• Daniel Wretham

Photographing Scotland - Isle of Skye

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

The Isle of Skye is perhaps one of the best known photography locations in the UK and maybe even the world ? It has everything a landscape photographer could wish for, Heritage, Seascapes, Mountains, Waterfalls, Lochs, the list just goes on and on.

I have seen thousands of pictures from the Isle of Skye and it was somewhere I really wanted to visit and see with my own eyes, a landscape photography mecca if you like.

I knew in advance that it wasn't going to be a case of getting original shots as the vast majority of Skye had been photographed and done very well by many others before me, it was more about having the chance to tread the footsteps that photographers I admired had done before me and seeing these incredible sights for myself, Half of me wasn't even worried about photographing it, it was just about being there.

That said I wasn't going to miss my chance at getting some photos while I was there, that would be madness.

The weather forecast had been looking pretty awful for the week I was staying in Scotland sadly, with the majority of the rain forming over the Isle of Skye and Glencoe areas which typically were the areas I most wanted to visit.

There was a small glimmer of hope on the horizon though, Monday had sun & rain forecast even though the rain was heavy and looking further down the week there was nothing but rain so I wasn't going to miss a chance while it was there even if it was only a slim one.

There were several areas of Skye that I really wanted to visit and I had made a map of the locations and decided on my best times to visit them for the best chances.

One of the main attractions at the Isle of Skye is Eilean Donan Castle which was a simply stunning castle that was on a small island out in the middle of where three lochs meet.

This was going to be my first stop and I intended to be there for sunrise for a number of reasons, mainly to avoid the tourists who flock to this area in their droves and because I really wanted to get first light hitting the castle and surrounding mountains.

The drive from Inverness to Skye was a fairly straight forward one as there was one main road all the way in to Skye from Loch Ness, I was driving down it in pitch black early morning conditions with heavy driving rain which wasn't very encouraging but I couldn't help but notice there were several lochs and loads of mountains on this road and I really wished I had been driving it during day light to see the scenery properly because it looked seriously interesting and I noted it as a back up plan for the drive back that evening if I had time.

I knew i couldn't cover all of Skye's delights in a single day, I could have been there all year and not done that but I knew my most wanted areas and I was going to hit as many as I could.

About five miles from Eilean Donan Castle the rain started to ease a little bit and I was almost holding my breath wondering if the conditions might actually play ball for me.

As I rounded the bend I got my first view of the castle, I can't really print what I said but it would be very fair to say that I was impressed and it was every bit the amazing place I had thought it would be.

I was really keen to get some pictures but the flat grey skies that had plagued the trip so far were still here.

I looked around for a few compositions which seemed to be everywhere and decided on the areas I wanted to go for. I had been very fortunate to have the place to myself and I couldn't believe that no one else was here yet ?

Then it dawned on me, who else would be stupid enough to be standing in the rain in the early hours of Monday morning, Why, Why do we do it ?

I knew the shots were never going to be great with the conditions that I was presented with but even so I wanted to get some reminders of this amazing place so I got busy and started taking a few.

A small bit of light pink had caught on the clouds and it was about as good as it got for me really and I made the best of what I had.

Out of nowhere came a mini JCB style digger which went out on the bridge to the castle and parked up which wasn't anything other than a big yellow ugly blight on the landscape so I called it a day and took a moment to look at the placard which told the history of the castle.