The author at Stenness
All photographs were taken during a 14
days journey in Scotland, in August 1990. I used two of my faithful Nikon
cameras: an F3 and an FE. The only film I used was Kodak Ektachrome 64 Professional
(slides). My favourite lens was a Nikkor 20mm f/28 super wideangle, and
I shot several films using the excellent Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED. I
also tried a Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom, but results weren't quite
up to expectations. The best light was caught in the late afternoon,
when the sun was quite low on the horizon, with warmer light and longer ground
shadows. This effect is more easily found at high latitudes, as in the Mainland
Orkney, where sunset occurs late: at about 8:45 pm local time in August.
It's possible to shoot in ambient light (that is without electronic flashes)
even later, because during summer in Scotland and northern islands,
twilight lasts all night. A tripod is very difficult to use, because
the soft dampened soil often cause many problems. To avoid the dreadful
'white sky' effect, when the background sky
was cloudy and particularly dull, I used a series of Cokin graduated filters
(grey, violet, blue and brown).
Anyway, the atmosphere in and around the Scottish megaliths and cairns is unique;
it's nearly impossible to shoot a bad photograph...