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Abroad in Scotland and Prince William Gets Knighted at St. Giles Cathedral

My fiance and I just took our first trip to Europe together – Scotland was the logical choice; neither of us have ever been, so this trip was exciting in more ways than one! I scrambled to get the necessary paperwork together since I’ve never really needed a passport before. Expediting is a godsend by the way and well worth the added fee.

Scotland, UK was our number one choice for a few reasons…

  1. We discovered the Rock N’ Roll marathon series sponsors a half marathon here (no, we didn’t run on this trip, thankfully).
  2. Scotland received rave reviews by close friends and relatives.
  3. The Highlands are absolutely gorgeous.
  4. Whisky. Enough said.

Driving on the other side of the road was challenging and made me cringe quite a few times on the narrow, winding roads facing oncoming vehicles overstepping their boundaries, but I wouldn’t have done this trip any other way; I also have a new appreciation for Ford and a diesel engine.

Our trip began in Glasgow after an overnight flight. We drove in a clockwise circle through Loch Lomond, Oban, Mull, Iona, Glencoe, Isle of Skye, Inverness, Pitlochry, St. Andrews, and finally Edinburgh, the country’s capital city.

To sum up this trip in one word… epic. Scotland is beautiful, the food is fantastic, the cask beer is to die for, and the whisky and distillery tours are worth the trip alone.

Prince William Gets Knighted at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh

Part II of our trip was in Edinburgh; we stayed for three full days. Unknown at the time of booking this trip was the fact that Prince William was being knighted at St. Giles Cathedral into the Order of the Thistle. The Queen was also visiting her home at Holyrood Palace for the week so street parking was a bit chaotic at times. Also, I was a little bummed that we couldn’t enjoy high tea at the palace cafe. Maybe next time I’ll get a personal invite. I can only dream…

Prince William was knighted into the Order of the Thistle Thursday morning, which from what I understand is the highest order in Scotland. The only Order that precedes this is the Order of the Garter in England, which he also previously received. Cool stuff! And noble!

I had an opportunity to take a few photos at St. Giles Cathedral on Wednesday morning while most of the population was still having breakfast. I paid my £4 £2 to the cathedral and had to move quickly before visitors washed into my photos. I found the perfect vantage point, set up, and clicked a few frames. Here is the end result of today’s post. Enjoy!

A symmetrical wide angle photo of St. Giles Cathedral pillars, stained glass, altars, and old stone.

Brotherhood Winery and My First Wide Angle Experiment

I love Brotherhood Winery; not only for their fantastic wine, but also their underground cellars and old stone hall. So what if the grapes are mostly grown in Chile.

Technically, Brotherhood is not a vineyard because their grapes are grown offsite at other locations in New York; their grounds are still beautiful so it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, Brotherhood Winery has the oldest underground wine cellar in America and some of the most visually stunning tasting rooms I have seen to date. Try their Riesling; you won’t be disapponted!

Let’s Go Wide Angle For a Sweeping Brotherhood Winery Hall Interior View

I recently picked up a new lens to be used for landscapes and interiors; it’s the Nikkor 24mm 2.8D for those of you that are interested. What really made me decide to go with the D model over the G is that the focal distance chart is easier to read than the 1.4G counterpart. Also, it’s not too important for my shooting style to have that extra two stops since I won’t be using this little guy for portraits. I have a nifty 50 1.4 for that sort of thing.

I wanted to get my camera close to a foreground element, the barrel in this case, and see how sharp this 24mm lens is at its hyperfocal distance. If I remember correctly, I’d say I was just over 2 feet from the barrel, which still gave me an acceptably sharp foreground at f/16.

I love these multiple light source photographs because of how they create such mood… particularly, those warm tones against the stone from the incandescent light fixtures mixed with swathing sunlight from the doorway and distant barn door.

Wine barrels mixed with old stone, wooden beams, incandescent light, and swathing sunlight create the perfect mood.