Posts Tagged: iPhone 13 pro max

Inverness Botantic Gardens

As part of our Highlands holiday we had a visit to the Inverness Botantic Gardens. If you are interested in plants or photography or even both it might be worth a visit. Entry is free, being a charity their income comes from donations and plant sales. There is small cafe offering a range of food and hot and cold drinks.

Here is a small selection of the plants and cacti on view:

I could of posted more but I think you can get an idea of the variety.

I didn’t see any restrictions regarding photography, but to be honest I wasn’t really looking. Some of the paths are quite narrow so I wouldn’t think they would be too happy if you had a tripod and started causing an obstruction for other people.

Anyone with mobility issues should check the website for accessibility.

Scottish Highlands 2022

Welcome to the Scottish Highlands 2022 post, our annual visit to Scotland. This year the weather was typically Scottish. Sun, showers, sun, heavy rain, showers etc.

The conditions did provide for some interesting cloud. As this was a holiday and not a photographic trip there won’t be any amazing sunset (or sunrise) vistas. At this time of year your looking at sunrise around 4.30am and sunset around 10.00pm.

Here’s an example of the sort of things I did capture:

It’s a standing joke in the family that the holiday hasn’t started until we get a shot of Stac Pollaidh (or as anyone not from Scotland calls it – Stac Polly).

The above shot shows one of the small island ferries on the right with a visiting sailing ship on the left. The sailing ship was moored up in Ullapool but moved before I could get a shot of it.

The next two shots are from Loch Ewe. The metal sculpture of the soldier on look out links back  to the Second World War when the Loch was used as an assembly point for the Russian artic convoys.

Here we see a typical Highland mountain and road scene:

Sometimes you get a scattering of sheep across the roads.

We didn’t see too many deer on this visit. Depending on your point of view that can be a good thing or a bad thing. They can present good photo opportunities but can also be hazard to road users. In the past we have had to swerve around a stag that suddenly jumped into the middle of the road.

This was as close as I got to a sunset photo without causing too much family disruption. We’ve enjoyed an evening or two sat on that bench, however on this occasion it was a bit too breezy for that.

We have had better (and worse) weather on our Scottish holidays. On the bright side between the memory of covid and everything else going on at the moment we are fortunate to enjoy a week away.

Rain or shine the time always seems to fly by and we find ourselves heading home too soon…


Water and sky

A trio of images from last weeks nature reserve walk, featuring water and sky.

All taken on my iPhone. As with everything in life using a smartphone for photography does come with some compromises.

You can forget about the long range telephoto shots. Although having said that I never really carried around a long telephoto anyway.

The macro capability isn’t quite the same as  carrying a dedicated macro lens (obviously).

But focussing on the advantages – I’m not carrying a camera bag of gear and swapping lenses. I can do ‘Slo Mo’ water shots without a tripod so I’m not carrying a tripod either.

I’m currently only using my iPhone for photography, in a bid to see if I can go ultra light. If I’m honest I do have a bit of FOMO at the moment. After years of carrying some sort of bag with extra lenses I do feel a bit ‘naked’.

Time will tell if just using a smartphone for photography will work for me. i did have a short dalliance with a Motorola G4 some years ago and produced this.

Our annual trip to the Scottish Highlands will probably be the clincher. For the first time I’m only taking my phone. My better half doesn’t quite get the gravity of my sacrifice, responding with ” I only ever use my phone”.

I’m not suggesting that others should ditch their gear and go minimalist, I’m just trying it as an interesting experiment. As such I need to give it a fair shot and resist carrying a bag full of gear.

I will do a post along the lines of ‘The Scottish Highlands with a phone’  in due course.

A bunch of flowers and a phone

Yeah I know.. you’d rather be out taking photos… but a bunch of flowers and a phone can keep you occupied on those days you have to wait in for parcel deliveries.

Here are some roses

Without diving into the camera bag and setting up a tripod, you could still capture some close up images.

All these were taken on my iPhone. I did move the vase into the conservatory (with the blinds shut) for some more diffused lighting.

Now you could say that didn’t take long. Maybe. Maybe not.

Let’s look at it another way. You decide you want to take some photos but you can’t go out. So you think what can I photograph. Then you think where, what about lighting, angles, shadows etc. Although your still at home the whole process is the same as taking a shot anywhere else.

Your in the zone, your mind is now engaged in photography mode. You’ve escaped for however long and got some practice in. Think of photography like going down the gym – to get any benefit you have to do it regularly.

So some photographic entertainment at your finger tips or should that be flower tips🤔

You also now have an excuse (should you need one) to buy the other half even more flowers.

Go on get some brownie points in the bank…..


Change your angle

To get a different view of things why not change your angle.

On my latest local reserve walk I came across a couple of subjects that benefitted from an odd angle.

This veritable little forest was actually growing on top of a fence post that was only about four inches across. It looks like it’s ready to entwine anything that gets too close.

Talking of which, have a look at this:

You can just imagine something coming out of the middle of this, a bit like in the Alien movies. What do you mean you haven’t seen them? – Perhaps I watch too many movies🤔

Anyway, by changing the way we look at things we quite often see something differently. This doesn’t just apply to photographic subjects though.

Sometimes we need to change the way we look at other people and other situations.

In respect of the former I’ll leave you this little snippet of wisdom:

If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you.


Sea abstract

A trio of sea abstracts taken on a sunny but windy day.

After having an early lunch we decided on a bracing walk along along the beach. Considering the conditions there were quite a few people about.

I thought I would try some long exposure abstract shots for two reasons. 1. I don’t normally do long exposures. 2. I don’t normally do abstract 😀

My favourite shot of the day has to be the second one. Head on seems to work better than the first shot at an angle.

These shots were literally spur of the moment, my first experience using the long exposure option on my smartphone at the beach.

I think I will use this feature more in due course. The potential to explore long exposure photography without lugging a tripod around is appealing.

This short outing also got me thinking about doing some abstract photography, a genre I’d previously not really thought about.


I’m not really a morning person especially when it’s frosty. But if you want outdoor pictures in the frost you don’t have much choice. So forcing myself to get up and defrost the car I ventured  down the local reserve.

Of course it would be rude not to stop on the way for a bacon and sausage roll and a coffee. Yes the independent bakery was open early in the morning, had already cooked the bacon, sausages and baked the rolls. And here’s me thinking I was up early 😀.

Enough about getting there, here are some images:

My last one is the days favourite. When I see Snowdrops I always think Spring isn’t too far away, mornings and evenings will get lighter and the weather will warm up.

So here’s to things getting better as spring approaches, not only locally but hopefully globally.