Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography

Blog

Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Frozen: Lindean Loch

I returned home to the Scottish Borders between Christmas and New Year with the best intentions of being able to head out and capture the best of the Scottish Borders.  Granny and Papa would be on hand to help look after our 4 month old baby Isabella freeing up Adrienne to catch up on some sleep and allowing me some time to escape the house.  Isabella had different plans and having fooled us into nearly sleeping through the night for two nights in a row regressed (normal 16 week behaviour) to lose any sort of sleep pattern day or night.  All of sudden, sunrise, even at the modest time of 8:15am lost all of its appeal. However, on the day of arrival, the sunset showed enough promise, that I quickly packed my camera gear and left the house.

I had packed my travel tripod but decided to take my Giottos ballhead instead of the cheap ballhead that came with the compact tripod.  Three months of disrupted sleep night after night has left my brain at a diminished capacity and consequently I completely forgot that to use my Giottos with the travel tripod I need a 1/4" to 3/8" thread adapter which I had left at home in Ireland.  Without a ball head I had a choice of handholding or connecting the camera direct to the tripod. I opted for the later which meant I was stuck in landscape orientation and was only able to adjust the camera position by move the entire tripod.  The whole set up was a little unstable, but I decided to carry on regardless. The sunset was fizzling out with not much colour so I decided to switch to more abstract shots.

Lindean Loch, a man-made reservoir, was partially frozen so I decided to zoom in tight on the reeds, the frozen water and the pools of light, which were reflecting on the surface.  To get these shots I needed much more flexibility in my composition so I abandoned the tripod  and switched to handholding.  The light was falling fast so I cranked the ISO high to get acceptable shutter speeds to avoid camera shake with the long focal lengths.  The low light performance of the Olympus OMD EM-1 and the 5 axis image stabilisation really came into its own.  Once I had that shot, I moved a little further around the loch to an area with no reeds which I could concentrate on the patterns in the ice.