Tag Archives: scotland

Of Harsh Light, Deep Shadows and Limited Time

I was lucky enough to visit Aberdeen last weekend on business and had a bit of time on the Friday afternoon for photography along the coastline to the south of Stonehaven. It was one of those glorious winter afternoons that was cold, crisp and clear-as-a-bell. A lovely day to be out but a frustrating one for photography.

The weather was not too much of a burden at my first stop off at Johnshaven; a lovely little fishing village that clearly majors on lobster and crab fishing, judging by the number of lobster pots  stacked around the compact and picturesque harbour. Both the setting and the weather allowed me to make some postcard style images. nothing atmospheric but pretty enough with the right composition.

Aberdeen (1 of 4)

Aberdeen (2 of 4)

The second stop, at a place called Crawton, was more of an issue. The sun was dropping now and this caused deep shadows that sliced across the waterfall that plunges over the conglomerate cliffs here. I took the photos but there was nothing to be done other than plan a visit either at dawn or on a cloudy day. I did manage one image here; looking through a (probable) window hole in the remaining gable of an old cottage to the cliffs across the bay. Maybe a bit of a marmite image, but I like it.

Aberdeen (3 of 4)

My final stop was at Dunottar Castle, which must be one of the most photographed locations in the UK. The castle is in a truly spectacular setting on a promontory on the coast at the end of a deep gorge that runs out to the shore. The spectacle makes it very difficult (impossible?) to find an original viewpoint and I’m sure future archaeologists will be able to pinpoint the viewpoints by the identification of tripod  footholes at various locations around the castle. This factor, the harsh light, deep shadows and approaching sunset made for a bit of a mad-scramble to find something that worked. I think I succeeded, but, again, this is a location I must return to when I have more time to scope out the location and plan the shot.


Aberdeen (4 of 4)

Until next time.

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Welcome to Alexander Fraser Photography

Versatile and hard working – that’s me!

Well, here we go. After some time in the planning welcome to my new website and my new photography business, Alexander Fraser Photography.

The business has been set up to make use of the 30+years experience I have in photography, photographing everything from mineral specimens and insects to buildings and landscapes and all subjects in between. You see, I graduated as a geologist in 1981 and took up photography to illustrate my thesis, which included geologically important landscapes as well as macro and micro photographs of mineral and rock specimens. It was a steep learning curve but both the aesthetic and scientific elements of photography hooked me and I was quickly taking photographs for personal satisfaction and to catalogue my own mineral and rock collection. My camera went everywhere with me and I would try my hand at anything, including portraiture, wildlife, sport and buildings.

It wasn’t long before I became the “official” photographer at family events and I covered weddings, on a casual basis, for some friends as the years went by. As far as commercial photography was concerned I was asked by some of my previous employers to provide photographs of staff members as well as construction projects, both in progress and on completion. I built up a pretty impressive portfolio in this way, photographing anything from the interiors of churches to huge cement silos that were used to load railway wagons. Unfortunately, those photographs are in the archives of my previous employers and my digital back-catalogue isn’t as extensive as I would like to start off the new business.

I now use high quality digital equipment and the speed and versatility of digital has opened up new avenues of creativity that simply weren’t available with film. I can also honestly say that with the best equipment the quality now also surpasses what could be achieved with 35 mm film stock and all available at a much reduced time scale and cost. Mastering digital imaging is about much more than pressing the shutter button, however, as a working knowledge of digital imaging software is also necessary to get the best out of a photograph, both in terms of quality and in realising the client’s requirements for creative vision. To that end I have spent many hours working on and learning Photoshop and Lightroom and recently completed a Photoshop course at the City of Glasgow College. I do all editing on a colour calibrated monitor, preferring to handle this work myself to ensure complete control of the creative process.

You can check out my more creative work at my personal website,  TwoPeople Photography. This contains mainly landscapes and wildlife images and it should give you an idea of my personal vision. I hope you like what you see at TwoPeople and on the Galleries on this website.

‘Til next time


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