Archives for category: My Best Images
Arisaig. Scotland



Japanese Garden, Cowden, Scotland.

A stormy sea and the effects of the spring tide together make for a battered coastline. You can sense the tides rising higher every few years when storms hit around the time of the equinox: increasing erosion and debris being thrown further inland.


This is just freaky. Keep looking at it. I was driving home from the shops today and saw an interesting cloudscape beyond the houses above Dysart. So I parked the car, ran into the house, grabbed my camera bag, and went down to a road called School Brae where I could get an expansive, open view of the sea. I took a few pics, dropped my lens cap which I had to rescue from the drop below, and headed home. This is the first of 8 shots I took.

I didn’t see the face at the time. I only saw a great cloud above the ship and the water. It had passed over our town shortly before, depositing its water on us. When I looked at the images in Lightroom I was delighted to see the image of a face looking down on the ship. Serendipity.

I converted it to black and white and as I increased the contrast the face just got more and more obvious. I then made a few under exposed dashes to highlight some facial features, but only about 3 or 4 strokes with the mouse to bring out the eyes.

The more I stare at it the spookier it gets!

Maison de L’Ane, Beauvoir Sur Mer, France, 2012

I have some across a few poems about donkeys over the years and, being my favourite animal, I try to visit sanctuaries and farms when I can. This one in the Vendee was lovely with an interesting museum too. The American poet Richard Wilbur wrote one, as did GK Chesterton which ended:

“Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet”

They are hard to photograph well – true of most things I suppose –  but I think I got a something here.  I was going to phrase it ‘essence of donkey’ but that really doesn’t sound right does it (although the donkey milk soaps from the farm shop are fab).

Pirates. Contax G2, 45mm lens

I have been going through my negatives recently. My eldest son is 10 this week and I have been trying to bring together a collection of photos of him in his first decade. My negative filing system isn’t too bad – filed by year – but I have quite a mix of physical contact sheets and scanned sets on the PC. And there are some, like the roll this was from, that have never been seen. Producing sheets of all these rolls is a task I can’t really get on top of so I was making some educated guesses about what looked worth printing. For me this photo was a real bingo moment. I just love it. I’ve just got my old scanner hooked back up to the new computer so hopefully I can start sharing film pictures again.

This was printed on Fotospeed Oyster RC and developed in Paterson Acugrade.


Cowgate from Greyfriars Kirk. Rolleiflex T.

Here is my effort for the week. Cowgate, Edinburgh from Greyfriars Kirk. My stock of Neopan 400 120 in nearly done, sniff, and there ain’t none left nowhere now. Rolleiflex T, developed in Perceptol. I have been pursuing a series of images like these for a while (3 years in fact!) and the sun is just right around now to get the look I want – shadows cast across high building facades.  I had taken the dslr out the week before and got some similar shots but the film ones are SO much better. No contest. It’s that range of light that I still think digital struggles with. Film, developer and paper seems to bring it under control. The mentality of shooting slower with a 12 strip of film also helps to focus the mind. I know it’s part luck that the cyclist is right in the middle of the roundabout, but I don’t think I’d have anticipated that with the dslr. I would have been staring at the rear screen from the shot before or checking the histogram or something.


Pettycur Bay, October 2011

I’m getting there with this series, a set of heavily manipulated photos of scenes I find walking along the sands. Some are just as found, others are put together. I think there is a way to go but I’m pleased with way they are shaping up. The bottle idea seemed a bit obvious but I like the feather and shell picture.

Pettycur Bay, October 2011

A double exposure of a tree and I don’t know what. Unintended but I like the result. Holga 120, Fuji Neopan 400. Printed on Ilford MGFB Warmtone paper.

I have been editing some of my photos from France. I didn’t get much of a chance to get out and apply myself to taking photos but did get lots of good family snaps and a great holiday. I did manage the odd moment of application to the art and this is one of my favourites.  When I first saw the scene and the quality of light, the resulting images looked quite painterly and I thought that I would make more of that in the post-editing but I’ve been working more to black and white recently and liked this result.

I still find this one of the mental struggles with digital. Everything starts in colour and to you have to work your way out of that. There are advantages to this of course but sometimes it’s easier to just have a camera loaded with black and white and then have no option but to work to that.

My next post will be an alternate take on this dilemma – a colour image that I thought would work better in black and white but in which colour won out.