Thursday, 12 March 2015

Grounding of Cargo Vessel Fri Sea at Corpach, Fort William

  Grounding of Cargo Vessel Fri Sea at Corpach, Fort William

The Fri Sea, a cargo vessel got stranded during docking manoeuvres at Corpach, close to Fort William. I didn't have to go far for these images as this all happened just a couple of hundred yards from my home.

The vessel got blown onto the beach at Corpach during gale force winds.
Another vessel which was already moored at the Corpach port attempted to tow the stricken vessel of the sand band on Sunday mornings high tide but was unsuccessful.

A tug contracted by the ship’s owners arrived at the scene that night and set up a tow line, before pulling the vessel free at high water at 8pm.
Luckily no damage was done and there were no injuries.

An attempt was made by the  Burhou I to tow the Fri Sea off the beach on the Sunday morning's high tide but was unsuccessful

Image of The  Burhou I returning to her berth after the failed attempt to tow the Fri Sea off the Corpach beach

The  Burhou I returning to her berth after the failed attempt to tow the Fri Sea off the Corpach beach

The Fri Sea became an attraction for local people as the tide went out and locals were able to walk out to the vessel.

The people on the sand around the vessel gives some impression of scale


The sand and mud helps to minimize damage to the Fri Sea

Corpach port used to load timber onto the cargo vessels


The Fri Sea beached with the entrance to the Caledonian Canal in the background

The Fri Sea still grounded at High Tide

My wife Sue next to the hull to give an idea of the size of this ship.

The front thruster used while attempting to re-float the ship moved a large amount of sand.

A three image panorama used to get the whole of the ship into the frame

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sgurr an Utha an Attractive Corbett (A scottish Mountain between 2500feet and 3000 feet)


Photo of Sgurr an Utha in Lochaber

Rain approaching Sgurr an Utha

Many walkers and climbers spend much of their time hunting out their next Munro (a Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet), however there are many very good mountains between 2,500 feet and 3,000 feet known as Corbetts.

One such mountain is Sgurr an Utha, which can be found a couple of miles west of Glenfinnan. The attraction of Corbetts for me is that they are slightly less crowded than many of the Munros and therefore provide a better photographic opportunity.

On Friday this week, we (my wife Sue and I) took a trip up Sgurr an Utha. The weather was kind to us. We had a rain free day although we could see rain passing close by on all sides.

This was a fine opportunity to try the Olympus OMD EM-5 in a mountain situation.

Photo of a rainbow onSgurr an Utha, lochaber

Rain passes by Sgurr an Utha 

I found that I was able to keep the 12-50 mm lens attached at all times with no need to change lenses. In the past, I have had to carry a heavy tripod but, with the image stabiliser on the OMD EM-5 body,  there was no need as all lenses are automatically stabilised. This made the whole experience more enjoyable and made me feel much less of a pack horse.

Photo of view looking south from Sgurr an Utha

On the way up looking south

Photo of view looking south from Sgurr an Utha

On the way up looking south 2

photo of the moon scape slopes of Sgurr an Utha, Lochaber

The route through the moonscape of the lower slopes of Sgurr an Utha 

The route up this mountain gives all round views of the surrounding landscape with Loch Eil and Ben Nevis in the south east and Loch Beoraid in the west

Loch Eil and Ben Nevis in the background

Photo of Loch Beoraid from Sgurr an Utha

Loch Beoraid in the west

photo of Sgurr landscape with person to give some scale

Landscape of Sgurr an Utha with photographer beside lochan to give some scale


And the end result is me at the summit

Photo - Sue Restan

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Corran ferry, Lochaber, Scottish Highlands

photo of he Corran Ferry on loch Linnhe in the Scottish Highlands

Corran Ferry

This image was taken from a boat as we were travelling from Inverness to the Isle of Mull. We had passed in front of the ferry and, as I looked back, I saw that it was going to straddle our wake. I grabbed the camera and took this quick shot.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull

Photo of Duart castle

Duart Castle

On a recent trip to the Isle of Mull, we went to Duart Castle and took a number of photos but these two stood out for me.

The first is just a straight on photo of the castle. The light was a bit hit and miss that day with very bright skies one minute and clouds the next, but it was just right at the time I took this shot.

The next image shows the chimney pots which I noticed while walking round the battlements. They seemed to be crying out for a black and white photo.

Duart castle pots

Corpach Boat

Photo of corpach boat in colour

Corpach Boat 1


This image was taken a couple of days ago, not sure the history of this boat, or even if it is actually seaworthy.

On this occasion the weather was cloudy with rain showers. Normally the photographic attraction of this boat is that it lies at the northern end of Loch Linnhe near to my home. In good weather Ben Nevis can be seen in the background.

Between showers I managed a couple of shots.

This is one of those images that I like black and white in preference to the colour version

Corpach boat mono


Glen Nevis, Lochaber.

Photo of Glen Nevis

Glen Nevis 1

Following a move to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands earlier in the year, I've been too busy with the new house to spend much time out with the camera.

Now we're more settled, it's time to start uploading again.

On Monday this week, Sue and I took a trip up Glen Nevis, which lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis - the highest peak in the UK.

I wanted to see how suitable the Olympus OMD EM-5 was for doing hand-held hdr images. Glen Nevis1 is a single frame with some processing done in Lightroom 5.

Glen Nevis2 (below) is 5 frames merged and processed in Photomatix pro.
Personally I prefer the single frame for this particular subject, but it does show that when needed hdr hand-held is a viable possibility with the OMD EM-5.

Photo of Gen Nevis (hdr)

Glen Nevis 2


Friday, 11 October 2013

Sold Canon 5D full frame, changed to Olympus OM-D E-M5

Well, I've done it, after much deliberation I have swapped all my Canon full frame gear and gone over to Olympus OM-D E-M5. One of the main reasons was the weight and bulk of the Canon system.

My recent trip to Korea made me wonder if the weighty Canon gear was the best for me. There was lots to see and photograph there but I was disinclined to carry lots of heavy lenses around while sightseeing so tended to pick on one lens to take with me. As you may have guessed, I normally ended up needing one of the lenses I had left behind. As a result my wife, Sue, who had taken a small compact camera returned from the trip with many more photos than me, but the quality from the small compact wasn't what we were used to.

The deciding factor was a trip to Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. We went for a hike in the mountains, not too far just a few miles really, I was carrying all my normal Canon gear, 5D, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 f4, 17-40, tripod and various bits and bobs and Sue was carrying a similar amount. We realised that photography equipment was taking the enjoyment out of the trip. We were carrying far to much weight to enjoy the whole mountain experience. Something had to change.

We started searching reviews and forums for the right camera. One camera that stood out was the Olympus OM-D E-M5. It seemed to have everything that I was looking for, small size and weight, good IQ, good range of features including the excellent image stabiliser and very fast AF.

I gathered all my Canon gear together and took it all to Ffordes in Beauly, which is the main photographic outlet near to us. It all went in part exchange for the Black Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 12-50mm kit lens. I also purchased a used HLD-6 grip that they had in stock and, as part of the Olympus promotion, I could send for a free 45mm f1.8 lens.

I have now had it for a few days. The first thing I found was that, although you could use the camera straight out of the box, to get the best out of it you have to spend time getting to know the menu system and setting it up to how you personally want to use it. The menu allows you to change almost everything in the camera, including which buttons and dials do what.

The printed manual that comes with the camera is not much better than useless. There is a pdf user manual on the software cd which comes with kit, but I found that the best and quickest way to set it up was to visit some of the many forums on the internet to see how others had set it up. I found this one particularly useful This was a good starting point and I'm still experimenting with my setup. To that end, I have now reset my camera to default camera settings no less than six times and each time I get closer to understanding the menu.

I now have to get  out and see what the camera does in the real world...