Achnamara, Argyll, Scotland by Gordon Doughty

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Picture Story

This was taken in November from the end of the pier at Achnamara, a small wooden ex-forestry village on the east shore of Loch Sween on the west coast of Argyll, Scotland. I was driving on the way home after a Mid Argyll Camera Club photoshoot outing to another old village, so I was lucky to have a “proper” camera with me, and a good prime lens, rather than just the usual phone camera. It was a very calm day with clear sky and the sun had set 20 minutes before. I knew that I should find a good shot when I reached the loch, and there it was, with a stunningly coloured sky and a smooth sea for very sharp reflections. But the light was fading fast and I had to work quickly. There seemed no time to set up the tripod so I shot handheld.

I wanted to use a shutter speed faster than 1/50 second to minimise camera shake with the 50mm lens, and ISO of 200 for maximum dynamic range to cover deep shadows and bright clouds. That meant opening the aperture up to f/4, but the scene needed smaller than f/32 for enough depth of field in a large print.

On top of that, the field of view of the 50mm lens wasn’t wide enough for all I wanted in the picture. So I took three overlapping landscape orientation shots, and focused the top one on the background, the middle on the yachts and the lower on the closest reflection. After Photoshop merging a square crop seemed most effective.

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