When I am in Glen Shiel I cannot resist taking a look at, and then capturing yet another image of The Saddle from the River Shiel. A winter ascent of The Saddle is one of the classic mountaineering routes of the Scottish Highlands, and the view of the peak and its pointed neighbour Faochag from the River Shiel is much underrated and neglected in favour of its more illustrious neighbours.
On this visit I ventured a little further down the glen from my usual viewpoint to a location where the river meanders, producing an interesting foreground that draws the eye ever further into the very heart of the image. Composition was critical because I wanted to frame the main subject with the descending ridges from adjacent mountains and also ensure that I retained the full width of the river meander within the image.
I am not a lover of afternoon light, but that falling on the peaks on this occasion provided a real 'Alpine Style' scene that was just too good to miss. Indeed the light was so bright that even using a fairly slow ISO my shutter speed at an aperture of f8 was 1/800 second. There was the inevitable temptation to close the lens down to further increase depth of field, but I did not consider it was necessary and worth the risk of introducing defraction into what was always going to a very sharp image throughout the field of view.
The final element in the construction of this image was the application of a 0.6 soft graduated neutral density filter. The Nikon D850 has a very wide dynamic range so very little filtration or post capture development adjustment was necessary to achieve perfect balance across the highlight and shadow areas of the image.
Time of Year : Early April.
Location and Map Reference : NH 00969 13347 : The River Shiel. Time : 1350 GMT.
Equipment : Nikon D850 Camera, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G AF-S ED Lens @ 55mm, Gitzo Systematic tripod, RRS BH-55-PCPRO head, Lee 0.6 ND Soft Graduated Filter.
Camera Settings : Shutter 1/800 sec, Aperture f8, ISO 100.