Loch nan Eilean and The Cuillins

I had captured an image from Loch nan Eilean in the early spring of 1985; the loch was still and clear of vegetation and provided an almost perfect reflection of the Cuillins beyond. However, it was too early in the day to light the scene to perfection and the intervening moor was uniformly coloured an uninteresting shade of brown. I had resolved to return but never expected that it would take a further 29 years! 

This composition of the peaks of the northern Cuillins – Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe overlooking the moors at Sligachan requires afternoon light. The best results are to be obtained the further north the sun is in the sky.

On this particular day conditions were perfect; good light, interesting cloud formations in the sky, the first hints of autumn in the vegetation and still waters with only a hint of a breeze. The sun was just starting to fade, producing that gentle warm light of late afternoon.

The only decision I really had to take was one of elevation – to capture the image by the water’s edge or from the rolling moorland above. As a matter of routine I would always favour a higher elevation when seeking to capture a reflection but on this occasion I felt that the plants floating in the lochan produced more interest in the foreground than a straight forward reflection – so I those the lower elevation. 

Date : 29th September 
Location Map Reference : 472307 : Near Sligachan, Isle of Skye.
Time : 1710 GMT

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