Skye… she is the beautiful mistress in my love affair with landscape photography.
It’s here, part three of the 2014 road trip trilogy. And this is a good one. Oh yes. I return to Where It All Began, the Isle of Skye.
The year was 2005 and I had just bought a Bronica medium format camera, a tripod, a battered old blue Land Rover Discovery and five rolls of Fuji Velvia slide film. I was going to become a landscape photographer and I was making the 8 hour drive north from my (then) home in Manchester to the Isle of Skye for a week. Lets just say it was a decisive week!
I’ve returned several times since to all kinds of weather and never for long enough, so I was determined to make the most of this trip. I was camping at Sligachan in roughly the middle of the island and had basically all the time in the world to explore the place and make some nice images.
And while I’ve replaced my Land Rover with one that is much less battered and my tripod is now carbon fibre, I’m still using the same Bronica ETRSi camera that I started out with all those years ago.
These images are taken from a day trip to the northern tip of the Island, to one of my favourite places in the world. These are the Quiraing hills between Staffin and Uig, accessed by a tiny winding road that zig-zags up over the ridge. It’s a really quite beautiful place to go for a walk with a camera.
The image above is my very favourite. I’ve got many versions of this view in colour, monochrome and (gasp…) digital versions, however none compare to this one. I printed this in the darkroom a few weekends ago and was very pleased with myself. The weather was just right with some threatening rain staying just off the coastline and the sun breaking through every so often to light up a patch of the hillside.
I set off following the path and you can see the progression in these images as I got closer to the valley feature at the end of the ridge. I’d always wanted to see what was round the corner. Now I know.
You can see the weather closing in on the image above. The rain was mostly staying just of the coast, but I gradually got wet as it rolled in, but it was worth it for the interesting light that always comes with these kind of weather conditions.
And that’s about it for the images. I’ve now got a nicely matched set of prints from these images and am in the process of framing them up and cutting some custom black card mounts to match the dramatic nature of the images.
Well worth the trip up there if you are considering it at all.