Of castles, lochs, and steam trains….

So it’s official, July 2013 was the second warmest July on records in Scotland. Because of all the good weather I have been spending most of my weekends away camping and exploring the Scottish countryside. Here are some pictures I took back in June when I took visitors from the US to Fort William, Oban, Loch Fyne and the Kyles of Bute.

I love the picture of the seagull at the pier, for which I had to be fairly quick. My favourite has to be the the picture of the entrance door to Ballimore House though, which makes you think of all the people who might have walked through that door over the years. Let me know what you think, and if you have any favourites.

MWV

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Glasgow Mela

This weekend was the weekend of the Glasgow Mela, one of my favourite festivals each year. The Mela originally started off as a festival for Glasgow’s Asian community, but it has since developed into a kind of world event with music, dance performances and food from all around the world.

This event really represents all that is good about Glasgow with its long tradition of inclusion. It’s just fabulous to walk through Kelvingrove Park and see both performers as well as visitors in their multi-coloured outfits, listening to the sounds of Punjabi music and smelling the food from the Lahori food-stalls.

Here are just a few impressions taken with my new Nikon D7000.

MWV

Summer in Scotland…

After an incredibly cold and miserable spring, summer finally arrived in Scotland last week. The sun was out, and the cafés and restaurants were filled with people. The best way to experience Scotland in the summer though is to leave the city behind and to experience its amazing countryside.

New Camera…

I have finally done it, and treated myself to a digital SLR camera. My new toy is a Nikon D7000 with an 18mm – 105mm lens. It’s a big and heavy camera compared to my little P7000, but so far I’m very impressed how it handles in low light situations. It is also quite nice operating a camera with just a viewfinder again, rather than depending on the LCD screen. Thanks to Luca and Sofia who were my first ‘guinea pigs’.

Studio Work

It’s been a while since I last managed to post on here, but I’ve been busy working away in the studio. We did some really fun shoots over the last three weeks with Robert and Nathalie. Neither had modelled before, so it was a bit of a learning experience for all of us. The results however were quite impressive. We played around with both hi-key and lo-key lighting, and the idea to include some props worked a treat….well done Caroline! And to Pittie: the “Ober-Vorder-Seitenlicht” was a great recommendation!

 

I’ve also joined Streetlevel this week, so now I have access to a fully equipped studio. Can’t wait to do some more portraits. Any takers?

M.W.V.

Arizona

I had a great time in Arizona, and can’t believe that it’s a week already that I’ve been back in Glasgow. The first few days I spent in Scottsdale at my sister’s place, which is right on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, surrounded by Saguaro cacti with the odd coyote barking in the distance. I really loved the Saguaros…apparently they can only be found in the Sonoran Desert and they just make you think of old Westerns from the 1960s.

The main reason for my trip to Arizona was my niece’s Bat Mitzvah. It was nice to see that so many relatives and friends had made the effort to travel to Scottsdale from different parts of the US, Canada and Europe, and my niece did a great job with her very thoughtful presentation about Hannah Senesh and Sophie Scholl. All in all a great party….Mazel Tov!

The day after the celebration I embarked on a three-day roadtrip to northern Arizona, along the Interstate 17 with the final destination of Page, right on the border with Utah. The scenery on the way up to Page was absolutely breathtaking, and Antelope Canyon just outside Page fully lived up to expectations. Actually the canyon is even more beautiful in real life than in the pictures I had seen.

On the way back from Page we took a small detour to Lake Powell in Utah and we also stopped in Flagstaff along historic Route 66, and Sedona with its red rocks. Unfortunately we never had enough time to drive to the Grand Canyon, but I guess that’s a good enough excuse to go back soon!

I have finally managed to sift through the ridiculous number of pictures I took in Arizona. When I looked through them I noticed that a road trip theme began to emerge… probably because a lot of the pictures were taken from a driving car! You can find a selection in the gallery section or by clicking on the following link.

DSCN3728

MWV

…on my way to work…

It was a beautiful morning in Glasgow today, and when I left the house the sun was shining and the cars parked in our street were covered in ice. I had planned to take some pictures of Central Station for while now, so this morning seemed the perfect opportunity.

So here they are. I played around a bit more than usual with the post production, but I think the effects are quite nice….In any case not a bad result, considering they were taken whilst I was waiting for my train.

 

MWV