Image of the week

This weeks image is a picture of the Isle of Mull shot from Islay.

On an incredibly clear day, Mull appeared just a few miles away, actually it is about eleven miles from this camera position.

Crisp clear light is what I love about Winter photography and makes this type of picture possible.

EXIF for this shot is  60 secs @ F7.1   ISO 100  Focal length 105mm

Image of the week

This weeks picture I think illustrates the very frosty week we have had here on Islay.

It is taken on the banks of the River Sorn with the frosted grass giving a very cool feel to the image.

EXIF for this image is 60 secs @ F11  ISO 250  Focal length 35mm

Artimate Snowgrips

As well as your camera and accessories every photographer has a number of other items in their artillery useful or necessary to do their job.

Over the future I will tell you and review some of these (often little) gadgets which make the job that bit easier.

First up is something I was going to get for last winter but didn’t so when I was in an outdoor shop this autumn I decided that now was the time before I miss another winter.

As the weather has panned out this winter they have been a real bonus, so what am I talking about.

Snowgrips, a sort of junior crampon, they attach to the sole of your climbing shoes to give extra grip in snowy or icy conditions.

They slip over the sole of your boots in just a few seconds and are removed as quickly which is useful as you wouldn’t normally wear them when on a solid surface.

Having said that I did drive over ten miles in them and it didn’t make driving awkward.

So do they work ?

Absolutely, I first tried them on a quick partial climb of the Paps of Jura, not deep snow but often frozen and also areas of ice. They made the whole experience of walking on these surfaces a lot more confident.

Basically they are six metal studs set into a flexible elastic support, the studs dig into the snow or ice to stop any sliding a bit like the way studded car tyres work.

On an area of sheet ice, I tried to slide across it but the studs dug in and I couldn’t slide even with my momentum trying to push me along.

One of the reasons why you perhaps wouldn’t wear them on a solid surface would be through increased wear of the studs.

So do they replace crampons ?

Definitely not, if you were ice climbing then the extra grip and security on crampons is vital.

The choice here is whether you would use something like this or nothing at all.

Then the decision would be a definite YES  especially as they cost £15 for a pair.

You would expect to pay well into three figures for even a ordinary  set of crampons but then they are  doing a different job.

There are a number of different but new solutions similar to these on the market now, some look useful but I am not sure about some of them.

Expect to pay from £10 upwards to around £45 but if our winters are going to carry on as the last two they could end up being a very useful purchase.

In my opinion they have already justified the case to be in my gadget box.

Value for money 10/10         Ease of use 9/10      Performance  9/10

Image of the week

After a short break for xmas and new year, I am back to a more regular routine on this blog starting with the image of the week.

I have just spent a couple of days in the Loch Lomond, Glen Coe and Glen Etive area with the added bonus of an overnight snowfall the previous night.

With bright conditions following, this area looked absolutely stunning (as it always does anyway).

So this is my pick of the images shot in this area, this is the River Etive with reflections of some of the snow capped mountains in the partially frozen river.

EXIF for this 1/320  @  F8  +.33 Exp comp   400 ASA   Canon 24-105 @ 92mmReflections in the River Etive