and islands of Scotland cast a magical spell and bring peace to my soul.

 


1 Comment

201608 – On our Holiday August 2016

I was tempted to use that old essay title used by many of us on return to school after any holiday break – “What I did on Holiday”. In a sense this was a very special holiday in many ways.  I had watch my partner battle her cancer, facing decisions on treatment and her battle to regain strength.  At the start of 2016 we planned this holiday and we had set three objects to attain:

  1. Travel on Strathspey Railway
  2. See Dolphins
  3. See White Tailed Eagle
  4. Enjoy ourselves

We had hired a caravan at Coulmore Bay, North Kessock, Inverness from Val Beales Chalmers.  We hired her smaller caravan before, but this 6 berth was a superb base for our touring around Sutherland etc.

21/08/2016Strathspey Railway:  We boarded the steam hauled train at Aviemore Station.  It was hauled by Ex-LMS 2-6-0 Class 2MT no. 46512 “E. V. Cooper, Engineer” for our return trip to Broomhill. (Click here on image right to view album).  We arrived at the caravan unpacked and had dinner.  The journey had tired out Susan, so a quiet night sitting down at the old ferry dock in North Kessock.

 

Following day 22/08/2016 – Two Castles and A Canal:  An early start of the day saw us heading east towards the Moray Firth in search of Macbeth’s Cawdor Castle. It was not until I entered the basement of the castle did it dawn on me that I had previously been to this castle. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and garden, alas we could not tackle maze as it was being renovated. From Cawdor we headed east for a long drive to our next historic castle Urquhart. (Urquhart Gallery) This was a tactical error due to the site being a tourist attraction with nearly all the tour busses stopping to drop off their passengers.  In fact it was too much for the both of us – so we cut short our visit and headed for Fort Augustus – see Gallery.

A Special Trip – Orkney: Susan was invited by a drama friend to visit Orkney I was included in the invite.  We were sailing from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope by the first ferry of the day.  We left our caravan at 5 am on a very foggy Monday morning.  I had set up TomTom (SatNav) to give me directions.  Even as I type this I shudder at that drive up via unclassified roads, single track (to me farm tracks) lanes as well as the main roads.  I’ll give the programmers of the SatNav their due – the device got me straight there in less time I would have taken using just the main roads.  Never again I tell you.  I turned left and came face to face with a family of deer fine in clear weather but in fog!.  We did get to Orkney and Susan friends made us welcome and took us round the tourists spots like the Italian Chapel, Skara Bra etc. (Click here or on image at left to view Orkney Gallery)


Leave a comment

Hiatus – How to bridge Gap in Blog – Part 2?

Due to personal life effecting events this blog came to a grinding halt in June/August 2016. However life carried on as did my photography.  My partner had been diagnosed with uterine cancer in September 2015.  During the operation to remove the cancer her urethra tube (right side) was damaged.  It was several months before the tube was healed enough to allow the Chemo treatment to be started.  I know my partner was stressed during this time and so was I. However, we did manage a few outings – with rest in between our gentle adventures.  Thankfully that is all behind us now and we can relax a little bit. So How to bridge the gap – Part 2?

May 2016:   As Susan’s energy level began to recover our occasional outings got longer.  We revisited a few places one being a firm favourite is the historic village of Killin at the head of Loch Tay.  The river Dochart provides a series of spectacular falls/rapids.  On it flood days you senses are assaulted by the scene and roaring of the rushing water deafens the hearing.  (Click here or on image at left to view gallery)

 

 

June 2016:  Visit to our local Zoo/Rescue centre Five Sisters Zoo near West Calder.  The zoo has rescued 3 ex-circus brown bears and 4 ex circus lions with the help of public donations.   It is one of the most popular attractions in West Lothian (Click here or on image right to see gallery).

 

 

July 2016:  A three-day trip to Cardiff for the British Final of the 1-Act festival was followed by a three-week construction of a model railway – (see earlier blogs).   Susan had recovered enough to join her fellow Mercators for their performance of “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Man of Mystery” in the Edinburgh Fringe.  Our one photographic outing was  along with our fellow Intrepid Sid Morgan when we visited the Weeping Window exhibition at The Black Watch museum Perth and a wee side trip to Balvaird Castle.

August 2016: Two outings – one in connections with the model railway and my interest in what is now termed as “heritage Railways”, to me it will always remain “Steam Locomotives”. In May we went to see the “Flying Scotsman” at Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway  our rail trip in August was to travel to Tweedbank to see 46100 “Royal Scot”.   (Click here or on image below to see gallery)

 


Leave a comment

Hiatus – How to bridge Gap in Blog?

Due to personal life effecting events this blog came to a grinding halt in June/August 2016. However life carried on as did my photography.  My partner had been diagnosed with uterine cancer in September 2015.  During the operation to remove the cancer her urethra tube (right side) was damaged.  It was several months before the tube was healed enough to allow the Chemo treatment to be started.  I know my partner was stressed during this time and so was I.   Thankfully that is all behind us now and we can relax a little bit. So How to bridge the gap?

January 2016:   Due to Susan’s immune system being shot to hell, so to speak,we were restricted on outings.  We did make one outing to Bavelaw/Thriepmuir reservoirs on 30th January.  There is a nice hide sited at the reservoir to allow bird watching in a modicum of comfort.  Unfortunately the cold was a bit too much for Susan so we cut the outing short.  It was the start of a long climb for her.

February 2016:  Visit to Bracklinn Falls near Callander in the Highlands of Scotland.  We were lucky with the weather.  Due to stamina or lack thereof it took us longer to do the short walk.  We plan to return and have added it to our list.  Said list is getting longer and longer. Click on image right to see gallery.

March 2016: We paid a visit to the Kelpies at Helix Park Falkirk.

The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, and near River Carron, in The Helix, a new parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area, Scotland. Wikipedia

April 2016: We paid a visit to Ballymack Hill Farm, Castle Douglas to spend some time with the fascinating Red Kites (Milvus milvus).  It takes 3 hours for us to get to that farm, but it really is worth it to see the spectacular flying display of these birds.  The problem for a photographer or bird enthusiast is where to look! At first it looks as if there are no birds around and all is quiet.  Then the silence is broken by the call of a kite.  Gradually the surrounding trees begin to show signs of the Kites arriving. Then the prefeed display starts.  (Click on image below to view gallery)