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Behind the Scene Winner • Brian Doyle

Rattray Head, Scotland
Sony A7R III, Canon 24-105mm f/4L, f/14, 1sec, ISO 50

My friend and I had been watching the clouds brew all day and having had several weeks of warm fairly uneventful weather, a break in the good weather was due. So, for sunset, we decided to head to Rattray Head Lighthouse right on the corner of north east Scotland, in search of some dramatic clouds and, hopefully, some dramatic light.

On arrival, there was a fairly benign sea that greeted us. However, a quick look overhead looked promising. My friend looked for compositions higher up in the dunes, whilst I headed off to the east of the lighthouse in order to get the right angle on the sky for the picture I had in mind. Positioning the lighthouse bottom right allowed me to fill the remainder of the frame with the foreboding sky. All I had to do was wait until the passing squall I could see in the distance moved into the frame. A polariser was used to increase the contrast, along with a 2-stop hard ND grad filter.

We photographed for an hour or so, searching and using different compositions, but as is often the case the early framing was not to be beaten. Then, the break in the weather we expected had arrived. We got completely drenched on the short walk back to my friend's camper van.

A final bonus was being able to watch the full sun appear through the cloud as it dropped below the distant horizon, which created fantastic light conditions across a nearby loch. It was a great end to a very worthwhile trip.

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