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Thread: The Clearances

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    The Clearances

    I set myself a challenge yesterday (here), by declaring what I was planning to do today. Now you can judge if I did it.

    I certainly feel as if several weeks of planning and waiting for the right opportunity paid off. It's enormously satisfying when you are able to implement a plan and achieve what you intended.

    But is it good enough? Your comments are welcomed.

    As for the title of the piece, I won't bore you with long, detailed text about the history of the highlands of Scotland post-1745 Jacobite Rebellion and the forced eviction of thousands of people from the land to make way for vast estates filled with much more profitable sheep. Suffice to say that many of you, particularly in North America and Australasia, who claim Scottish ancestry are where you are because your ancestors were forced from their land and left with no choice but to emigrate.

    The ruins of their houses can still be seen all over the highlands of Scotland.

    This forced eviction was and is known as - The clearances.

    The Clearances
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 44mm. ISO100. 1/6@f11
    (The only deviation from my plan as laid out in that other thread yesterday, was that I shot it at 44mm with my 17-85 kit lens instead of at a longer length with the 70-200 F4 L IS.)
    Last edited by Donald; 24th March 2012 at 06:01 PM.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Very strange, Donald. There seems to be a tad bit of colour in this lovely image. Maybe it's my monitor or failing eyes.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    There's a very slight tone been applied - Where are you seeing colour?

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    There's a very slight tone been applied - Where are you seeing colour?
    Perhaps I'm just imagining a bit of green in the grass.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Perhaps I'm just imagining a bit of green in the grass.
    I hope so!! Anyone else seeing any problem?

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    Re: The Clearances

    Great capture and I don't see no green

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by owenmorris View Post
    Great capture and I don't see no green
    Thanks.Owen ............ and Phew! That's a relief.

    I don't think Frank's been taking his medication, but don't tell anyone!

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    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    I have been looking forward to this all day Donald...we were all thinking of you out there in the wilds while we were snug in bed.

    On first viewing my eye was desperate for a little dark contrast in the tones. (I had been looking at your site yesterday and was blown away by your strong B&W's)... but the more I look at it the more I appreciate the bleakness that the grey fog and damped down tones convey and see the subtleness of it all

    The silhouette of the tree is lovely and the lines of the ruined roof are superb, almost lilting like the sound of a tune no longer played.

    It is a really well considered shot and I think you should be very pleased with it.

    Raising a glass to you!

  9. #9
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    Re: The Clearances

    For my taste, just the tree would do, or just the ruin. .. Love the mood ..

    Great point you make about pre-shoot prep ... I find this a handy tool -> http://photoephemeris.com/


    J

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    Re: The Clearances

    Great image Donald, however there is just one thing, your idea of wilds and my idea of wild are too different things, here it is the closest cabin is 50 miles, and othe only way in or out is by float plane, there oh look, a couple of pothole in the road. The image is just to great to improve on, and you did take a crack at Frank someone also from the other side of the pond.

    Cheers: again great image

    Allan

  11. #11

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    Re: The Clearances

    Desolate, forlorn, abandoned, evocative...fantastic pic. An no green here either.

  12. #12
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Great image Donald, however there is just one thing, your idea of wilds and my idea of wild are too different things, here it is the closest cabin is 50 miles, and othe only way in or out is by float plane, there oh look, a couple of pothole in the road.
    Allan

    I referred to Donald being 'out in the wilds' jokingly as we are both from the same part of Scotland and it was a rough ol' morning here. Cold and foggy but just a figure of speech because you would not get me out of bed at that time for love nor money.

    I didn't mean to suggest for a moment that this is what us Scot's consider 'wild' in Universal terms but it is desolate, forlorn and a beautiful representation of the 'Clearances' that Donald explained in his link.

  13. #13
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Thank you for your comments, folks.

    This was all about trying to evoke a mood ... an atmosphere. In terms of the tree and the cottage being positioned as they are, my thinking was that the tree represented life still active in this land. The cottage is all about lives that existed off the land having been taken away from that land. Drivel perhaps, but something meaningful to me.

    But what was even more emotive was being there. This was taken at 6:27am. It was me, the awakening birds and the sheep. Nothing else. It was magical. I did walk up and look inside the cottage. The roof is lying inside it, but I gained access to the room where that right hand side chimney is. The fireplace is still intact .. . just as it was the day the last person walked out for ever.

    I had to do quite a bit of work with the black point in DXO Optics and Control points in Silver Efex Pro to get this much contrast. The fog was pretty thick and a few minutes earlier I couldn't see the tree or the cottage.
    Last edited by Donald; 24th March 2012 at 11:39 PM.

  14. #14
    Kaclarity's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Donald another fine B&W. I hope someday to copy Artistically that is. We Celtics are a sentimental bunch the frame gave me a little yellow effect on my monitor, maybe that is what Frank was talking about Donald not sure. JimC

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    Re: The Clearances

    hi Donald,
    Nothing boring for me about Scottish history, I would have enjoyed the explanation. Interesting to hear about the clearances, my recollection was that they were only driven to the lowlands, or was that English propoganda? Planning to visit Britain, hopefully next year - list of things to do still short at this stage, but Culloden Battlefield is right near the top with Bannockburn, Stirling Castle, and Falkirk (although more for the wheel than the history). Picture looks great to me, could be a scene for the ill-fated Jacobite attempted night assault before the battle?

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by casper View Post
    hi Donald,
    Nothing boring for me about Scottish history, I would have enjoyed the explanation. Interesting to hear about the clearances, my recollection was that they were only driven to the lowlands, or was that English propoganda? Planning to visit Britain, hopefully next year - list of things to do still short at this stage, but Culloden Battlefield is right near the top with Bannockburn, Stirling Castle, and Falkirk (although more for the wheel than the history). Picture looks great to me, could be a scene for the ill-fated Jacobite attempted night assault before the battle?
    Noel

    Thanks for your comment.

    Re history - People were driven from the interior land (which was slightly more fertile - but everything is relative) to the coast where really there was just rock. That's what left many of them in the position of having no alternative but to emigrate ... or starve. It wasn't that they were thrown onto boats, although some of the landowners did pay passage to get rid of the people. For many it was impossible to make a living out of farming there ... and these folks weren't fishermen.

    They certainly were not driven to the lowlands or the east coast areas of Scotland. Those lands were already in the hands of huge landowners and were the most fertile part of the land. There was no way these people were going to get a slice of that land.

    What the new highland landowners (although a few of them were the old clan chiefs who had been 'converted' to new thinking and were no longer interested in playing the patriarchal role of their ancestors) wanted was vast tracts of grazing land (not good enough to grow crops on a large scale) to farm sheep.

    Re your visit - sounds like a good itinerary. I used to live right beside Culloden battlefield. Two momentus events in world history took place on 16th April - The battle of Culloden ........ and I was born (although not in the same year!).

    This cottage is probably of the same vintage as the Leanach Cottage on the battlefield.

    Stirling Castle is now spectacular. The restoration of the royal apartments was completed last year and opened to the public. They are wonderful. And, of course, Bannockburn is just along the road from Stirling. In fact you can see Stirling Castle from the field at Bannockburn and vice-versa. The Bannockburn centre is undergoing major refurbishment in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014 (and why do you think the Scottish National Party wants the referendum on Scottish independence to be held in 2014!?)
    Last edited by Donald; 25th March 2012 at 11:00 AM.

  17. #17

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    Re: The Clearances

    hi Donald,
    Thank you. I am glad that I didn't miss out on the background, and you did not miss out on providing it - it is as important a part of the picture as the image itself. I really did enjoy it, and will enjoy my visit even more with a better understanding of the ramifications. And in third place (behind Cuil Lodair), Charlie Chaplin was born (1889).
    - Noel

  18. #18
    Squidgy's Avatar
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    Re: The Clearances

    Fantastic Donald, most of us would have stayed in bed because of the fog, what an effort and it shows! and having the history really adds to the atmosphere of a wonderfull image.

  19. #19

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    Re: The Clearances

    Very well done donald. After previewing the google earth image, i can almost pick out the exact spot you took the photo from. I'm shure many of us will learn alot from it .

    It takes alot of talent to 'envision' an image, wait for the exact weather, and then execute the shot as planned. Hat's off to you donald, well done!!!

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