Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Playing with George Square’s Christmas lights

Another of those shots you shouldn’t be seeing from me, this time a daylight shot of George Square’s Christmas lights.

Fortunately, there’s  not much Sunlight at this time of years, so I might smoke a little, but at least I won’t burst into flames.

I went there after learning how smart it was to scope out a night shot during daylight, having tried it with the shot trying to get the whole of GoMA and its surrounding lights.

It was quite an education, finding out just how far I had to beck down St Vincent Street in order to get the whole scene in a single wide angle shot. Pity I can only do this with the compact, which has a wider wide than the widest wide of the superzoom I have for the dSLR.

Well, at least the higher quality catch it provides can be stitched, with little evidence of the join.

STILL missed a bit on the left (partly deliberate, as the building was beginning to encroach, but more than I meant to), I have to try harder to remember the compact show and exact view – dSLRs generally show a little less, so you don’t miss edges.

George Square Wideness

George Square Wideness

I went back later, to play with some more shots in the dark – which is not really dark with all those lights!

I arrived at the big wheel, and was irritated to find that barriers etc meant I could not get far enough back (when close) to get any more than 70% in frame, even on the widest setting, in either portrait or landscape views.

So, I had to give up and try the stitching mentioned above, but at least needed only two shots to get this combined view.

Can you see the join?

Fortunately, the exposure was the same for each pic, sometimes it can vary wildly. I was lucky the wheel stayed still too.

I can’t control the distortion in these (much), but really wide lenses do something similar, and there’s not usually much complaint.

George Square Big Wheel Stitch

George Square Big Wheel Stitch

I stepped back, to take some more normal, single, wide angle views of this, showing more of the lights, this time the illuminated globe that was on one of the lawns last year, and fenced off so people could take pics inside. They didn’t seem to bother doing that this year.

Then there’s the Squares Christmas tree, which seems to be really FAT this year.

I took a few of these, all slightly different, but mainly to see what would be caught from the ever-changing animated lighting of the big wheel.

From past experience, I’ve learnt there’s little or no point in waiting for a specific effect (unless you really really HAVE to), and you might as well just take a lot of shots to catch whatever is happening with the lights.

I should maybe add that these pics were taken before… it got cold and wet!

George Square Globe Wheel Tree

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 1

Note the lighting on the tree. In recent years it has been simply draped from the top, in lines.

In days gone by, it was wrapped or wound around the tree.

Both fairly easy to put on – but I’m told that when the light strings were wrapped around the tree, by the end of the season they were a pig to remove, having been worked into the branches by the wind.

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 2

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 2

Maybe they should make up special vertical looms.

The straight drape means there’s a lot of lights together at the top, but they’re sparse by the time they get to the wider bottom.

Two banks of LEDs would be good. One up top, as at present, then another with double density strings for the lower ‘half’.

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 3

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 3

I’m also a little surprised the tree lights are steady, and not animated in some way, which is really easy with LEDs.

Maybe that will be the next set 😉

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 4

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 4

I’m really surprised at what the compact is now delivering with the revised settings I made at the start of the season, but don’t ask me what they are, I’ve no idea what I changed. Actually, it has so many damned settings I have almost no idea what I’m doing with it. Half the phone book (manual) is dedicated to 4k operation, which I’ve never even looked at!

Notable things I’ve learned is that I was right about the smallish sensor it uses. The pics are surprisingly good, but there is the ‘Falling off a cliff’ aspect, where the image quality just disappears below a certain light level, where the dSLR would still be returning decent views.

The other really odd thing is that nearly all the shots are useable ‘Out of the box’, and don’t need processing to raise shadows, or lower highlights. I’ve hardly touched any (none of the above), and those I do need to fix were genuine low light views.

What I’m finding this year is that I’m shooting a lot of wide views, nearly always having to tip the camera back, away from vertical, and have to do a lot of perspective correction. I think I’m lucky I found that tool last year, and got some practice in, or all the above would be very distorted and weird looking.

06/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

It’s called ‘Research’ Brenda

After the recent eBay howler in Glasgow, I thought the same was true for this story.

I wasn’t going to go with this one, but for some reason my news feed keeps shoving it in my face, as if it’s telling me “Do it, do it, do it…

I’m always amused by the way criminals just don’t get what they’re doing wrong, especially the ones like ‘Brenda’, who is apparently ‘Angry’ about being caught and fined.

The 63-year-old said she was angry that she had been prosecuted and she now wants to warn others not to get involved in offering teeth whitening products and services.

‘I didn’t know whitening teeth was illegal’

Part of my business once involved dealing with tests on people, and I can tell you that one of the first things we did, before even starting to set it up, was contact all the relevant authorities, and our lawyers, just to find out what sort of trouble we might get into as a result.

But I guess we had a head start on this, since a lot of our work was fiscal (could be used as evidence in court), even if that seldom happened.

“Brenda’s” response/atitude reminded of one of the few instances where I was present as a habitual shoplifter was themselves ‘lifted’.

As this individual was carted off, their haul was also taken as evidence.

At which point they launched into a stream of verbal abuse against the officers attending (shortened version follows)…

“Gie’s that f*****g back ya f*****g c****s, that’s f*****g mine”. That’s ma f*****g stuff!”

Before and After Teeth Whitening

Brenda’s Smile Before and After Teeth Whitening

06/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Skylark IX – The Little Ship that survived will become a floating museum on the Clyde

It’s a pity the place I had some long discussion over various wartime relics found in Scotland isn’t really available now, since the original find and recovery of this ‘Little Ship’ was quite extended.

The good news is that it is to be restored and turned into a floating museum.

It had been used for cruises on Loch Lomond, for something like 30 years, but eventually fell into disrepair, and sank.

A few years ago, it was raised by the Royal Navy after a campaign to rescue/recover it, by veterans supporting the Skylark IX Recovery Trust, and was moved to the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine.

A Dunkirk Little Ship, which rescued 600 Allied troops during World War Two, is to be restored and turned into a floating museum on the River Clyde.

Skylark IX will be saved thanks to £404,000 of funding from The National Lottery.

The work will be carried out by a specialist boatbuilding team working with recovering drug addicts.

The boat, built as a passenger cruiser in 1927, become part of the Dunkirk Little Ships fleet of 850 boats.

Dunkirk Little Ship to be floating museum on River Clyde

See also:

The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships

As seen back in 2012. Not long after being raised

Skylark IX

Skylark IX

06/12/2018 Posted by | Maritime, Transport, World War II | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chance night find in Tollcross Park

With our loony system of ‘Moving the Clocks’ (well, it would get dark early anyway), I get the chance to be in places I wouldn’t be if I had to wait until it was REALLY late in the day, and being there would ‘A Bad Idea”.

For example, I get to take a shortcut through Tollcross Park, which has no lighting in its central area.

Glancing off to one side, I noticed what appeared to be a few dim lights in the distance, and wondered if it was a reflection, or actual lights.

It was lights!

Installed under the modern take on the park’s former bandstand. A small representation of a once large feature.

Tollcross Park Bandstand Night

Tollcross Park Bandstand Night

There really isn’t much light spilling from those fittings under the canopy, and the compact tries its best with what little there is, bearing in mind I only do hand held, so no tripod or long exposure.

I was also keen to move – this was Saturday night in Tollcross, and I was there between two groups of shouting yobs approaching from either side, so I wasn’t hanging around. One quick pic, and gone!

By way of comparison, I stopped during my next shortcut, and collected a daytime pic.

Tollcross Park Bandstand Day

Tollcross Park Bandstand Day

The history of park shows the original bandstand was huge compared to this, and provided a stage that could easily contain a full band of the day, which attracted a large audience for its performances in the park.

Mental note made to make a deliberate evening trip/diversion to this spot, with the big camera, to collect a better night/low light shot.

NOT on a Saturday!

06/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment


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