Travel photography: Scotland 2015 - Part 3
August 1, 2015
The world famous 'cloud island' is the largest of the Inner Hebrides and well known for its dramatic landscapes, consisting of countless peninsulas, bays, cliffs, hills and rock pinnacles.
Because of the freakishly expensive nature of the island I was only willing to stay for one day, and for that day I had four specific photography locations in mind – for sunset, midnight, sunrise and early midmorning. The thing is, the weather is often just as dramatic as the landscape, which I had to experience first-hand during my short visit. From the four outings I had planned, only one could be accomplished the way I had imagined (and only barely at that) the others basically fell victim to the storm, partially or completely.
I crossed the Skye Bridge, which connects Skye to Kyle of Lochalsh, shortly after noon and followed the winding road up north to the capital city Portree.
The Storr was my first real stop for the day. The original plan was to take pictures in the warm sunset light, but in contrast to the rest of my stay in Scotland, the weather wasn't favorable while I was on Skye. As I ascended to the desired location the light rain was already an indication that I might not be able to follow through with my plans for that day. About an hour later after I had taken some halfway decent test shots, a heavy mist in combination with a rainstorm ended all my hopes for spectacular landscape photography at the time.
The rainstorm continued during most of the night and of course also ruined my plans for midnight, where I originally had a very nice location for some milky-way shots in mind.
A little disappointed by how the events had unfolded so far, I navigated to Neist Point before first light. I was determined to turn my luck around and at least get some good shots at this remarkable location. The sky was still overcast and didn't look too promising but already knowing the generally finicky weather I set up my tripod directly at the stony shore and waited for the sun to emerge over the hills.
After five short minutes of shooting the inevitable happened – I was surprised by a sudden downpour (again). If I remember correctly this was the fifth time during the trip that my camera was drenched. Even running back to the car and trying to cover the gear as good as possible couldn't really change that.
At this point I was halfway content. I had already managed to get some usable pictures with good light, which was much more than what can be said about the previous shoots. Although it seemed the heavy rain would stay, I took my chances and resolved to wait for some time. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes the rain stopped and the sun appeared between the clouds. Naturally I seized the moment and started to take more photos.
Just as I was taking this picture I felt a few small droplets and less than a minute later, another downpour ended my session at this location.
I would have loved to explore the area some more but due to the increasingly bad weather, I opted to continue to the next location, the Fairy Pools at Glen Brittle.
The Fairy pools are a series of waterfalls coming down from the Cuillin, the largest mountains on Skye.
Since I cannot be at two places at the same time and I had spent the sunrise at Neist Point, the timing for the Fairy Pools wasn't ideal. I was, however, thankfully still early enough to avoid the tourist masses, so I tried to make the most of the scenery.
Completing the shoot at the Fairy Pools unfortunately already concluded my one day visit to Skye.
The journey continues
The final article in this series is about my return trip via Oban and Glasgow.
Thanks for reading!