These remarkable rock formations at the top of Sgurr Tuath formed a perfect foreground for the view of Stac Pollaidh. The gentle sunlight lasted less than a minute so it was good that I was already set up and actually managed to take a portait oriented image before the light diappeared for good. For me this was the peak of the whole trip, incredibly dramatic cloud and the kind of soft warm light photographers dream of, thrown together with and amazing view and a great foreground. I really could hope for more. The trip to Sgurr Tuath will stay with me for a long time, made all the better by the driving rain, severe gusts and hailstorm we had that afternoon!
This image began as an idea to capture a unique and spectacular view of Inverpolly and Assynt. 'Spectacular' is probably the best word to describe the region so there was no problem there. Finding a unique viewpoint is difficult though, most of the peaks in the area are heavily climbed. Sgurr Tuath stands alone in this regard. Its completely unpathed ascent over streams boggy ground and up steep gradients, doesnt make it as walker (or photographer) friendly as some of the other peaks. With this in mind I set out with fellow photographer Stephen Sellman *sassaputzin in search of something new. This was the view I personally made the trip for and we piked the perfect weather window for it. Even so, the weather we got on the way up Sgurr Tuath wasnt exactly ideal and the wind at the top made taking vibration free images extremely challenging!
Sgurr Tuath is a magical peak with plenty to shoot, but its relative inaccessibility means I will probably end up going up some other peaks before returning here!
The night before I had one of the best wild camps yet high up beneath a mountain in what was essentially an alpine meadow.
I started at 3 am to find a shot for sunrise but clouds on the horizon meant I had to wait a bit and I decided fairly late on to move to a view looking over Kirkjufell.
Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain and I had intentionally avoided the shots that most landscape photographers tend to go for, it was nice to shoot it from a slightly different angle although I am sure this shot has been done before!
his shot of Stac Pollaidh shows just what unusual (or usual?) conditions can do for a scene. Although Stac Pollaidh lies in Scotland, I can't help the association with the more famous Caonyonlands, of America. This shot also illustrates the benefits of just going for it. I sat out two spells of snow and strong winds on Stac Pollaidh on this afternoon, all part of an Atlantic low pressure system. I still hung on to the hope of some light though and I was (eventually) rewarded. Stac Pollaidh, like much of the surrounding area is made of 1 billion year old Torridoian sandstone.
A spectacular winter sunrise greeted =PastyGuy and me after camping on the snow on Dartmoor. We got up about 40 minutes before sunrise. I peaked my head out the tent and proclaimed "There is a 100% change of a sunrise". 10 minutes later we were engulfed in a hail storm with terrible visibility. Fortunately things picked up after that and the light we actually got couldn't have been much better.
Llyn Y Caseg Fraith is perched on the edge of a ridge with fantastic views to Glyder Fach and across to Tryfan. The pools in the area are fascinating; the inner walls drop vertically by two feet or so to a dark lifeless base. In the right light they appear almost black.
As the morning began it was clear that there was no prospect of a sunrise, but occasional gaps in the cloud gave hope. Long after sunrise there was a burst of light that lasted perhaps a minute and coincided with a slight lift in the cloud level. Tryfan and Glyder Fach were still in shadow and appear almost black in comparison to the sunlit grass on the edge of the pool. Lighting doesn't get better than this!
I will be returning to Llyn y Caseg Fraith sometime soon to see what else the location can provide.