Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Smoke and Mist in Cambuslang

A lucky spot (for me) recently as I caught this view of Cambuslang over the old Caledonian railway viaduct at Carmyle.

I don’t usually see anything like the smoke (maybe mostly water vapour) coming off the industrial area near Cambuslang, or even the mist over the background. But a chance wander in the area let me catch this view.

Cambuslang Smokey Mist

Cambuslang Smokey Mist

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January 14, 2018 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Some low low light tests

Although I’ve been firing off some low light tests, they’ve mostly been places with varying amounts of Christmas lights around, so they’re not very low light – although they would have been near impossible as hand-held shots, which is what I always try for.

One of the first proper low light shots I ever tried was of the Herald and Times building near Cambuslang.

Despite great claims for the abilities of the bridge camera I was using then, this scene was simply not possible, and the reality was that until I had access to a dSLR this scene was never going to be anything more than bright spots with noisy smears in the space between – and that included long manual exposures, since this is overlooked by a bridge parapet the camera could be sat on.

Forward to the present, and while I thought the decent compact had failed, a surprising amount of information was present after some light processing.

Herald Times Comp

Herald Times Comp

A little further along the same road, it was possible to point the camera into a black void from bridge over the Clyde, looking towards Carmyle. This really is just blackness to the eye, with a few streetlights glowing in the distance, so even the focus has to be guessed (even autofocus needs something to lock onto).

A surprising result, as previous attempts without a dSLR sensor were just noise and a few light dots.

I hadn’t really expected this.

While it would need some tweaking of the settings, this could be improved with a little effort.

Clyde Carmyle Comp

Clyde Carmyle Comp

But, I’m lazy, so…

Another visit was called for, with a bigger camera, to find out what could be obtained without that much effort.

Back to the Herald and Times first.

Unfortunately – somebody decided to dump some snow on the scene while I was away, so it’s not really like-for-like.

But I’m not getting another freezing, so this will have to do.

The difference is in the detail (of which I get to see more in the full size original) – probably most noticeable here is that the motorway lights have posts in the example below (absent in the pic above).

Herald Times

Herald Times

And slipping along to the bridge over the Clyde, and another look towards Carmyle, and an irritation!

This is approx one quarter of the pic taken, as I forgot the difference in wide-angle setting, so got this one wrong.

Clyde Carmyle

Clyde Carmyle

You may notice the extreme yellow, as this area only has sodium lighting.

Just for fun I thought I’d let some automatic corrections run on this scene.

It basically works by assuming the brightest point is (or should be) white.

Clyde Carmyle Adjusted

Clyde Carmyle Adjusted

Same routine applied to the compact image really shows the difference.

Clyde Carmyle Comp Adjusted

Clyde Carmyle Comp Adjusted

Bottom line – dSLR captures a lot more than a compact, and even a quarter of one of its images has more detail recorded, and this can be extracted later.

I’d like to repeat this with a large sensor compact – but that won’t be any time soon.

December 30, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Cambuslang Christmas lights

Cambuslang got its Christmas lights switched on too.

Cambuslang Christmas Lights

Cambuslang Christmas Lights

And a Christmas tree of course.

Dare I point to another member of the “Hook ’em and Drop ’em” school of Christmas tree light decoration?

The practice of simply hooking the light strings to the top of the tree is almost universal now, rather than the more decorative and attractive method of wrapping the strings around the tree.

Cambuslang Christmas Tree

Cambuslang Christmas Tree

That’s three for three so far (Glasgow and Rutherglen match), leaving Baillieston’s vote to be collected when I next get there.

I can’t think of any others that still have real trees (that I get to), and while I will be dropping in on some shopping centres, most of those have no trees, or they’re stylised versions with the lights built-in, so don’t count.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

The day after they fixed the borked tidal weir on the River Clyde

Anyone looking in here over the years may have noted the odd burst of ‘excitement’ or near hysteria if I ever manage to catch some event as it happens. It’s pretty rare, blink and you’ll miss it – I’m more likely to be shot down in flames (by Murphy) if even try.

Case in point – the recent failure of the River Clyde Tidal Weir gate.

River Clyde banks show signs of collapse after weir fails

It could appear I’m handy for this, such is not the case, and any time I see it I’ll have been waddling the streets for at least couple hours, often more as I don’t just walk there directly.

However, after seeing the news about the problems with the gate being stuck open I did consider heading straight there, but the opportunity just didn’t arise.

I had thought about settling for second best since I’m east of the weir, and settling for a ‘historic’ pic of the river at its lowest lever, but that opportunity was kicked way from me too, and was particularly frustrating as I now cross the river fairly regularly to reach the shops.

I finally managed this last night but, of course, the offending gate has been fixed, even if only temporarily, so the river level has returned to normal, as can be seen below.

I’m fairly fortunate to have this spot to monitor the river at, as there is a non-conformity in the river bed, a sort of natural mini-weir the river flows over near the bank: normal level is represented by this view; if things are dry and the level has fallen, then I can see the river bed here, and the flow over the non-conformity is like a little waterfall; when the river is high, this feature is absent and can’t be seen (unless you know it’s there and where to look to spot the tiny turbulence over the feature).

I’m guessing the only evidence of the few days of extended low water is the slight break-up of the river bank, which can be seen just above the right of centre in this pic.

Guess I missed my chance.

Cambuslang Clydeford Day After Weir Fixed

Cambuslang Clydeford Day After Weir Fixed

 

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern demolition clears a path to an old listed works building

I can’t get used to wandering around some places I’m more likely to be passing through in the dark than the light, so keep spotting surprises that shouldn’t really be (surprises).

Case in point, this derelict yet still attractive works building I spotted through some trees as I wandered into Cambuslang.

I should have seen it before, but the usual combination of dark nights, and our lovely wind and rain usually mean I’m hiding beneath a nice umbrella and comfy hooded jacket. Not helped by the modern buildings (now demolished) which used to screen this turn of the century (c.1900) building from sight in more recent years (visible on aerial images).

Rosebank Works

Rosebank Works

If I’ve identified it correctly, this is the Rosebank Works (Engineering) (Ceramics/Brick Making: brickmaking machinery), of James Mitchell and Son, which seems to have survived until the 1980s – when I note documents relating to it were archived.

That probably explains the decorative brickwork frieze seen towards the top of the front wall, and the central columns made of the light-coloured bricks.

I’ve passed the gate where I took the pics below from many times, but always in the dark, and had no idea this gem was lurking in the distance. All I can usually see here are the signs warning of dire consequences for anyone who dares to enter. There’s not many left, but I do have a vague recollection of many some time ago, presumably when the modern ‘shed’ that once stood in front of this surviving gem was being removed.

It’s a shame, but seeing this one is a rather sad reminder of how few and far between such surviving relics of our industrial heritage are these days.

I probably don’t really need to point out that there is large area of derelict land only a few metres to the west of this building, past a football ground, where NOTHING survives, yet was once the site of a giant Hoover factory employing more than 2,000, but production ended in 2005.

It was a factory of its time (late 1940s), and something of a shed too, so let’s enjoy this earlier design:

Rosebank Works

Rosebank Works

 

Rosebank Works

Rosebank Works

This post reminded me of how dull and boring walks around this area have become.

Like many, there seems to have been a deliberate effort to purge the area of anything that reminds people of its past, or dare to have an untidy or just ‘old’ building left standing if it can be razed, presumably just to make the place look ‘Nice and Tidy’ for tourists, visitors, investors, or smart young people with money to move into, away from the problems of city living.

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cambuslang’s cute bike racks revisited

I’ve mentioned the cute car-themed bike racks of Cambuslang before.

I really like them, not only for their appearance, but also because their use of cars as a motif is a nice change from the sort of rabid anti-car hate spouted when SOME cycle fans get a chance. That sort of reaction helps no-one, and merely provokes a similar reaction.

I’ve noticed a number of decorative items seem to be disappearing from Cambuslang. There was a sculpture of some sort modelled on a drum kit (I think) which used to be in the main street, but I don’t think I can see nowadays. I don’t think I noted it in here, but might have a pic buried away somewhere, so might try hunting it down.

However, the bike racks remain, although I’ve yet to see a bike chained to any of them – or anywhere in Cambuslang for that matter (apart from Morrison’s).

I thought I’d reveal the BACK of these racks, as the decorative detail is cast (I’m assuming they are casting) in sections, only on one side, that facing the shops. The other side is plain.

Also caught in this pic is one of the bench seats which feature in the main street.

They seem to be pretty tough/robust, and unlike more conventional wood or lightweight street furniture seem to largely vandal proof. They’re solidly fixed, have no fine details to bend or break, and their smooth finish is easy to keep clean and hard to deface. So far, I haven’t noticed a damaged one – I imagine any piece of scum that tried kicking or breaking is likely to come off worst.

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Another wrong assumption – this time, memorial benches

It’s funny just how often an assumption can be wrong.

I first saw these benches near the Miner’s Memorial in Cambuslang some time ago, and noticed them again under the slightly odd (for me at least) conditions of daylight. I’m usually not around here until it’s dark, so don’t usually get to see them properly, or get a decent pic. Flash doesn’t work well on gloss black painted surfaces, and the same holds true for trying to take a ‘low-light’ pic.

I quite like them, given that recall events not to be forgotten, but I was a little disappointed (in my assumption, not the benches) to find they are standard pattern items. I had wrongly assumed they were a one-off commission for use at this memorial, but having shared memorial pics with others, it seems that they can be found across the land.

As I say, assumptions can get you into trouble (unless made carefully).

Memorial Benches

Memorial Benches

There was one interesting point – although not obvious in the above pic (thanks to the reflected glare on the flat metal seat backs), the red-painted floral tributes are not always so painted, and others I have seen have had the benches finished all black, with no features picked out.

Update

I passed on a better day, and managed a better pic – you can actually see a hint of colour (and, in the first pic above, see how my poor camera no longer shows ‘sharp’ detail in the right half of a wide-angle shot):

Memorial Bench

Memorial Bench (Revisited)

I have to take pics like this with full zoom to have the whole frame in focus. If you think the first pic above looks out of focus down the right-hand side, it’s NOT your eyes (or my carelessness), it really is out of focus after a recent mishap trashed the linearity of this camera’s focussing system at wide settings.

I had to stand back in Carmyle to take the second one!

(Just kidding – I only had to stand in the road and hope nobody wanted to run ‘The idiot with the camera’ over.)

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Anglers found on the Clyde

I didn’t actually ‘take’ this pic – it was merely a test shot to confirm that at least some of my poor little pocket compact was still working, having suffered a flight and crash landing into a supermarket checkout, and then an intimate meeting with the reconstituted stone floor.

Suffice to say it has been compromised, and a suitably low-cost (ie cheap) replacement will have to be hunted down.

However, some aspects are still fine (remembering the tiny sensor will never deliver dSLR detail) and this 10x zoom came out much as expected.

I’d spotted something moving in an odd way on the River Clyde between Carmyle and Cambuslang. Just blur to the unaided eye, I decided to use it as a test shot, to see if it could be caught.

When I got home, I found the ‘object’ was in fact TWO anglers (they must have moved further apart as the shot was taken), and the image even showed their rods – as a bonus, I also noted they were not alone, with a duck appearing in the right foreground.

So, I guess the little camera is not scrap, but I’ll need to a series of test shots to find out where it fails – I already know wide-angle shots are ‘mince’.

But the long zoom still works, so I got an unexpected pic for the blog.

I forget where I read it now, but there was another of those articles in the news recently, noting how clean the River Clyde was becoming, and how far upriver salmon could be found – seems they won’t come near a dirty, polluted, or contaminated river, so are considered a reliable sign of water purity.

Clyde Anglers

Clyde Anglers

This is a weird pic, which I guess is down to being taken of a bend in the river, and the shaded are area to the left. Or maybe the fact that the anglers are actually both leaning over, and not standing up straight.

To my eyes, it looks as if it is not level (slightly anti0clockwise to my eye), and the original was indeed far from level, being taken without much care purely as a lens test.

However, I tried numerous attempts at rotating to eliminate this, and I can assure you that any further clockwise rotation does NOT make it appear level, and even a slight rotation of this image (less than a degree) seems to make it look slightly to far clockwise from level.

I tried using the trees and shrubs as indicators of (reasonably) vertical items, but the result for the river was even worse, so i just gave up and went for what seem best to the eye.

It’s not the first pic I’ve found would not appear level, regardless of how I rotated it – I don’t suppose it will be the last.

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The Inn Between – it’s on Westburn Road

With anonymous franchise clones and trendy ‘kewl’ names being the order of the day, it’s nice to come across a more traditional or conventional pub name.

While ‘The Westburn’ (yes, there really is one, or more) might not rate a second glance, ‘The Inn Between’ at the east end of Westburn Road is just a little bit more imaginative, and rates a second glance.

The Inn Between

The Inn Between

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Oh deer

I suppose I’ll have to stop grumbling about having to take the little compact out some days (as opposed to the dSLR and its gem of a sensor). Granted the pics are not pixel sharp, it’s slow, and doesn’t have a proper viewfinder (I absolutely HATE holding the thing at arm’s length to see that rear display) – but one cannot argue with the logic that says the best camera you have is the one you have with you to catch a pic.

In this case, a flashing white ‘deerbutt’ alerted me to the presence of this example of the world’s least ‘road aware’ species (much thicker than two short planks if near a road, they are so dumb they are truly scary and very very dangerous) as I passed the site of the Baggyminnow Pond swans – this pair disappeared in the past few days, so I guess their eggs hatched recently and the family marched along to the nearby River Clyde and have now swam away. Maybe I’ll see them there later.

I couldn’t see the deer in the long grass, but hit the button and made an appointment with the compact to take pictures in the near future, and after it woke up and sorted itself out after the usual buzzing and whirring, set the zoom to 10X and scanned around.

I got lucky as something made the deer look up just as I spotted its back, and for once, I actually got a proper pic, complete with head.

Baggyminnow Deer

Baggyminnow Deer

Baggyminnow Pond Deer Original

Baggyminnow Pond Deer Original

I was really surprised there was enough detail for a little post-processing, especially when I noted the speed was 400 ASA to help the anti-shake with the long zoom.  I usually think anything not caught at 100 ASA can’t be cropped, but this proves me wrong. It’s just a pity there is no RAW option, or even choice of compression, but then again, it will even slip into a trouser pocket, which is not a bad trick for 10X zoom. And having had ‘longer’ zoom similar compact and even bridge cameras, the size disadvantage of 12X or even 15X makes little difference at this level, but adds bulk and drops image quality at this level. (Click thumb for bigger).

May 26, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

A little bird on bird action

I really didn’t expect to catch this shot, with the waiting time for the compact camera to wake up and initialise, then the time for the power zoom to zip out to the 10X end, then more time for the autofocus to settle on the backlit image – the real bird on the sculpted bird should have spotted me, laughed, and flown away long before the camera decided it was ready to shoot.

But it didn’t, and even got the exposure right too (I had time for second shot and tweaked its exposure for the backlighting, but it was hopelessly overexposed – the auto setting really does work surprisingly well.

The sculptured heron is one commissioned by Sustrans in 1998, and is sited on the banks of the River Clyde at Carmyle , near the Clydeford bridge. It is intended to symbolise the environmental regeneration of the river, and stands over 8 metres high on the Clyde Walkway near Cambuslang, and Route 75 of the National Cycle Network.

Clyde Heron and Bird

Clyde Heron and Bird

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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