Creativity is a funny thing. Sometimes my urge to write and capture images burns brightly for weeks on end. At other times that desire can be as fleeting as a shaft of light on an overcast winter’s day. One thing is certain though: the urge will always return.
I couldn’t publish my posts fast enough over the winter months. The ideas were overflowing and I wrote some of my best work to date. It’s springtime now and it feels like the well has dried up slightly over the last month as I’ve been sidetracked with making grand plans for the year ahead.
Nowhere to hide
Long story short: – it’s been a month since I last obsessed about getting out and about with my camera. However the theme of this week’s WordPress photographic challenge is ‘landscape‘, meaning that there’s really nowhere for me to hide. So, I’ve loaded up the laptop late at night when I ought to be tucked up in bed, to see what comes out on the keyboard. Given the lack of recent photographs, I’ve decided to look back on a couple of sunrise and sunset images which you may have missed in a previous post and dig out an old panoramic shot which will be new to all.
As far as photography is concerned, writing about landscapes in isolation is only telling half the story. As you may already know, I’ve felt an affinity with the Scottish scenery since early childhood and that was my inspiration for picking up a camera at a young age. My passion for light, however, evolved many years later.
Landscapes and light
For me, nowadays, landscapes and light go hand-in-hand and there’s nothing more frustrating than having one without the other. Imagine being in beautiful surroundings on a day when the light is flat, or seeing a shaft of light or a rainbow in a less than scenic environment, and you’ll know what I’m getting at.
As a landscape photographer, there’s nothing more thrilling than that moment when the light and land combine and something special is recorded on the memory card. It doesn’t happen often enough though. The demands of day-to-day life get in the way and sometimes that elusive ray of light fades away while I’m still setting up the camera, but all the frustrations and failures make the joys and successes even more rewarding.
On the whole, I’ve been fairly lucky with the weather on the west coast over the years but, inevitably, there have been times when I’ve booked my annual leave, travelled a long distance (in Scottish terms), only to arrive at my destination as the sunshine fizzles out and the rain sets in for several days.
Sunrise, noon and sunset
I’ve only visited the Isle of Eigg twice but I’ve been blessed with sunshine and photogenic light on both occasions. The three images shown in this post were all captured within a mile or so of each other at different times of the day: sunrise; solar noon; and sunset. The foregrounds are strikingly different but the dramatic mountainous profile of the Isle of Rum remains constant.
I’ll let you judge the photographs for yourself but I think it’s fair to say that the landscape is spectacular in its own right but what really brings it to life is the light.
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3 beautiful images- hard to choose a favourite. If pushed, I’d say I favour the sunset. Staggeringly good.
Thanks very much Suzy. The sunset has to be my favourite too. I have a print hanging in my living room and so I get to enjoy casting my mind back to Eigg every day.
So much beauty captured by such a talented person. Thanks Karen.
Thanks very much Bernadette. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather spend my holidays than the beautiful Scottish islands.
great pictures and yes I would believe the volcano came back to life.
Thanks Ron. I couldn’t believe my luck when this spectacular sunset unfolded! I’ll remember that evening for the rest of my life.
Really amazing photos!
Thanks very much! I was so fortunate to have these conditions in a place as beautiful as Eigg.
Breathtaking, especially the last one with sunsetting. Fabulous photography!
Thanks very much! The sunset is one of my personal favourites.
Gorgeous pictures. As a Rum resident I truly hope the volcano remains extinct 🙂
Thank you. Me too! I think we’re safe in Scotland 🙂
Lovely post, beautiful words and pictures!
Thank you Gigi. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Beautiful work…..and I can only agree with you that the perfect mix is stunning landscape and delicious light😊Scotland certainly can weave these beautifully together for us photography lovers…..and fill us with frustration when the light is denied us😁
Thank you Seonaid. We’re spoiled here in Scotland with the ever changing light on our beautiful landscapes. I’ll never tire of it!
The marriage of landscape and light, you officiating! The image of you waiting for shadows to recede reminds me of Ansel Adams waiting all night for the light to be right. That’s why I enjoy photographing in my one particular place: there’s a chance of catching it in all its moods.
It’s a match made in heaven! I’m pretty patient when it comes to photography and will happily hang around for an hour or two waiting for the light to change or for the wind to drop. However I take my hat off to Ansel Adams for waiting the whole night through! I would love to have more time to visit the dramatic landscapes of Scotland’s west coast and islands but, like you, I find photographing my local patch in all its moods incredibly rewarding.
I didn’t even notice that the photos all had the same mountains in the background till you mentioned it, because all the photos are so different. Great photography lesson. Glad to hear you’ve had such a productive winter!
Thank you Peggy! It really is quite incredible how the light can change a scene. Throw in the different seasons and you could be pretty busy in a small area for a while!
Totally! I was in Salzburg the other day. I arrived at 11am, and I basically didn’t even shoot. The light was just so bright and directly overhead, it wasn’t worth it. But I stayed all day, thankfully, so I was able to go back to some of the things I wanted to shoot before I left and actually do a tiny bit of justice to beautiful Salzburg with some photos with interesting light. If only we could be magicians and control the light, wouldn’t our lives be so much easier? 😉
Life would certainly be a lot easier! I guess we have to settle for being able to predict what the light’s going to do. That seems to be an art in itself! I’m glad you saw Salzburg in sunshine and managed to capture some photos that you’re happy with. I’ve never been but am sure it would be an amazing place to visit. 🙂
Yes ha, exactly! 🙂 Salzburg was truly gorgeous, I hope you can make it someday. Just a delight in every way.
Great photos Karen 🙂 And you’ve very nicely put the frustrations of being a photographer in general, but even more so for a landscape photographer, the tying together of wonderful landscapes and lighting, and the urge to get out and be creative. But when those things do all line up, as can be seen in most of your photos, the rewards are worth all of those frustrating times!! 🙂
Thanks Andy! 🙂 I guess if photography was as easy as I would sometimes like it to be, then it wouldn’t be quite so rewarding! My camera’s been a bit neglected these past few weeks but I’ll be back out and about again soon! 🙂
That’s very true Karen 🙂 I think the cool weather we’ve been having isn’t very inspirational, hopefully spring temperatures are just around the corner 🙂
That sunset is intriguing!
Yes, the light was spectacular! It’s been nearly two years since I captured this shot and I haven’t witnessed a sunset like this since. I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time!
Great photos. It’s on my list of locations to shoot 👍🏼
Thanks Mark. I’m sure you’d have a brilliant time on Eigg (and any of the other Small Isles for that matter)!
Hi Karen- WOW! How big are those concretions?
Hi Becky. Many of them are a metre or more in diameter. Seemingly a concretion half a metre across would have taken about three million years to form, so it’s not a particularly speedy process!
HMMM- they are really unique- thank you for sharing them!
Breath Taking! Proud of you Karen <3 🙂 keep rocking 🙂
Thanks very much Josh! 🙂
Awesome photos Karen.
Thank you Mairi!
What a sunset!
Thanks Allan! It was a spectacular sunset.
Love your photography… Makes me feel like I could reach right through the lens and touch the horizon… Great Job.. Karen._!!!
Thanks very much! Every time I look at the sunrise shot, I feel like I’m back on the clifftop with the Cuckoos breaking the silence around me. 🙂
Lovely shots, thank you for sharing them. With the Spring here I hope you get plenty of time to get out and shoot.
Thanks Kim. I’m glad you enjoyed them. The Scottish islands are an endless source of inspiration. I’ve been a bit sidetracked lately with other things but will no doubt be out and about with my camera again soon!
Reblogged this on Still Another Photoblog.
You are welcome! Love your work. BTW, is Scotland part of the UK or part of the EU?
Ah, thank you. I’m delighted to hear that. I’ve been a bit quiet lately but I’ll be publishing my next post today.
Scotland is currently part of the UK and the EU. Last week’s referendum result is monumental. England and Wales voted to leave the EU, yet Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. There’s a lot of ill-feeling on both sides of the debate and a lot of uncertainty regarding what lies ahead. One possibility is that Scotland might break away from the UK in order to remain in the EU.
Yes, I had heard this about Scotland / EU. By the way, have you considered putting your pictures together in a book published on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)?
A book is something that I’m certainly thinking about in longer term. Thanks for the tip re KDP – I will definitely give this some thought!
Helps avoid the frustration of being turned down by conventional publishers (who only pay 3% royalties anyway) and the terrifying expense of “vanity publishers” who charge thousands of dollars. (And, I like the 70% royalty rate of KDP! 🙂 )
Food for thought! Thanks very much for sharing.
Heya !!! Images clicked by you are breath taking !!! Extremely glad to visit this blog. Will be visiting back for the amazing clicks captured by you. Stay blessed 🙂
Thanks very much! I’m delighted that you’re enjoying the photographs. 🙂
You are welcome Karen 🙂 It’s all my pleasure !!!