My trip to Scotland. *56kers beware!!**


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Dec 8, 2005
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Helloooooooooooo there everyone!

Well, its been a fantastic 9 days but the journeys over and afte racking up 1300 miles I have returned from Scotland. First things first, there is good and bad news:

The good news is it was GREAT to get away as its been over two years since my last holiday!!! Also, with the exception of the first day there we had fantastic sunshine the whole week, in fact I got a tan and a tiny bit of sunburn! Wasn't expecting that at all!!

The bad news is although where we stayed was amazing, it was a bit of a photographic blackspot! And by that I mean there wasn't much wildlife local to us with the exception of a LOT of farm animals and the landscape, whilst nice, was nothing compared to the main mountains we drove through to get to our destination - had we known that we would have made more pit stops on route! I didn't actually get that many decent pictures unfortunately, but as I said was great to get away.

The main problem was the farmhouse was at the VERY end of a 16 mile, single track road that had nothing much around it. So we only ventured out a couple of times beyond where we were staying as it was a very slow journey to get to the other end of the road and even there it wasn't too impressive, the real impressive stuff was 75 miles back the way we came!

I did of course still manage to take about 1500 photos! Many of which are duplicates of the same thing (5fps strikes again) and there were lots of trial and error pics too but here are some of the stuff I took.

First of all, the road that goes along Lock Lommond is stunning, we stopped off there for a quick loo run and I had a quick photo op:


we followed that road along and stopped off at the top of a hill for a quick landscape snap, and also saw this fully clad Scottish bag pipe player who just stands around all day playing! He looked seriously hot!!:



(there was also a 6 or 7 car strong group of VX220 owners up there having a pt stop)

That eventually lead us up through a stunning landscape the area of which I forget the name of now (might have been something like Glencoe?) but it was driving through the middle of the mountains with lots of wide open spaces. The landsape potential here was superb but we had been on the road so long we didn't stop and the threat of rain loomed so we instead just stared open mouthed at how amazing the place is!
All we saw of Ben Nevis when we stopped off at Fort William to get some shopping for the week ahead was the tip of it poking out from behind another mountain. We were standing in the car park so no photo ops here except with my camera phone but I'll not show you that!

The farmhouse was stunning, looked out over the sound and if you looked to the right you could see the sea. Took loads of snaps of the scenery around the farmhouse over the days. I liked the mountains you could see in Mull in the distance, so a lot of my pictures are taken looking in that direction!




This was the first full day - and we thought the weather would be like this the whole time. Farmhouse is about a third of the way up and a third of the way in on the left of this pic.



More to follow in just a tick...
We headed over on the car ferry to Mull a couple of times (its Mull you could see straight across from the farmhouse on the other side of the sound) in search of the Eagles and although we saw two on the first day, we didn't see any the second. They were VERY high up when we saw them and so all I managed to get was a picture to prove I did at least see one! They looked HUGE even though they were so high up. Two crows attacked one at one point and that gave you the scale to see the 10ft wingspan of the Eagle! Impressive stuff.

This is a %100 crop, they were soooo high up!!


Also took a few landscapes over on Mull but the sun was in the wrong place for most of them so the sky is a bit washed out and very hazy. So most of my landscapes have become nothing more than generic holiday snaps :(
We did 100 miles each day we drove around Mull, its such a wide open place and so easy to drive around the roads you just don't realise how far you have travelled.

Also had a few Buzzards flying about near the farm house on a couple of occasions but always too far away with the exception of one day when one flew straight over head, but very high up:

%100 crop...

Took a LOT of Lamb & Highland Cattle pics as they were everywhere, the farmhouse is on a 5000 acre estate and most of that was fields full of sheep/lambs etc:






More to follow in another tick...
We actually had a couple of Barn Swallows nesting in the roof of the farmhouse and so we spent a lot of time trying to get some decent pictures of them which was VERY hard as they move so fast! Even shutter speeds of 500sec proved to slow most of the time. Because they were so hard to capture on camera it made us even more determined too and so we set up a perch near the nest in the hope they would land on it, they did a couple of times (a day!) but hardly ever and when they did it was only for a few seconds. They are beautiful birds though so was pleased to get a few nice ones. I took about 200 of them flying and from that 200 only 2 where of any use, they really are VERY hard to capture in flight due to their speed! We set up a perch and used the farmhouses sun room (we re-named it the Nikon room haha) to sit in and trigger the cameras remotely. Even doing that it was a very hit and miss afari as the swallows would rarely perch and if they did it was for just a few seconds. I have MANY out takes of these little guys!! Lovely looking birds though, when they stop for long enough for you to see them.



Roughly %50 crop.

Another %50 crop

The Nikon room in some of its glory:


I took a shot of this plane with the 300 f2.8 to see how much detail it would capture:


%100 crop - this lens is VEY impressive!

On one day we decided just for fun to stick the 1.4 AND 2x TC on the 600 f4 just to see how far we could see! We slapped my D200 on and had a look:


Amazingly even with both convertors on the 600 would still auto focus!! However the magnification, whilst impressive, was too great and we couldn't get an even remotely sharp image. Even using mirror lock up and a heavy beanbag resting on it vibration was too great! Made an excellent telescope though! Here is an idea of the magnification:


View of Tobermory from the front of the farmhouse. Pay attention to the red circle that highlights what I was looking at through the double tele converted 600mm...


(yep, this is full frame!!)

More to follow...
We did however use the 600 f4 with the 1.4x TC to do some moon shots and with the 1.4x TC the 600 is still very very impressive!


I was a bit gutted to not get any decent sunsets (lots of haze every day/evening on the horizon) until finally on our last night we got one, I ran up on to the small mound behind the house to get a couple of shots. Would have preferred a better vantage point but without a 1 mile trek up a hill in near gale force winds and across a field full of over lambs and over protective mums this was the best I could manage, still a great end to the holiday though:


The sun doesn't set until 930, and it goes down at such a gradal level you get 'the golden' hour sunlight for far longer than in London - when the clouds permitted. Never got to try my star trails as the moon was so bright it never really got dark dark!

And that was that, we headed for home yesterday morning and stopped off at Preston on the way back for an overnight stay to break the journey up. On a side note there was lots of drunk guests at the hotel celebrating someone winning some footy thing (I don't do football sorry) which woke us all up a couple of times in the night and so we got the rooms for free, hurrah. Anyway...we stopped off at a National Trust place in Fornby on the way home to photograph the red squirrels. Very fast little things these and it proved harder than I thought to get good pics. I was using the 300 f2.8 at ISO 400 and at 2.8 to get semi useful shutter speeds as it was all under trees and it was a very dull day:


This little fella was digging a whole to hide a nut!




So that's my little adventure over and done with. Not as great as we had hoped photography wise so nothing overly spectacular to show you unfortunately but we had a great laugh and also decided when we go back we will go to Mull instead as its much easier to get around there and has a much more diverse landscape and wildllife.

Ironically my fav photos I think are the squirells which was on the way home! lol
Last two that I almost forgpt. Having fun with extreme wide angle sky shots. Wanted to get the fantastic clouds in as much as I could and this was teh only way to do it. Great fun playing around at 12mm :)


There are soooo many shots in this thread that I really liked, I couldn't possibly list them all. Looks/sounds like you had a lot of fun. (And that double tele converted 600mm shot of the antennae is mindblowing...) Thanks for posting a most entertaining thread.
Looks nice mate, love the ones with the extra extra extended lens :D

Some driving as well London > Glencoe > Fort William, JESUS!
Wow, I love so many of those. Especially all of the sheep/goat/ox ones. What cute little buggers. I'm incredibly jelous of your Nikons. :drool:
I had a blast a couple of years ago when I was in Scotland. I did not get to photograph much which was to bad but still had a great time.

Great set of photos.
Thanks for all your comments everyone, much appreciated :)

Tkraz said:
Looks nice mate, love the ones with the extra extra extended lens :D

Some driving as well London > Glencoe > Fort William, JESUS!

Actually it was London > Glencoe > Fort William (for food shopping for the week ahead) > Drimmin, which is about another 75 miles - we had to get a small car ferry from about 10 miles back away from Fort William. Looooong drive! lol

(Drimmin is opposite Tobermory)
great series, very interesting to look through and some very good captures, well done :thumbup:
Silverpenguin said:
Thanks for all your comments everyone, much appreciated :)

Actually it was London > Glencoe > Fort William (for food shopping for the week ahead) > Drimmin, which is about another 75 miles - we had to get a small car ferry from about 10 miles back away from Fort William. Looooong drive! lol

(Drimmin is opposite Tobermory)

Ah man thats even more impressive !! What was the story in Tobermory though ;) :lol:

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