Today involved a quick visit to Torrin, while we were on Skye, to check out a rumour that the stunted tree in my 2017 photo "Stunted Tree & Bla Bheinn" had recently disappeared. Sadly, the rumour was true, so there will be no more shots of this wonderful mountain with that stunted and twisted old tree in the foreground.
However, it was late in the afternoon and the late sunshine was producing some lovely light. The main shot above was taken on the way home, from the Torrin to Broadford road. I always like this spot on the road when travelling to Torrin. You come round a bend and Bla Bheinn is just standing there, looking massive, when it is not shrouded in cloud and mist. Today, the contrast between the grey and white of the snow dusted mountain and the last of the autumn trees in the foreground, the latter being lit up by the suinshine, made for an excellent shot I think. I tried a few different compositions, but really like this one, which was taken with a bit of zoom (170mm), focusing in on the detail of the most spectacular bit of the hill, and foreshortening the distance to add a sense of the dramatic.
Earler, while in Sleat at the An Crubh Centre, I took this shot of Beinn Sgritheall. I used my brand new Zomei glass ND4 grad filter to darken the sky a bit, allowing the foreground to be better exposed. This is my first glass ND filter, having previously been restricted to the cheaper resin ones, and while Zomei may not be Lee, they are much more affordable, and as you can see the quality is very impressive I think. The image is very sharp and I did not need to make any post-processing adjustments to correct any colour cast which commonly result with the cheaper resin filters.
I had a great day out with the camera yesterday, with Caz Austen. We visited a few places around Loch Maree, the pinewoods of Beinn Eighe and Torridon on a wonderful sunny day with pristine blue skies. The hills had a little dusting of snow on their tops, contrasting beautifully against the blue sky and the last of the autumn colours.
The above shot was taken from the shore of Loch Maree looking towards Slioch. The low angle does reduce the impact of the height of the mountain a little, but I like the composition with the rocks in the foreground leading the viewer into the frame. The next shot better illustrates the steepness of the hillside on the north side of the loch.
We arrived at Loch Maree relatively early, and the light on the trees on the north side produced an attractive image, captured in the following shot. There was a bit of frost on the trees, creating a slightly muted colour palette.
Just back from the shore are some amzing pine trees and a truly odd birch tree. The following two shots show, first the amazing roots of a large granny pine, right by the shore of the loch. These roots must have been exposed by the waters of the loch and they create a marvellous pattern against the stones. The second shot is of a twisted birch branch. The branch is about 30cm in diameter and looks like it has been corkscrewed somehow.
Further from the loch, moving uphill slightly, there is the pinewood proper, with a great array of old and young trees, offering occasional vistas across the loch towards the hills on the north side. The first shot was taken looking through the trees towards Slioch again. The second, looking slightly further east to a smaller knoll known as Beinn A' Mhuinidh. The early light shining on patches of the woodland provided a lovely mix of light and shade, with some trees highlighted beautifully.
On turning round from taking this shot to put my camera back in my backpack, I noticed some lovely frosted blaeberries growing out of purple sphagnum moss. I decided to experiment with a little macro photography using my Sigma 105mm macro lens and a variety of combinations of extension tubes to try and get in really close. These two shots are the best of the lot. I love the frost crystals on the leaves.
By this time it was nearing luncthime so we decided to head to Torridon for some food. On the way I decided to stop for a quick visit to Loch Clair to catch the views of Liathach and its reflection in what had to be a flat calm loch. My guess was accurate and on arrival we were both stunned by the perfection of the view. Quite a bit later we left for a late lunch with lots of shots and just about every angle covered. These are a selection of my favourites, some in colour, others in balck & white.
After lunch we headed along the north side of Loch Torridon to Diagbaig. By this time the light was getting pretty low, but it was still quite bright. The low angle of the sun was producing wonderfully warm light and amazing colours. It had been a long time since I was last in Diabaig, it wont be so long again as it is a fantastic place for photography.
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer 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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