Hiking With The D810 - The Quiraing

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Steve Monks
Steve Monks Regular Member • Posts: 453
Hiking With The D810 - The Quiraing
19

I've wanted to visit and photograph The Isle of Skye for a number of years now, particularly the area known as The Quiraing, so it was with some anticipation that I booked a couple of nights accommodation and set off on the long drive up to the island.

The following pictures are from two shoots on the same day, the first was to catch the sunrise.

Despite never visiting the area before, I'd tried to plan as much as possible in advance, so I'd plotted potential viewing locations and routes beforehand using the OS maps online 2D and 3D maps, so I had a rough idea of where to head.

I managed to arrive at the car park at the last minute, with about 20 minutes to spare before the sun came up, so I needed to make a hasty hike up to a decent viewing point.

As it turned out, the sunrise itself was a bit bland, with a featureless sky and no significant colour. Still the scenery itself was stunning and did not disappoint, so I took a number of images from a few locations at different points along the hiking trail at a number of focal lengths.

In this instance I was using primes and, unusually for me, a tripod. Unusual because I generally prefer the flexibility and ease of hand held shooting, but with the low light levels and use of f/8.0 at ISO 64, the tripod was something of a necessary evil. An additional benefit of the tripod when using primes is it makes lens swaps a lot easier than trying to juggle two lenses and a camera in your hands.

Sunrise at The Quiraing. Slightly annoyed at myself for the framing here, it should be a bit lower to catch the curve of the river in the foreground. Another shot from later in the day manages this much better, but the lighting and atmosphere are completely different. This is what you get for turning up at the last minute and rushing.

After the sunrise shoot, I headed back to my lodgings for breakfast before returning for a proper hike to the top of Meall Na Suiramach. The idea was that I'd get a different perpsective on the ridge from the top of there, but the weather had other ideas.

The early part of the walk was fine. A bit of a wind had built up since the morning, but it was dry and reasonably clear, although the tops were looking a bit claggy.

As I was now carrying my full survival gear, two cameras (the D810 and an E-M1 MKII) plus a pocketful of lenses, the following shots are all hand held as I didn't fancy lugging the tripod up to the summit of Meall Na Suiramach.

Heading into The Quiraing. The crags to the left are Creag Loisgte and the pointy hill in the distance is Dun Mor. My planned walk would take round, up and onto the top of the crags for a higher aspect view of the Trotternish Ridge (off camera to my right in this shot).

A different view of the ridge from earlier along the footpath. The hill in the foreground is Cnoc a Mheirlich.

This is from a similar location to the dawn shot and I think is framed a bit better as it doesn't cut the river off at the bottom. The benefits of not being in a rush, or half asleep for that matter.

Further along the path and The Prison begins to come into view.

The Prison is a fascinating rock formation that looks like an old style prison from certain angles.

The Ridge with Cleat and Loch Cleat in the foreground.

A wider perspective from roughly the same location.

At this point I'd climbed the slippery rocky path up to Fir Breugach, so this is looking more or less due South from the top of the path. Having left the valley I was now exposed to the full force of the wind and struggling to remain upright.

Having made my way further up the path to the summit. This is the last shot taken with the D810 as heavy drizzle kicked in at this point and none of my prime lenses are weather resistant.It turns out that drizzle hitting your face in a 40MPH gale is quite uncomfortable, however a recently purchased ski mask turned out to be an invaluable aid as I continued into the wind toward the fog shrouded summit.As you might imagine, there were no views to be had from up there at all and I had to resort to navigating by map and compass (I always carry these, just in case) to keep away from the ridge and get safely back to the car.

 Steve Monks's gear list:Steve Monks's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Nikon D810 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Olympus E-M1 II +12 more
Nikon D810
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