Mellon Udrigle is a small crofting community located on the north-western shores of Gruinard Bay in the Scottish Highlands. The nearby beach, with its clear turquoise water, beautiful white sand and gentle dunes, is spectacular in its own right. Combined with the stunning views of the mountains of Coigach and Inverpolly in the distance, it is a truly magical place.
On this particular morning, there was a fair amount of pre-dawn cloud despite the promising weather forecast. However, the relatively high tide had started to recede, leaving behind a pristine beach.
About 40 minutes before sunrise, the first hints of colour started to appear in the sky and an astonishingly beautiful sunrise followed. I composed this image to show the sweep of the tide against the spur of sand created by a small river running down to the sea, with the blue cast of the distant peaks on the horizon.
I used a polariser to reduce the glare on the water and enhance the intense pre-dawn colour that reflected so beautifully in the sea and on the wet sand. The two stop reduction of light it provided was sufficient to slow my shutter speed to 1.6 seconds, smoothing the water but still retaining some texture. No other filtration was required as the bright sand matched the light levels in the sky and sea.
It was an exhilarating hour and a quarter – both photographically and simply by being there.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor