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


  1. I like that last picture a lot. She looks really huge and spooky in that light with the castle in the background. How tall is she, really? I know GB has shown pictures of this sculpture before but I'm not sure that I have managed to get any real concept of her size.

  2. Wonder why the highlights are elongated in the second harbour shot. I prefer it. The last one needs a graduated filter on it's side. I know easy to be wise after the event and doesn't everybody love a smart arse!
    A great post as always.........puts me to shame.

  3. What interesting sculptures you have in your neck of the woods! :-) I really like the first photo. You are right, the left side is solarized but when you are looking at the photo for a while, it looks like the wicker lady reacts against something coming from the light. A bit of imagination doesn't hurt, does it? :-)
    I also like the photo of the harbour and I definitely prefer the later one. It's a bit darker and much more prominent...

  4. You're very critical of your own work - these all look great to me! The wicker sculpture spooks me a bit - reminds me of that horrible film The Wicker Man.

  5. Fabulous lighting. Currently I'm re-visiting what I perfected years ago with night time photography... & the lesson for me here is that these days I never seem to be able to give myself enough time with specific shots like this. Great work.

  6. Dawntreader, she is quite large and spookt, I think that's why I like her so much. She's about 5 metres tall.

    Adrian, the highlights were elongated due to the extra ripples on the water after a few boats went past. Was going to shout at them but guess they've got a right to be there. The bright white spot on the water was actually fish jumping during the exposure. You're right, an ND grad wouldn't have gone a miss. Haven't actually replaced mine yet since all my kit was stolen. Must get round to buying some more.

    Petra, no harm in imagination at all. When faced with a huge wicker lady, imagination can run riot. Think I prefer the darker shot too.

    Jenny, haven't seen the wicker man in years although it is sitting on my shelf in the must watch again soon pile. She reminds me of the movie too. First thing I thought when I saw her initially was that no one had set fire to her yet. I'm just hoping no one does.

    J, I'm still in the process of perfecting my night time shots but you're right, time and patience are definitely required and there's such a small window of opportunity. Clear nights are few and far between here too which makes things a little more tricky.

  7. Hi Gareth, Some really atmospheric shots here, and technically much better than anything I do! Lovely.