The Whangie

The Whangie (‘whang’ being slang for ‘thick slice’) is a massive gash in the rock face below Auchineden Hill. There are various scientific explanations given as to how this geological wonder was formed including glacial plucking and an earthquake. However, a much more interesting and colourful explanation is the myth that the Whangie was formed by the Devil flicking his tail in anticipation of pleasure as he flew over Stockie Muir on his way to attend a Witches’ Sabbath.

The combination of this geological wonder and the myth of it’s origin is the inspiration behind my new photographic project: capturing geological features in the Scottish landscape attributed to and associated with the devil or the occult.

Taking this image posed a real challenge, capturing the wide angle as well as the dark shadows of the rock face and the bright highlights of the cloudy sky. I briefly toyed with the idea of using multiple natural density graduates, but the shape of the sky in the composition made that virtually impossible. So I decided on taking the below nine images consisting of three sets of three bracketed images (-3, 0 and +3 stops) taken with my 24mm tilt and shift lens (shifted left, middle, right).

Next, I converted each of the individual nine colour images to black and white using Silver Efex Pro, ensuring each is converted with identical settings, before I stitched the nine B&W images into an HDR panorama using PTGui Pro, giving me the final image above.

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