Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8
f/11, 499sec, ISO 64
I had driven down to Elgol Village to capture a sunset looking across Loch Scavaig and towards the Cuillin Hills. With the lack of some sea swell and mostly cloudless skies, I knew that any dramatic conditions were unlikely to develop, but I still hoped for something interesting.
I had been photographing in various locations along the bay using the numerous foreground rocks and with a range of shutter speeds from 1/10sec to 30sec, but the rising tide forced me to this location where I had a safe escape route as well as the small group of offshore rocks to provide depth.
The sunset came and went with minimal colour, and I was considering leaving but opted for one last image as some cloud was starting to bubble up. A 10-stop ND filter and a 2-stop soft ND grad filter offered an exposure time of 500 seconds. However, as I had long exposure noise reduction switched on, I had to wait for another 500 seconds, during which two things occurred. The good thing was that a pod of dolphins swam past; the bad thing was that the light collapsed before I could take a second image with a shorter exposure time to get a little texture in the sea.
I did not have high hopes for the image until I saw it on a monitor and realised that I had captured a tranquil scene from a location usually associated with Atlantic storms and dramatic light.
My next visit is planned for February, when the chances of snow on the hills and large waves for added drama will be increased.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor