We’ve been back from Skye for two weeks now and when I show my pictures to friends the reaction I get back most often is “did you really take that?” I could feel flattered at this, but the reality is that even to me they look somehow unbelievable- this really is a landscape like no other I have seen.
In some cases it is familiar to me from the many previous photographers who have scrambled up the same hills- it is difficult, for example, to make something different of the middle earth landscape of the Quiraing:
At other times, places that I had checked out online before, would change in front of my eyes as the generally awful weather made up its mind- here for example are two views of the same Eilean Donan castle (just beyond the island on the mainland) at different times of day
There are people I know who hate Skye because it is the “Misty Isle” with what seems like rain every day, but actually those clouds are exactly what creates so much drama in the views as here by the “Fairy Pools”:
Or at this small Loch where the rain forced me to leave on my wide angle lens to give a slightly odd view:
At other times, a break in the clouds creates astonishing drama such as here at Neist Point:
Or here on the way back from Elgol:
At other times, however, the weather was less helpful, adding just grey- this shot, for example, does not have the power I would have liked, but means a lot to me as the foreground includes a dinosaur footprint we found at the beach in Staffin:
The most difficult weather of all was on our last day as we climbed towards the Old Man of Storr- constant rain meant that we actually gave up before the end and also meant that I gave up trying to focus too well in this otherwise moody shot:
At other times, the light aligned just as I wanted it- even a murky dusk can look good as here again with the Old Man of Storr in the background:
Or here when the clouds decided to play at Sligachan Bridge:
And then finally, there is Elgol, which has to now be in the running for the most beautiful place I have ever been.
We arrived on a fairly overcast morning and without much optimism took the wonderful Misty Isles boat trip to Loch Coruisk. The family that run this have been taking tourists back and forth on these waters since an early ancestor smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie around after the failed Jacobite rebellion. Loch Coruisk itself is an amazing spot- if you do not take the boat you have to walk a highly treacherous path called the Bad Step from Elgol, so the place is virtually deserted. It is right in the heart of the Cuillin Hills, the most spectacular of Mountains on the Island:
As we prepared to step back onto the boat, I just had time for one peaceful 30 second exposure with the Inner Hebrides in the background:
Then, finally, Elgol itself and the view which had attracted me to the Island in the first place when I first saw it pictured by the great Joe Cornish. My view as the sun started to go down was no match for his, but I felt pretty happy all the same: