Sunday, August 31, 2014

Out and About in Milan

I took this photo of a soffit detail while walking through a portico in Milan.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Last Supper

Da Vinci's 'the Last Supper' (c1495) lies within the convent Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan.  No photos inside of course.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Duomo, Milan

Construction of the Duomo in Milan is officially listed as having started in 1386 and being completed in 1965; a rather slow process.  It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and seats 40,000.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Homeward Bound

Here's the view from my seat aboard Air Canada 899, Boeing 767 service from London Heathrow to Edmonton.

I have been to Scotland many times and I'm very fond of the place.  It was great to be there with my gal Terri; her first visit to Scotland.   We visited Stirling, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Falkirk, the Isle of Skye and countless other places along the way.

My grand parents came from Scotland and England on my fathers side; my maternal grandparents were from Ireland.  My fathers father was from Edinburgh.  I never met him as he died before I was born but I thought of him a lot while in Scotland, particularly when in Edinburgh.

Word is that there's a possibility of a return visit yo Scotland in 2015 - suits me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Airport Overlay

This photo of ramp activity at Glasgow Airport was taken looking through a window that had a mylar applique,  it creates a nice effect I think.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dressing for Scotland

In Scotland there is no bad weather, just bad dressers.  If you're headed out on the water best to grab one of these rain suits beforehand.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hipstamatic Urban Grunge

This photo taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic has been added to my urban grunge collection

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Scottish Smokies vs Canadian Smokies

In Canada, if you asked for a 'smokie' you'd probably be given a larger piece of barbecued sausage.  It would probably be served on a bun and you'd probably have a choice of mustards, sauerkraut etc to go with.  In Scotland asking for a smokie will likely yield one of these; smoked haddock.  Served warm and with cool beer....yum.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Skye Church

It has been a while since worshipers attended services at this church on Skye.  The ubiquitous sheep do not seem to care much about the open air concept however.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Sky on Skye

One of my favourite artists is Canadian Greg hardy ( Many of paintings feature slightly outrageous skies painted with bold, broad strokes and paint applied thickly to heighen the drama a little - or a lot in some cases.

This photo reminds me of a Greg Hardy painting.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Along the Docks

At then of a day out on Skye we finished up at the docks near our bed and breakfast.  This fine old stone building with it's most excellent red door occupied a piece of high ground along the shore and was probably once the harbourmasters quarters or perhaps a private residence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Walled Garden, Dunvegan Castle

There are several gardens on the grounds of Dunvegan Castle.
They range in style from very loose and unstructured to tightly organized and contained - this is an example of the latter; the walled garden.  It is a perfect square as far as I could tell and is surrounded by 3.6 metre high stone wall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Gardener's Shed

This piece of retired vintage gardener's equipment has been given a place of honour in a former shed within the walled garden at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye

Monday, August 18, 2014

Men in Kilts

So do people in Scotland actually wear kilts as part of their normal day to day 'kit'?  Of course!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kiltmakers Shop

There are loads of folks around the world who never miss a chance to make a smart remark about those who wear kilts.  They are however a very practical garment and when worn properly and with respect for the tradition there's nothing that looks sharper in my view.  This shop window was observed in St. Andrews.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beach Offerings

This plant material was deposited on the beach near Dunvegan.  I thought they'd be as little squishy underfoot but they were in fact quite robust and did not break when stepped on.  It was rather like walking on ping pong balls.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Black & White Details From Along the Dockside

This photo was taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic along a dockside on the Isle of Skye.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Rather Old Post Box

Queen Elizabeth started her reign in 1952.  You will often see the initial E R (with a crown between the two letters) denoting Elizabeth Regina (regina being latin for Queen) on objects warranting a royal designation.  Here we see a post box dating from the reign of her father King George and bearing the insignia G R which stand for Geore Rex; rex of course being latin for king.  And so we therefore know that the next iteration will C R for Charles Rex and then after him W R for William Rex and the back to G R when the infant Prince George is King.  So this post office will be right back in style in, oh, about 60 years or thereabouts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Side by Side Comparison

Today;s post features two photos taken in more or less the same spot on the Duirnish Peninsula on the west coast of Skye.  One of these photos was taken with my iPhone and the other was taken with my Canon 5DII fitted with a Canon 24-105L series lens.

Apple lists the price of the 64GB iPhone 5S at $919.  Of course it's less with some sort of data plan but none the less, walk in to your nearest Apple store and that's the kind of money your're looking at. The phone is advertised to have an 8 megapixel camera.  The lens is about 1.5 mm across.  With the iPhone Retina display the images do look quite spectacular.  The iPhone of course does all sorts of stuff in addition to taking photos and allowing the user to make the odd call.

The Canon 5DII is out of date now so you can't really buy a brand new one.  The current version is the Canon 5DIII and it costs $3,400.  The 24-105 L series lens that I used will run you another $1300 or so.  So the Camera and lens will come in around $4,700.  It's quite a bit heavier than the iPhone and will shoot video in addition to taking photos - but no web access, text messaging capability or available apps.  And no phone.

I've done only a minor bit of editing to both photos and I cropped them to the same proportions.

Can you tell which one was taken with which camera?  Scroll down for the answer....

The top photo is the RAW file capture from the Canon 5DII converted to JPEG in Adobe Lightroom.  The bottom photo was taken with the iPhone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Isle of Sky Panorama Number 2

Here's another iPhone panoramic photo.  Behind the triangular rock on the right is the Neist Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse dates from 1909 and marks the most westerly point on Skye's Duirnish Peninsula. The steps on the left descend to a path that circles behind this viewpoint and heads off to the lighthouse - you can just make out the thin foot path on the right side of the photo.  A long walk to be sure especially since the return trip features the long climb up these steps but it's worth every step.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Isle of Skye Panorama

I took this photo with the pano setting on my iPhone.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Coast of Skye

I like the simplicity of this photo taken along the rugged coast of Skye.

Canon 5DII with 24-104 lens.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

St, Giles Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh has a few small chapels within, this is an iPhone Hipstamatic photo of one of them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's all in the Details

If you keep your eyes open there are all sorts of little details to take photos of

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Skye at Dusk

This photo was made with my Canon G15;  I set the camera on a fence post and set the auto timer as I had no tripod or remote shutter release.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kelvingrove Museum

This photo of the giant pipe organ at Kelvingrove museum was made with the iPhone Hipstamatic.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle is the ancestral home of the Macleod clan.  Parts of the castle are open to the public however it is also a private residence - Hugh Macleod is the 130th clan chief; his private apartments are off limits to visitors.  The Macleods have called Dunvegan home for 800 years making it the oldest continuously occupied castle in Scotland.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meet Angus

We looked all over Scotland for Highland Cows but there were none to be found so we bought our own.  He had his picture taken everywhere we went; here he is hanging out in the tall grass near Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye.  We named him Angus after two of our former dogs.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Quaraing

Broad, sweeping vistas make for good photos but sometimes cropping tightly can yield a photo rich in texture and shapes - even if the scene is generally monochromatic such as in this photo.

I particularly like the way the shapes in the photo create a lazy S shape leading the viewer from the bottom left upward and to the right then continuing upward to the left before leading one back to middle/top right.

Canon 5DII with Canon 17-40 F4 lens set at 33mm.  ISO 200, f/16 at 1/50 sec.  Hand held image with no filters.  Most of the editing and cropping of this image was carried out in Adobe Lightroom; only minor levels adjustments were made in Photoshop.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Over the Sea to Skye

Nowadays there are choices of ways to arrive on Skye; boat or ferry or you could opt for the bridge.  Either way the journey is short.  This photo was taken from the boat that took us to Loch Coruisk.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Skye Sheep

April and May are lambing season on Skye; this young lamb is probably around 3-4 months old.