Two foot snow drifts and an Egyptian goose

Well, the final Mirrie Dancers illumination is now showing – and what a show! I really like this one, it’s ethereal – or it was when I went for my first visit. It was bitingly cold with a strong NW wind, clear starry skies and a snow shower. The first challenge was to get my gear up the hill made slippery with vehicles having compressed the snow to ice and over the very narrow stile over a barbed wire fence carrying two cameras, tripods and other stuff whilst wrapped up like Michelin Man against the cold. Then to choose camera positions, one for the time-lapse sequence and the other camera for a series documenting the installation. The first location I chose for the time-lapse camera proved unfortunate – as darkness fell the light pollution from the adjacent house cast an orange glow across a bottom corner of the frame so I had to reposition, which spoiled the attempt to get a complete series from dusk to dark in the same location.

On to the second camera and I took shots from nearly every angle – as Roxane (one of the artists)  said, it’s visible from 360°. I took close up, arty, distant and environmental shots, with stars, distant streetlights, footprints in the snow and the rising Moon. Here’s a taster image and a full set will be on www.austintaylorphotography.com soon. I encountered a situation while taking this series of photos that I haven’t encountered before. The wind was blowing so strongly at one of the positions I chose that, even with my fairly substantial tripod, the camera was moving. So I tried to dig the tripod legs deeper in the snow but this just had the effect of splaying the legs like a bendy car aerial and achieved nothing until I closed the legs a bit and tried again allowing them to open as I pushed down. Later, while choosing another position, my legs splayed like a bendy aerial as me and the camera fell in a two foot snow drift – well it was dark so that’s why I failed to notice it! Needless to say I was glad to get back in the car and put the heater on full blast for the drive home!

And the Egyptian goose? Well, I’m not a twitcher but it’s a first for Shetland, is 5 minutes from my house and is very photogenic, so here it is.

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