Sunday, 30 November 2014

End of November (Days 317 - 325)

Day 317 - Child's play
Nearly the end of November and the weather is so warm my daffodils have started to sprout but it's dark early and that can prove a challenge when finding enough light for photography.  No worries when it's an inside family shoot though with a couple of portable studio lights.
Day 318 - Night run
The day ran away and I ended up snapping this fern using the compact camera I carry when running with the dog.  I really must work out how to download the images from my phone, then I could carry one less thing.
Day 319 - From the roadside
It was actually cold today and I was positively under-dressed in a short sleeved shirt and light jacket to attend a colleagues funeral.  But it was good to see the Lochranza church overflowing with as many people outside as in. As I had 'proper' shoes on, I snapped this from the roadside at Corrie.
Day 320 - Antler lichen
Antler and beard lichen are quite easy to mix up.  But the antler lichen is more branched than the beard lichen.   Lots of it around at the moment and easy to spot on the bear trees.
Day 321 - Glen Iorsa
Today saw me walking up Glen Iorsa - not an uncommon route for me. But today I was armed with dog treats and binoculars as a dog had gone missing a few days before and could have come this way. I didn't find it but luckily it was found the next day. A bit hungry but ok.
Day 322 - Helicopter happiness
I'm just really pleased with how this image turned out.  The helicopter was on the island to help with the deer count to help with deer management on the island.
Day 323 - Pocket of mist
It was actually a clear day down in Glen Rosa and the students snapped away at the lovely landscapes but there was a small area of trees that just seemed to retain it's mistiness.
Day 324 - Cute dog
This little dog stood his ground on the path I was walking - the owner was well ahead with another dog.  But after checking us out he seemed happy enough to let us continue.  He was so cute with a great haircut - no surprise to find out that he uses the same dog groomer as mine do (Barks & Bubbles, Whiting Bay).
Day 325 - Last day of November
And today the temperature reached 17c and it felt like summer with lovely blue skies and flat calm seas.  I watched an otter at Kildonan (too far away to photo) and enjoyed the sunshine.  Tomorrow I can start thinking about Christmas!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Learning curves (Days 306 - 316)

Day 306 - Light at the end of the tunnel
Well after the disaster of dropping my camera and favourite lens, the new one has arrived - amazingly in one piece considering the state of the parcel!  I won't name and shame the the large mainland courier but I would have expected better. Can't wait for tomorrow to start putting it through it's paces.
Day 307 - Play time
A few new settings to master, so notepad and camera to make sure I remember what does what and I'm quite excited by the 'in camera' effects - but mostly by how quiet the shutter is.
Day 308 - Not squint
About the only good thing I can say about Day 308 was that the photo is straight.  One of those days where my energy levels are in my boots and I just want to crawl under my duvet. Maybe it's because I cannot view my images as my software was unable to read the new raw file format!  It really is about time there was a universal standard for raw formats.  Meanwhile I wait patiently (not) for an upgrade to arrive.
Day 309 - Late afternoon
Late afternoon now arrives about 2.30pm, when the light starts to fail but also has it's moments of glory before the early sunset. Being on the wrong side of the island for the sunset I had to enjoy how the light bounced off the trees in a golden glow.
Day 310 - Off island
Saturday and I find myself over the East side of Scotland quite near to Dunbar.  This looked like great fun and I couldn't believe it was empty on a Saturday (although it was a bit pricey).  No safety ropes just the water to break any fall - good motivation to hold on tight.
Day 311 - Queuing for the race
And here was the reason for being over on the East side - cani-cross racing.  This is some of the competitors queuing for the start of the race.  Each racer goes through the start at their allotted time, about 10 seconds apart (so the dogs don't get tangled). The best runners start first to try to reduce overtaking and the potential of dog entanglement, so needless to say I'm right at the back - not quite last.
Day 312 - Reach up and touch the sky
The cloud literally looked like I could reach up and touch it, but this is definitely another day 308!
Day 313 - Trying harder
I think it must be pre and post race fatigue but I am trying harder today and back to looking for some textures for my black and whites.  Stone walls always hit the mark.
Day 314 - Back to basics
Trying to get my mojo back (only 50 days to go) so going back to basics with the textures and still loving these rocks.  Fortunate today to have a little boat go past at just the right time.
Day 315 - Grass fan
This grass just jumped out at me from an otherwise fairly mundane path.  It just seemed to fan out in a golden arc with the dark green firs behind.
Day 306 - Cold and windy
Even the swan looked cold!

Monday, 10 November 2014

On the home stretch (Days 296 - 305)

Day 296 - Wet
The last few days have tested my ability to be flexible and roll with the changes.  Today started sunny but after an unforeseen delay the dog walk ended up being quite late in the day and after all the good weather had disappeared.  However it was made much more enjoyable walking with friends and their dogs.
Day 297 - A quick photo job....
You would not believe the amount of times I knocked this ball off the tee before I managed to get the shot I was aiming for (not this one shown). Good job I don't play golf!
Day 298 - Another very wet day
Carrie joined me and Watson for our run today, which was very wet and the fords that have to be run through were running quite high.  But they both enjoyed it and run side by side most of the route.
Day 299 - Stunning day
 Wow what happened, the weather has done one of its dramatic u-turns and the sun shone all day.  The light was fantastic and I took the opportunity to go for a long walk instead of doing any work.
Day 300 - Bonfire night
 It seems fitting that day 300 should be marked with fireworks.  I really feel that I'm on the homeward stretch of this challenge now. The evening stayed fine and my regular class had asked for a change of night so they could practice some firework photography. I think they were quite pleased with the results (lets not mention the amount of images that were deleted).
Day 301 - Disaster
Today I dropped my camera and smashed it.  This is the first time in nearly 30 years that this has happened.  It just fell as I went to put it in my car.  It was horrible to hear the glass shatter but it seems to be mainly the lens and filters.  The above shot was to see if anything was working afterwards.
Day 302 - Moonlight
After yesterdays disaster I nearly forgot to take a picture today and was fortunate to have another clear night so I could grab this shot before I went to bed.
Day 303 - Canicross training
 A slow and very wet run up Glen Rosa for us both today.  It was quite hard with the dog on a harness as he had to keep slowing down when the path was rocky to let me keep up.  But we really enjoyed it and only saw 2 walkers when we were out.
Day 304  - Old tree
 I keep getting caught out with the light as it is drawing in so early now.  This was taken about 4pm and the light was seriously fading.  I know one day this dead tree will fall but for now I love the shape.
Day 305 - Fall back photo
Now I'm getting near the end I feel that I can do some of those photo's that I have kept in reserve for a 'rainy day'.  I pass the Machrie Moor  post box most days and its a great feature on the island.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Nodding dog (Days 285 - 295)

Day 285 - Sleepy head
Bowser is sat at my feet, the kitchen is warm as I do some cooking and despite being tired he won't go to bed just is case I drop something tasty, but he keeps nodding off and reminds me of one of those nodding dogs that I used to see on the back shelf of cars - do you remember them?
Day 286 - Conkers
 A bumper year for conkers but I never seem to see any children playing this game anymore.
Day 287 - Workshop in Merkland
Workshops this week have meant waterproofs and wellies form part of the essential kit list but the fabulous colours of Merkland wood make up for it.
Day 288 - Fly Agaric
 The bright red colour of this fungi gives away it's toxic nature - not one for the pot.
Day 289 - RNLI launch
 The RNLI on Arran got a new lifeboat and today was it's official launch and naming day. The ILB Rachel Hedderwick.
Day 290 - Wet and windy
 The views on today's workshops were stormy and windblown scenes with lots of crashing waves.  But I like the serenity of this tree as we found shelter and a grey stillness in Lochranza.
Day 291 - Night at the Castle
As Brodick Castle prepares to close for the season, it has a couple of scary events this week with halloween and a murder mystery night. Some of the students from this night time session managed to capture 'ghosts' on their pictures.
Day 292 - Head in a hole
This series of three pictures shows Watson spotting a hole and then trying to prise himself into it.  It was just where a wooden post had been but there must have been a good smell down there.

Day 293 - Strangely warm
 We seem to be having a very warm spell for the end of October and it all feels a bit peculiar.
Day 294 - Loch Iorsa 
Took the dog for a short run up to the loch.  I nice undulating track with a swim at the end before we turned back.
Day 295 - Halloween
A pumpkin hanging on the gate of the aptly named 'Dyemill' lodges - I wonder if anyone was brave enough to stay overnight.