As I had booked the Dolphin Spirit Cruise in Inverness I knew that there was no guarantee I would get to see the dolphin’s, although I was expecting there to be other wildlife surrounding the area. As expected and was unfortunate we never got to see the dolphin’s on the cruise, however it was interesting hearing about the surrounding area which gives me enough information about the wildlife surrounding such as a place you can visit for photographing red kites as they are fed every day at 2:30pm. Due to there being no dolphin’s in sight and constantly keeping an eye out on the water I was limited with what else I captured. There were some pictures I captured of the birds surrounding land that I managed to capture, but nothing I would have personally favoured. I was fortunate however to capture a bird flying low across the water at speed using the pan technique which I captured razor sharp, however it’s a consideration as to whether or not I feel it’s good enough to be placed among my final 20 images.
The Dolphin Spirit Cruise toured around the Inner Moray Firth and although it can carry up to 70 passengers I was fortunate I had room for myself to capture anything I wanted. The weather turned out fantastic for it with the sun and clear skies. The tour lasted for over an hour which gave me plenty of time to get back to Boat of Garten for the Osprey Centre in the Cairngorms National Park. I was hoping I would find seals however unlucky. From the shoot capturing one pan shot technique it certainly gives me the option to use towards my final 20 images.
Here is a sample contact sheet of the best images from that shoot:
The first image was arguably my best shot from that shoot having captured the low flying bird pin sharp with the landscape showing the blurring of the movement; in the second image I liked for landscape and composition whilst capturing some of the birds on land, it also captures some of the surrounding water where the dolphin’s may be and the final image of what looks to be a lone heron at the edge of the water.
Here is a sample contact sheet for the worst images:
These were failed attempts using the slower shutter speed as I tried to capture a pan technique, not only were they out of focus but blurred. The third image illustrates not only it being out of focus but did not favour shooting up into the sky. Comparing the pan technique to my favourite image you get some of the backdrop to show for the fast movement of the flying bird, an empty sky doesn’t turn out the same results.
For the best image I made slight adjustments to enhance the image using Camera Raw, first by enhancing the highlights, slightly increasing clarity and then increasing sharpness. Finally for better composition I used the crop tool to get rid of unneeded space and using the shore line to straighten the image.
After opening the image in Photoshop CC I then used the dodge and burn tools to enhance the lightest and darkest areas of the photograph to give it more punch.
I then duplicated the background layer and used Image > Adjustments > Desaturate to make the top layer black and white and then reduced the opacity of the desaturated layer to 15% for the final touch.