It was a beautiful morning and early afternoon today so I took the opportunity of feeling much improved after a bout of the flu to get out with the camera and binoculars for a bit of photography and bird watching. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? I went for a lovely walk from Duirinish to Drumbuie and Port an Eorna, and back to Duirinish. This first shot was taken at the edge of Drumbuie township where a group of starlings were roosting in the lovely sunshine. The birds were beautifuly lit up by the oblique sunshine and the backdrop was in shadow making the birds stand out wonderfully.
I saw a good range of winter birds during the walk including the following Fieldfare which kept coming clser and closer, allowing me to try and get a half-decent shot. This was still extreme range with my small camera but it was well lit by the sun which was behind me, so it came out OK.
The main aim of the walk was to try and get some decent landscape shots. These are my favourite shots: the first one of the Cuillins in snow being taken from the shore at Badicaul. I have tried this shot a few times previously but continue to find it difficult to capture the grandeur and scale of the panoramic view. The hills have a tendancy to look much less impressive against the wide aspect so I took this as a panorama of ten shots with the camera held in portrait orientation to try and capture the height of the hills. I think it worked quite well.
This shot was taken from right beside the car at the cattle grid at Duirinish, looking north toward the Bealach na Ba just before it disappeared into snow clouds. The final shot was taken from Drumbuie looking towards Skye with one of my favourite stunted trees which grows out of a rock by the edge of the croft land. The tree provides foreground interest against the dramatic backdrop of the view towards the Cuillins of Skye. I liked this shot in colour, which was how I envisaged it, but something didn't quite work for me, so I tried converting it to black & white in Silver Efex Pro and I really liked the result, using a deep red filter to darken the sky, making the whole effect much more impactful.
This was the view from the foot of our drive this morning. I popped out with the camera, but not the full camera bag!, to try and catch some shots before the wonderful colours faded. I managed a few decent shots before the battery failed and of course I had left the spares in the bag back in the house. I tried various aspects, including a wide panorama but that did not work too well. This one is probably my favourite because of the slightly brighter colours but the following ones are not too bad, especially the one with the moon. The long exposrues has produced lovely smoothed water surfaces, despite it being very calm.
This morning I spent a few hours at Broadford Bay with Judith Bullivant doing a bit of bridwatching. These are the best two photos I managed to get of Greenshank and Dipper. They were a bit far away and the light was not great so a high ISO was required to get any sort of decent shutterspeed. Still not too bad considering the kit I was using.
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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