Viewing entries tagged
Aurora

Landscape and wildlife photography - venues, cameras and the know-how!

Comment

Landscape and wildlife photography - venues, cameras and the know-how!

I sometimes take two cameras into the hills with me, I suppose if you count my emergency phone then three! My wee Canon EOS-M has interchangeable lenses which is great for some wildlife pics and I also have an adapter that means it can take almost any lens. It’s a great little camera but my one regret is it has no viewfinder eyepiece, so looking at the screen on bright days is useless. The newer version has a viewfinder, I can’t justify it though! The 200mm lens is good enough for my wildlife shots as I’m usually close enough anyway and with the other group kit I take in my bag, this camera and lens is heavy enough for me! 

Ptarmigan 200mm lens  

Ptarmigan 200mm lens  

I’ve also found out the Canon can also be used to carry water and still be used after it dries out. OK, this is not recommended but did happen to me during a guided tour of the coliseum, me being guided for a change and completely forgetting to look after my kit! (We bailed after 20mins of torrential rain and cold wind..) 

Views from Sgòr Mòr 

Views from Sgòr Mòr 

Frustratingly landscape photos are sometimes better on my IPhone which is fine as it makes it so quick and easy to share. I must take hundreds of photos so I guess I’m getting better at framing the shot and knowing what works. My Canon is good in low light conditions or for night shots, the phone is just not up to the task. I’ve been lucky to snap Aurora shots and weather ones too. 

Hopeman beach storms

Hopeman beach storms

Aurora in my garden

Aurora in my garden

My shots are mostly luck though....don’t ask me to explain an ISO or F number...but I could probably give enough advice to get you going! Luckily I have some friends that pass on tips and they will be joining me for a photography workshop next month as we head to the loch of Lochnagar for some landscape and hopefully wildlife photography. The #IGERSAberdeen team will be on hand to give advice and explain correctly how to take those perfect shots. I’ll be in the background with my IPhone taking snaps and trying to look as though I know what I’m doing! I will be able to point out the interesting features though and take them to an amazing place. If you’d like to join this walk get in touch, you can reserve a place here.  

IMG_8474.JPG

Comment

Wild Camping in Scotland

Comment

Wild Camping in Scotland

Wild Camping in Scotland

We are very lucky in Scotland, not only do we have the most beautiful landscape on this planet but we also have a right of access to most of the land and inland waters, meaning we can go almost everywhere responsibly.

Camp spot above Glen Feshie, near Monadh Mor

Camp spot above Glen Feshie, near Monadh Mor

Wild camping in Scotland can be a truly uplifting experience. There’s nothing quite like camping under the stars on a crisp evening, watching the aurora and listening to the silence. Being off the grid, back with nature, contemplating your existence, resetting your priorities, being happy!

I had some amazing camps last year, watching the aurora over An Teallach, in Glen Affric and above the Lairig Ghru to name a few. My favourite probably just down from the Devils Point, watching the sunset on Ben Macdui, it was just stunning. 

Ben Macdui

Ben Macdui

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 established the framework for our access rights. These rights are based on responsible access with conditions for the user and land owners. These responsibilities are set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, know the code before you go! http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

Last week’s press was full of comment about the introduction of new bylaws for the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. These new bylaws restrict access to some of the areas around the National Park and fines can be imposed should the responsible camper go outside the designated (pay to camp) camping areas. The full details can be found on their website - http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/.

These restrictions have been put in place in an effort to clean up the loch sides. Unfortunately they penalise the responsible camper instead of the intended irresponsible “party” camper, who does not understand the concept of “leave no trace”.  True, they might move these people on but they will just go elsewhere. We should be educating them instead and policing using existing laws to penalise unsocial behaviour. Any erosion into our access rights should be a concern but sustainable access must also be considered. It’s never a black and white answer, the key is consultation and buy in. I wonder where the next restriction will be imposed by land owners watching these developments.

I’ll be taking my trusty tent out again this year, so many places to explore. If you’d like to try a wild camping experience just get in touch!

Comment