Gairloch and Skye Part II

For landscape photography, sussing out the correct location goes a long way to making a great shot. For me, it always starts with maps. Scouring the contours, access points and angles to the prevailing sun provides a set list from which to explore on foot and check them out. On these recce, the conditions may not be superb for a shot. Indeed, more often than not, the conditions are no where near perfect, but I will often take a grab shot for reference - a record shot of you like.

The shot above, as envisaged, will be colour. The maps work had indicated that the viewpoint would be from a position near a quarry. That proved not to be the case. It was just too low with no opportunity to gain height and maintain the angle of view. A rethink was required. I wanted to retain the cottages on the hillside, and the series of mountains leading out to clear water at the end of the loch. In confirmation of the opening paragraph, the conditions were not right for now and the image does not show the series of mountains or even the end of the loch, but I needed to move to be in such a position for when the conditions were right.

Having found the angle of view, it was a case of tracking steps away from the scene. Going too far initially, I finally found the point. Tripod straddling a barbed wire fence; boots sinking in bog; and at the time of this shoot, a very gusty wind down from the surrounding mountains.

Now all I need are the correct conditions. That unfortunately is not now. Given that, I decided to process the grab shot quickly in monochrome using Lightroom. Highlights dodged and burnt; green and yellow tones lifted; blues darkened and a slight vignette added. Okay, it may need a tad more work when I'm back in the office but you get the idea hopefully.

I think there are two times when I am likely to capture the shot visualised. One is around 9:00am at this time of year and the other is mid afternoon. Any earlier in the morning and the light won't hit the parts that it needs to reach because I will be too far north and any later in the afternoon and the mountains will cover the scene in shadow. That's another topic for another time maybe.

I hope this helps in your planning?

Keep practising
I am