The Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon all

todays image is from the beautiful island of Orkney way up north with a ferry crossing in between. Far more populated than I thought it would be especially Kirkwall with its spectacular St Magnus Cathedral.

Numerous places to visit but high on my tick list was “The Ring of Brodga” for summer solstice. Sadly the weather disappointed and all we had was cloud. It was still lovely to be there and we’ll be going again in Jan 2017 for the Viking festival on Shetland so we’ll make a stop off, and of course the wolfs will be with us, never leave them behind.

Hope to have some more news on the wolfs soon too, plans are being made and fingers crossed I’ll make a really great announcement in July.

 

Adrian

 

Duncansby Stacks

Hi all

and wow at last it’s great to be back blogging. I have had major issues lately with image sizing and it’s taken the boffins over in USA and Germany to figure it out between them, I was stuck well and truly in the middle with either party blaming each other, not a good position to be in. Anyway sorted for loads of images to go online for sale and some very exciting news coming soon too.

 

Anyway must dash, I’ll start uploading ASAP

 

Image is Duncansby Stacks, Scotland, I’ll be doing some more work up there soon on our trip to Shetland

Adrian

Duncansby Head Blue

Wolfing, a passion and a dream come true

Hi all

as most of you may be aware I have been doing some work with Wolf Watch UK over the last few weeks, it’s been a passion of mine since I can remember to be near to wolves let alone be in with them and to have one in my arms so to speak. I have spent the last two Saturdays at the rescue sanctuary being chaperoned round and in the secure areas by Tony the centre owner, the primary function of Wolf Watch UK is as a rescue centre for displaced wolves. This necessity occurs through incidents such as dominance fights, excess breeding or zoo closures.

I was assisted by friend Bill on the first visit and Wayne on the second setting up holding and direction of the off camera lighting. Kit used was Profoto B1 with a 2 foot Octa box and grid held on a litereach pole, camera gear was a Canon 1DX MKII with use of 70-200, 24-105 and 24-70 lenses with Profoto Air Remote controlling.

I’ll drop in little write up parts taken from the rescue website as it’s explained far better about each wolf. Their website for more info and adoptions is HERE

Adrian and Madadh

 

First image is of yours truly with Madadh, she’s in her 18th year bless her. She is a black Canadian wolf who came to Wolf Watch with her brother Kgosi in April 1999, from the time of their arrival until three months later, normality at Wolf Watch became a thing of the past or perhaps life just followed a different pattern. She is the wolf most visitors to the centre are likely to meet if the circumstances permit. Thanks to Tony for this image.

 

Callow Close UpThis image is of Callow, she’s absolutely stunning, she shares a fantastic area with Pepe and like Pepe is very shy towards visitors, if you look closely enough  you can just make out my reflection in her eyes, certainly a soul in there isnt there?

 

Kogsi Straight On

The wonderful old lad Kogsi, brother to Madadh, he like Madadh is a Canadian wolf who arrived in 1999. He has a wonderful powerful demeanour and when you sit at his side you get a sense of ageless power that has been built on thousands of years of evolution and closeness to mankind, I think that they know far more about us than we do of them, they have a look of  “I know more but I’m not letting on”

 

Pepe snarling at Callow

Like any family there are squabbles and Pepe here is telling Callow to back off away from his dinner, little bit like myself I think.

 

Pepe

 

Here Pepe is enjoying his dinner now Callow has gone off with her share of the spoils for a relaxed lunch, well apart from me sticking my camera and lighting gear in the way that is!

One thing to bear in mind if you are lucky enough to visit the wolves is that they come first no matter what and their well being is of the utmost importance, so if you don’t get to see one up close or if you are asked to step away as they do get stressed and tired  don’t be too disappointed,  what ever you have done to help the sanctuary with your adoption or membership has helped make  sure these mystical spiritual animals have a protected life and will continue to do so with your support.

 

Medievil Barn

The sanctuary has a medieval style barn and we managed to get a fire and candles lit for the shoot, it was raining at the time and it forced the smoke back into the building, definitely added to its authenticity I think.

 

visitor

 

The visitor centre on site has a shop and information about the history of the sanctuary, here you can buy mementos of your visit and if available a piece of wolf fur, smells lovely, a musk you won’t forget.

 

 

Anja Swirl

Meet Anja, extremely shy and I was very lucky she came down to investigate us, may have had something to do with Tony waving a chicken round for her but I like to think she came to see me, I managed to capture some lovely pictures of her running through her area, a very special new comer to the rescue she has to build on her trust towards staff, this will take many months of dedication and nothing is guaranteed……

 

tony

 

Finally for this special blog it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the man who started it all, Tony Haighway, here pictured with Madadh his baby girl, he has done this with her since she came to the sanctuary in 1999 and even at this old age she still loves it and loves him as you can see. Tony’s dedication and the sacrifices he has made to love and protect these creatures is unbelievable and applaudable to the highest degree, a lovely generous warm and dry humoured guy that has all the time in the world to explain what he has learnt over his many years living alongside wolves.

Hopefully have an update on this soon………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ross Castle – Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Ross Castle – Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

A beautiful place to visit especially if the weather plays fair as it did with this visit. Met a fabulous local photographer who gave me some great advise on local attractions including waterfalls and ruins. I’m a firm believer in always learning and striving to make the next shot better than the last, hope I’ve accomplished it…sales will tell.

The Irish images may not get a section of their own so sales will be by email only at this stage, thanks

Adrian

Ross Castle 2

Dún Chaoin Pier (Dunquin) Ireland

Dunquin PierFinally back from our Ireland trip and it didn’t disappoint apart from the odd heavy rain and gale force winds but that’s what you expect from the emerald isle isn’t it?

Loads of images to post so I’ll start with one of my fave places Dunquin Pier or (Dún Chaoin) as it’s pronounced and sign posted locally which means Caon’s stronghold.

Bit from Wiki below.

There is dramatic cliff scenery, with a view of the Blasket Islands, where Peig Sayers lived. A museum in the village tells the story of the Blaskets and the lives of the people who lived there including the well-known writers of the island, which includes Sayers, Tomás Ó Criomhthain, and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. In 1588, when the Spanish Armada returned via Ireland many ships sought shelter in the Blasket Sound — the area between Dún Chaoin and the Islands — and some were wrecked there. A memorial stands on the cliffs overlooking the site.

Scenes from the 1970 film Ryan’s Daughter were shot at Coumineole Beach and Ceathrú (Caharhoo) in Dún Chaoin. The town’s then-struggling economy was largely revived by the production of the film.

It was in Kruger’s bar in Dunquin that CAMRA was founded in 1971.

I had been to the site earlier in the day and did some test shots handheld to get a real feel for the place, it’s quite a height and you can see where the cliff top is eroding badly and is certainly dangerous. Extra care is needed where the final shot was taken as you can easily fall from three sides and I had my tripod tied down to a peg in case it slipped and fell.

I turned up a good hour early for this sunset shot primarily to prevent anyone else from taking the prime spot, I know it’s not good sportsmanship but I have come a long way to get this shot and with the conditions being perfect I wasn’t going to miss it for anything, as it happens only a couple of people came and went down the track and back up again then went away before sunset so mission accomplished I had the whole vista to myself.

Kit used

Canon 1DX

EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM 19mm

F18 for 3.2s

.6 ND glass

Reverse grad Singh Ray

UFO Doctor Doctor on my headset (always helps)

Loads more to follow though I’ll probably space them out as I have a fairly heavy work load on now plus a training schedule to maintain.

Adrian

 

Weight Loss Goal

Hi all

been a while since my last blog so I thought I’d better get back on the track as it were, been down a long road recently hence today’s image of The Dark Hedges in Ireland. My goal was to lose 2 stones initially and then move onto to losing another with full training. I’m pleased to say as of today I have lost 28.2lb so my 2 st goal in 6weeks 2 days. I have achieved this by no magical process other than eating less and doing more, walking a minimum of 15-20,000 steps a day, training 5 days a week and eating very healthily and NO cheating.

Do I feel any better, tough one but I guess pshycoligically yes I do and ever so slightly physically as I think my knees are certainly screaming “thanks big fella we needed that!”

So my next goal is an additional Stone before Ireland in April so 7 weeks, hopefully this again will be achievable with will power and support form my long suffering wife Jo, bless her x.

A word to those who think it’s impossible, IT ISN’T, I have done it and I am the worst at things like this, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and walk down that tree lined road, try it you ‘d be surprised.

 

Adrian

GOT

Callanish Standing Stones

Callanish-Standing-Stones Callanish Standing Stones

Circles of stone
The main monument is extraordinary – a cross-shaped setting of stones, centred on a circle of tall stones. At its heart stands a solitary monolith 4.8m high. Lines of smaller stones radiate from the circle to east, west and south. From the north runs an avenue 83m long, formed by two lines of stones that narrow as they approach the circle. Within the circle is a chambered tomb.

Numerous other ritual sites lie within a few kilometres. These are mainly more modest rings of standing stones, or single monoliths. The most impressive – Cnoc Ceann a’ Ghàrraidh and Cnoc Fhillibhir Bheag – lie just over a kilometre SE of the main Calanais ring, and originally consisted of rings of stones at least eight in number.

Ancient centre of power
Archaeological excavation in the 1980s proved that the main circle was erected 4,500–5,000 years ago, and the chambered tomb a few generations later. Around 3000 BC the climate in the Western Isles was warmer than it is today and the sea-level lower. Salmon ran in the rivers, deer, sheep and cattle grazed the surrounding hills, and barley grew on the broad ridge where Calanais stands. A cult or religion seems then to have swept through the British Isles, involving the building of large earthen enclosures (henge monuments), and impressive circles of timber or stone.

Astronomical observatory?
Why did our Stone-Age ancestors build Calanais? Our best guess is that it served as a kind of astronomical observatory. Patrick Ashmore, who excavated at Calanais in the early 1980s, writes in his insightful guidebook Calanais: The Standing Stones, published by Historic Scotland in 2002: ‘The most attractive explanation … is that every 18.6 years, the moon skims especially low over the southern hills. It seems to dance along them, like a great god visiting the earth. Knowledge and prediction of this heavenly event gave earthly authority to those who watched the skies.’

Lost and found
Around a thousand years after it was constructed, Calanais was abandoned. The area inside the circle was levelled. This may have been just ordinary agriculture, but it may conceivably have been ritual cleansing, ensuring that no inconvenient ancestors would return! The climate was changing around then too, becoming cooler and wetter. Gradually a blanket of peat covered the site, drawing a veil over the ancient power centre.

Renewed interest in the ancient circles emerged in the 17th century, by which date the people of Lewis were calling the standing stones fir bhrèige (‘false men’). Gradually a more scientific attitude took hold, and in 1885 the main circle was taken into State care.

 

Info from historic Scotland

Coniston Snow Boats

Coniston-Snow-BoatHi all

how are we all coping with this wet weather? been miserable hasn’t it. Since passing my CAA PFAW drone license I haven’t had chance to fly and have a few jobs lined up ready for the new business start up in January so I better get some practice in real soon.

We’re going to be running a full marketing campaign in the new year and would appreciate all the help we can get from all my FB and Website friends, the more shares and likes we get hopefully it will generate web traffic and possible requests for quotes from potential clients.

The website is 360shots.co.uk and is set to be a doorway only site, I don’t want a tell all show all site that takes hours to trawl through, I think we have a happy mix of having and impact and giving clients to information on one screen and then the opportunity to get in touch, what do you think? love to hear your opinions on it.

Shot today is from Coniston a few years ago at the end of March, yup the end of March, incredible isn’t it, we got snowed in for 3 days there. Still can’t think of much better places to be stuck can you.

 

Catch up soon

 

Adrian

Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow-Mountains-ValleyHappy Monday morning all

certainly a little bit cooler this morning and a frost on the ground, so I thought we’d appreciate a warmer looking image for today’s upload. This one form my recent Ireland trip and is of Wicklow Mountain valley pass, an absolutely stunning location with a  little of everything for everyone.

The drive up there is as stunning as the summit view, i should have got Jo to drive as I nearly crashed HuMo (Husky Mobile) twice. It gets quite busy up there so we had to hang around a while while the hoards  dissipated a little.

Planning has started on next years Ireland trip West and South West is the plan, we’ll spend a little more time in one place this time until I get the required shots. This years trip was more a reccy so I had to take what I could weather wise and as we all know Ireland is very green and lush for a reason…..yup very wet too.

Here’s hoping for plenty of the white stuff this next few weeks

 

Adrian

The Battle of Curlew Pass

HorseThis will be my last update for a while while I get my workload down and complete my CAA license for the drone pilot so apologies if I don’t pick up on any of your posts for a while, I’ll try and check as and when I can.

Today’s image is the chieftain statue at Boyle, Co Roscommon ~ Unveiled in 1999, this ‘Chieftain’ is overlooking the site where the Battle of Curlew Pass was fought 15th August, 1599. The Battle of Curlew Pass was fought between an English force under Sir Conyers Clifford and a rebel Irish force led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell (Red Hugh O’Donnell). The English were ambushed and routed while marching through a pass in the Curlew Mountains near Boyle.

A magnificent and large piece of metalwork that’s well worth a visit, it’s sited right at the side of the road and has a large car park for visitors to come and enjoy the view out to sea whilst enjoying a picnic.

Adrian