I am just back from four days camping with my daughter in Coigach, Assynt and Durness. While the weather could have been better from a camping and being out and about perspective it did provide some excellent highlights in relation to photography, not a little assisted by the fantastic landscape. While this is an area I know and love very well I never tire of going back. This time I vowed not to just take the same old shots but inevitably in some cases I failed, e.g. the above shot of Suilven, and the wider shot below, both taken from the road to Clachtoll. In this case I thought the clouds and broken sunshine provided more interest tan I have managed to capture in some of my previous shots from this favourite location.
One of the most amazing this trip was the amount of rowan berries and just how bright red they were. The view from Loch Drumbeg towards Quinaig (below) includes a little example to the right hand side, framing the shot as well as helping to block out the very bright direct sun which threatened to over-expose the shot completely. Once again though it is really the sky that makes this shot I think. We were blessed with lots of windy weather so there was a lot of movement in the clouds leading to many opportunities for wide angle shots of the expansive landscapes typical of the north-west.
This shot was taken from the roadside between Drumbeg and the Quiraing. This road has to be one of the most scenic anywhere in the country as well as being one of the most up & down. This image does not really do the road justice, sloping as it does at 25% down towards the sea. I am amazed that with the advent of the North Coast 500 tourist route that they bypassed this section in favour of the main route along Loch Assynt and over to Kylesku. Still, it does mean that this road remains relatively quiet, probably a good thing. If you get the chance, the road from ullapool to Lochinver, via Inverkirkaig and then on to Clachtoll and Drumbeg is worth the effort, but it does take time. From there up to Durness is more main road but quite a contrast with some of the most rocky terrain you will find in the country.
Balnakiel beach is one of the most spectacular stretches of golden/white sand. This farm house is situated at the end of the road where the beach and sand dunes begin. I always think that the house is a classic Scottish house, looking incredibly brooding and almost menacing. It really ought to feature somewhere in "Outlander". The beach almost always has great waves and offers wide open vistas and enormous skies.
The shot above was taken quite late in the evening looking east over Sango Sands at Durness. The light was quite unusual with the sun setting behind me, among heavy cloud, but to the east there were these strange rays and briefly a rainbow appeared. After a while, the colours deepened and intensified, although the rays and rainbow disappeared, to produce the image below - no enhancements, honest.
The remaining shots were taken on a trip from Durness to Bettyhill and Strathnaver. It was a bright sunny day, but again very windy, so there were some spectacular waves and cloud formations.
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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