Capturing a fleeting moment on Skye

I was delighted to find that Páramo had chosen my image of the fleeting light as their prizewinner from the images in this year’s Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards book.

The Halcon Traveller that I received shortly after was very welcome. I’ve had it out and about to give it a proper go and couldn’t be happier with my prize.

The image itself was taken at the iconic Quiraing on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It’s a location that draws tourists (and, of course, photographers) from the across the globe, attracted by the mystery and drama of Scotland’s landscape.

It was taken in April 2016 during a workshop I was running on Skye and this was our first morning’s outing. The weather was very miserable with thick clouds and, shortly before sunrise, a hail and
rain shower. I could see the disappointment on the participants’ faces, but we held on and waited for it to pass. It started to clear up pretty quickly and we were treated to some very dramatic light.

After making sure the participants were making the most of the conditions, I grabbed this shot using my zoom lens to focus on the light hitting the peak in the distance framed by the ones on either side. It’s a very simple image but one that captures something different from the usual wide vistas that this location is famous for.

One of the best things a photographer can do is to try and anticipate the conditions. By that I mean, if the clouds are moving in a particular direction then you can try and pre-empt where the light falling on the landscape will follow or hopefully be in the coming moments. It is, of course, Scotland so the weather can be unpredictable at times!

I believe the image shows off the drama of this part of Scotland and why photographers return over and over again to the same place.

For those interested in the technical details behind the image, it was captured on a Phase One IQ380 with Schneider Kreuznach LS 240mm at f/11 and 0.2s (ISO 50).

Shahbaz Majeed

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