Better Islay Pictures Soon?

In less than three weeks we will be back on Islay and today, just in time before our Islay holiday, I collected my new camera, a Canon EOS 60D with two new lenses. It's quite a change from the set I had before, a Nikon D80. The reason for this change is a particular lens (within my budget) that Canon has and Nikon doesn't. With my Nikon camera I had a maximum zoom of 200mm, the lens I desired and bought today gives me 400mm zoom and coincidentally it happens to be the lens James Deane is using as well, he calls it the the big reaching lens. Working with a new camera requires a lot of practice and today I took the first images in our local nature reserve, although not yet with the "big one" but with the other lens, a Sigma 17-70mm, which has a very good reputation as well. I realise that today's trials don't include any images from Islay yet and are far from perfect, but I still want to share the first results with you. I hope that I can improve the quality of my Islay pictures although I realise that it's not so much the equipment that takes the pictures but the person behind the camera, and I know I still have a lot to learn. Below are the first results of today's photo shoot, next stop Islay!

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Islay Coastal Fog called Haar

If you're not familiar with the term "Haar" you probably don't have a clue as to what I'm referring of. Haar is actually fog but when it occurs in spring and early summer in coastal areas we call it haar. Haar usually occurs on relatively warm spring days when the sea is cold and warm air is being transported from Southern Europe, usually when a high pressure area is nearby. When this warm air flows over the cold sea mist banks are formed. When the wind starts to blow from the sea, which often occurs in the afternoon due to rising warm air over land, dense fog rolls in from the coast and temperaturs can drop by as much as 5 to 10c. This coastal fog is called haar and variants of the term include har, hare, harl, harr, hoar and the origin may be Saxon. If you follow the INHT Blog you've probably seen Carl's picture of Haar on the Rhinns. James Deane was out this week with his camera as well and photographed the same effect, haar, from my favourite corner of Islay, see the beautiful images below. He also included a couple of images from my favourite tree, thanks very much James!

Loch Ardnahoe

Sound of Islay

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A Celebration of Islay's Coastline

On 6th May 2008 Becky Williamson completed her circumnavigation of the Isle of Islay. It had taken almost four years to complete and raised over £500 for the Marine Conservation Society. Islay has approximately 120 miles of beautiful, rugged coastline and yet much of it is marred by the ugly presence of plastic, discarded fishing equipment and other flotsam and jetsam. The Marine Conservation Society champions the need for marine wildlife protection, sustainable fisheries and clean seas and beaches.

During Becky's walk she took hundreds of photographs and selected over a hundred to include in a book titled "Islay's Coastline", which is a celebration of Islay's magnificent coastline. The photographs are ordered in a clockwise sequence round the island and are accompanied by seven hand-drawn maps. This is a beautiful keepsake or gift for anyone with a love of the Isle of Islay. Check out Beckies Blog to get an idea of what she has done. The first edition of her book was available early last year but due to high production costs Becky had to stop the project. This year she teamed up with Fiona MacGillivray, known from Green Bug Productions. Fiona is now publishing Becky's book for a much cheaper price of £10.99, for those who had any doubts last year, this is your chance to get your hands on this beautiful photo book. For more info contact Becky direct by email: or phone: 01496 810 709.

Tag: book photography coastline

James Deane Islay Photography Revisited

It's nice to write about someone I admire, in this case James Deane. The fact that James and I never met doesn't make a difference and I'm sure we will meet when I'm over to Islay in May, I know I can't wait. James told me that since his website was launched he had lots of very good feedback from locals as well as from people overseas. In the last weeks James has made some enhancements in his online shopping cart to make things even easier. He is also building a FAQ for his website visitors, to further simplify the ordering process, and he is working on featuring the shipping prices which is always the most difficult thing to organise in an online shop. But most of all James is also expanding his galleries with new images such as the updated gallery Surrounded by Water and Past my Bedtime, a gallery with stunning Islay night photography. As soon as the weather improves on Islay the current galleries will see a lot more images, here's hoping that spring will arrive soon. For the Ileach of 26 February Rachel MacNeill interviewed James Deane, the results of which you can read below:

Rachel MacNeill: "James Deane of Islay House Square launched his new website this week. The address is I had heard that this was to be a photography website with a difference so on Tuesday I met James to learn more about his new venture. The site was partly conceived of as a place where one can purchase souvenirs of Islay - namely an inexpensive, quality printed photographic image to take home and keep as a reminder of a great holiday... A lot of time has been spent creating something that accurately reflects the quality images he aims to produce. He would like to work with hotels and guest houses on the island in offering this service to their guests as often when people are here only for a few days the weather may not be conducive to photography. Perhaps folk would prefer a considered image demonstrating the beauty of the landscape they have seen, rather than a hurriedly taken personal snap? Continue reading...