Photographer's Note

For most, Fort Augustus is the loch system, the pier stretching out into the famous Loch Ness or the abbey. But this is where tourist images are to be found – and yes, we take them for our image gallery as a lot of our commercial clients ( use them in their own sales and website promotion – but for fine art, the answer is a short drive up the A82 to the little know or used harbor and moorings. Remember, Loch Ness, isn’t an easy loch to create strong images as it is essentially a long narrow loch – if your not careful all you end up photographing is endless water or a sandwich or far and near bank with a strip of water in the middle. Nothing leading you in, nothing expressing the length of loch etc. So this location is very useful.

The image above is a wet feet shot again... wading into the loch aside the slipway for about 4 meters – no more otherwise you get a lot wetter! Tripod and slow release trigger set up the image works from the boat wreck to the left – use this as the image reference. The lower reference is the exposed boulder set – this is vital is it leads you in. Now for the issues – the angle is just off sun rise. The far side (South loch Ness) mountains blocks early sun, so when it breaks through its hot and white creating glare. It needs to travel until just off your immediate right (last inch or so in the image view finder) to create the correct shadows. At this point glare is still an issue so use a brolley – yes one of those cheap pop-up ones executives keep in their brief cases to filter the light (yes you look weird, but hey this is the Highlands!!). Having the sun working for you like this means ND filters on both sky and water to balance the light and reflection. Polarizer’s are required so that the water in front and around the boulders remains clear. The rest is easy – just click. So key here is that its a morning image not evening (the clouds rarely colour-up at sunset) and it’s a February, October image – summer starts around 3am and the light rises too quickly so the long shadows are lost.

We've now started a photographers guide to landscape locations. Early days but here goes - http:// Email me if our up here and want locations - and don't forget your biggest enemy up here is natural - the weather!

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