Monday, 15 February 2010

My Top Ten Viewpoints

Photo hunting, for the solitary type, can be a satisfying sport. A large part of the fun in taking landscapes is in poring over maps, referencing previously published photos, and working out how an area might appear on the ground in particular weather conditions. Perhaps a particular, well-known landmark, might look even better from another viewpoint? You go and have a look for the less obvious view: always worthwhile, even if it is no better than the classic view.

Urquhart Castle from above - damnned telephone lines!

Once you have got to your site, you have a scout around for the actual best viewpoint - then decide under which conditions it would look best. Perhaps, you think, this particular scene would look best in winter, in the morning, with a little bit of cloud to the left of the picture. You return repeatedly, hoping for the right weather, sitting on a rock for hours just waiting for a break in the cloud. Those viewpoints that require several visits before revealing the exact right light are the most satisfying, as being the hardest earned.

The Drongs from Eshaness:

After the hunt, the actual taking of the photograph is almost an afterthought.

Needless to say, this requires a great deal of patience and time, often at antisocial hours at dawn or dusk, halfway up a mountain. I don't take as many pictures these days as I did when I was home from my job offshore, and there are still plenty virtual pictures untaken by myself. The Cobbler from the hills opposite, at dawn, with snows glowing pink, is one. Stirling Castle from the golf course opposite, sunpainted in the afternoon with the Ochils in shadow, is another.

These days it can all get a bit high tech - there is even an application where you can test virtual viewpoints with accurate sun positioning from the comfort of your PC chair. Now that I take fewer pics, this seems over the top. But it is easy to see the appeal to the amateur photographer.

So in the next few posts I want to show you my own top ten viewpoints. These aren't necessarily the most famous ones, the Eilean Donan Castles and the Coire Ba across Rannoch Moors seen on countless calendars. They are my own personal favourite viewpoints, a few quite famous but others not so, ones I've come across either serendipidously or through planning, patience and perseverence.


blueskyscotland said...

Looking forward to this :)

blueskyscotland said...

I,m ashamed to say I,ve never heard of the Drongs but that is a cracking photograph.Great light.Like your idea of just strolling into tall buildings for a rooftop photo as well.Would never have thought of that myself. Bob.