Time-lapse practise

I haven’t made any posts here recently as I’ve been busy with the day job and also shooting video footage for another wee project I’m working on.

As part of that other project I’ve been experimenting with time-lapse. So the other evening, I went up a little hill not far from my house to do a sunset time-lapse shot of this view. The result was pretty underwhelming; in fact it was rubbish. No racing clouds since the sky was clear, just the light changing as the sun went down over fifty minutes, as well as the windmill/wind turbine going round at a ridiculous speed. Oh well… at least I learned what isn’t a good subject for this.

This pic was done at the start just before the camera automatically snapped the 300 shots over 50 minutes for a 10 second MP4 video. T’was nice light though….  for still images! Think I might also just go back to using ND grad filters.

Mendick Hill and South Slipperfield windmill/turbine just before sunset.

Mendick Hill

Mendick (OS grid ref: NT 122 505) is a lovely little hill two and a half miles southwest of West Linton. Not particularly high at just 451m, its summit is easily reached in just over an hour’s walk from the village for a reasonably fit person. The southeast face is steep and quite honestly a bit of a slog. There’s much less strain on the muscles decending on that side and then walking back to the golf course via the Old Drove Road.

The easiest way to the top is up the northwest side via North Slipperfield estate, the entrance to which is at the end of the single track road through the golf course. After the cattle grid and beyond the large shed, take the left fork signposted to Garvald and walk for about a mile. Go through a gate on the left (NT 113 513) and follow the track to reach a plantation of conifer trees. Walk up alongside of this to a low fence and then up over the tussocks to reach the trig point.

Note: North Slipperfield is a working estate and there are days when shooting takes place, so please observe any warning signs or advice from gamekeepers.


Mendick from the golf course
Trig point and the Pentland Hills
View of West Linton from Mendick Hill


The four seasons

In 2010 I had an idea for a little project that involved producing panoramic shots of Mendick hill and the surrounding countryside from the same spot for each of the four seasons, either just after dawn or in evening light just before sunset. Whatever worked best. These were photographed in sections using a 60mm lens, and the images were then stitched together. Photographing it in just one frame wouldn’t give the detail or resolution needed to print to 30 inches wide. Sure, it could have been done more simply using a 5×4 camera but I only ever rented a Sinar plate camera & lenses when the job required one and certainly not for a whole 12 months!

Of course it wasn’t just four visits to try and get a shot. Looking back at the folders containing the raw files I did pics at the location ten times. I went up intending to do some shots over several more visits, but due to the light changing, clouds coming over at the wrong time or too much haze, the camera stayed in the bag.  There was a fair amount of PhotoShop postproduction afterwards for each pic given that stitching and blending isn’t the most exact with auto techniques. Since the file sizes are around 120Mb each with up to eight layers, it was far less frustrating building them manually.

The intention at the time was to have a few printed to about 30 inches by proportion (about 30 x 8 inches), put them in bevelled mounts suitable for framing and see if they would sell. Like a few of my ideas, distraction set in and the project found its way onto that infamous back burner. And there they remain, slowly simmering. I did manage to finish and caption Autumn but it’s really only an hours work to complete the others.

Obviously the photographs pre-date the large recently installed windmill* at South Slipperfield, and not being a big fan (pun intended) of the damn things since they aren’t particularly ‘green’, IMHO it kinda spoils the view.

*Windmills. NOT turbines.

Single section – summer

Mid February 2016

There’s been a bit of snow over the past couple of days but nothing too significant. From a non-photographic point of view let’s hope it stays that way. I noticed crocusses coming into bloom in the Meadows in Edinburgh yesterday so Spring is definitely on the way.

On the village clock, Lady Gifford never looks too jovial at the best of times but then who would, if you too had no option but to stand on that plinth in all weathers.


Below is another snow pic from near Lynedale.

Winter – Mendick hill and sheep