Thursday, 6 March 2008

Jim Downie - 'King of the Gloaming' for February 2008

I am very pleased to announce the most blogged member of Scotland in the Gloaming for the month of February 2008 is…

Jim Downie
- February's 'King of the Gloaming'.

Well done Jimbo. Thank you very much for your contribution to the outstanding standard of imagery that makes up the group pool.

I asked Jim to share a little of the background on his photography.

1. Below is his personal favourite gloaming photo which was featured on the blog in February.

"I can take you to the sun, to the sun...."

2. Tell us a little about how you shot the photograph, the location, what particular aspects attracted you, anything special you did to get the shot and any comments about the Scotland In The Gloaming group.

Hey, I'm just someone trying to take a few snaps. First of all I've discovered that if you don't take your camera wherever you go, and I mean everywhere you go - birthdays, on the bus, dinner in a restaurant, walking the dog, walking to work, at work, - sorry this is a bit trite - just don't go anywhere, ever without it. People will always say what's that? Why have you got that etc. etc.
But after a couple of weeks or so all your mates, relatives, uncles, aunties, children will just take it for granted that you ALWAYS carry it with you. Then you've got a chance to take things that you've always missed or not been brave enough to take. And catch the sort of things gracing this collection.

Anyway back to this site and why I thought it a good one.
We've all been used to seeing great shots of Scotland, especially in the twilight.
All I've done is try to break out off - SUN, SEA, SKY stuff of which there are great examples abundant here (many of them simply stunning) and always look for something that's not built round that formula.
Low Summer or even Winter light is such a great thing when it hits things side on (people, buildings, virtually anything) I'm sure that Islandboy had this in mind when he kicked this thing off.
Lets all try and push his idea a bit further.

The shot I've chosen is when I was walking back to my car at Craigielaw golf course near Aberlady.
I saw the sun moving so fast down over the horizon that I quickly dived into the boot of my car and could only rattle off 3 shots before it slid over the horizon.
The birds are a cheat. Dropped in from a shot I took at St Patrick's Square a week before. They're actually pigeons. You don't see many of them in Aberlady. Guilty as charged.
I apologize to all purists out there but the people who inspire me most on Flickr are people who push a bit more. There's too much make-weight trash being loaded. Let's keep this site moving forward with more and more surprises.
Thanks again.


I was hoping you'd choose that one Jimbo. It's a cracker. Kudos for spotting the opportunity of improving on an already excellently timed and composed shot. As far as purism is concerned, you're talking to the wrong guy, in a sense, as I've been using Photoshop as long as I've been taking photographs so I appreciate the extra artistic possibilities it provides within photographic art. Of course, where I would be more of a perfectionist is in the quality of execution of any image editing and this, like your other work (unlike the majority of image manipulation out there) certainly falls into the quality category as far as I'm concerned. Subtlety is the golden rule.

I can certainly attest to the fact that people do acclimatise to the perpetual presence of a camera with you over time, giving you shots you just wouldn't catch otherwise. I used to find this, more in college than now, when I carried my SLR with me everywhere.

I do find that high volume digital photography & photo sharing sites like Flickr tend to shift one more towards the photo journalistic "edit ye not" mind set than the art photography approach I more inclined to in film days which is ironic given that it's so much easier to work with your images in the digital era. Thanks for the reminder to keep our artistic eye open to the possibilities in a shot beyond the obvious.

Keep up the good work and well done.


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