Luskentyre Beach – Isle of Harris

luskentyre beach isle of harris

Photo: Dawn light over Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

I went to Luskentyre Beach five times in three days and each and every time I was presented with something different. I think there must be some rule on the Outer Hebrides: If the morning is calm, the evening will be stormy.  If the evening is calm, the morning will stormy.  As this seemed to be the cycle of weather out there.  And with changing weather comes changing light.  Always something new to see in the exact same place as I had been just a few hours before.  Luskentyre is quickly developing into one of my favorite places, though it will most likely be several years now until I get to return again.

luskentyre beach isle of harris

luskentyre beach isle of harris

luskentyre beach isle of harris

luskentyre beach isle of harris

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