Arran

I had the opportunity for a very quick visit to The Isle of Arran recently – I’ve visited there a few times before, but never with my camera and/or the time to properly explore it as a seascape photography location. Although not as dramatic or as atmospheric as many of the other Scottish islands, but – if you are in Central Scotland – much easier to get too and definitely worthy of consideration for a trip. The coastal landscape is subtle, there are no rock-stacks or obvious ‘classic location’ shots that will excite the ‘shot-baggers’ (if you’ve followed any of my earlier posts you’ll know my impatience with people who rush around all the well-worn and often photographed places without taking the time to explore the glory they might just have hurried by) and you’ll have to work hard, but there are many beautiful images to be found if you take the time to patiently seek them out.

The landscape changes often with Goatfell the highest point and an undulating , mostly narrow and curving road around the coast with ‘The String’ connecting Blackwaterfoot to Broddick through the middle of Arran – will get you around the island as long you’re not in too much of hurry.

Corrie and Whiting Bay on the east, Kildonan and Blackwaterfoot on the west plus the walk to Glen Rosa are all cracking places to visit. I enjoyed my visit so much that I intend to go again as soon as I can.

Advice to young photographers from a master of photography.

“If you’re young and have the time, go and study. Study anthropology, sociology, economy, geopolitics. Study so that you’re actually able to understand what you’re photographing. What you can photograph and what you should photograph.”

Sebastião Salgado

 

Much has been written and discussed regarding the work and career of Sebastiao Salgado – take the time to listen to him and form your own opinion. If you haven’t watched Wim Wenders’ ‘Salt of the Earth’ documentary then please do. I doubt very much you will be disappointed.

Location – Location

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Apart from your skills and technique – a great way to come back with super shots is to carefully consider you location and when you should be there. http://www.tidetimes.org.uk/ – check when the tides will be right – don’t take any chances!

The Photographer’s Ephemeris is a great tool to help you plan your shoot and is available for most Smart Phones and the iPad.

http://www.photoplaces.co.uk/ is newish web-site for photographers to share locations and ideas – a lot of the info is, at present, English based but I’m sure this will be added to.

Others offering info and help are: http://www.iesmith.net/location-guide.html

Remember that you don’t have to go ‘location bagging’ and visit all the places that have been well photographed before. There are many, many fantastic places to be explored – and many of them are on or not far from your own doorstep!

Sometimes a little-explored and unglamorous part of the coast can offer great shots – take your camera and tripod and explore.

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