Today was my first day off work for the festive holidays and the weather forecast was really good, so I decided to visit somewhere I had never been before on the Isle of Skye, despite having lived only a few miles from there for over a year back in the early 1990s, yes the Fairy Pools. To be honest I was very much put off visiting this iconic tourist site on Skye because of the numbers of tourists that flock there in the summer, and indeed throughout the year. However, with Covid lockdown restrictions I guessed it would be quiet and I was pretty much correct. I had the pools to myself when I was shooting these images and apart from the erosion caused by over 200,000 annual visitors, and the motorway of a path from the car park, you would not have known it was a popular visitor attraction.
The above shot was taken at wide-angle using my Zomei circular polarising filter to try and cut through the surface of the water to see the stones below, which kind of worked a bit. The coire was pretty dark, sitting in the shade as it does at this time of year, but this helped with acheiving the slow shutterspeed I wanted to get the sense of motion in the waterfall. The bleak colours in the landscape and the slow moving clouds on the Cuillin hills behind create a lovely atmospheric shot.
For the following shot I used a little more zoom to focus in more on the conical peak of Sgurr an Fheadain and the main part of the falls. I actually prefer this composition and I really like the pale winter colours and textures.
On my way home the late afternoon sun was setting off to the west, producing amazing light in the gaps between the clouds. As I approached Sligachan I got wonderful views of Marsco and Glen Sligachan with the light and clouds making a beautiful scene.
All in all, a good day. In future I would leave a bit earlier to give myself a little more time to try more shooting angles and locations before it gets too dark, and it would be really nice to visit when there was a bit more snow on the hills and a little less cloud. Having said that, I guess I was lucky to get to visit when it was so quiet. Added to that I also had sight of two dolphins and an otter in Loch Alsh from the bathroom window this morning, followed by a white-tailed eagle and a peregrine falcon on my way to Glen Brittle, so a good day indeed. Not a bad way to start the holiday.
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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