Scottish Western Isles Gallery

Luskentyre beach, Isle of harris, Scotland

Photo: Last light over Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Western Isles, Scotland photography gallery: CLICK HERE

I’ve added about 100 new images to my Western Isles gallery.  The Photos are from my most recent trip from December 30th 2010 – January 8th 2011.  Islands covered are North Uist, South, Uist, Berneray, Isle of Harris, and Isle of Lewis.  I’ve also added a few photo’s from the Isle of Skye, even though it’s not technically part of the Western Isles.

butt of lewis coast

Photo: Rugged coastline at Butt of Lewis, northern most point on the Outer Hebrides, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Rannoch Moor Winter

Loch Ba ice, Rannoch Moor, Scotland

Photo: Loch Ba frozen in winter, Rannoch Moor, Scotland

Rannoch Moor winter

Photo: Rannoch Moor winter, Scotland

Loch Seaforth

Loch Seaforth panoramic

Photo: Loch Seaforth, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Once Was Home

abandoned croft house ruin

Photo: Living room of abandoned croft house, Berneray, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

abandoned croft house ruin

Photo: Bedroom of Abandoned croft house ruin, Berneray, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

abandoned croft house ruin

Luskentyre in Snow

Luskentyre beach winter snow isle of harris

Photo: Dusting of snow on Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Western Isles, Scotland

I was wandering the beach at low tide, waiting for the low winter sun to emerge from the clouds.  I found this small little ridge in the sand covered by a light dusting of snow from the last squall to pass through, the clouds still blocking the sun towards the south.  To the north I was anxiously watching the next wave of snow and wind approach.  Waiting, waiting, then finally the sun emerges above the clouds.  Click, Click, a couple photos.  I look to my right and start to see snow flying across the dunes a couple hundred meters away.  Quickly, I rotate my camera for another shot, but I was too late.  The wind comes sweeping across the beach, blowing away the image right before my eyes.

Only 1 minute of time passed between these photos.  A few more minutes of sun and wind before I’m engulfed by the next wave of snow and the world turns dark once again.  Everything back in the backpack, head down, and follow my disappearing footprints across the beach an over the dunes.

Luskentyre beach winter snow isle of harris

Isle of Skye Winter

Clearning winter storm over Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Photo: Clearing winter storm over Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland

On the return from my new year Scottish islands trip I spent one night on the Isle of Skye.  After having wonderful light at Elgol on Friday night, Saturday morning arrived with gray clouds and a light snow falling.  Having a long drive ahead of me, I was tempted just to pack it in and head towards Rannoch Moor in hopes of a decent sunset.  However some gut feeling, in addition to not wanting to be the first car of the day on the snowy roads, led me to wait things out at Sligachan for a few hours.  I gave the weather till 9:30 am to clear, or I would hit the road.  As 9:30 came and went I was about to start the car, when I noticed some slight bits of clearing clouds.  Another 30 minutes later and I made these photos.

Clearning winter storm over Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Callanish Standing Stones

callanish standing stones

Photo: Nikon SB 800 illuminates Callanish Standing stones at night, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Stopped by one calm evening, until the rain arrived, at the Callanish Standing stones on the Isle of Lewis.  Once it was dark I pulled out the SB 800 and played around with some off camera lighting.  The results are nothing special, but it’s always fun for me to experiment with stuff like this.  Had the weather cooperated better I could have stayed for several more hours.

callanish standing stones

callanish standing stones

Return To The Western Isles

South Uist Beach

Photo: Beach near Howmore, South Uist, Scotland

Over the New Year I Journeyed north once again to the Western Isles of Scotland, one final trip before heading back to California in a few short weeks.  Haunted by rain, chased by snow, at battle with the wind.  These are my favorite conditions; the weather of winter in the north.

Standing on barren coastlines, only a few feet away from crashing waves.  Alone on vast beaches watching the next snow flurry blow in, shooting away in that last minute of calm before the wind hits.  Waiting for those brief moments of sun, before it’s hidden behind clouds again.  The days I live for.

Overall the trip went quite well, with better conditions (and by that I mean worse for most normal people) than my previous trip in October.  The first few days on Berneray, North Uist and South Uist were mostly misty and dull.  But once reaching Harris and Lewis, the storms arrived with a fury.  Like my times in Lofoten, nearly every photo shoot ended because the next wave of rain/snow came sweeping in.  I’ve gotten pretty good with my timings and can push things to the last minute.  Though this usually means a wet walk back to the car to dry off and repeat again at the next location.  Still better than getting a sunburn on some tropical beach or eaten by bugs in a jungle.

Butt of Lewis lighthouse, Scotland

Photo: Butt of Lewis lighthouse, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Waves crash over rocky shore at Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Photo: Waves crash along shore at Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Butt of Lewis, Scotland

Photo: Next stop Iceland, Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Best Photos of 2010 Part II

…Continuing on from my last post: Best Photos of 2010 Part I: January – June.  Here are what I feel my best photo’s from the second half of the year are.  The peak of this was my July-August trip to Norway’s Lofoten islands and Jotunheimen national park.  Otherwise, a week in Scotland at the end of October was really the only other productive period of photography for me.

Stamsund lofoten islands norway

July: Summer twilight over Vestfjorden, Stamsund, Lofoten islands, Norway

The second appearance from the Lofoten islands on this list.  While the islands are more commonly pictured as jagged mountains rising from the sea, I feel this image helps portray some other aspects of islands: the sea, the light, the silence.  Only towards the end of July does the summer sun leave the sky, yet the night still remains a few weeks away.  This leaves an ever lengthening period of twilight as the sun travels further below the horizon.  It is during this time when the magical light of the north occurs.

This images was from a calm night, just a short walk out to the coast from the wonderful hostel at Stamsund.  I’ve stood in this exact same spot a dozen times, and walked away with a dozen different photos.  If I’m lucky, I’ll return again and again until I’m an old man.

Click here to view the entire photo gallery from my Lofoten Islands summer trip.

Memurudalen and mountains of Jotunheimen national park, Norway

August: Memurudalen and Muru river, Jotunheimen national park, Norway

This was the view only a short walk from my tent in Norway’s Jotunheimen national park.  The weather was good this day, so I stopped here hoping this view would provide something spectacular for sunset.  Increasing clouds throughout the day led to a dance of shadows across the land.  While the sunset I was hoping for never arrived, I feel this image is an adequate representation of the brilliance of this location.  Another place that I’ll have to return to in the future.

Click here to view the rest of my images from Jotunheimen national park.

Fan Brycheiniog and Black Mountain, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

September:  Black mountain, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

I wont lie, this is more of a filler photo from an unproductive month.  It was a nice autumn day out hiking the the Black Mountain, but that’s about it.

Callanish standing stones, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

October:  Callanish standing stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

In late October I found myself out on the Scotland’s Western Isles.  I had originally intended to travel here last year, but as normal, plans changed.  I got lucky when I arrived at the Callanish standing stones in the late afternoon with clear skies and calm wind, about as good of conditions as can be hoped for out there.  This photo is just a simple silhouette, yet for some reason it jumps out at me.

Click here to view photos from my Western Isles trip.

Corn Du brecon beacons

November:  Pen Y Fan and Corn Du, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

I was a bit torn as to what to add here as late November brought a deep freeze to the UK, but I thought this image of the last day of autumn (before the snow) just had some magical light.  Typical Welsh weather of clouds, sun and shadows while hiking around Pen Y Fan in the central Brecon Beacons mountains.

Ice covers Llangorse lake at dawn, Brecon Beacons naitonal park, Wales

December: Winter ice covers Llangorse lake, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

Llangorse is the only sizeable lake in the nearby area.  Despite this, the beginning of December was the first time I’ve ever been there.  And that is mostly because the roads have been too bad to go anywhere else.  For some reason I became slightly obsessed with getting a proper frozen lake image.    On my first visit I fell through some ice and had to leave early before any decent light.  With my second time I was greeted with impenetrable fog.  Finally on my third visit I had some clear skies, though the light is nothing special.  The surface of the lake is a bit messier than I would prefer, but at least the broken pieces of ice add some interesting shapes to the image.

Part I January – June: CLICK HERE

Western Isles Scotland Photo Gallery

Storm over beach, Berneray, Scotland

Photo: Autumn storm passes over Sound of Harris, Berneray, Outer Hebrides, Scotland


I’ve put up a image gallery from my Scottish islands trip at the end of October.  Photos from Isle of Harris, Isle of Lewis, Berneray, and North Uist.

Scenic Traigh Lar Beach, Isle of Harris

Scenic Traigh Lar Beach, Isle of Harris