Tag Archives: scotland
The planning starts the night before a trip, it involves checking the weather forecast on a few websites as the BBC’s weather is sometimes not the most reliable! Then the sunrise and sunset times are noted along with using Memory Map to scope out suitable locations for sunrise/ sunset shots.
The weather forecast looked promising, light winds with a low of -7c. Ideal weather for a trip away. Glencoe is about 100 miles from my house, so planning is important as I don’t like to squander time (or money) on a wasted trip.
The plan was to get a sunrise at Rannoch Moor. Either Loch Ba, which would mean facing towards the sunrise, or Lochan Nah Achlaise which would mean the sunrise light hitting the Black Mount behind the Lochan.
I left around 5.15am, a little later than planned, luckily the traffic was light. As I travelled further north, the temperature gauge on the car started going lower and lower until I reached Loch Tulla and the gauge was showing -15c. The whole of the Loch was frozen over, which I thought would be a good picture opportunity for later on. There was not a cloud in the sky until I went up the hill towards Rannoch Moor. As soon as I got closer towards Rannoch Moor, I drove into a bank of freezing mist with visibility was down to around 30 feet. This was no use, you couldn’t even see the sky never mind the sunrise. I made the decision not to hang about and started back down towards Loch Tulla where I knew I would be able to get something decent.
This first picture was taken by the side of Loch Tulla after a climb over a fence and down towards the Lochside. The sunrise was still about 10-15 minutes away so the predawn light was starting to change from dark blue to shades of pink and purple.
The next couple of images were taken after sunrise with the sun hitting the black mount behind the Loch. After I had exhausted all possibilities for sunrise shots, I decided to head back up to Rannoch Moor and see if the mist had lifted.
On getting back up to Lochan Nah Achlaise, I was greeted with the glorious sight of the mist starting to lift revealing the sunlight striking the Black Mount behind the Lochan. A few shots later and it was in the bag. It’s moments like these that I love, you know you have got a good image and it makes the trip worthwhile.
After leaving the Lochan on a high, I made my way towards Glencoe. I decided to get an old favourite, a standard postcard shot of the ‘Black Rock’ cottage with the Buachaille behind it.
Continued in Part 2…
Continued from Part 1…..
From here it was on towards the River Coupall, which to my delight was completely frozen over. I parked the car in the nearest lay-by and made my way across the moorland towards the frozen river. The ice was a good couple of inches thick, so I decided to risk it and, going down onto my hands and knees, slid my way slowly towards the centre of the river. I managed to get a few shots of the frozen river with the Buachaille behind. The sky was pretty plain though as there was no cloud cover at all, but you cant have everything!
I messed about with a few more locations and then as it was approaching midday, I decided to head down through Glencoe towards Glencoe village and Ballachulish. I had a short stop for a bite to eat down by the side of Loch Leven. The water was very calm and I managed to get a nice panorama of the loch itself with the Pap of Glencoe in the background. Just to the left of the pap, is the moon! It is a bit small in the frame but the full size image shows it quite clearly.
Turning the other way was just as good. The clear day meant that visibility was high, which was a good thing as it meant that the hills behind the Ballachulish bridge were clearly visible.
Suitably refreshed I made my way back towards Glencoe. This time I headed down the Glen Etive road. Even though the snow was about 6 inches deep, the roads had been well gritted and were still passable. I made my way alog the road until I got to Lochan Urr. The Lochan was half frozen over, so I decided to park the car and walk down the hill towards the Lochan.
I took a few pictures from here, this one was probably my favourite. The golden colour of the reeds and hills contrasting nicely with the frozen Lochan.
After climbing back up the hill to the car, I decided as time was getting on to start heading back towards Rannoch Moor. I did manage to stop a couple of times to capture more shots of the frozen River Etive as the late afternoon light started to light up the hills behind it.
My initial idea when I planned the trip was to stop once again at Lochan Nah Achlaise for the sunset. When I arrived there late afternoon, I realised that it wasn’t going to be such a good location after all.
I did take a few shots however of the low afternoon light really showing the flakes of snow that had frozen onto the surface of the completely ice covered Lochan.
Time was running out now with less than an hour to sunset. I decided that maybe I could get a few panoramas of the sun setting over Loch Tulla. I headed towards the viewpoint overlooking the Loch and waited for the sun to set.
The sky was still practically cloud free, so my main focus was on the light striking the hills behind Loch Tulla. This first image is of the sunset over Loch Tulla and Beinn an Dothaidh.
The second shot is another pano shot taken from the same viewpoint but concentrating on the last of the light hitting Beinn Achaladair.
After the sun had set, all that remained was a trip to the Real Food Cafe for a bite to eat before starting the 100 mile journey back home.
I arrived back home at 8.30pm. It was quite a long day as I had left the house at 5.15am that morning. It was well worth it though as I got a few images I was pleased with plus I managed to fulfil something I had wanted for a long while, A day trip to Glencoe with loads of snow.
A couple of weeks ago during one of our trips to Ken Dee marshes we decided on the way home to stop off at Turnberry lighthouse. This lighthouse was designed by Thomas Stevenson and was completed in 1873 on the site of the remains of Turnberry castle.
We reached the edge of Turnberry golf course about an hour before sunset. We parked the car and had a 10 minute walk to the lighthouse. The cloud had moved in as the afternoon wore on, so the chance of a good sunset was dwindling rapidly. This was my first time at this location so even though the light was poor, I wanted to try and make the most of it. I went down into the bay beside the castle and managed to get shots with some good colour in the sky from a slight break in the clouds above the lighthouse.
Further exploration of this bay led me to this wonderful row of granite rock. This made an excellent foreground for a good mono conversion using the dull grey sky to it’s maximum effect. The lighthouse had also just turned on it’s light, this was ideal and it was only a matter of waiting till the light was in view before taking the shot.
I moved back up to the lighthouse and went onto the ruins of the castle. I was hoping for any break in the clouds to show something of the sunset. Luckily for a minute or two the clouds parted to get a glimpse of the pink sky. It was just a matter of getting into position before the pink clouds disappeared to get the shot.
All in all; it was quite a good first visit, even though the sunset we expected never materialised. I will definitely be making a return here in the future when I have more time to explore the area fully.
Another couple of images from last weeks trip to the Trossachs. Loch Arklet is nestled in a valley, so depending on the wind direction, good reflections can be found here. The Loch’s water level was raised in the early 20th century by the building of a dam. This Loch helps to supply Glasgow with it’s fresh drinking water.
This is Loch Arklet with Beinn Narnain, Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich in the background more commonly known as the Arrochar Alps.
Our last day on Skye. We decided to head to Talisker Bay. Once we parked at the end of a single track road, it was a short mile or so hike along a farm track to the bay itself. The walk was worth it as the bay revealed golden sand and loads of interesting rocks amongst the sand. While this location is prbably better later on in the day when the sun is lower in the sky, I still managed a couple of images I was happy with.