Archive for March 2nd, 2009




Glencoe (Glenshiel) Scotland: click for other sizes on SmugMug

Glencoe (Glenshiel) Scotland: click for other sizes on SmugMug

As promised, more brooding Scottish scenery.


One of the most famous views in Scotland, maybe in the world. The pass at Glencoe, with the view of the Seven Sisters (weather permitting), looking out over Fort William. Site of one of the most infamous battles in the world, the massacre of the McDonnalds by the Campbells in 1692, apparently at the order of the King of England.

Take a long look at the image before reading any further please. 

The trouble with flying visits, most visits to anywhere really interesting for that matter, is that you only get one chance, one day, often one moment, to capture something that, in reality, you would prefer to spend a lot of time with, over days and weeks, to get a really satisfying image. Maybe even that “you would need to spend a lot of time with” etc.

We did stop here for about 10 minutes, and I was able to get out away from the car, up a little trail through the heather to grab this shot. But the ferry from Skye was waiting, and we had a schedule to keep.

It a case like this you take the light and the weather you get. End of story.

This was not an easy shot. The range of light in the sky was too great and exposing for the highlights left the foreground way too dark. Believe me, I tried it. Then too, the camera was not working at its best aperture and I knew there was danger of Chromatic Aberration and Purple Fringing on the exposed edge of the mountain on the left. (One of the limitations of any long zoom and most Point and Shoot sensors.) Still… got to try.

The result took a lot of work in post. Ligthtroom dealt with the CA and PF fairly well, and I could bring up the foreground with Fill Light and curve adjustments, but I had a large area of over saturated sky that I did not like. I exported the file as a Photoshop document and opened it in Photoshop Elements 7.0 (simple as choosing Edit in External Program from the Picture menu). There I used the clone stamp, set at 10% transparency, to paint some clouds over the burned out section of the sky. I don’t like to do this, but needs must. I will very likely never get back to Glencoe again. I saved the file, again, as a Photoshop document to preserve all the detail, and finished editing in Lightroom, adding some Clarity and Vibrance and using the Sharpen Landscape preset, pulling up the luminance of the purples and greens a bit in the HSL panel.

The final image is a close approximation of what I really saw, and what I wanted to capture in the fleeting moments I had there. Best I could do.

It is shots like this that make me think long and hard about whether I should be carrying a DSLR on these trips. ???

Sony DSC H50 at full wide (31mm equivalent). F4.0 @ 1/125 @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

From the Scotland gallery.