Thursday, 16 December 2010

Burj Khalifa

After 3 weeks at sea I've not had a huge amount of time to get the camera out unfortunately. This was a picture I took last winter in Dubai, not long after the Burj Khalifa was competed. At 828 m (2,717 ft) it's the tallest man made structure ever built (for now at least). It was quite a hazy shot to begin with and I've been playing around with layer modes in photoshop lately and thought it could improve this image. I used a copy layer with hard light style at 100% opacity and then another copy layer set to multiply at 35% opacity. The original is below for comparison.
Canon 7D, Canon 18-135 @ 118mm, ISO 100, f5.5, 1/640

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Suez Canal Bridge

Canon 7D, Canon EF10-22 @ 10mm, ISO 1250, f3.5, 1/80
 Canon 7D, Canon EF10-22 @ 10mm, ISO 1250, f5, 1/30
 Canon 7D, Canon EF10-22 @ 10mm, ISO 1250, f5, 1/15
 Canon 7D, Canon EF10-22 @ 10mm, ISO 1250, f3.5, 1/60
Apologies if this makes anyone a little seasick. I' not usually a fan of squint horizons but I thought I'd throw this one on there anyway.
Canon 7D, Canon EF10-22 @ 10mm, ISO 1250, f3.5, 1/60

We've been at sea for 2 weeks now which doesn't do a huge amount for a hobby like photography. The odd tanker on the horizon not making the greatest subject matter.
I had been looking forward to trying to get a couple of shots of this bridge which crosses the Suez Canal though. It's a very impressive structure with a height above water of 70m, giving a Suez Max height of 68m for vessels.
The bridge is also known as Mubarak Peace Bridge or the Egyptian-Japanese friendship bridge as for some reason 60% of the cost of construction was footed by the Japanese.
The bridge is 3.9 km (2.4 mi) long, consists of a 400-metre (1,300 ft) cable stayed main span and two 1.8-km (1.1 mi) long approach spans. The height of the two main pylons supporting the main span is 154 metres (505 ft) each. The towers were designed in the shape of Pharaonic obelisks.
Was hoping to get to the bridge a little earlier than we did. The sun had set a good hour before we actually sailed under it so much boosting of ISO to be done.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The main entrance to the mosque. I was setting up to take this shot and the guy in the picture just walked in front of me and sat down. Was quite annoyed at first but now I'm glad he was there. Gives a good sense of scale to the shot.
Canon 7D, Canon 10-22 @22mm, ISO100, f11, 1/200s
Another shot of the front of the main mosque. This outside courtyard is also used for prayers and the mosque can hold 40000 worshipers, 9000 indoors and 31000 outside. As you can see, there weren't too many there that day, it was 8am though.
Canon 7D, 10-22 @10mm, ISO100, f9, 1/250s, -1/3ev

A view from the road outside.
Canon 7D, 18-135 @ 30mm, ISO100, f10, 1/200s

One of the side entrances and tiled pools
Canon 7D, 18-135 @ 24mm, ISO100, f6.6, 1/100s
A closer view of the main building entrance. The whole building is clad with white marble imported from Greece.
Canon 7D, 18-135@18mm, ISO100, f11, 1/320
Inside the main prayer room looking into the main dome. This is the worlds largest chandelier, manufactured in Germany. The main room also holds the worlds largest carpet at 5627m²
Canon 7D, 10-22 @10mm, ISO 100, f3.5, 1/25s

A view down on of the outside corridors and intricate roof detailing.
Canon 7D, 10-22 @ 10mm, ISO100, f7.1, 1/125, +.67ev

More of the external ceiling details
Canon 7D, 10-22@10mm, ISO100,  f5.6, 1/100
Canon 7D, 10-22@22mm, ISO100, f4.5, 1/60s, -.33ev

Friday, 19 November 2010

Yas Marina GP, Abu Dhabi

Congratulations to Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. This shot was taken a couple of days after the race during post season testing at the circuit.
Canon 7D, EF 24-70@70mm, 1/250 sec, f8.0, ISO100
A few shots from around the Yas Hotel. Stunning building. Only downside is that all those colour changing lights on the canopy never all stay working for more than a few days.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


Well, it's been quite a while since I last posted. A holiday, a week left of leave and a lot of traveling and I'm now back at work with a lot of pictures on my laptop and I'm not sure where to start. So here are a couple of black and white conversions I've done. Taken on the Isle of Lewis. The first one I decided was quite dull in colour, even if it did have a double rainbow in it. Did a black and white conversion in photoshop and used a path to create a selection of the rainbow. Used the refine edge option to blend in the selection with the surrounding sky and then deleted the black and white rainbow section of the layer.

Second is just a straight black and white conversion from the Gearrannan blackhouse village done in photoshop.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

London village

 An HDR of Tower Bridge. 3 wxposures blended with photomatix
 The forward guns on board HMS Belfast, B&W conversion, clouds bodged to add a bit of atmosphere.
 Side guns with the main mast above.
 Another HDR taken of HMS Belfast taken from the south bank.
This sculpture resides in a small shopping arcade on the south bank. I love its quirkiness.

All shots taken with my wee Canon S90. HDR exposures done using a gorillapod.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Stornoway at sunset

The wicker lady in Lews Castle Grounds in Stornoway. I really like this sculpture and have been trying to take a shot of her at twilight for a few days. Unfortunately the bright spotlight to her left keeps burning out the sky. I'll probably post another picture in the future when I take out a set of step ladders and a jacket to throw over the light.

Canon 7D, Canon EF24-70 @28mm, ISO100, f4, 30sec
Twilight on a lovely calm night in Stornoway.

Canon 7D, Canon EF 24-70 @35mm, ISO100, f20, 30sec
A short while later. Unfortunately a couple of boats came through the harbour and caused some ripples on the water. Some nice effects from the car lights going along the harbour front though which I quite like.

Canon 7D, EF 24-70 @35mm, ISO 100, f10, 30sec
 Another sculpture in front of Lews Castle. The sky turned out a lot better in this shot than with the wicker lady. Lens wouldn't focus in the low light so bit of guesswork on manual focus. Could be a little sharper in the foreground but hey ho.

Canon 7D, Canon EF24-70 @ 24mm, ISO 100, f2.8, 30sec
The wicker lady in front of the castle. The castle could be very photogenic but there are 3 different colours of lights and the left side of the building isn't lit up at all (hence the blown out highlights on the tower).

Canon 7D, Canon EF24-70 @ 34mm, ISO 100, f2.8, 25sec

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


One of the 3 wind turbines on the road to Grimshader in Lochs on the Isle of Lewis. I have to say I find these machines quite mesmerising to look and almost beautiful in a way but I'm not sure I'd like to have hundreds of them on my doorstep as was proposed for the island.

This shot was a bit of a pain. I had my tripod but had forgotten my remote control so had to rely on the timer function in order to try and get the blades in the right position. After about 40 attempts I decided I wasn't going to get any better than this and called it a day.

Canon 7D, Canon EF 24-70 @ 30mm, ISO 100, f22, 1/25

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Glen Coe

Another archive shot this week. I'm now on leave from the boat but it seams I'm busier on leave than when I'm at work. As such I've not had the camera out for a couple of weeks so here's a shot I took in April. In the background is the Buachaille Eite Mòr at the southern end of Glen Coe. This cottage sits beside the road on the way to the ski centre. I camped here for the night before climbing a couple of the surrounding mountains the next day.

The shot is HDR, tonemapped using Photomatix Pro. 3 shots -2 ev, 0, +2 ev

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Rothesay Castle

 Canon 7D, Canon 18-135mm @ 135mm, ISO100, f36, 0.4sec

Now that I've arrived back in bonny Scotland I thought I'd post these pictures from Rothesay castle on the Isle of Bute. I took them last time I was home and been meaning to post them for a while. I had intended to do some HDR images but once I'd done a black and white conversion in Aperture 3 I was pretty pleased with the result anyway.

Canon 7D, Canon 18-135 @ 77mm, ISO100, f36, 0.3sec

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Dry Dock

Just spent a few days in dry dock. You'll never guess where. Been a bit too busy to get out and about with the camera but here are a couple of shots from round the dock.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Jaume Plensa round 2

I forgot to add these ones to my last post but here are another couple of this fantastic sculpture.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Jaume Plensa

Over the winter this sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa appeared on the newly refurbished battlements by the quay in Antibes. It's a fantastic structure which I've been admiring and wanting to photograph all summer.
Canon 7D
Canon 10-22mm lens @18mm
ISO200, f11, 1/250
I've been waiting 2 months to be around when the moon was full and get a shot with the sculpture lit up and when it's at its most impressive.
Canon 7D
Canon 18-135 lens @18mm
ISO100, f5.6, 5sec, Canon speedlight +2ev exposure comp.
While I was waiting I got a couple of shots of this yacht in the moonlight which I quite like.
Canon 7D
Canon 18-135 lens @100mm
ISO100, f6.3, 1/80
Canon 7D
Canon 18-135 lens @ 47mm
ISO100, f8.0, 8sec

Friday, 20 August 2010


On a recent visit to Malta a few of us paid homage to the late great Oliver Reed by paying a visit to "The Pub" where he had his last drinks (I believe they were many), had a little snooze in the corner, which was a fairly regular occurrence and never woke up. As a tribute we had several pints in his honor. He died during the filming of the movie Gladiator which had to be completed by a double and his head was added to the figure by CGI.
The old town of Malta has some fantastic architecture. I'd love to be able to tell you more about this building but being a Sunday everything was closed.
This is one of the many old buses that run around the island. I didn't get a chance to photograph any more unfortunately but hopefully will be there again soon to record these fantastic machines before they disappear. Malta's entry to the EU will unfortunately be the demise of beautiful old vehicles such as these but to be fair when you stand beside one and it belches black smoke at you you can understand the legislation.
The attention to detail on these buses is exquisite. Union Jack a funny touch considering this is one of the very few buses that's not actually British on the island. Most are old Bedfords and Leylands.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Corinth Canal

The Saronic Gulf or Gulf of Aegina entrance
Midway through
A tight squeeze!! Picture courtesy of Nathan Ward, Chief Engineer

All these years at sea and I still only had one of the big canals under my belt, the Panama. It is the biggest though and quite an experience.

Recently we sailed through the Corinth Canal, connecting the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. Quite a feet of engineering in its day. The idea was conceived as far back as the 7th century BC by the tyrant Periander who instead built an overland passage for ships. Construction of the canal wasn't actually completed until 1893.

At 21m wide it's far too narrow for most modern vessels and even our boat takes up more than half the width. The 52m high walls are spectacular especially set against the contrasting azure colour of the water.

Suez here I come!!