Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Scotish Holiday day 5 Old man of Storr

OMG!   its before 5am and I am up and on my way to the Old Man of Storr, I don't do mornings Arghhhh      The weather is not looking good, thick cloud on the horizon even though its blue above me but that is moving in the wrong direction.
  I can see the Storr in the distance,  its about 40 minutes fast walk.   Jan declined to come with me, Cant imagine why  lol

                                        Getting closer , and so is the cloud behind me.

Looking back to the rising sun, creating rays through small breaks in the cloud. Doesn't look like I'm going to get any nice warm light on the Storr.   5dsr  17-40 L  5 vertical frames merged in lightroom .

   I am now passing the Pinnacles and heading up to the higher ground to the right , constantly keeping an eye on the sun and cloud.    Half way up towards the high ledge, I have already set up the camera and tripod and the sun breaks through,  having no time to put filters I just compose and shoot three frames, and that's it, the light has gone.

                                            So three images shot  , this is the second one.
                                                Bathed is soft warm light momentarily .

Climbing up to the top, and the light is flat again , its quite windy but I'm going to get the drone up for a few shots.   A 9 frame panorama selfi.

   The sun has moved round and producing a few rays , but the light is rubbish where I need it to be .
                                                                9 frame panorama

One more dslr image,that is enough, the light is not going to change and the sun is too high now to get the images I wanted.

              Time to head back down to the van for breakfast now , taking a couple of phone shots on the way down . Passing load of people on the way up , it was lovely and quiet up top with just a couple of other photographers and campers to be seen.

I have stopped to shoot this image of the rays , its 8.15 now and doesn't look like the cloud is going to clear any time soon.

After breakfast we are heading up the coast road a855, stopping to take this 9 frame panorama of Loch Langaig. We are heading to Duntulm to see the castle ruins.

Arriving at Duntulm to find the cloud has increased , it was blue sky just down the road.  Walking along to the ruins, it is quite busy,fortunatly most people are heading back to the car park luckily.   time to get the drone up for a few quick images , the light is not good again but will try a few shots.

I think this is the best view of  the castle perched on top of the high cliff , a bit of brightness in the background.

Now we are heading around to Uig , to fill up with Lpg.  one of only 2 filling stations on Skye to stock it.
Passing small villages , very pretty.

This is the Skye Museum of island life ,  a quick stop for a look ………..

Now to carry on to Uig.    and when we get to the station the pump wont fill our tank!    no matter what we tried and the station assistant.   Anyhow, we have enough to last a couple of days so we have decided to head to Neist Point lighthouse and park there overnight, the weather is looking very good and a possible sunset.
                                                         Mollster in front of  Niest Point

Tonight I'm hoping for a decent sunset...………………………..

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Scotland Holiday day 4 Isle of Skye

Its a beautiful sunny morning in Dornie ,  we are now heading for Kyle of Loch Aillse  to cross over onto the Isle of Skye.   But first a quick image of the surrounding mountains and ………..

                                                       …………….. The Castle.

After the short journey up the coast road and over the bridge we have stopped off near the bridge at Kyleakin ,  time to walk along to see the bridge and get a few images.

                  What a great seat , fabulous view and carved wooden heads with charity boxes.

           Look at that sky!  fabulous cloud formations, time to take a short flight out over the Loch.

                                                                            "Take off"

Fabulous view from 200ft, the mountains in the distance add to the image , I think that is the Cuillins

                                                                  A multi frame panorama .

                             Now a 9 frame image looking up the Loch towards Dornie

Meanwhile ,  the Terrible Twosome are waiting patiently.  Well, Mollster is, Chester just barks if he doesn't keep walking after 30 seconds!

After a successful flight, time to walk down past the village to find the castle ruins that are marked on Google maps.  Its a pity the tide is out, these small harbours always look much nicer with water around the boats.

                    A route marker sunk into the ground, what a great idea if you can spot them.

We have finally come to the Ruins of Caisteal Maol  I don't think Mollster is too bothered.

                           Chester joins in , that's about as good a pose possible from him .

A phone panorama showing the old boats , time to get a quick drone flight in to see the views from above.

                                  The castle ruins with the Skye bridge in the background.


                                                             A 6 frame vertorama

                                                              Topdown over the boat.

                                               Another view looking up the Loch.

                                                                   Loch Alsh panorama

                             Hand catching , safer than trying to land on uneven ground.

Time to move on now, we are heading to Broadford and the supermarket to stock up with food, then driving up past Portree towards the Old Man of Storr.  We are planning to stay in the car park overnight so will take a look first and continue up the road to view the waterfalls at Lealt and Kilt rock first.

After just over an hour and a quarter driving through amazing coastline and around the Lochs we have past the Storr car park, which was completely full and the road side parking also very busy and arrived at Lealt falls viewpoint.
Here is our first view of the Storr, taken through the windscreen on the main road.

 There is a platform built to view the top waterfall but cannot actually see much,  we take the path around the headland to the left and it gives a much better view, even though its further away.  As its quiet I will take the drone up and fly up the valley to get a closer view.

I have a good clear view up the ravine to the waterfalls,  but it is still a bit tricky knowing how close to the trees and rocks either side. Although there is probably quite a good distance on either side.  this is a 5 frame Vertorama, and I have cropped in to see the falls better.   Pity there is not much water.

                      Flying out over the sea to take an image looking back at the magnificent cliffs.

We drove up to Kilt rock falls, where the water falls a couple hundred feet into the sea, but there was no water flowing , Bummer.     So its back to find a parking spot at Storr now for the evening.

We got lucky and managed to get a good spot at the back of the car park , its fairly quiet now and  I am going to take a walk up towards the Old Man of Storr just to see how far it is, I will be getting up at silly o clock to shoot sunrise tomorrow.

About half way up ,  it will take about 40 - 50 minutes I think to get up to the Storr in the morning.

The sun is setting, but there is too much cloud for any colour tonight , and I think tomorrow might be the same unfortunately.

The setting sun is producing a small amount of colour and rays over the loch, a nice piece of deadwood makes a good foreground for this image.

After making my way back down to the van , at 9.40 there is some colour appearing in the sky behind us over to the right over Loch Leathan    , as soon as I get out of the van the midges are all over me , dam things!   and this is just the start of the season.       this is a 9 frame panorama .

The end of our first day on Skye , I will be up early to climb up to the Old Man for sunrise...…..

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Scotland Holiday day 3 Eilean Donan Sunset

Tonight, while Jan stays in the van with the terrible twosome I am going down to Eilean Donan  Castle to photograph sunset, hopefully.    It is about 20 minutes walk down the road from the campsite so I don't need to rush down too early.  I am going to shoot with the sun setting behind me first, hopefully it will illuminate the castle before it gets too low.

First we have all walked down to view the castle and walk the dogs, its about an hour and a half before sunset ,which is 9.50 ish

                                                   Our first view of the castle. phone image.

I have put the drone up , with hope for a bit of light on this side of the castle but its not looking like anything, there is too much cloud behind me over the mountains.  But it does look like its breaking so hopefully there will be some colour later.    The cloud is looking good down over the Loch, which may well colour up as the sun setts, but the best colour will be behind the castle so I may be better walking around there later.
                                                                9 frame panorama

           A 5 frame Vertorama , perfect for this view, and a tiny bit of colour in the background.

I have now flown around to the other side of the castle to get a shot to see what the sunset is looking like behind.  The cloud is patchy, thick in places so I am unsure how much colour we will get.

I have now decided to walk around to the other side of the castle , Jan has taken the dogs back to the van  . it is almost 9.40 pm and the sun is almost behind the mountains.  I need to be in the air at the best time to catch the best colour, if there is any.   There are about 8 or 9 photographers already here, a popular spot obviously.  I noticed this sign, this is how it should be, allowing people to fly when its quiet and safe ,instead of trying to ban drones completely at popular tourist locations like back home in England!

       Looking back at the castle , its quite murky in the distance , but the cloud is all moving slowly in that direction and it is clearing where the sun is setting towards the Isle of Skye.

The castle is now lit up , which is going to look better as the sky darkens. Unfortunately the infamous midges have arrived, tiny little buggers buzzing around my head!   Arghhhhhhh

10 minutes later and we have colour in the sky,  its not looking like a great sunset, but enough to get a couple good images. The sun is now behind the mountains .  The isle of Skye is clearly visible over the Loch in the distance.

A Vertorama  gives a great view across the castle and the colour showing over the calm surface of Loch Alsh.   and the sky is turning colour really quickly, and is getting very bright.    I need to get shooting with the dslr to get this while it lasts.

This view is looking really good, the tide is quite low unfortunately with dry seaweed all along in front of me,   luckily the drone can fly out low over to the water line which shows the reflections perfectly.

Now for the dslr, I have the Canon 5dsr with 100-400L   and I am shooting portrait frames left to right, which will be stitched together to form a panorama image.

                  8 frames in this panorama, taken 2 minutes after the above 2 drone images

Shooting at 400mm    a 2 frame merge to show the best colour, which only lasted less than 3 minutes.

Another 8 frame portait Panorama, Taken immediately after the previous image. this one is showing the blue sky above the colour, getting quite dark now so time to pack up. I only have less than 50% left on the last drone battery so not worth shooting any more from this side of the castle.

Walking back across the bridge towards the campsite the castle lights are much brighter on this side,  I go down to the small jetty and take this image with the long lens at 400mm on my 5dsr .

                                                              iso 100   6 seconds   f9

I have just enough battery left for a quick drone flight, to try and get a couple of images, it will be interesting to see how it will shoot in the dark , need to fill the frame with the castle light to get a decent exposure.

                               iso 200   1/4 second at f2.8    its not too bad for a flying camera.

                                                        iso 200   1/3 rd second.   f2.8

                     What a fabulous evening, tomorrow we go over to the Isle of Skye .