Sunset over the isles

On the second evening of our break in Ardnamurchan we were treated to an unexpected and fantastic sunset.

After a mostly cloudy day, the sun appeared below the clouds while dropping down to the horizon, turning the sky from deep blues to fabulous purples, pinks, oranges and reds.

With the view to the isles, what could one want more.

Simply stunning.

Sunset over Rum and Eigg.

Sunset over Muck.

Sunset over Fascadale Bay.

Kilmory Bay

An afternoon wander down to Kilmory Bay. Simply stunning.

View to the isles

What a view to wake up to!

The view to the isles from the bedroom in our cottage in Kilmory.

From left to right: Muck, Canna, Rum, Eigg and Skye.

Loch Tulla

At last, our first break away from home in two years.

We stopped off at the viewpoint on the A81 below the Black Mount for a coffee while en route to a week away in remote Ardnamurchan.

The views back to Loch Tulla and the surrounding mountains of Beinn an Dothaid and Beinn Inverveigh are always breath taking.

A sgor and a Scots pine

I have never lost my passion for black and white landscapes, but had lost my way a bit with my own images. Since going digital, I have never really got the hang of converting my own shots to black and white. Yes, I got a few good ones over the years, but I never seem to achieve the desired and satisfied results.

Now I have got myself a licence of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin to Lightroom, I am finally achieving the desired results that I was wishing for and consequently have found my spark back.

I am slowly going through my back catalogue and re-converting some mediocre black and white images with surprisingly good results.

The highlight so fare, without a doubt, has been the above image of Sgorr Dhearg taken from the North end of Glencoe Loch in November 2010. I am not only chuffed with this new version when viewed on the computer, but I am actually over the moon with a large print on Da Vince heavy fiber paper. The framed and mounted print is just superb.

Originally, I made several attempts to convert the below shot of a lonely Scots pine on Muirhouse Muir. These were either flat, lacking depth and contrast or had loss of detail in the Scots pine’s needles. Without any sweat, at the first attempt, I got the desired result using Silver Efex Pro.

So anyone who is into black and white photography, must check out Silver Efex Pro.

Windswept Ranch Moor

I met up with Tim Parkin for some photography on Rannoch Moor, arriving at the lay-by after an hour and a half’s journey in the dark from Glasgow just seconds after Tim had parked his camper van. We started off in Tim’s camper van with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a blether before heading out onto the windswept moor in the early morning light.

Unfortunately, the conditions were far from ideal, as there was a very strong wind blowing across the moor. Not only was the wind chill factor unwelcome, the wind was so strong that nothing, apart from the bigger rocks, was still enough to photograph. After a bit of wandering and shooting a couple of shots, we agreed that we were literally being blown off the moors and to seek a more sheltered location behind the mountains and in the forest at Glencoe Loch.

While out on the moor beside Lochan na Stainge, I only took two photographs, but managed to get one that I am actually very pleased with, especially given the conditions: a panorama of the view to the Black Mount across Lochan na Stainge.

Before heading to Glencoe Loch to seek shelter from the wind amongst the trees for some more photography, Tim showed me an area of devastation on Rannoch Moor. The forest had been cut down years ago, leaving a wonderful derelict area. The mixture of tree stumps, rotten wood, grasses, mosses and lichen is asking for a return in the near future for some intimate landscape photography.

Camus nan Gael

A day trip to explore history at Camus nan Gael while staying at Kylesbeg in October 2002.

Camus nan Gael

The graveyard

The standing stone

The burial chamber

On the beach

Camus nan Gael Sunset

Sunset from the view point at Camus nan Gael taken when driving back from a day trip to the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse while staying at Kylesbeg in October 2002.

Black Castle of the Minstrels

Exploring what’s left of the Black castle of the Minstrels at Kilchoan when on a day trip to the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse while staying at Kylesbeg in October 2002.