Trails & Trials of an Intrepid Photographer
by Gordon Wilson
Starting off with a trip to Amsterdam in March 2019, the main reason for this trip was to see a favourite band in the Paradiso, but there was plenty of time for photography during the day. The lighting was very poor with stratus clouds meant it was time to look for something different to photograph, such as shapes and reflections. Number 3 is a reflection of a nicely shaped building in a canal. Number 5 is in a subway tunnel, the bright light makes it look like a scene from a science fiction film. Number 7 reminds me of an Andrew shot with its slow shutter speed. Number 8 has a small alteration in Photoshop, I’ll give you a clue it’s not 11 o’clock. Any ideas? To finish an IPhone panorama when the sun came out just in time to go back to the airport.
In October 19 I made time for a quick trip to Whitby during the Goth weekend. There was really good light for about an hour in the afternoon, the sun shining through between the buildings. No one was bothered when I asked then to move into areas where I thought the light was best. I think you will agree with me that number 3 needs a small amount cropping from the top of the image. With number 8 I should have got his attention more. My favourite image is number 9 but the boy on the left and the person on the right just take your eye away from the main subject a little. If anyone wants to think of a title for number 10 feel free.
We headed off to Madeira in Feb 19. Number 3 would have been a good shot if I had used multiple exposures and blended the images (so an expert tells me, I’ll have to learn to do that). Great place for walks in the mountains, not my favourite place for photography but had a very good holiday there.
My friend John has a Porsche boxter and wanted a few images for a club calendar so off we went down to Sheffield area one summers evening and met up with some fellow club members. Number 9 and 10 I slotted in a different sky using Photoshop, I like the black and white one best. It was a brilliant evening that ended in one of Sheffield’s best curry houses.
Pre 65 Trials
I’ve known our club member Barbra and her husband Richard for over 30 years now and every time I see Richard we talk motorbikes. Knowing he was a keen trails competitor (he’s been riding bikes since he was about 8 years old and riding competitively in trials since he was 17, he’s now 70). I asked if I could go along and take some photos at a trial over near Silsden (all pre 65 bikes) for the bikes competition and loved every minute of it. Trying to do something a bit different panning and capturing movement, converting to black and white and sepia toning and experimenting with slow shutter speeds etc. Some of the images have found their way onto his club website and Facebook page. Can’t wait to get back taking more photographs of trials, might look for a modern one to see how they differ and maybe make a trip to Scotland for the most famous trial the Scottish 6 day trial.
“The Isle of Skye off Scotland’s west highland seaboard, is renowned for the dramatic beauty of its landscape, and as the setting for some of the darkest moments in Scottish history. Today the island is buoyant again, and new generations of islanders and visitors fall under the spell of its quicksilver light, its quick-changing weather, and at the heart of it all, the ancient lure of the Cuillin Hills.”
Keeping my favourite till last. A trip to Skye stopping at Glen Coe on the way in Feb 2020. Scotland has big advantages for photographers. The right to roam laws make it very relaxed and easy to go wherever you want. It’s quiet in February so plenty time to think about your shots and find the best positions for your tripod. The weather as you can see was very varied, changing day by day, hour by hour. On the snowiest day we decided to climb up to the old man of Storr, image 12 and 13. Legend has it that the old man of storr was a giant who lived in trotternish ridge and when he was buried his thumb was left jutting out of the ground creating the famous jagged landscape, its 50 meters high if you look closely you can see some people just below to give it some scale. Number 23 is a 30 second shot of the village of Carbost with the Cuillin in the background and the Talisker distillery in the bottom right.
“Talisker is not a drink, it is an interior explosion, distilled central heating; it depth-charges the parts, bangs doors and slams windows”
Below are another two quotes from someone who has a far better grasp of our language that I do. Thanks for looking, if you have any questions just email me. Gordon.
“There is no hill range in Scotland which varies so greatly in aspect as the Cuillin of Skye. With the weather their mood changes suddenly. They smile or are sad; they frown and are terrible”
“You will find quite a number of people who love it in a way shared by no other island of the west coast: people who understand, or are ready to understand, the meaning of the famous saying that Skye is not an island but an intoxic