Monday, 28 March 2016

Holly Burns - Iceland

After a long gruelling winter of intense study and hard draft writing our dissertations, my classmates and I decided to do some fundraising to go towards a class trip. Most normal people after months of chilly Scottish winter would decide to go somewhere hot and exotic! However we did the opposite, we are a class of photographers; ‘normal’ rarely enters our heads so we went somewhere even colder!

We packed up our thermals, gloves and snow boots and travelled to Reykjavik in Iceland hoping and dreaming to see the beautiful Northern Lights, geysirs, waterfalls, glaziers and volcano’s it has to offer, and believe me, we saw them all in abundance!

We took guided tours around the famous Golden Circle, Gullfoss, the Blue Lagoon and last but not least, a night time bus trip outside Reykjavik to see the Northern Lights in all its glory and I can assure you, it was a trip I won’t forget in a hurry.

Reykjavik is the most affordable and accessable place to see the Northern Lights. We were only there for 4 nights and were fortunate enough to see the bright dancing lights of the aurora all 4 nights in a row.

The Gullfoss waterfall is in the South of Iceland on the Hvita river, red by Langjokull (Icelands second biggest glazier) The scale of this iconic waterfall cannot be traslated in a single image, however to give an idea of just how large it is, the walls reach up to 70 meters with the water crashing down at least 32 meters in two stages into the canyon. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

Another tourism spot not to be missed is one of the 25 wonders of the world: the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, I didn’t take my camera there for fear of getting it damaged but it is simply amazing.

Holly Burns

Monday, 21 March 2016

David Moses - the Latest Collective Photo

I volunteered to do a new group photograph for the Galloway Photographic Collective because we are welcoming our newest member Laura Hudson-Mackay. When taking pictures of groups of people, faster is always better. With that in mind I asked Roger & Holly to help me set everything up beforehand. I didn’t really know what I was going to do, but I knew what feeling I wanted the image to have.

I also knew that the light had to be soft. For those who don’t know, the quality of the light (soft/hard etc) is determined by the relative size of the light source. An easy way to visualise the principle is by thinking about cloudy or sunny days. On a sunny day we have hard light because the sun is relatively small. On a cloudy day we have soft light because the whole sky acts as the light source. So I used a large soft box umbrella to light the group.

Then I just put people roughly into place and told them the feeling that I wanted to portray and I took a lot of pictures in quick succession. Easy (when you know how).

David Moses

Monday, 14 March 2016

Kim Ayres - Inside The Softbox

"What if I climb inside it?"

"There's only one way to find out..."

Last year I bought a large softbox - about 6 foot high.

Photo from Amazon

I've used it on a few photo shoots and really like the effect I get from it. You stick the lights in the side, and it diffuses across the large front panel, creating a soft light and creamy shadows.

Softbox in action (on the right) during my demonstrations over Spring Fling

I was photographing the artist, Isabell Buenz for a particular project I'm working on. But quite often on a photo shoot, once I've got the photo I set out to create, if we have time I like to experiment and play. The equipment is all there, but now the pressure is off, sometimes unexpected and interesting things can happen.

And in this case Isabell thought it might be fun to try out some shots of her inside the large softbox, rather than having it pointing at her. So in she climbed, I set up a flash on a stand on either side and took about half a dozen photos while she changed positions each time.

With light and shadows from both sides and the diffuse nature of the material, the result were quite abstract, even Picasso-esque in some places.

Here are some of the results, but for the full set, click through to my Facebook page

Kim Ayres

Monday, 7 March 2016

Allan Wright - Skye at last 7

Having been at my desk a lot since Christmas I was getting itchy for some wilderness connection and my "Skye at Last" project just needed a handful of winter inspired location to complete the shooting. I had been groaning daily at the tediously unhelpful weather forecasts until I one day I saw my chance.

The immensity and presence of Blaven (Bla Bheinn - the blue mountain) had kept me at bay until near the end, but on the chosen day my enthusiasm was curbed by the unproductive gloomy light, I chose instead to amble down to the nearby hamlet of Drinan near Elgol to see what I might see.

Expectations were not high but by chance I caught a couple of ubiquitous Cheviot ewes managing to look quite meaningful.

A highland cow then presented its classic profile against a great coastal backdrop, then to top it off, beneath the cliffs I find a sheltered bay with aquamarine depths peacefully hosting a tidy little red sloop anchored in perfect situ.

You just never know what's coming round the corner.

Later the sky cleared and the temperature dropped triggering the decision to camp up near Torrin in readiness for an early assault on the foothills of Blaven. By 11pm though, pure moonlight shone intriguingly over the mountain, it was a cool and interesting spectacle which instantly invited some experimental exposures.

One of the shots I took included the streaked headlights of a car travelling round the edge of the loch beneath the brooding majesty of this "midnight mountain" In particular though, I was hopeful of catching it in dawn light and winter plumage.

Optimistically, I got up at silly o-clock in minus 5c and had a go at it. The obvious angle didn't work but I noted that North from where I was the Alt na Dunaiche burn tumbled from the foot of the mountain, All the ingredients were there so I was optimistic about catching a classic waterfall image with Blaven as the backdrop.

After scrambling about trying various angles and struggling with decent foregrounds, only back in the studio did I find I had something usable.

Torrin is in an enviable setting, it touches the tranquil shores of Loch Slappin and nestles beneath giants of both the Black and the Red Cuillin ranges.

It just feels agreeable, maybe its the traditional vernacular cottages and low impact enterprise.

A relaxed atmosphere permeates the settlement, and at its heart the picture is completed with the help of an original red telephone box.

Allan Wright