The River Nith, Dumfries & Galloway – Diptych 1

After driving up the M6 from Oxfordshire and stopping overnight at Carlisle on our way up towards Bute, instead of heading further up the motorway towards Glasgow once into Scotland, we decided to take the country route up to Kilmarnock via Dumfries along the A76.  The advantage of this in addition to the welcome change from motorway tedium was that I discovered a lovely parking area beside the River Nith as it comes hurtling down from the hills towards the Solway Firth.  In addition to my wife’s pleasure at seeing a Dipper (cinclus cinclus) on the river seconds having arrived at the waterside, I was happy to have 30 mins or so to get close to the rapid flowing water to take some experimental close-up shots of the rapids with various filter settings and shutter speeds.  I did this both on the way up and on the way back down to England at the end of the holiday.

First, here are a couple of shots I took on the way up, which make a natural pair.  Again, the shots were taken at 50mm, and no focus-stacking this time (thank goodness!)





The settings for both shots were the same: ISO 100 2” at f/11, using a Lee 105mm circular polarizer and a Hitech ProStop 4 IR ND, making up for a EV change of 17 clicks (5 and 2/3 stops slower).  The Hitech ND filter produces quite a marked colour cast, but after some experimentation I warmed the colour temperature in ACR by +450 and the tint by +32, also adding some contrast, shadow detail and saturation.  The raw files when loaded up into Photoshop proper were then treated to a range of luminosity mask treatments to bring out more colour and tones in the water and rocks.  The yellow in the water is quite natural, resulting from the peat content.


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