Culzean Bay at Dusk

I took a trip out to Culzean in Ayrshire (Scotland) to take some shots on the beach there: I’ve visited this spot a couple of times in years past, but not with a camera, and I was interested to see what I could get at dusk.  Overcast conditions meant that there were no sunset opportunities, but this didn’t mean that all was lost, and enabled me to be flexible with the situation I was presented with.  I spent about an hour on the beach looking at various options, from straightforward landscape shots of the castle and sea, to more intimate close-ups.


For this outing I took my full landscape photography kit, i.e. my Gitzo tripod with Induro BHL3 head, and my smaller Billingham Hadley Pro bag with D800E, filters, and 3 lenses: Zeiss 21, Nikon 50/1.4, and also my Nikon 200f4 micro (just in case there were any unusual macro scenes to shoot, or for longer-distance landscapes).


In the event, I shot everything with the Nikon 50, sometimes focus bracketing for more depth, and in one case shooting a two-shot panorama, and didn’t use any filters at all; the overcast conditions meant that especially beyond sunset the light levels dropped rather quickly.


I will present two posts for this trip: first, my normal landscapes; second, the more intimate close-ups, which I actually think are more successful by virtue of being more distinctive.  For these latter images, the resolution of the D800E really makes a difference, and some of these will make excellent large prints I reckon.


So, first the landscape views


First, a scene showing the castle, with Ailsa Craig in the background on the horizon.  This is a 3-shot focus bracket at f/7.1 for full depth of field without diffraction softening.




Second, a 2-shot pano of the trees and cliffs – I liked the colour, details and textures here.




Third, a last-minute shot of the sea and the shore when it was really getting quite dark.   Perhaps not that great a shot: not too bad, but it does lack a bit of impact.







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