Lochan Na Stainge, Rannoch Moor, Scotland by Sarah Howard

Picture Story

There is something very special about photographing at dawn. Watching and waiting for the sun to rise and the landscape to transform in front of your eyes . On this particular occasion, it was a bitterly cold morning as I stood at Lochan Na Stainge, one of many small lochans located on Rannoch Moor in the highlands of Scotland. Conditions however were perfect; very little wind meant the water was wonderfully calm allowing for some fabulous reflections of the Black Mount range of mountains and the broken clouds were looking promising for a colourful sunrise.

I spent a while looking for my composition exploring an area where there were a number of boulders providing foreground interest. I also found that the shape of one of the boulders nicely echoed the peak of the distance mountain behind, so based my composition around this. I took care to adopt a position whereby I could separate the boulders from the land immediately behind them and also each other.

I selected an aperture of F11, and my lowest ISO, and then waited for the sun to rise, and bring the scene to life. When it did, it was nothing short of magical; the pink light of the sun illuminating just the top of the mountain range in front of me. A scene can change dramatically at dawn and dusk, and with the sun quickly rising behind me, I had to work quickly before the entire scene became flooded with light. I took a series of shots, as the clouds took on a pink hue, and the light crept over down the mountains until eventually the sun rose and the magic was gone.

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