I was fortunate enough to be asked to shoot a morning gathering in Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art but had a half hour in the afternoon to look around before the bus left to take me back to Moffat. There are some great and thought provoking works on display but it's the amalgam of old and new architecture c/w with soft and sympathetic lighting that adds to the gallery's attraction.
Not long ago, I acquired a Spyder calibration system that makes matching screen colours and prints using my Epson wide format pigment printer a whole lot easier. I've profiled a load of stocks but best of all is that I can now match colour output on Baryta photo paper, inkjet coated fine art papers, coated cotton canvas, and uncoated, rough texture, cold-pressed watercolour paper with its distinctive look and feel, a process that once was more or less trial and error by eye, and even with papers that had manufacturer profiles it was very hit and miss. It's been a revelation and has far surpassed my expectations, with the output on watercolour as good as on the likes of St Cuthbert's Mill Bockingford Fine Art inkjet coated. Lacking a coating, watercolour paper is not as absorbent as inkjet media so its downside is print time, with an A2 sheet taking about 30 minutes due to the long pause I need to set between sequential printhead passes. These are some of my 4" x 6" prints onto Canson Montval Aquarelle 300 gm NOT cold press watercolour.
SSE asked me to capture some photos from Stranraer's inaugural 'Oyster Festival' and it was a fabulous event. The festival organisers, the people of Stranraer, and their funders and supporters should all be proud of what they made happen.
A rural evening scene from near to Annan in SW Scotland on Thursday, juxtaposing industry and agriculture. The grazing animals brought to my mind African savanna, and the part decommissioned Chapelcross nuclear power station, Chernobyl. Much of the outer infrastructure surrounding the fast breeder nuclear reactors at Chapelcross remains after the toppling of four large concrete cooling towers about ten years ago. The hills to the left are down in the English Lake District, and the masts on the horizon in the Solway Firth.
I've recently got hold of a Techart Pro autofocus adapter for my full frame Sony A7II. It's a third party device with a Leica M connector that exploits the excellent Sony phase detection and now allows me to use all of my adapted Minolta, Pentax and Russian M42 mount lenses with reliable autofocus. I've got the tactile physical controls you can only get with fully-manual glass, and on-board sensor stabilisation that makes them every bit as functional as camera specific OEM ones. To say that I'm chuffed is an understatement. I did a shoot yesterday with lots of moving subjects and I reckon my productivity doubled. My concern about increased battery usage was put to rest when over the course of 700 exposures in 8 hours, I used a battery and a half of juice with three spare charged batteries unused still in my bag. Awesome :-)