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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 07 – Exploring Durness

This was a deliberate lazy day for us. Our friends headed off to visit Sandwood Bay whilst we had a lazy morning exploring the lovely gardens and shoreline at the Eddrachilles Hotel.

We then headed north towards Durness and Smoo Cave. This is a coastal cave which you can go down and explore. There are various blowholes letting in light and the portion of the cave which is flooded – you can explore via boat. We did not partake in that this time.

From there we headed to the Balnakeil Craft Villiage where we visited the excellent Cocoa Mountain for a hot chocolate before exploring the various arts and crafts venues.

On the recommendation of the staff the Eddrachilles Hotel we headed down to the beach at Balnakeil. There is a lovely old church and graveyard there along with a stunning beach.

It was then back to the Eddrachilles Hotel for yet another stunning meal then chilling out by the fire.

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 06 – Gairloch to Scourie

Again some wonkieness on the map – but I think this was my fault – updating the timeline rather than filtering it.

We left the Charlestown House B&B and headed to the Poolewe Villiage Hall to see the local market. Lots of arts and crafts (and tea and scones) available. I finally remembered I had brought the fisheye lens so captured a few shots with that.

From here we headed around Gruinard Bay. If you look really closely you can see lots of seals basking on the rocks and yet another stunning beach!

Next stop was the Corrieshalloch Gorge. Here you have a suspension bridge spanning a deep gorge with a waterfall. I tried my best to get some slow shutter shots of the waterfall but a suspension bridge is not conducive to removing camera shake (my knees didn’t help either as I leaned over the edge).

We then headed slightly back long the road we had just come – to have a picnic lunch looking down the valley to Loch Broom an Ullapool.

After a quick stop in Ullapool (tea and scone) we headed back onto the single track roads taking a detour to Achiltibuie before backtracking and heading for Lochinver. This is a stunning road but there are not many places to stop and enjoy the view. Remember – it’s not recommended to park in a passing place!

Next stop was supposed to be just before Scourie but this was our second unintentional detour. The signpost had blown down so rather than taking a left half way along Loch Assynt we headed all the way down to Ledmore before I spotted my mistake. On the plus side – there were lots of photo opportunities !

Back on track we headed for Unapool, Kylesku Bridge and our final stop of the day at the Eddrachilles Hotel.

This accommodation was the find of the trip – a lovely conservatory overlooking the bay, with a log burner to keep things cosy. The staff are friendly and the food was AMAZING.

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 05 – Exploring Loch Ewe

OK – spot where the GPS tracking went a bit wonky – I can confirm that there were no helicopter flights or swimming in Loch Ewe.

After a lovely breakfast at the Charlestown House B&B (I heartily recommend the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon) we headed off exploring on our own as our friends were off shell-fishing. We (I) decided to head north west along a very narrow single track road to the Rua Reidh Lighthouse. Seriously this road is just wide enough for a car!

From here we headed back down into Gairloch and time for tea and a scone (noticing the trend here) at the lovely Mountain Coffee Company. We say in their conservatory and relaxed.

From there we headed to the north east corner of the peninsula and the Cove Light Anti-Aircraft battery. This was used in WW2 to protect Loch Ewe which was a meeting point for various convoys.

The views from here were STUNNING!

It was time for tea again so south to the Poolewe hotel then a quick rendezvous at Inverewe Gardens before heading to the STUNNING Mellon Udrigle beach.

It was tempting to jump in for a swim – maybe if we had been there earlier in the day.

Time for dinner at the Altbea Hotel with fantastic views over Loch Ewe to the Isle of Ewe before retiring back to the Charlestown House B&B for a well deserved drink before bed.

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 04 – Edinbane to Gairloch

Final sampling of the wonderful porridge at the Edinbane Inn it was time to head to Portree for a visit as we had just whizzed through it the previous day.

The harbour was lovely and another place that merits much more time than we gave it.

From here it was south to the Skye Bridge and back to the mainland. I can’t go too far or too long without a cup of tea so it was time for a stop and a wander around Plockton, popping in to the Plockton Shores and Coffee Shop for tea and a scone.

From here it was a long and winding drive to get to and climb over the spectacular Bealach na Ba pass….

… before dropping down into Applecross for a fantastic lunch at the Applecross Inn. A must stop if you are in the area (make the trip !!!!!)

From here – rather than heading back over the pass we heading north around the peninsula. This was one of my favourite roads to drive on. Twisty enough to be challenging, Smooth enough you can drive fast on, Views back to Skye that mean you don’t want to drive fast!

 

Time was getting on now so only a quick stop in at Torridon at one of my favourite photography spots…..

…. before heading for our next overnight stop at the Charlestown House B&B just outside of Gairloch.

It’s worth noting that the road along Loch Maree was one of the most challenging – maybe because I was tired – but this road goes from a modern straight (what I would call an A road) to a single track road with passing places with little or no warning.

Dinner that night was in the nearby Old Inn.

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 03 – Exploring Skye

First things first – maybe the best breakfast of the trip – the Edinbane Inn does a fantastic porridge. You must try it! Fuelled up – it was back to Dunvegan Castle now that they were open. This is a fantastic castle and gardens and gave us our first insight into the “faerie” culture in Skye (see below).

From here we backtracked past Edinbane heading for the north east order of Skye. There was lots of scenery but the next stop was at the Skye Museum Of Island Life. Lots to see, read and explore here but there hunger pangs were getting us and they didn’t have a cafe :(.

We just managed to get the tail end of the lunch service at The Flodigarry Hotel where the food was almost as stunning as the views. Elaine claimed that this was the best salad she has ever eaten! Another one on the list for a more leisurely visit.

Heading south along the east coast the next stop was at Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls Viewpoint.

Time was marching on so a mad dash now – heading back towards the Talisker distillery but heading left before we got there. Next stop was The Fairy Pools – a natural formation of pools and waterfalls fed directly from the Coulin mountains.

Don’t worry – it wasn’t as cold as it looks -IT WAS MUCH WORSE !!!! I’m glad I did it (and I’d probably do it again)!

We swam just upstream of the next photo – in which you can see an underwater arch – maybe the next time!

After the wild swimming it was back to the Edinbane Inn for another fantastic meal with some traditional music for afters.

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 02 – Inverarnon to Edinbane

After a lovely breakfast at the Drovers it was time to head north to Glencoe. This is a well travelled route so not much to report here. We did stop at the Loch Tulla Viewpoint. I had not checked the settings on the camera before taking the first shot of the day – but it did end up being one of my favourite shots.

After passing through Glencoe …

…we heading on towards Glenfinnan, another first for me. This is the location of the “famous” “Harry Potter” bridge. For me – I was nor impressed by the Glenfinnan monument and the stunning views down Loch Shiel.

(I have since straightened the horizon on my local copy)

From here we were under a bit of time pressure as we were booked to be on the ferry from Mallaig to Skye. This did not stop us from heading along the scenic route – taking in the spectacular Morar Sands. This is definitely on the list for a more leisurely visit.

Before boarding the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye we sampled the fantastic (made to order) Cullen Skink soup from the cafe just at the Zebra crossing just outside the ferry terminal.

After the smooth crossing we headed north – popping in to the Tallisker distillery. We had missed the last tour of the day but the shop was still open so we stocked up on some essentials for the coming evenings! Completely unplanned but we spotted a sign for The Oyster Shed – which is literally a shed but sells fantastic oysters (and other seafood).

Time was marching on so it was time to head to our first overnight on Skye. This was where I fell foul of a frozen (phone based) satnav and missed my turning , ending up at Dunvegan Castle. They had no rooms free so we headed back to the planned route.

We stayed at the Edinbane Inn in Edinbane. This is where it really sunk in – Scotland has a great number of FANTASTIC places to eat !

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photography

North Coast 500 – NC500 – Day 01 – Home to Inverarnon

A ridiculously short day but we were all working, but wanted to make a dent on the route to make it less of a rush to catch the ferry to Skye on the Friday.

This was also a chance to tick off a bucket list item and have an overnight at the Drovers Inn in Inverarnon.

This is one of my favourite pubs in the area and we always stop for food or a drink when we are passing. This 300 year old inn is famous for it’s welcoming atmosphere and scary taxidermy specimens.

I always wanted to stay here – bucket list item – ticked!

If you are interested in accessing full size full resolution versions of any of my images then please contact me using any of the social links listed here.

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Photo Photography Uncategorized

Lightroom Weirdness – Panoramas

I know there have not been a lot of posts recently but I have been doing a lot of learning and processing in Lightroom from my recent holiday.

I have just spotted an interesting bug / feature when creating panoramas.

I shoot in raw & jpg – both with the same resolution.
I have just had a couple of scenarios where, when I create the panorama from the raw files it creates OK. If I create from the jpg files it does not give me the full width.

It is not a size limit – I have created MUCH bigger panoramas than these.
I’m assuming it’s not a problem with the contents not merging as the raws worked but the JPGs didn’t.

Thoughts?

Spot The Difference

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Photography

Scott Firestone: Chicago Street Photographer

Scott Firestone is a hobby photographer from Chicago who was recently selected as a finalist in the 2017 EyeEm Photography Awards, the largest photo contest in the world. We asked Scott to share a few words about his photography and the city he loves to photograph.

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Photo Photo Of The Week Photography

Flickr Photographer – Matthew Nuttall

I just recently discovered this photographer via a forum at work. He has some stunning nature photos and my personal favourite – black and white urban landscapes.