Last week I had a trip to Canna for work and was meant to be there from Tuesday to Thursday but a huge storm prevented the ferry from sailing on Thursday. As a result I was left having to wait until Sunday to get off the island and back home. This was not really a great hardship, although the weather remained poor until Saturday morning when I went for a long walk around the east end of the island. This shot is a panorama of two images of Canna's Harbour Bay from Blar na Carraigh. The light was challenging as the sun was shining brightly to the south. I tried various exposures but ended up resorting to merging three auto-bracketed shots into an HDR image using Lightroom. This was a process I was forced to use for a few of these shots but I think they accurately reflect the way things looked on the day. Normally I try to avoid using HDR but sometimes when the range of light is so enormous and you don't have any filters with you it can work well.
This image of the snow covered Cuillins of Rum was taken from the ferry on my way to Canna on Tuesday. The co;our version was good but it lacked real intensity due to the distance and the clouds just didn't impress me so I converted it to black & white in Lightroom and I feel it works much better.
This is basically the view from outside the Bothy where I was staying on the island. This was taken using a very wide angle (9mm - equivalent to 18mm in old 35mm film) cheap lenscap lens with a fixed aperture of f/8 and only three focus settings, infinity, distant and close-up focus options. This was taken using the distant setting and I straightened out the optical distrotion produced by such a wide angle lens using Lightroom. The colour version was nice but I prefer the emphasis on the clouds that the B&W produces.
This is another wide-angle shot taken from above the main village area on the island looking west with the farm land in the foreground and the island of Sanday in the distance.
The next couple of shots are of the two old churches on the island, the first the catholic St Edward's on Sanday and the second the presbyterian on on Canna. Both are no longer used as churches and sadly needing some significant repairs and ultimately a sustainable use.
The next four shots show the view westwards from Compass Hill towards the Sanday bridge and beyond that to Heiskeir Lighthouse. The one of the lazybeds, or Rig & Furrow patterns shows how the land would have been worked in the past, contrasting nicely with the more recent housing, a genuine cultural landscape.
Canna is well known for its cliffs, particularly on the north side. I don't have the best head for heights so avoided getting too close to the edge. Instead I meandered my way from east to north and back to the south facing crags, and eventually westward towards Tarbert and then down the steep slopes between the basalt columns before heading home along the Tarbert road. The landscape on the top of the island is rough with heathery knolls interspersed with boggy grassland and rocky crags and outcrops. The following shots attempt to illustrate this variety and some of the spectacular vistas that make climbing the steeper bits and navigating around all the bog areas worthwhile.
Finally, these ladies were just posing for a photography beside the Tarbert road.
This afternoon/evening I headed over to Kishorn with Aileen to drop off our daughter, Eilsh, and her friend Ellen for a sleepover. It was such a lovely day and having been stuck indoors all day I was keen to try and get some photos so I took the big backpack with all my DSLR kit. I was fortunate with the timing and as we arrived at Achintraid the sun was just setting behind the Cuillins on Skye. I took this first shot with my Sigma 150-500 mm lens at 150mm zoom, on the tripod. It actually looked quite a bit brighter than this image suggests but because I was zoomed in a bit the colours we captured in their full vibrancy, missing out most of the brighter sky above. This was one reason for not taking a wider angle shot. I tried the following shot at a slightly bigger zoom, to focus more on the area where the sun was disappearing behind the hills. Not much difference really but I like the slightly wider angle better.
The same setting sun was lighting up the Applecross Hills from the left and there was a really nice cloud sitting just above the Bealach na Ba which made an otherwise not very inspiring shot really come alive. The next two shots were taken from the same place, the first at 17mm zoom and the second at 35mm, thus cutting out the foreground rocks. I like the first one becuase of the texture of the rocks but the colours in the second are more vibrant and there is no distraction from the boat mast and house off to the right as there is in the first one.
On the way over I took the following shof the Bealach na Ba above Lochcarron. The shot was lit strongly from the left (west) as the sun was getitng low on the horizon and the topography was emphasised nicely as a result of the low angle of the light. As you can see I was lucky that the cloud had lifted from the Bealach by the time we got over the hill to Achintraid (just over the hill a bit on the road that can be seen disappearing into the distance).
Whiel at Achintraid I spotted an old dilapidated stone pen with a bunch of creels and bouys in it and thought it might make an interesting compostion. The light was not very good by that stage so I didn't take much time thinking about it but I might well pop back and try again at a better time of day. Still, I converted this shot to black & white and it makes an interesting shot I think.
Finally on the way home I just had to stop at the loch side, near the avalanche shelter, to take the following shot looking down Loch Carron towards the setting sun. The colours and reflections made this a must and while there is not much interest in the sky I still think it works quite nicely.
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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