Butt of Lewis Winter Storm

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis lighthouse storm

Photo: Large winter waves crash into cliffs below lighthouse at Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.  Jan 2, 2012

After bringing in the new year on Berneray, we took the ferry to the isle of Harris and then drove north to the Butt of Lewis, the northern most point on the Outer Hebrides.  The cliffs here are the first point of land reached by hundreds of miles of wind and waves coming from the north Atlantic.  And in the gale force winds on early January 2012, the waves were pounding the cliffs with a fury and power that I normally only see in nature documentaries.  While the waves can and do get bigger here, it was still quite an impressive sight and even there seemed to be a few locals turning up to checkout the show.

I tried my best to capture some images, but the combination of low light levels, high winds and my all too light tripod didn’t do much to help the situation.  I couldn’t even let go of my camera or everything would blow over.  I managed to find a few locations that wont overly affected by sea spay, but these weren’t always the most ideal views.  If I were some cameraman a BBC documentary, it would have been one of those behind the scenes moments where they talk about extreme working conditions.  I also found it difficult to show scale in the scene.  I’d estimate the cliffs at about 40-45 ft in height.  The lighthouse tower is 121 ft high, so that helps a bit in that image.

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis winter storm

Photo: Watching waves crash into rocks at Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.  Jan 2, 2012

 

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis winter storm

 

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis winter storm

 

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis winter storm

 

Outer Hebrides Butt of Lewis winter storm

5 replies
  1. Søren says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! What a display! I feel with your equipment and your pain from not being able to shoot ideal frames, but this set is still fantastic! Must have been a sight to behold.

  2. Cody says:

    Ya, was quite impressive to watch. Stayed there for a few hours all and all (mostly just sitting in the car though). It’s scenes like this that convince me that I need to get a camera with video sometime soon.

  3. Robert says:

    Beautiful! My wife and I stayed on Lewis for a week back in 2004 (we’re in the US), and my only regret was that the sea was always so calm. We stayed just 15 minutes from the Butt of Lewis and visited it several times–it’s a magnificent spot!

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