Misty Ballygrant Loch

Ballygrant Loch in the Mist

A Sunday when I’m away from home working usually offers me a sleep in, 07:10 I was standing at the window of my room looking across Loch Indaal which had a beautiful fog bank strolling across it, immediately an image of Ballygrant Loch popped into my head with a bank of fog 10 to 20 feet high sitting on top of it, so I quickly get showered,changed, pack my gear and set off for Ballygrant Loch.

En route I could tell I wasn’t going to get my prevision I had as the fog bank at Loch Indaal had changed to some thick mist nearer Ballygrant Loch and was much higher than my 10 to 20 feet. Not to be put off I made for a spot I had earmarked from a shoot before and on arrival I wasn’t disappointed, the light was great and visibility was just enough to create a very atmospheric image first image. My previous shoot had been shot just along the shore from here shooting up the loch but I wanted to use the shoreline here as a bit of a lead in line to the trees. (To view the images larger just click on them)

Trees in the Mist at Ballygrant Loch
Trees in the Mist at Ballygrant Loch

I decided to move back a bit and widen the focal length of the lens to 18mm so I could create a bit of depth and again use the shoreline, this time as a curve to lead the viewer in for this next shot. In this one the hues from the rising sun were starting to warm up the mist and created a nice glow which I have enhanced in post editing to my taste.

Misty Ballygrant Loch
Misty Ballygrant Loch

At this stage the mist was slowly starting to clear and I noticed I could see some clouds so I decided to give a long exposure a shot, a quick check on my base exposure on my current settings and I knew I could get a 4 minute exposure easily, I could have went for longer if I wanted but I wanted to try and get some other images of the loch whilst it was still pretty heavily misted over, and with long exposure noise reduction on the elements soon change on you when you least want them to.

Mist Clearing from Ballygrant Loch
Mist Clearing from Ballygrant Loch

During this image I was standing around waiting for the camera whilst it was doing it’s thing when I heard some rustling in the bushes, never really paid it much attention, possibly a rabbit I thought…now if you can picture the scene, I’m standing on the banks on Ballygrant Loch, to the left of me is a river flowing into the loch, behind me is a bridge going over the river with a path and to the right is tree’s, also to the right is a small dirt track that people use to get to the shore…but not only people as I was just about to find out! So, I’m standing there looking out admiring this surreal scene when out the corner of my eye I catch something moving, in a nano second I was onto it, or them should I say, two Otters just waltzing, and I mean waltzing down the dirt track almost hand in hand not even 3 metre’s away from me, don’t even bat an eyelid, they wobble right passed me as I’m struggling to get my phone out and select my camera with my gloves on to photograph them whilst they just slide away into the loch whilst I’m thinking the ripples they have just created better not show up in my image!!! Yes I did get a shot of them but it’s useless, not the one below, this is a black and white edit as the loch starts to clear up now.

Clearing Mist at Ballygrant Loch in Black and White
Clearing Mist at Ballygrant Loch in Black and White

At this point I decided to move further North along the shoreline as there are some Crannog’s there which I had hoped may still be clinging to some mist but deep down I knew would be a long shot, and as I was walking there decided to hit the shoreline instead as I could tell that all the mist had cleared off the loch so a quick change of plan and I opted to get some shots from the shoreline instead. I didn’t realise how cold it had been the night before nut it must have been below 0 as the water on Ballygrant Loch was still frozen as you can see below. In the distance in the images below is one of the larger Crannog’s I mentioned earlier.

Water frozen on Ballygrant Loch.
Water frozen on Ballygrant Loch.

 

Shores of Ballygrant Loch, Islay
Shores of Ballygrant Loch, Islay

For my last image I thought I would attempt a final long exposure, there were still plenty of clouds about so I was happy that I would again get 4 mins. At the time of composing I wanted the viewer to drawn to the boathouse over on the other side, but I think with the drama in the sky (the contrast and the movement) I may just have lost my main subject, however it’s all part of the learning process. I cut this exposure a bit short, at around 3 mins 15 seconds as I didn’t like how the sun was starting to shine behind the clouds and I knew that would just burn out my highlights and ruin the image so a bit of post editing was required in the shadows to bring them up to where they are. All in all a nice fresh start to a Sunday morning.

Ballygrant Loch Boathouse from the shore.
Ballygrant Loch Boathouse from the shore.

Entered into Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge which is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, we move from one place to another on which I found fitting for these images considering the different trails, tracks, roads and shorelines I used to get there.

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