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Stac Pollaidh is one of the most recognisable mountains in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, with its distinctive and rocky ridge. At only 612 metres (2008 feet), Stac Pollaidh is some way short of a Munro (914m / 3000ft). However, it has a grandeur that belies its modest height as it rises in isolation from an undulating landscape along the shore of Loch Lurgainn – an isolation that makes it look much bigger than it really is!
There are wonderful views of Stac Pollaidh all the way along the single-track road running from the A835 to Achiltibuie – the difficult part is deciding where to stop. I decided to start at the top of the hill, which provided separation between the little peninsula and the distant shore, and work my way down to the reed bed to provide foreground interest.
The sun was shining as I set up my tripod and I took several pictures of this scene bathed in glorious late afternoon light. Gusting winds soon signalled the arrival of the next storm as dark clouds rolled in. There was a brief burst of sunlight on Stac Pollaidh before hail and heavy rain blew across the loch and the view disappeared completely. A short time later, the sky cleared and sunshine returned.
I managed to take several frames as the cloud built up – this is the final image I made before I had to protect my camera from the elements. I used a graduated filter to balance the exposure between the sky and foreground and a polariser to remove some of the glare from the water, which also (fortuitously) accentuated the contrast between the dark sky and the storm cloud.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor