Castles, Cathedrals and Churches by Neil Alexander

Just before I head off to the Lake District again, I've a few new prints to share from the appropriately but rather convolutedly titled gallery, "Castles, Cathedrals and Churches". There'll be a few more going up in the coming weeks. You'll notice that this wee gallery is currently somewhat biased towards one of the most photographed castles in the UK, Eilean Donan. Situated on small tidal island where three great sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland, the castle is surrounded by stunning scenery and dates back to the 6th Century. It's hard not to stop when passing and grab a few frames however poor the light! 

There's even a live webcam here.

Check out some of the prints from this gallery here. Prices start at a mere £27.

Until next week.


Using nature to frame the subject by Neil Alexander

Stirling Castle, Scotland. Prints and canvases of this and other images of castles can be seen here.

A simple skill for any photographer to improve their compositional skills is to learn how to frame a subject. It can focus the viewer's eye on an area of the photograph where you’d like their eye to fall initially. But why bother? Because as photographers, we’re visual storytellers and in our photographs we have to be able to clearly demonstrate to the viewer what the subject is to draw them in to our work. Popping a frame of some description around it simplifies matters for the viewer and helps to focus (excuse the pun) the eye on what I intended to be the key element of the photograph. Clearly, the castle is the smallest element in the photograph but you see it first. It’s a very simple lesson and very easy to do.

Taken quite literally at the side of the road, the gaps in the trees either side of this spot were either too big (I couldn’t get enough of them in the frame) or they were too close together (and the castle become a much larger element in the image). By just taking my time to assess the scene before I planted my tripod gave me the opportunity to make a much better photograph than if I’d just jumped out the car and started shooting at the first scene I saw.