So today was one of those days when a bit of improvisation paid off, resulting in a lovely coastal walk at Drumbuie. Originally, I had planned to walk to Coille Dalavil on the Sleat peninsula on Skye, with my Border Collie, Broc. However, after a very short distance down the path, I realised I was going to have to negotiate a herd of feeding cattle. The area around the path was a quagmire and my dog is very nervous of cattle, with good cause. The cattle quickly saw the dog and started towards us, so I decided discretion was the better part of valour, and as there was no easy way around them due to the wet boggy ground, I headed back to the car and then off in search of a new location for a walk. I drove round the coastal road to Ord and we spent a little while on the beach while I took a few shots looking towards Suisinish and the Cuillins. The light was not generally great, with lots of cloud covering most of the main Cuillin ridge, but Bla Bheinn was occasionally peeping out of the clouds, showing off its amazing skyline. The above shot is the best of today's collection, with the little patch of sunlight on the Kilmarie peninsula in front of the mountain really adding to the scene.
I then decided to head home and opted for a walk around the coast at Drumbuie and Port an Eorna, back on the Balmacara Estate. Again, because of the likelihood of cattle feeding around the main croft access road I decided to do the circular route in an anit-clockwise direction, going down to Port an Eorna first and then round the coast as far as Drumbuie. The shot below was taken from the edge of the croft land at Drumbuie, looking westward towards Skye. The small islands in Port Cam, off Drumbuie, and the stunted trees on the foreground headland really set the scene nicely. I pretty much tried to balance the exposure to avoid losing detail in the sky but retaining as much detail on the sea and foreground as possible. I darkened the sky a little using a grad filter in post-processing, and I also lightened the foreground slightly, as it had become a bit silhouetted. The washed out winter colours of the land and the pale cerluean sky are beautifully offset by the warm glow of the low sun, just out of the scene to the left. The amazing subtle colours in the clouds really made this a compelling shot for me.
As expected the cattle were gathered around the main gate at Drumbuie, so rather than try to force my way through them with the dog I just about-turned and headed back the way i had come. While a bit disappinting it meant I did get a longer walk - much to Broc's delight. As I got back to the car the light was really improving, as the sun got lower in the sky, and I got the next two shots looking across the Duirinish crofts.
Finally on the way home I stopped the car on the roadside, hoping not to cause anyone too much of an issue, so I could try and capture the following shot, looking beyond Erbusaig towards Skye. The light was very dramatic and this view often appears very foreshortened, adding to the impact. I used my 45-200mm lens, which on thesmall mirrorless camera is equivalent to a 90mm lens of a full frame dslr, so it added a bit more zoom, increasing the foreshortening effect a little. The road leads the viewer's eye into the frame and the v-shape of the valley frames the dramatic background really well. Sometimes it pays to stop the car, although I am often not very good at doing just that.
So, while not exactly what I had planned, it turned out to be an excellent afternoon out for a lovely walk with the dog. Best laid plans are sometimes better changed!
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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