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Skye Expedition – Day Six

Day six. The Big One. Any landscape trip to Skye necessitates a dawn shoot at the Old Mano of Storr. It is not a huge distance from the road, but the ascent is hard for all but the fittest. With a camera bag and tripod it is even harder. Add to this the fact the ascent has to be made in total darkness and it is a tough climb. In order to be in position up there an hour before sunrise you need to be leaving the car park at the base about an two and a half to three hours before sunrise. So we left our hotel at 04:30. The group were rewarded for their efforts with the most dramatic of light up there – a snow shower blowing across the Storr was side lit by the warm rising sun with an amazing glow of light full of drama. It made all the effort worthwhile and the group was ecstatic as, back at sea level, we enjoyed a well earned breakfast in Portree.

From Portree we headed back towards the Storr and got some great images of it in the distance shot across a loch, with a small island in the middle, lit by the morning sun. The wind driving rows of bubbles across the lock providing great leading lines. It was a bonus location and good to view the site of the mornings climb from a new perspective.

From here, we moved on to the Quiraing, further along the Trotternish Ridge above Staffin. Again, the late morning light worked for us and we made images of the prehistoric ridge, bathed in pools of golden light playing across the landscape. The famous Rowan tree (site of my lost Lee polariser last year – if you find it, its mine!) was also a popular image. To cap off our time there we marvelled as a Golden Eagle swooped around the view, spiralling on the thermals and effortlessly covering huge distances with a few strokes of its wings. It was a truly breathtaking sight and a lovely end to the morning.

By this time we had been out photographing for ten and a half hours so we headed back to the hotel for a break but some of the group wanted a Lightroom session so we set up in a lounge and had a couple of hours tuition with a drink before heading out to our sunset location.

This was to be Neist Point Lighthouse. There is really just one main composition here, but if the light is good, what a composition! And the light was REALLY good, the best I have ever had there. We made it just in the nick of time, in reality we should have arrived half an hour earlier. It was one of those evenings that as we drove to the location the light was so good, everything was photogenic. Very frustrating, but we had to keep our goal firmly in mind.

It was a happy group back at the hotel that re-lived the days glories over another great meal.

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