Calming

I hope you all had a great weekend. I Went for a wander last night. Managed to get down there for golden hour (nothing alcohol related i must say). A nice calm evening before temperatures are set to drop again. My beard has grown back which now means I need to wipe my face every 5 minutes due to my breath condensating on my beard. Proper explorer style 😊

I shot this photograph with my EM5.

Finally, a frozen forest photograph

If you have been following me for a while you will know I love trees. I have lots of forest photos but have always wanted a forest photo with SNOW! I finally had the opportunity to do so and it meant wading through knee deep snow to get it. Imagine living in here in a wee log cabin with a camp fire and some tinned beans. Got to watch out for wild animals! I even found some yellow snow. Not mine.

I cannot remember the location because it was a case of abandoning the car and climbing some fences.
I took this photograph on my phone.

The Buachaille

I really want to climb this. Scotlands most photographed mountain. Always beautiful no matter the weather. I just want up it now. Who fancies it? Seriously.

Tried to find my own take on this beautiful scene and found some large puddles further up. No deer though ☹

I took this on my TZ70 point and shoot.

A Frozen Loch Faskally

It always looks magical under a blanket of snow. I love the little boat shed and the wooden bridge that crosses the loch in the middle. If you ever get the chance a visit here during the Enchanted Forest is highly recommended. The forest is transformed into an amazing light and sound art installation.

I shot this on my phone with frozen fingers.

I love a lonely tree

What a morning this was. Whenever I go out for a road trip to a specific destination I honestly can’t think of a time when I haven’t stopped to take a photograph of something that’s caught my eye. Normally this means running out of time or cutting it really fine when trying to get to my ultimate destination. But sometimes it’s just too good to miss a moment. Seeing the mist rolling in off the surface of the River Tay and almost enveloping the trees on the banks of the river we just had to stop and take photographs. The soft snow, the frozen plans and ice crystals everywhere this tree was awesome. Bare of any leaves but adorned with large ice crystals reaching out in every direction. Just behind this tree is the river bank which leads down to the fast flowing River Tay. I have another photograph of the tree close up but I liked the composition of this with the fence leading the eye. Could have stayed here for longer but had to get back on the road!

I shot this on my phone.

Ginger Bread House

This has to be a dream surely. I mean this looks edible. Ginger bread house? With a thick layer of butter icing everwhere waiting to be devoured. Get in my belly! Butter icing is my favourite. Road trippin’. I shot this on my phone.

When I posted this photograph on my Facebook page quite a few people were quick to point out the location as I had no idea where I was at the time. Arverikie Estate is where this house is situated. Near Glenbogle. Beautiful isn’t it?

 

A Castle Sunset

Sunset from Tioram Castle was all sorts of special. Having driven through ice and snow for 5 hours and getting there just at the perfect time, the sun was setting and the tide was out but fast approaching. The castle sits on a tidal island in Loch Moidart.

Almost turned back at one point as the road deteriorated. But it was worth it to see this. The snow was beginning to fall and the mist was starting to reappear and just like that it was a great ending to the road trip. I make the drive sound arduous but in fact it was one of the best road trips I have ever done. I cannot wait to visit this part of my country again in the near future.

I captured this with my phone.

2017 In Images

When I look back on 2017 I surprise myself by just how much photography I managed to do with just my mobile phone. I get frustrated by my perceived lack of photographic activity but I have only just realised that by carrying a phone with a camera I have actually taken more photographs than I thought. It could be because it’s just what I do without thinking because it is so easy to pull a phone out of a pocket and snap some photographs and put it back and continue doing what I was doing as opposed to having to carry a big camera around like I used to when you knew you were taking photos because it hurt my back!

Because most of my images are taken on mobile phone I nearly always post them to Instagram before anywhere else due to its convenience and my followers who continue to encourage and support me. So I have decided to put together 10 of my best photographs from 2017 to share with you.

Thank you for your continued support and I hope to continue in 2018.

 

Toshiba FlashAir Wifi SD Cards

I’ve been downsizing a lot recently and rediscovering some of my old digital cameras. I use my mobile phone a lot these days, probably around 80% of my photography at the moment involves using my mobile phone. I wanted to try and find a way that I could use my old cameras to capture the photographs and the mobile phone to process them and I did some searching online and discovered Eye Fi cards. They seemed great and come in different flavours but the basic Mobi version was all I really needed.

Angus Road

After placing an order for one I discovered that they have actually removed some functionality from these cards which means you cannot selectively download images from the card to your mobile device. What happens is instead that all images are transferred to your mobile device. Ever single one. This is potentially bad news if you’ve got a mobile device with limited storage capacity. This put me off and I immediately regretted placing the orderer. Thankfully I was able to cancel and continue my search.

Up stepped the Toshiba FlashAir WiFi cards. This seemed more like it. When you connect to your camera and the memory cards WiFi signal through your mobile device and go to your web browser it automatically takes you to a web interface that allows you to explore the contents of your camera. You can browse folders and images. At this point nothing has been downloaded other than the image thumbnails in your browser cache. To download your full resolution image you just click on the thumbnail and it loads in the browser allowing you to choose to download the image or not. Simple. And half the price of the Eye Fi card.

Island

Connection is secure and you are able to set your own WiFi network name and connection password when setting up. And it’s pretty easy to set up.

I’ve been using it this weekend and have been really very pleased with the performance of it in my Panasonic GF1 camera. I managed to take some photographs on the camera and edit them on my phone and upload to social media from my car in the middle of the Scottish country side.

I bought the Toshiba Flash Air 32GB Class10 Wireless Memory Card/ Wifi SD Card but they do smaller and bigger capacities also. As long as your camera supports SDHC cards you’re good to go.

Using and Saving Custom Settings

If you have an dSLR you’ve probably got a dial that lists all the different modes that your camera can work in. This will include 3 modes; C1, C2 and C3. Some smaller cameras only have C1.

What are these modes?

Well, these are not set to anything when you get your camera out of the packaging for the first time. In fact they don’t really do much until you start to explore why they are there in the first place. These 3 modes are actually empty. They are there for you to store your own settings so that you can quickly switch into them by assigning them to one of the C modes.

Kuljit Athwal Photography

What advantage do they give you?

Bells should be ringing in your ears now and  you can probably see the usefulness in these custom modes already. If you are like me and you tend to take photos of anything and everything you’ll probably have some settings that you return to again and again for certain situations.

For example, you might want auto bracketing turned on for landscape photography. You might want to set a minimum shutter speed for wedding photography with an automatic ISO. You might want to have some custom flash settings  saved for use when you’re doing off camera flash work. The great thing about your camera is that you can have these settings saved to one of the custom functions ready for use the next time you need them.

Custom Function for Portrait

I’ve started to use them a lot. I’ve got one Custom function set to minimum shutter speed of 1/60 and an auto ISO setting for weddings and events. For landscape I’ve used my second Custom function to store auto bracketing settings as well as fixed ISO of 100 and an aperture of f10. My third one is set for strobe work.

Making use of the Custom functions can be a huge timesaver, particularly when you know you’ve got some settings to fall back on when you feel things are moving faster than you can work with. Also, when the weather has been as cold as it’s been lately, knowing that you can turn a dial instead of fiddling about with buttons in freezing temperatures can be such a boon!

Custom Function for Landscape

Life Savers

I bet there’s been times when you’ve gone out shooting only to later realise that you’ve been firing away completely oblivious to the fact that you’re in ISO800 or higher. Imagine all those unnecessarily noisy images. You could convert to black and white to give that grainy film look but then why be forced into that position in the first place. If you have all your settings saved in a Custom function you KNOW that the settings are going to be correct or at the very least close to what you need meaning that you don’t need to spend much refining them to your particular situation.