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Shooting Diary | East Lothian Coastal Mini Tour | 22nd July 2012

Written on Monday, July 23, 2012
Last updated on Monday, July 30, 2012

As always, Ross and I have been talking about heading out for a wee trip for some time. Talking you understand. Ross "can't" Scott is sometimes difficult to pin down to get an nice evenings shooting done. To be fair I've not exactly been uber motivated myself, spending most of my time developing my content management system for my business.

In this wee outing I got a wee bonus in that we headed out early. With a full 6 hours of shooting ahead of us, we where both well excited - it's always the little things :) The plan was to dot about various places but end up at the X Class submarine wreck out at Aberlady Bay

 

First stop was North Berwick and the old pier. Peco got the shot there while I was muttering about poor light and the likely-hood of having to convert the shots to mono. My only shot from here worth mentioning is Steps To Craigleith >> .

After North Berwick I was surprised to hear Rossco suggest Seacliff, he'd been before but never had any luck with the conditions. I, on the other hand, have been so many times I'm pretty sure I'm due part ownership of the road that the owners claim the entrance fee is for! Coz they sure as buggery don't do much in the way of repairs and upkeep!

I got my favourite shot of the day at Seacliff. I shot it with a 1980 Nikon E Series 70-200. It's a completely manual lens - which tbh for our sort of shooting doesn't matter in the slightest, but the realy downer is a previous owner dropped it and damaged the filter thread - it's a metal bodied lens so there's no bending it back or forcing on a adapter ring. Anyway, using this lens means no Lees :(

The thing I liked about this shot is the glowing sea. I've no idea how other togs do this but I've been using a second pass on the RAW files to bring up the foreground (or a second pass to bring down the sky - depending on how I exposed) and a happy accident of this is the glowing sea.

We sat about for a while at Seacliff swithering whether or not to leave. After about 10 shots of the Bass Rock it's easy to get bored of one spot so we decided to stick to the original plan. The decision to head to Aberlady had absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with the fact that we'd be passing the worlds greatest chippy* and our stomach's thought our throats had been cut!

So after dinner we headed to Aberlady, parked at the nature reserve car park and headed out to the wreck. Actually I edited out a lot of prevaricating by myself about tides, time and weather - the real reason I baulked was the thought of the walk out there. On the map in my compumuter it's only a few inches walk - even on my nice big HD screen. I've since learned that the scale on the map is different from the scale of reality. Rossco showed amazing strength of character not to just leave me to my incessant moaning about having to walk! Although it has to be said, sod the birdies, build a damn road out to there!

And after all that walking I arrived at the wreck - Rossco came across a minor puddle he couldn't cross and turned back! Sheesh - only to find the sun had gone down behind the obligatory "clouds on the horizon" and the wind doing it's damnedest to blow me and my tripod out into the North Sea!

I got a shot off but it's not up to much - that said I didn't put too much work into processing it as I don't think it's that good anyway.

Post Processing

Talking of processing, all the shots are Image Averaged (long exposures without filters). I've gone on about the technique enough to have no doubt bored everybody in earshot but as I love the sound of my own keyboard, lets go again

Bass Rock >>

The shot is made up of 15 1/60s exposures with a delay of 15 seconds. The clouds where going like the clappers and this delay was far too long in relation to the exposure time, however coz I was zoomed and looking at clouds much further away the dreaded "shark gills" effect didn't rear it's head.

With the averaged shot done, I then cloned out the bunnies I've been carrying around for a year or two. I then used a really simple black layer switched to Soft Light blend mode to add some contrast to the scene. Next I masked the effect out of the sea and Bass Rock.

For the mono conversion I kept it simple. I used the black and white tool and selected the High Contrast Red Filter preset.

After that I did my sharpening and slapped on my watermark. Job done. 

 

 

Neil.

 

All the shots

 

 

*Avoid the steak pies. Nasty!

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