Rafael Rojas Photography

Blog of Rafael Rojas Fine Art Photography

Photo of the Week: Old Man of Storr


You already know it before going. The Scottish weather is dynamic and impossible to forecast. You know it, but it is still quite puzzling when you experience it first hand. During our stay in the island of Skye this winter we had quite a photogenic weather. Lot of snow, lot of frost on the rocks and vegetation all day long, and very windy days with moving clouds that left the sun peek through gaps giving lots of possibilities of "transient light", as the scottish photographer Ian Cameron so well describe... This image was taken on the very first day of 2010. After a night dancing (or trying to dance) traditional scottish music, drinking whisky and listening to life music full of bagpipes in the village of Breakish we got up at 6 in the morning heading to the Trotternish area in northern Skye. Thick clouds and some little rain did not encourage the idea of getting something for the sunrise, but there we went, up the mountain, to get a proper viewpoint. Scrambling up the hill wading through thick snow and braving the wind turned out to be a perfect solution for a New Year day hangover. One hour later, with a pumping heart and panting lungs we reached  a preselected elevated point from where the main Old Man pinnacle got aligned with another nearby pinnacle, increasing its impression of height and simplifying the outline. Tripod set, composition found, filters in place and little towel on it to prevent condensation, we just needed to wait. The funny thing is as sunrise time approached, the clouds fell on us and we found ouselves surrounded by thick fog. Not a single view, just a blank grey space and a shivering wife. Forty minutes later, a nice glow started to light the snow, and we crossed our fingers. Then magic happened, and for several minutes the sun played hide and seek with the landscape, being reflected in the loch and later on lighting the summits of the Cuillin mountains in the distance. This image represents the starting moment when the cloud cover started to rise and tore off slightly, letting the rising sun pierce the sky and giving us one of those unforgettable moments that make landscape photography a blessing more than a hobby, activity or profession. After taking some images with the digital camera, we set the panoramic beast on the tripod and spent some velvia film. One hour later, we got down to our car with a perfect gift for the new year 2010 in our cards and rolls. Is there a better way to start the year?

Thanks for reading and great light to you all.