Largs: a Viking Saga

When you think about Vikings, what comes to mind? For me it's long ships, drinking horns, mead, etc. When visiting the seaside town of Largs you will meet two Vikings of a completely different kind. The first is a 16ft (5 m) high Viking statue, made of galvanised steel, given to the town by North Ayrshire Council to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs (1263). Going by the name of Magnus, it is situated across from the iconic Nardinis building. The second, and subject of this post, is a floral Viking statue, installed on the grass area adjacent to the RNLI lifeboat staton. Viking floral statue When it comes to floral arrangements, this is one of the best I have ever seen. But when I think about Vikings and the Battle of Largs, I'm afraid flowers do not instantly come to mind.

Let's get to work! Things I wish to achieve in this project:

  • To make the subject not look like a statue.
  • Create a sense of movement within the image, as if the statue is alive and coming toward you.
  • Create an atmospheric image which echoes the past.

Where do we start? As a general rule of thumb I always start with the colour scheme. This is because, in my opinion, colour plays vital part in the emotional and atmospheric aspect of an image. As I am trying to create an image with a historic feel then we are faced with two options:

  1. A muted colour palette
  2. Black and white

With this image I have decided on a monochromatic colour scheme. Mainly because I feel that black and white is a better fit for the historic feel I want the image to convey, plus I want the flowers that make up the statue to be less prominent - almost becoming a texture. Creating an effective black and white image is not just a case of desaturating a colour photograph, you need to make various adjustments to achieve the image you require.

Before I talk further about the image, lets take a look at the finished project:

Viking display - retouched.

What do you think? Now we have an image where the floral Viking appears to be coming towards us, almost as if in the midst of battle. To create this illusion I have added mud like splatters to the outer edges as if there was a photographer there and the mud was splattering the camera lens.

Now for the finishing touches. Firstly I darken the outer edges of the image in order to frame the main subject, then finally I added noise to the image, this reduces the quality of the original image whilst giving it a grainy aged photograph feel.

I really hope that you have enjoyed this post, and if you have an image that you would like given a similar treatment as the one above please feel free to contact us with your image at For more information on all the services we provided please visit our website at

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.