How I Shot It – Devil’s Burdens, West Lomond

This weekend I headed into the Lomond Hills in Fife, a place I’ve often looked at and thought about visiting, but never had.

One of the photographers I follow on Facebook (Fox in the snow Photography) recently shared an image from a particular part of the Lomond Hills that immediately made me want to visit them. It was from a rocky outcrop on West Lomond known as “The Devil’s Burdens” – there are various local legends surrounding the name of the rocks apparently, I’ve yet to track any of them down though. Here is the section of the formation I choose to focus on during my visit:

Devils Burdens Sunrise

The rocks are volcanic in origin and absolutely stunning to see! The main column in this image appears to be freestanding, there are a few loose rocks in between it and the main body of rocks, but otherwise it appears freestanding!

Anyway, this post is meant to be talking about how I shot this image! It was a beast of a location to reach in the amazing snow we had at the weekend, most of the route in was knee deep snow, which was stunning to walk through, but tiring! Given the underfoot conditions, I decided to stay away from the edges of the rocks to shoot. The settings for the image were: 22mm, 1/15 Sec, f/11, ISO100 shot on a Canon 5D MKIII using a Canon 17-400mm f/4 lens. There was a fairly big difference in the exposure needed for the sky and for the rocks and hillside, so to balance this, I used a LEE Filters 0.9 Hard Grad placed as shown in the image below:

Devils Burdens Grad Filter Placement

The line just above the rocks shows where the effect of the filters graduation begins and the red shading shows the extent of what the filter covered. The filtering for this image was fairly easy to assess and put into practice – it would have been a bit more complicated had the rocks stuck out a bit more or had I chosen a lower viewpoint for the shot! Deciding on the compostion for the image was fairly straightforward as well. I wanted the image to mainly be about the rocks, so I decided to use the bottom 2/3’s of the image for those and the top 1/3 for the sky – the formation fits quite well into the rule of thirds when you look at it with the thirds diagram on it:

Devils Burdens Rule of Thirds

Although this isn’t the most complicated image I’ve put together or the hardest I’ve had to work for an image, I still love the image and can’t wait to get back to this location! It’s also a great image for getting me back into the swing of blogging here!

Thanks for reading,



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