After dropping my daughter at the early train in Kyle of Lochalsh I took advantage of the beautiful frosty morning light to take some shots around the National Trust for Scotland's Balmacara Estate. The above shot is from the road junction at Drumbuie, looking towards Duirinish, across the crofts. The fields were literally shining silver in the morning light with deep shadow areas and some of the trees standing out illuminated by the sunshine. It would have been nice to have had a few clouds to add interest in the sky but you can't always get everything you want. In this case I had to zoom in a bit more than I would have liked as well, because the bright sun was shining just off to the right of the picture and would have blown out that part of the image. The tree just peeping into the right of the image would have provided an excellent bright yellow frame but not with the sun shining behind it. As it was I had little choice but to revert to auto-bracketing three shots, +/- 2 stops, and merging them using the HDR tool in Lightrom to retain the foreground colours. I try not to use HDR but when shooting subjects with this amount of dynamic range there is little choice, unless you want a silhouette effect.
This shot was taken from the roadside at Badicaul, lookig over the Inner Sound to Skye. The foreground tree is one of my favourites on the estate and with the gorse in full bloom and the hills of Skye illumintaed by the rising sun against a bright blue sky, the view was very colurful.
The following few shots were all taken from the roadside between Drumbiuie and Duirinish, looking at the crofts and fence patterns and the woodland and a few individual trees.
The final image below is an old favourite of mine, the old croft house at Drumbuie. The house was looking fine in the bright sunshine. The low angle of the light meant that part of the building was still in shade but the roof was highlighted bright red against the blue sky. The distant Applecross hills were clearly delineated provding an excellent backdrop.
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer (GIS) with his own part-time consultancy business and I work as an estate manager for a national conservation charity in Scotland. I am based in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Scotland, just next to the Isle of Skye.
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