The Milky Way!

The Milky Way is something that often made me curious, the large whirlpool of 200 billion stars and it's fantasy like appearance. It really is one of the most spectacular sights you can ever experience. 

Growing up, I saw a lot of photographs of the Milky Way and thought it would only be possible to see through the eye of a telescope, I never once thought I would be able to capture such a beautiful sight through my camera one day. During my trip to Isle of Skye in August 2016 I managed to get my first glimpse into astrophotography and since then it's opened up a whole new photographic chapter in my life.

My first attempt at photographing the Milky Way! Isle of Skye.  

My first attempt at photographing the Milky Way! Isle of Skye.

 

In order to photograph the night sky you need complete darkness with as little light pollution as possible. It can be difficult to set up your camera for the perfect shot as your walking around in complete darkness, plenty of times I have taken a dodgy composition or my photograph has been completely out of focus. But with practice and a lot of patience comes rewards and let me tell you, once you get that shot you'll be hooked!  

Glencoe has become my favourite places to photograph, with its stunning valleys and incredible waterfalls it really is hard to beat. As luck would have it, it's also an incredible location at night! On a clear night you will be blown away by the sheer beauty of the night sky. Below is an image I took at Buachaille Etive Mor on a cloudy night, you can see the blanket of stars above the clouds and I thought it made a really interesting image of the two different types of sky you can expect to see in Glencoe.   

The above image was the first time I had tried to capture the stars in Glencoe, I knew I wasen't going to get the perfect shot but now I knew it was possible! I made my way back a few weeks later and I was greeted with something spectacular, a night I will never forget...

The Milky Way in Glencoe. 

The Milky Way in Glencoe. 

On this particular night, I could see the outline of the Milky Way with my own eyes, I quickly set up my tripod and got my composition ready. I struggled to make the most of the scene so I opted to do a 5 shot panoramic image and I blended them together to create this epic view of such an incredible moment in my life. It was at this moment I realized that photography is what I live for. 

 

The Milky Way in Glencoe.

The Milky Way in Glencoe.

Astrophotography is and will continue being one of my favourite things to photograph, it's incredibly rewarding and I'm very proud to capture a moment in time that's not just occurring on our planet... but also in the galaxy we reside in. 

Hasselblad 500cm

Film... this is something new to me, but was always something I had a lot of interest in and had a lot of appreciation for. Film gives you something you can't recreate in digital, to me it feels raw and really captures the feeling.

I began picking up cheap film cameras from junk shops and picking up bargains in local adverts. I had a small collection of cameras but I'm ashamed to say they sat on my shelf unused. It's not that I didn't want to use them, I suppose I was just scared of the unknown. Not being able to see my results right away worried me, loading film correctly worried me, but most of all failing worried me. Collecting cameras became a hobby, I began looking at cameras I couldn't afford but one camera put a huge smile on my face the moment I seen it... the Hasselblad 500cm. 

Hasselblad 500cm

Hasselblad 500cm

I began studying this camera, I knew I had to have one. So my wishes became reality, I bought my Hasselblad 500cm. I took it to my local camera shop, the camera was looked over and I bought my first roll of film which was Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film. I took it home, loaded it and headed into the City Centre. 

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Tri-X 400 B+W.

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Tri-X 400 B+W.

I headed straight down to the Clydeside and as I stopped to look for a composition this little fella landed on the handrail only a few feet away from me. Having never shot a photograph on film nevermind my Hasselblad, I quickly composed the shot and pressed the shutter and here I exposed film for the very first time. This photo started a whole new part of my photography journey. It was at this moment I had that feeling of suspense, not knowing if the photograph was exposed properly, but it was a feeling I absolutely loved. 

As well as street photography, the main reason I wanted to use the Hasselblad was for portraits. So I did some research on the best types of film for portraits and opted for Kodak Portra 160. This film is absolutely beautiful, it's super clean and just looks fantastic. 

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Portra 160

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Portra 160

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Portra 160

Hasselblad 500cm - Kodak Portra 160

I am in the middle of organizing more photoshoots with my Hasselblad, stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

Glencoe

Glencoe is not only a place of beauty with its spectacular ridges and natural wilderness, but is also home to one of Scotland's most infamous massacres in Scottish history.

Lagangarbh Cottage

Lagangarbh Cottage

Lagangarbh Cottage, a small cottage situated North of Buachaille Etive Mor near the River Coupall has to be one of the most photogenic properties in Scotland. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and provides shelter for up to 20 people. Everytime I drive by, I just have to capture it! I have many different photographs taken at different times and it never fails to amaze me. This will be the first destination I head to when winter arrives, can you imagine how beautiful that would be?

So, winter has arrived and I decided to go back to the same spot only this time I wanted to photograph the stars. I kept a close eye on the weather forecast and It was looking good! I parked the car, got my camera out the bag and began to set up. Although a beautiful night, the cloud was still present and it was covering the area in which I wanted to photograph but that didn't stop me firing off a few exposures. As you can see, the cloud is covering most of the sky in this photograph but the stars were

07/11/2016

07/11/2016

As you can see, the cloud is covering most of the sky in this photograph but the stars were peeking through at the right hand side of the frame. I really like the feel of the photograph, It brings out the true nature of Scotland's weather, you just never know what's going to happen! It got late, so I decided to head home and plan to my return.

27/11/2016

27/11/2016

I made it back! I couldn't believe my luck! Just like I mentioned before, sometimes the conditions just aren't right the first time. This is the photograph I set out to capture, and this is the result! I just knew I had to go back. 

Although I have photographed this location many times, It will never disappoint me. Glencoe is just fabulous, from it's eery history to its stunning scenery... I will continue photographing this magical location!