Jenny Cameron

Professional Landscape Photographer known for her unique, creative and evocative style based in the northern Scottish Highlands.

Posts tagged ‘education’

Haida Anti-fog belt

An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography.
Close up- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing heat control with three different settings- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing Haida Anti-Fog belt attached to a spare Drone battery which I used as a power bank.
Haida Anti-Fog belt set up with lovely soft grey bag-Included with purchase.

Introduction

Viewing winter scenes online may look magical but for the photographer it takes a lot of effort and skill to execute. When shooting in sub-zero temperatures it’s an endless problem with the lens fogging up and constant job keeping it clear. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to no avail, placing thermal hats, scarfs around the lens, basically anything to keep the lens warm- which isn’t ideal especially if it’s windy. If you use a tripod this will exacerbate the issue as the camera is away from any body heat. Hot and humid regions are also problematic – When leaving an air conditioned car or building then head outdoors with your camera when it’s hot. Whether it’s moving from a cold to warm environment or vice versa, the drastic change in temperature will cause your lens to fog up. In simple terms, condensation will cause your lens to fog-up, thus dramatically reducing the image quality.

Allow me to introduce to you a brand new product designed by Haida – An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography. It’s an Anti-fog belt – Companied with a USB port and lovely soft grey pouch so you can put it in your bag easily and conveniently. Boasting three individual heat settings – Low ( 35-45°)- Medium (45-55°)- High (55-65°) and can withstand -40℃ low temperature. Simply wraps around the outside of your camera lens ( held securely in place with Velcro) to avoid fog on your lens and plugs into a power source- (I used a drone battery as a power bank). Not to forget Haida’s signature colour-Red!

Example photo’s below when using the Haida Anti-fog belt would be advantageous.

Lets geek out on why lenses fogs up?

When the temperature of the lens or lens with filter on gets cold the water vapour in the air condenses on it, in other words creates condensation. Same principle when your bathroom mirror fogs up when having a hot shower or when you take a cold drink out of the refrigerator on a hot day. Similarly, to what we learnt in Chemistry at School- Condensation is the opposite to evaporation- rather than water molecules transforming from liquid into a gas in a process known as vaporisation, the water changes instead from a gas in the air back into a liquid form.

Your camera body will generate some heat which will prevent condensation from forming on the inside, but the lens is a different story. In particular, a build-up of condensation behind the actual lens over a period of time could result in the growth of mould. Needless to say, mould will destroy the internal workings of your lens. Or, even worse, condensation on your lens freezing up! Yes, it can actually happen! 

Top-tip from personal experience- In these extreme polar opposite conditions always remember before you retreat indoors to put your camera in a camera bag when you’ve finished photographing. If possible leave it in the bag for a good 12 hours. If you’re inpatient to view your images just remove the SD card. This allows your gear to slowly thermalize whilst avoiding condensation. 

It’s all about the Dew-point

If you’re anything like me a little OCD with preparing for a photo trip- Weather forecast Apps tend to be top of your list? Whether you’re heading to the Arctic or Maldives, both can create big problems for your camera in terms of condensation. Knowing the dew point temperature (which can also be found on most decent websites/Apps) for each location should be high up on your list too and help you prepare for what the weather may throw at you- Be it sun, wind, rain, fog/mist, snow, frost and sand-dust- This will tell you what temperature condensation is expected to form. Condensation is created when the outer casing of your lens is cooled below what is known as the ‘dew point’ of the air inside. The dew point is simply the temperature at which the air inside your lens is no longer able to hold all of the water vapour, meaning that some of it will need to be released back into its liquid form. As such, the water vapour changes back into moisture, causing beading and fogginess to appear on the inside elements of your lens without oftentimes you even realising until you later check through your images horrified with that feeling of “the end of the world”.

Screenshot of my favourite weather App Clear Outside including Dew point temperatures.

Previous experience

I clearly remember a night earlier this year when I gave up and retreated home as it was too cold not only for my hands but became an endless battle with lens fogging up, I couldn’t keep up wiping the lens with a microfibre cloth. I was not happy at all and let me assure you I’m not one to give up easily.

Materials used

Haida adopted a new technology material “Graphene” (heating material) which produces evenly heat distribution in a safe/stable manner.

Positive features

  • Fits any lens.
  • Light-weight & convenient.
  • Starts heating up in only a few seconds.

Negative features

  • Remembering to have a full charged power pack with you.
  • Careful not to knock the focusing ring whilst attaching the belt.

Unfortunately, at this moment in time it’s British summer time- Here in the far north of Scotland it’s pretty much daylight all the time and temperatures are a steady 10-20 degrees Celsius, making it impossible to replicate extreme temperatures or do any Astrophotography. However, come September Milky-way & Aurora season will begin- Followed by a few months later when temperatures start plummeting. Last winter was very cold, reaching minus 28 degrees Celsius at home. I will continue to add my thoughts to this evaluation as conditions allow. Watch this space for more updates!

Conclusion

All in all, I really do think this will be a popular and welcomed tool for many outdoor photographers. Certainly solved a common problem for myself. Hopefully, I’ll achieve more keepers in the mountains next winter and be even more enjoyable.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021


Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm. Featured

Introduction;

Haida kindly invited me to evaluate their latest innovation; Interchangeable Magnetic Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter (2-5 stops & 6-9 stops). My test review will be in two parts, this being part 1 testing the 2-5 stop Magnetic Variable ND filter which not only is the perfect tool for photographers but also videographers. In other words, one filter ranging from 2- 5 stops and another from 6- 9 stops interchangeable in 1 second, yes I did say that correctly, one second!! Have I got you intrigued now? Let me walk you through & you show you this great innovation. Do I sound biased already? I’m sorry I am, but I will be honest & tell you some downsides

I will be testing for optimal sharpness, tonality, vignetting, bokeh, X-pattern issues, design, functionality, accuracy of stops & colour shifts.

What is a Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter & how does it work?

Basically a Variable ND filter works by using two pieces of polarised glass that darken as they oppose each other, creating the lovely ND filter effect. As you rotate the filter the density is increased or decreased affecting the amount of light that falls through the lens & onto the camera sensor.

Sizes; 

Available in various sizes; 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 82mm. I’m using is the 77mm as my lens is a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii).

NanoPro;

Featuring a NanoPro multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass, reduce reflections, scratch and water proof. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent color cast while maintaining image sharpness. The Haida Nano pro filters are highly scratch-resistant, durable and super easy cleaning.

Positive features (in no particular order)

  • Filter protector cap.
  • Sleek design.
  • Accurate placed stop numbers.
  • No X pattern.
  • No colour shift ( neutrality).
  • Great contrast & tonality throughout.
  • Sharpness.
  • No vignetting.
  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Ease/speed of use.
  • Exceptional image quality.
  • Hard stops at each end which works as a bit of a fail safe. Preventing you from going past the weakest or strongest points, therefore impossible to push the ND effect too far. You simply place the marker over whatever number you want. This means you won’t suffer from entering into the infuriating X pattern (produces hatched areas on the actual image) terrority.
  • Absolutely no light leakage.
  • The ability to control your shutter speed in ever-changing lighting conditions
  • Incredibly smooth rotation in hand with enough friction enabling you to easily rotate the filter to the precise stop required.
  • Ideally suited for all types of photo &/or video genres including portraiture. I will be using it for my animal work.

Negatives

  • I’m still undecided if I would have preferred an adjustment peg on the side to make it a bit easier to rotate from stop to stop without getting greasy fingerprints on the glass from my clumsy fingers or if it’s best without. Certainly not having it makes for a super sleek design which I really do like, not only visually but for storage & less weight. Over time I have gotten used to moving it without intensely watching where every stop is.

For the traveller in mind

If you’re tired of hauling around lots of different filters on your travels & need to go lightweight this could well be your answer.

Demonstration video

In the field tests

Test shots at different focal lengths starting at 70mm to 200mm in 10mm increments at each stop on the filter to see if all stops are true & consistent.

Sunset images below taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F11, 1/60 – With Magnetic Variable ND filter 2-5 @ 3 stops; ISO 200, F11, 1/8 @70mm.

Without/ with filter.

Very pleased to tell you my field test was successful in checking the stop numbers are accurately placed.

Conclusion

So far the most versatile filter I’ve ever used, certainly the most enjoyable, easiest, fastest & most practical system. The innovation and thought gone into the design/ build, coupled with the high quality optics makes this filter an incredible piece of kit & serious contender in the photography/ videography marketplace for many types of genres.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

If you would like to see more of my work;
Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.
“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020.

Morgan the midnight fairy

"Morgan" the midnight fairy.
“Morgan” ~ home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye.

Home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Glenbrittle, Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Please note this is a composite image. Night sky has been added in post processing. Both images have been taken by myself in the same area of the Isle of Skye.

The use of Haida filters are as follows,

Haida round “drop-in” Circular Polariser and Neutral Density 1.8 (6 stop) combination filter for the water.

M10 round Clear-night for the night sky.

Believe in the fairies who make dreams come true. Believe in the wonder, the stars & the moon. Believe in the magic from fairies above. They dance on the flowers & sing songs of love, & if you just believe & always stay true, the fairies will be there, to watch over you!

I gift a sprinkle of fairy dust for each & everyone of you.

If you would like to see more of my work;
YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Experiment with Haida Circular Polariser on Animal fur.

Since Covid-19 hit the UK in March this year and not being able to travel the same I’ve been thoroughly enjoying more animal portrait photography.

However, I’m constantly faced with issues of blown-out highlights on the animal’s fur. It recently occurred to me that it may be possible to utilise my landscape photography skills with the use of a circular polariser. For some unknown reason its something I’ve never thought about and instantly heightened my curiosity. It was now time to put my theory into practice.

To see the results take a peek at this video where I use the Haida M10 “drop-in” Circular Polariser.

 

Screen captures of raw files (straight-out-of-camera) for demonstration purposes with/without filter & final edit in Lightroom Classic.

blown out highs

Showing blown out highlights & weak histogram without a filter

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Histogram showing much more detail with the filter on & same camera settings as with no filter.

edited jpeg-1

Final edit in Lightroom Classic.

Techy info

Both images using Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens @70mm, ISO100, F4.5, 1/350.

To conclude-

For a more in-depth review & explanation of the Haida M10 “drop-in” CPL please take a look here . Also a video demonstration of me using the filter in the Haida M10 filter holder, watch here how easy it is..

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. To view their official website please click here or alternately view their Facebook Page here.

I hope you found this useful & enjoyable?
If you would like to see more of my work;
YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram.

 

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Earth Wind & Fire book by Jenny Cameron

The waiting game is over, Im bursting with excitement & super pleased. My first exclusive landscape photography book published & I couldn’t be prouder.

Stunning hard-back coffee table style book with 106 pages including my fine art landscape photos, story telling of hardships, overcoming obstacles & how art can guide you over the bumpy road.

All books are digitally signed by me & soon to be available for download on Apple books.

Previously I offered to the first 50 pre-ordered copies a personalised hand inscription/signed by me. This offer has now ended today & not available.

If you would like to purchase a book please contact me either by e-mail @ jennycameron121@gmail.com or alternatively via Facebook Messenger.

 

 

YouPic review 2020 by Jenny Cameron

use this

Are you tired of all the usual social media platforms? Does it feel like climbing Mount Everest when all you want is to create beautiful images? 

I very much have a love hate relationship with social media & often find it mentally exhausting, although on the flip side if I stay away I have a fear of missing out. Certain sites such as Facebook & ViewBug  I do very well on but others such as Instagram & 500px are polar opposites.  Recently I’ve discovered this whole welcoming community at YouPic it no longer feels a chore, no crazy emotions, for once I’m actually enjoying the experience & quite frankly a breath of fresh air. There’s a real sense of community spirit- interaction/discussions with fellow photographers rather than worthless one word comments usually from folks feeding their own egos for personal gain.  It feels more organic, like you’re talking to another human rather than a robot. Most importantly for me as I’m not the most technically minded to say the least, the layout is user friendly & very clean interface.

Annotation 2020-06-23 094309

I stumbled across YouPic  several years ago, if my memory recalls someone invited me through Facebook. I joined the site but didn’t really put much time into it & quite honestly forgot about it. February this year an online article grabbed my attention which brought me back to the site. First thing I noticed was the community, everyone so friendly like they welcome newbies with open arms, none of the “if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” like some sites I won’t mention but we all know who I mean? Genuine interaction between everyone whether  beginners or advanced professionals with no judgement whatsoever in all genres including those who aren’t necessarily in the spotlights of Instagram, Facebook, & such like. And here I’ve been ever since, posting regularly, thoroughly enjoying the experience, feels like my new home, it’s opened up a whole new world & already made some lovely friends.

This platform is like no other I’ve seen, there’s so much content I’m not sure where to begin. Let me show you some screen shots from my YouPic account.

Showcase your photos in high resolution- Go ahead you pixel peepers, zoom right in those deep dark shadows & enjoy the satisfying detail.

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Academy- Explore the interactive courses available in all genres of photography including video tutorials & interviews.

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Famous names- I was happily surprised to see a few famous names on YouPic including Steve McCurryDavid YarrowJoel MeyerowitzAdam Hinton.

Albums & Collections- For those of you nerds who love nothing more than organisation. Create your very own portfolio. See image below.

albums jpeg

Shop- Sell your prints in the shop. YouPic allows you to keep all the rights to your work. “You” decided what price “you” want & get to keep any profits as YouPic has a zero % commission rate. Click here

shop

Create a website- Using the YouPic website builder, including one custom domain name for your site or add your own. A choice of different themes to chose from. If you enjoy writing, create a blog post. Also connect your social media channels.

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Workshops– Advertise your workshop or find one you may like to attend.

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Statistics- View your personal statistics enabling you to watch your growth & abilities. You even have a personal score for your best photos. Don’t worry this is for your eyes only, nobody else will be able to see it.

Awards- YouPic award your achievements for different things such as popular photos-award require you having 500 shares. You can see in below image my awards so far.

Sharing is caring- Share other peoples photos, discussion, gain followers, follow others, receive daily stars from the inspiration flow personally chosen by the YouPic team & community, in other words real human beings not robots. Receive and give detailed feedback based on composition, technical quality, creativity and content as seen below. By the way, I believe this is one great way of learning too! 

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Support each other – Learn which photos resonate with others. What you think may be your worst work is inspirational to others & vice versa.

Exif data– Show or hide the choice is all yours.

Advertising- No adverts.

Apps & Plug-ins- YouPic App for Android on Google Play and iOS at the Apple store . Enabling you to show your work wherever you go. 

For the ultimate viewing experience, see your photos on the big screen in high resolution there is now a YouPic App available for Apple TV.

Lightroom PluginDownload available connecting YouPic with Lightroom, making it possible to upload directly from Adobe Lightroom to your YouPic account.  For more in depth information click here.

Subscriptions- There are four subscription levels; Free, Enthusiast, Premium & Pro. View here to see which suits you best or simply stay with the free subscription like I did to start with where you can post one photo a day, interact & feel the love from the site.

To conclude- I find YouPic very easy to use, friendly/ inspirational community & best of all a great high resolution viewing platform. It’s free to create an account here & start connecting with others, so what are you waiting for? 

I hope you found this blog post useful & enjoyable?

If you would like to see more of my work;

YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram, My website

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

The lone tree at Llyn Padarn

©Jenny Cameron 2019

 

This image named “Elemental” was taken last November in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

A picture can speak a thousand words, here’s what it says to me.

Over the years I’ve visited Snowdonia national park many times mainly from my hiking & climbing days with my Husband but also my Grandmother’s family are Welsh. As a child we used to get the train from Lancaster to Crewe where we changed to Prestatyn. The family lived in a small village called Dyserth in North Wales which happens to be famous for an impressive waterfall where the family lived at the top of over a hundred years ago but sadly got washed away in floods. My Grandmother & I always stayed at Auntie Ivy’s house then the rest of the local family would come to visit. I always remember the Welsh language being spoken by Uncle Len who happened to be a great local artist but also a bit eccentric. The female family members used to tell him to speak English as it was rude in front of the guests which never failed to amuse me. 

What happened behind the camera

Having to share my personal space with others, something I prefer not, although the photographers I met were extremely friendly. One photographer with a lovely Sony A7R iv made me laugh when I really shouldn’t have, you know when you get the giggles at the wrong time? He was saying “how typical that the water was so rippled when he’s seen many images on social media of this location with silky smooth water, how annoying it’s never like that for him”. I looked at another photographer I’d been chatting to, we couldn’t keep our faces straight. We politely explained it’s down to long exposure.

Zen moment

“Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.” – Lao Tzu.

Techy stuff

I cant really share my exif data as this image was;

  • Focus stacked for ultimate sharpness.
  • Focal blend of foreground, mountains & sky for my visual impact.
  • Exposure blended for the overall look I wanted to achieve.

Haida Filter M10 round drop in ND 3.0 (10 stop) to smooth the water & clouds.

Post processed in Adobe Creative CloudTopaz DeNoise AI

If you would like to see more of my work; FacebookViewbugInstagram YouPic

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020.

Haida filter video tutorial

Haida Filter tutorial from my home in the Scottish Highlands during the COVID-19 lock-down. Sharing my thoughts about filters.

Please note; If using any of the 100mm x 100mm (square) ND filters in M10 filter holder and you don’t wish to use any of the round “drop-in” filters, you must use the M10 “drop-in” light barrier which is simple and easy to use the sealing ring to prevent any light leakage (also provided in the kit).

 

Haida M10 filter holder system including light- barrier

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“As a landscape photographer I have learnt how invaluable a great filter system is to my arsenal of tools. It’s something you can buy a bit at a time to build up your collection, but choosing the correct brand is the tricky part. Thankfully for you I’ve made the mistakes and now ready to share my thoughts from the past twelve months of using the Haida M10 filter holder system for the 100mm filter series. Such a genius method and design.”

Included in the Haida M10 filter holder kit

Filter holder, Circular Polariser, light-barrier, one adapter ring which can be purchased to fit most popular lenses in sizes 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 and 82mm. Housed in a smart black eco-leather zipped storage case, with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod or belt for ease of access, internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a net pocket for storage, including a handy screwdriver, extra pair of filter holder slots and gaskets to provide a third slot on the front of the Holder ) which I’ve left on permanently).

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Constructed from aviation grade aluminium and PC materials for super strength and is lighter in weight than its predecessor. Its genius design makes it exceptionally user-friendly, with super fast set up, and effortless to change and remove filters. Simply clip the M10 filter holder onto the M10 adapter ring by using the red push-and-release (spring clip) locking lever (see video & photos below). The innovative design gives a very secure and solid connection, and at the same time the ability to rotate 360 degrees. The non-slip spongued coating on the bottom of the filter holder provides a good grip whilst rotating which I think is a nice touch.

It’s designed to take up to three filters ( 100 x 100mm or 100 x 150mm @ 2mm thickness, compatible with other brands at the same size ) on the front of the holder if you wish to stack, and one filter slot at the rear closest to your camera lens where the new round “drop in” M10 filters are used. Boasting a choice of neutral density filters ( 3, 6, 10 and 15 stops), circular polariser (included in the kit), clear-night (light pollution filter), graduated neutral density filters ( 3 and 4 stops) and ND + CPL ( 3 and 6 stops). But only using one at a time which is the only downside if you like using several ND/s and a CPL together. If you don’t wish to use any of the round “drop- in” filters, you must use the M10 “drop in” light barrier (see photo below) which is a simple and easy to use sealing ring to prevent any light leakage (also provided in the M10 filter holder kit).

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Optional extra filter storage case

During 2019 Haida also released a very useful filter case for their M10 filter series or other branded filters of the same dimensions; either 100x100mm &/or 100x150mm. Holding up to nine filters including Haida M10 filter holder, adapter ring, cleaning cloth & memory cards. This has been with me on my adventures for every shoot, Id truly be lost without it. If you’d like to see more about this case please take a look at my test review showing photos & video here.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

I hope this provides you some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

If you would like to see more of my work;
500pxFacebookViewbugInstagram

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Social Anxiety & how the Hebrides helped me.

A conversation with my inner self about my recent photography adventures and how I needed to disconnect with the world.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 aged 44 hit me very hard, it’s left me battered and bruised physically and mentally. Id go as far to say the mental scars have been the most difficult. It wasn’t until after my radiotherapy that I was able to go on holiday. It’s taken the whole of 2019 to build up my strength to travel, visit my fav wild areas. My hair has started growing back after losing my long locks from the red devil himself AKA doxorubicin (a chemotherapy ingredient). Still very conscious about my hair, preferring to wear a hat if I can get away with it. Hair envy is deffinatly a thing!
Didn’t matter what I looked like on the outside or what my Husband assured me, it was all about how I felt on the inside, almost like what I felt on the inside is what I looked like on the outside if that makes sense?

We planned an extended road trip from our home in the far north of Scotland to the southern tip of England in the county of Cornwall. Spent an enjoyable week in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Mountains will always be part of me the world over, however it was too busy from what I’m use to. Having to share my personal space with others, something I prefer not, although the photographers I met were extremely friendly and I enjoyed the bannter. One photographer with a lovely Sony A7R iv made me laugh when I really shouldn’t have, you know when you get the giggles at the wrong time? He was saying “how typical that the water was so rippled when he’s seen many images on social media of this location with silky smooth water, how annoying it’s never like that for him”. I looked at another photographer I’d been chatting to, we couldn’t keep our faces straight. We politely explained it’s down to long exposure.

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We’d planned on visiting south Wales, Devon and Cornwall for photography and meeting friends/family. However, only made it to middle England, hundreds of miles from Cornwall. The busier the traffic and population increased my anxiety matched it. I was feeling lost, didn’t recognise myself, felt a freak, afraid, stressed, claustrophobic, panic, the need to escape and runaway. Everyone was staring at me or at least in my head. Really needed the “hell outta this place”. But what about my friends and family I was suppose to visit? Something I’ve been looking forward to. How could I do a runner, how rude? I reminisce on the past twenty months, the biggest lesson was “do what makes you happy “. That was it, decision made, returning north. I felt the need to cut myself off from the world for a while. I craved the feeling of being lost in the landscape being so far away from it all that nothing else matters, not a care in the world, no worries or stress. A place to reflect my own thoughts. This crazy world we all live in gets too noisy, we need
time out just being quiet, calm your senses.

20191116_195654

Image taken on Isle of Arran Ferry looking back at Ardrossan (mainland). Camera – Samsung Galaxy S9 +

Caught the night ferry to Brodick on the lovely Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. I was actually able to lower my shoulders and breathe. We toured the island for a few days but still didn’t feel myself and quite guarded. It was time to move on, caught another ferry to a different part of mainland Scotland on the Kintyre peninsula. From there we travelled north to my beloved Glencoe. Now, I was really starting to relax, the weather gods were on my side and such a great time of year having the place virtually to ourselves. Glen Etive in all its magnificent glory, stags roaming down the middle of the road. From there we headed further north through the mountains of Kintail to the Isle of Skye. The weather did not disappoint, managed to get a few milky ways, such amazing compositions and sky quality. I know this island like the back of my hand, having spent the past thirty years visiting at least once a year. However, I felt the need to take it one step further.

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Ok, so what happens next? Yup another ferry, almost 2 hrs west to a group of islands called the Outer Hebrides. As soon as the ferry set sail from Uig I felt the darkness within vacate. One thing which hit me on arrival was the amazing huge sky. No interruptions, miles and miles of beautiful warm coloured skies. Instead of feeling dark I would go chase some light which gave me mental freedom and a sense of calmness. A place I could truly get a away from society, off the beaten tracks. Literally pressing the pause button and breathe for a few minutes, it will never fail to fill your heart. Wandering on the white powder beaches with my looney dogs racing in and out of the cold aquamarine sea. Island life set me free, allowed me to feel the wind in my hair, gave me time to reconnect with nature, almost like I became part of the landscape itself, emotions straight from the heart. The weather is bracing which gave me good reason to wear my hat and I didn’t look out of place. It felt raw, real, free spirited and extremely inspiring from the land, sky and sea. Free as a bird, I was now starting to channel my personal feelings through my camera, either mobile phone or DSLR. Island life is slow, takes a few days to adjust and learn to love this new lifestyle. One of the reasons you can’t help but fall in love with these new lands. People have time for each other, driving along the locals will wave to you, be sure to wave back. This year I’ve spent eight weeks in the Outer Hebrides, it’s been my absolute sanctuary and a huge role in my recovery.

Other days were spent watching waves crashing over my camera, was an endless job of shoot and wipe…Great fun though and certainly put my Haida filters through their paces which never failed to let me down with the ultra thin NanoPro coating it was very easy to wipe. Having spent time on several Caribbean islands often twice a year in a different life many years ago where I escaped the madness from my crazy mixed up life, where I would go to rebalance.. I found the Hebrides very similar emotions from the beaches and lifestyle.. Freedom to be whoever you want, not a care in the world, feeling the sea breeze on your face providing the ability to mentally set you free. Not being judged, no stares or looking you up and down as if judging what designer label your wearing or rather not. How well groomed you look. No makeup, simply me being me. The sea washed over the sand leaving it all pristine and clean, like it did for my unbalanced head and emotions.. Cleaned my soul and black thoughts. I was falling in love with this wild corner of Scotland with its energetic seascapes and remote mountains. Literally making me feel alive. Sat in the sea with camera and tripod in December doesn’t sound too appealing but I have to tell you how empowering it feels. Photography is an extremely powerful tool to heal and express yourself. Open your eyes. Discover the solitude and silence it brings, nature will soothe your soul. Don’t make any plans, go with the flow and let the universe lead you as more times out of ten plans never work out. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the moment.

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All images taken with Samsung Galaxy 9 plus.

If you would like to see more of my work;
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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

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