I often feel like a bad weather magnet, and my week in Sutherland, in the far north of Scotland, was a case in point – rain, sleet, hail and bitingly cold winds all day, every day, in April! Definitely no sunrises and sunsets on this photographic adventure.
Sutherland may be one of the UK’s most northerly counties, but it was the 'southern land' of the Vikings. It is the only region in Scotland without a town and has the lowest population density in Western Europe. Although now part of the (in)-famous North Coast 500 scenic driving route around the north of Scotland, Sutherland still feels somewhat off the beaten track with a haunting beauty to its mountains, heather-covered moors, lochs, rivers and empty glens.
This image happened by chance. We were driving south along the Kyle of Durness, a coastal inlet extending 5.5 miles (9 kilometres) inland from the north coast, and stopped to enjoy the views during a brief rain-free period. Although the Kyle is around 1/2 mile (800 metres) wide, it is tidal, with only a narrow channel of water remaining at low tide along most of its length.
The two things that caught my eye were the swirling shapes of the channel of water and the storm light, which nicely framed the mountain on the far shore. I used a long lens to fill the frame with these two elements, a graduated neutral density filter to balance the exposure between the foreground and the sky and a polarising filter to reduce some of the glare on the water.
It wasn’t long before the rain returned, but I returned to the car, happy with the image captured.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor