Some unpredictable weather greeted us throughout our weeks stay here, as per usual Skye lived up to it’s name; The Misty Isle. This trip would not only be a good test for my newly acquired LEE Big Stopper filter but more importantly on the wildlife side of things, my lovely new Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens. I’d wanted a lens of this caliber for years, so was a real joy to finely have one in my paws. After a twelve hour drive from Pembs, our home for the week was near Broadford Bay, on the main through road as it seemed a good base to get to most points on the Isle and first port of call was to venture to the South of the island down towards the Sound of Sleat. Along the route and turning off to the right there’s a stunning little forest you drive through (with plenty of deer roaming) and descent down towards a little seaside village called Ord.
A stunning view across the turquoise Loch Eishort and Loch Slapin sees the Cuillins rising up in the distance, shrouded with cloud.
Within five minutes of parking up on the shore here we’d spotted a Seal bobbing about and what d’ya know it, an Otter fishing! Couldn’t believe my luck so grabbed the camera and new lens and headed down to the shore. Unfortunately it didn’t hang about long, so only photos I got were long off record shots. After here, we headed down to the South of the Isle passing some lovely little coves and bays looking back across to the mainland
Headed down to Talisker Bay the next day with it’s famous Silver sand, quite a sight!
Along the way there’s plenty of Highland Cows about, they’re definitely built for the weather up in these parts of the country!
Then last port of call was going to to Elgol. The rain had closed in driving around Loch Slapin when Andrea (the girlfriend) shouts ‘Deer!’ Stopping the car produced some cracking views of this Stag meandering through the nearby heather, wasn’t bothered by us or the car so managed to rattle of a few (lot of) shots
Eventually he’d walked past us a legged it down the road, quite a funny sight seeing the backside of a Deer hurtling away from you.
The first time I came to Elgol two years prior it was shrouded in mist and I couldn’t see the end of the car park! This time it was a pleasant Autumnal day after the rain had lifted, although light wasn’t at it’s best. Down on the shore I made the most of the dry evening weather with some coastal images.
It had started to rain and one look over to the Sun told me that was it for the day. I returned to the car, packed all the kit away and started to drive off when all of a sudden the sky started to change. I could see a strong orange glow across the sea at nearby Canna. I left the car where it was, gathered all the kit back up and took off down the pebble beach to the shore. Quickly found a composition, got the ND and ND Grad filters slotted into place and took some shots. One of them was this shot below, by the time I adjusted some settings the light was gone back to grey skies. An unbelievable turn of events, lesson learnt – always stay till the end!!
Next day was a stunner; no wind, blue skies and sunshine – boat trip day! Booked on the afternoon Eagle trip, so head off in the direction of Portree stopping off at Sligachan on the way. Well, It thought Pembrokeshire’s weather changed fast, Skye put it to shame. Within a few hours, skies were grey, wind picked up and rain was in abundance. Still though, you battle on a deal with what you’re given – So we headed off up the river for some shots.
Found this quaint little house so felt it would make some a good image
A classic scene from Skye (above) Windblown, changeable weather, intense scale and that small window of magic light we all long for as photographers. It had been raining on and off on this trek and I was shooting in between showers; anyone who uses filters out in the wind and rain knows weather like this isn’t ideal. I had a feeling the scene would come good though with time. I must of stood for over forty minutes in this boggy ground, the light I was after came and went within a few seconds and I got the shot I was after. Sun rays onto this small dwelling, dwarfed by the mountains and the raw weather. This for me captures the real essence of Scotland in an image.
Packed up and headed North to catch the afternoon boat trip from Portree. It was now nice and sunny but we were sure if it would sail as was quite choppy out to sea. Main aim was to catch White Tailed Eagles fishing out in the bay and we weren’t disappointed. There’s now forty pairs of theses stunning birds back in Britain, thanks to them been re-introduced and they really do live up to their nickname of ‘flying barn doors’. A wingspan of Eight feet really is intimidating when they’re fishing in such close quarters.
I can’t say it was the easiest shoot I’ve ever done. Trying to stand upright on a small boat rocking about in the swell, handholding a reasonably heavy 300mm lens whilst tracking a moving target at almost full frame wasn’t ideal. Thankfully, my panning skills and the 7D’s AF held strong (even if I was feeling queasy) and did me proud.
These are the highlights of a fantastic trip away, only had about four out of seven days with usable conditions for photography, but came away with another bag of photographs that I’m over the moon with. We will be back to that part of Scotland, but maybe next year…
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