Beauly Priory was chosen because Ducky is from Beauly, and knows the place well, and because it is a beautiful building that I had not thoroughly visited before. I had been there briefly a while ago, but there was plenty of restoration work being done at the time, and it was also not the best weather, so I took a few pictures with the camera on my smartphone but did not take any proper photographs. This time I was supposed to bring the nice Canon camera I use when I am taking "proper" photographs, but I couldn't find the charger the day before, or any batteries with full charge (it has been ages since I took it out) so the "point and click" camera had to do.
|Ducky standing in the front door. Photo by HouseCat|
Beauly Priory is a wonderful Gothic building, which has long been out of use as an actual priory, is mostly in a state of ruin, and has since been used as a graveyard, with people interred actually within the building (hence the headstone behind Ducky) as well as around the building. The priory is undergoing a process of restoration, so a large portion was surrounded in scaffolding and temporary fencing. We left all of that area well alone, but the positions of the fences made it hard to walk around the priory without walking on grave-slabs. I find actually walking on them both disrespectful to those interred and likely to damage any inscriptions and carvings with repetetive passings.
Ducky ended up wearing my sunglasses. I had them in my raincoat pocket. Yes, Scottish weather is changeable enough that it is entirely possible to need sunglasses and a raincoat is quick succession. I'm often carrying sunglasses and a compact umbrella in my handbag at the same time, especially in "summer". We're prone to 'all four seasons in one day' weather.
|Ducky wearing my sunglasses. They were in my raincoat.|
I took several photographs of both Ducky and Catastrophe Plague. They are not a couple, just good friends. I liked using the wall as a backdrop because there is just so much of it, and the textures of the stone, and the varying colours, look interesting. The patches of colour I presume indicate patches of construction as it was built in sections with stones from different places, or different batches of quarrying. The stones look recently repointed, probably part of the recent restoration work.
|Both friends infront of the wall. Photo by the HouseCat.|
|Looking sorrowful in the archway. Photograph by HouseCat|
|Portrait of Catastrophe Plague|
I took some close-ups of Catastrophe, in a portrait style. I think the walls of the Priory are just beautiful, and so used them for the backdrop as much as possible. Catastrophe is lucky to have very nice cheek-bones, so I tried to pick angles that would highlight that. I am really not very experienced at taking portraits at all, so would quite like any advice my readers have on taking better pictures.
|Hair adjusting pose. Photograph by the HouseCat.|
Catastrophe was doing some hair adjustment, and I thought it would make for an interesting composition, so Catastrophe ended up hair-tweaking about four times for this. I am frustrated that the raised arm came out a bit too bright compared to the rest of the skin tones, but other than that, am quite happy. The dress makes me think 'Game of Thrones' meets 'Lord of The Rings'. especially with all the vertical seams and the layering - another reason to capitalise on the splendid medieval building!
|Yellow roses signify happiness, if I remember rightly.|
Catastrophe has a great fondness of roses, so especially requested this one with the yellow roses by the perimeter wall. I think the perimeter wall is a Victorian or later addition. The stones are far more finely dressed (cut more neatly) and there is fancy Gothic Revival carving on some points. I am not happy with the contrast on the roses, but I am not sure how to fix it in a satisfactory manner, as I think the lightest petals are just too washed out. I altered the contrast on the rest of the image as it needed more contrast, with the flowers masked out, but I do not know how to improve them.
|Photograph of me by Ducky|
I took several more photos of both Ducky and Catastrophe, but these ones were the best o the bunch. I took 95 photographs in total, and about a dozen of them were reasonable - I think that is a good ratio of useable photographs to dud ones! I will be taking more photographs of friends willing to model, so I hope my readers like the idea of this project.