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Thread: Balvaird Castle

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Balvaird Castle

    Not having had the camera out of the bag since my week in south-west Scotland ended 10 days ago, I was getting itchy.

    Managed to get a few hours this morning to just slowly go round the area immediately close to home and see what things were looking like.

    I've been in and around Balvaird Castle before. Indeed, my first shoot after getting my Tokina 11-16 f2.8 was at the castle. This was what I posted then. If you look at the right hand edge of this one in the centre, you'll see that same wall and tree. Anyway, this was at the other end of my lens range, with the Sigma 120-400.

    If you want to read more information about this little 16th century country cottage, you can do so here.

    This is the sort of image that I'm using to build up a portfolio of the area immediately around my home village of Glenfarg. Your thoughts about whether it is good enough to make it into the portfolio are always welcomed.

    Balvaird Castle
    40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @297mm. ISO 100. 1/60@f11.

  2. #2

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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    Great shot. I have no idea how you manage to make a black and white so compelling.

  3. #3

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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    To be honest, Donald, I'm not sure about this one. It is good, but I suppose the question is more about 'is it absolutely stunning'?

    It is certainly perfectly focused and shows a rather moody winter scene.

    But to some extent, I find the hillside above the building tends to dominate the scene. I keep thinking about cropping the top reasonably close to the roof, but I'm still not sure. This would probably make the building appear taller.

    And I suppose if you did crop tighter you could increase the highlights a little more.

    But, as you said, is it good enough to make it into the portfolio when you are looking for perfection. Well, probably all I can say is 'yes it is good, but one day you may shoot this scene again and have something where you don't need to ask the question.

  4. #4
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    Donald, am I seeing the slight need for a rotation to the right or lens correction? It is a nice image, but as said not quite as compelling as I have gotten spoiled on your ability to capture such mood.

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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    I have to agree with Geoff and others on this one. I love the setting and compositon and would not change anything, but I think the lighting needs to be a bit different somehow or other the subject does not stand out.

    Wendy

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    Thank you folks. I can 'see' this one on a December/January frosty morning. So, I'll think I'll commit to re-shoot and then see if I can make an image that matches up to my vision.
    Last edited by Donald; 31st October 2011 at 04:41 PM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    Hi Donald,

    I do think it needs a slight clockwise rotation, although comparing all three visible corners for 'verticalness' gives 3 different answers - is it possible they built it wider at the bottom?

    I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong, but I think Geoff has it, there is a lack of atmospherically induced tone separation between the castle and the hill behind and above which just makes them merge together too well.

    Definitely one for a different light, even shot a little later in the day would make the nearside sunlit, perhaps shoot when just passing through sidelit for 'maximum texture' effect, that should help separate it from the background.

    HTH,

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Balvaird Castle

    Thanks, Dave.

    Yes, the 'verticalness' issue is interesting. Obviously 16th C Scottish slide-rules didn't have the same degree of accuracy as present-day design software. Either that, or the builder put too much whisky in his porridge!

    I liked this lighting angle for the light and shadows it put on that grass bank between me and the castle and to the side of that tree front-right. I'll just need to go and observe as the winter light develops and the sun gets lower and lower in the northern sky, and identify what might be a better time of day to shoot.

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