Impulsive Calm!

There are some times in life when you just need to be impulsive! You just need to go with your instinct, make a decision and go with it!  

You have to focus on the potential rewards, put to one side the reasons why-not and make sure you don't end up with that dreaded feeling of what if!

Last weekend was one of those times! A heavy workload, poor weather and a loss of my photographic mojo had left me feeling a little bit jaded and demotivated but I chanced upon the weather forecast for the weekend in Skye, perfect photography conditions!

Before I knew it I was driving the 5 hour road to Skye through the night so I could arrive at Elgol well before dawn to take in the incredible view of The Black Cuillin at sunrise next morning. It is surely one of the most magnificent views in the UK, if not the World.

I arrived at 2am and all I could see were the white horses of the waves crashing on the beach reflected in the car headlights. I had the place completely to myself which is a real privilege!

A few hours later after a snooze in the car the pre dawn light started to cast a beautiful blue light through the darkness and the imposing jagged shape of the Cuillin started to appear. The image below shot about half an hour before the sunrise will give you an idea of the beauty of the scene! 

Anyone who has visited Elgol will appreciate the beauty of the place and hopefully you can see that in these images. What you cannot see in an image but can feel physically on a day like this is the incredible feeling of peace, serenity and calm. It really is a special place.

The Cuillins at dawn from Elgol slipway

Eventually the sun rose casting a gorgeous soft light that lit up the top of the Cuillins across Loch Scavaig and really brought out the layers and textures of the individual mountains that make up this intimidating yet beautiful range. I spent a lovely couple of hours here capturing the images below before leaving to explore the rest of the Island.

First spot, as seen below, was the mighty Blaven from the side of Loch Cill Chriosd on the way back to Broadford. An iconic composition but an image I really enjoyed making! 

Layers and Textures of The Cuillin

Loch Scavaig and The Cuillin.

Blaven from Loch Cill Chriosd

A quick bite of breakfast and some hot coffee in Broadford and I was off again! 

One of the areas I had read about but never really visited before was down in the Sleat Peninsula where there was a number of places to visit and view the Cuillins from. I had a really lovely afternoon drive stopping at multiple spots and taking in the incredible loop road to Ord as well with some incredible views to the Cuillins across Loch Eishort. As you can see the mountains really dominate the horizon and the changing conditions and light led to incredible rainbows and changes in light. I finished the day visiting Isleornsay lighthouse with its backdrop of the Knoydart mountains on the mainland before catching an incredible sunset over Loch Eishort on the way back to my hotel at Sligachan.

Blaven towering over the Sleat peninsula.

Rainbow over Loch Eishort and the Red Cuillin

Sunset over Loch Eishort

Isleornsay Lighthouse

Day two started with excitement, I was off to visit a spot I had on my must shoot list for some time.

Rubha nam Brathairean (Brothers Point) is a dramatic headland off the Trotternish peninsula not far from The Storr. It takes its name from an old monastic settlement and consists of a long and dramatic headland with steep cliffs and a strange and dramatic lump of rock known as Dun Hasan. Dun Hasan has a long history of human settlement and has been fortified during periods of its history.

The walk, again before dawn, started off fun, however it was very slippy as I was to find out! To fall once is foolish, to slip and fall twice is foolhardy but to slip and slide three times in as many minutes is just ridiculous! Covered in mud but camera intact I managed to negotiate the rest of the mile or so safely and this was my reward. What an awesome bit of light on another incredibly atmospheric and dramatic corner of Skye. Truly worth the walk and worth the wait!

Brothers Point

Unfortunately the weather after this turned very flat and grey however my trip was a great success. Al that was left to do was to make the long trip back home weather beaten, slightly muddy but very very happy!

I managed to make some images I was really happy with, I enjoyed two fantastic days in the great outdoors breathing in pure Scottish highland air and most of all I found my photographic mojo again!

Sometimes in order to find some calm you have to be impulsive!

Please add your own comments:

  • Jill Wheeler

    on December 1, 2017

    Hello Michael. What a joy to see your post on FB here in NZ at 7.50am. You obviously found your mojo again in Skye and I would agree it's one of the most beautiful places one could see. Thank you for bringing it to me in photography. Your images speak to me in a way I have never felt before, they stir my Scottish blood and my heart!