I have seen this islotaed tree from the road for a long time and thought it would possibly make a good shot with the South Cluanie ridge in the background, if the weather was right. I took this shot this morning after a very early return trip to Inverness to get my car from the garage. The snow on the hills, not a complete covering, always adds texture and detail to the landscape and the tree growing out of the rock adds a lovely focal point in the foreground. The brooding sky behind the hills provided enough interest and colour to make the whole scene rather special.
It is unusual to get out with the camera at first light and then again at the end of the day, on the same day. However, today I managed it. Late this afternoon I headed out with Aileen for a drive in search of some shots. First we headed up the North road at Auchtertyre and I took a couple of shots from the viewpoint half way up the hill. The above shot is looking east towards Kintail and the following shot is looking west towards Kirkton and Skye.
We then headed past Achmore towards Loch Carron where the sleaty rain started but with some great sunshine behind from the west. The result was this fantastic rainbow over Loch Carron. Sadly the rain was a bit heavy and it was almost impossible to keep the lens clear of raindrops resulting in a fair few smudges. I tried my best clone these out in Lightroom but this is something I have never quite mastered. Still it was impressive so I have included it here.
From there it was back to Kyle and over the Skye Bridge, stopping briefly for the shot below.
It had not been our intention to go all the way to Broadford but the light was turning really excellent in that direction so I encouraged Aileen to head further west to Ashaig where I got these two final images. After that, our reward was hot chocolate at Cafe Sia and then home. A lovely way to spend the last of the afternoon.
This morning was an early start with Eilish and Isabel, aiming to be on the west side of the Sleat Peninsula for sunrise at 8am. The forecast was for it to be cloudy but clearing for 9am and was pretty accurate, although there was a bit more cloud and some serious wintery squalls, including a fair bit of sleat. Initially it did not look great with poor light abd wet cold weatehr at Ord so we headed on to Tarskavaig where things improved. We ended up heading back to Ord as the weather got better and better with some lovely light illuminating the Cuillins. The conditions were pretty testing though with extremely bright light in the sky and on the hills while the foreground was generally in shade and pretty dim. As a result, for the above shot I applied a digital ND Grad filter in Lightroom and lightened up the foreground a little to try and get something more like the real view.
The following shots required a similar amount of adjustment to try and recover detail in the dark areas and limit the exposure in the brighter bits. All, in all, considering I did not use any actual filters on the camera, I think they came out reasonably well.
This morning brought our first snow of the winter, really more like sleat than snow, but at times the road was a bit white. I got this lucky shot from the Kinlochewe to Torridon road on my way to a meeting this morning. I just happened to see an interesting spot of light to the right of the view and stopped to try a shot or two. Meanwhile the storm closed in on the mountain and the bright spot got larger and brighter finally resulting in this rather spectacular double rainbow. It really did get this dark, despite being 10 am.
This first group of shots were taken on Canna on Sunday evening, the calm before the storm. The late evening light was extremely good with the wonderful terrain of Canna lit up looking east towards Rum and the sun setting beyond Hyskeir Lighthouse.
This shot was actually taken from the Mallaig to Armadale ferry on my way home this evening. The light was really good with a setting sun behind Eigg as the following couple of shots illustrate.
Yesterday I had to take a trip to Gairloch and was frtunate to have a little bit of time on the way home to get this shot of Slioch which was beautifully lit up by the early afternoon sunshine. The sky was a bit uninteresting being almost entirely blue but the few clouds did add a little to the scene. I set this up with the Scots pine tree in the foreground to add interest and colour contrast. There are some wonderful ancient Caledonian pinewoods along the shores of Loch Maree and these trees are a few of the outliers.
I took a shot with a bigger zoom to try and catch the detail of the mountainn but to be honest I felt it was a bit flat in colour. I conerted this one to black & white using Nik's Silver Efex Pro software and I think it works a bit better.
Another spectacular sunrise this morning. This was taken from just outside the front door, catching the amazing colours as the sun rose behind Sgurr Mor. We get these great sunrises at this time of year, just at normal getting up time. This one was made, in my opinion, by the clouds etched in purple against the faint blue of the sky and the deep reflection on the sea.
I took this shot, just outside the Eden Court Theatre, on my way to see the grils performing at the Ness Islands Halloween Show tonight. Lovely evening and lots of folk having a great time with spooky goings on in the woods!
We took the opportunity of having a free afternoon with half decent weather to take a trip over to Skye for lunch and a wee photoshoot detour to Torrin. The light had improved later in the afternoon and I remebered this stunted tree as a possible interesting foreground feature for a shot of Blabheinn. Unfortunately someone else was there taking shots when we arrived so I had to look for some other locations while I waited for him to move on. The follwig shot is of the burn which runs down into Loch Slapin.
This shot of Blabheinn was taken on the way to Torrin with a bit of telephoto zoom to emphasise the height of the mountain with the reeds on Loch Cille Chriosd in the foreground. I had thought this would look good in colour but the reeds were just a bit beige and not very interesting. When converted to black & white I think it looks much more interesting.
On the way home the light to the east was very dramatic with heavy dark clouds over the mainland and occasional sunny spots in Broadford Bay. As we were approaching Waterloo the sun was shining on Pabay with the background very dark and brooding and I had to stop and try and capture it. Unfortunately it was passing by the time I got out of the car and set up with the camera, but this worked OK considering. It is a bit soft for, possibly a bit of camera shake because I didn't take the time to open up the aperture and increase the shutterspeed in my rush to capture the shot before the light moved on.
17 days since the sun last shone properly in Lochalsh as far as I can remember and I had to be in Inverness. However, on the way home I arrived at reraig just in time to cacth this sunset, looking towards the Skye Bridge. This only lasted for a few minutes so I was really lucky. It just goes to show that it pays to always have a camera with you.
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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