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David Clapp's journey in the Outer Hebrides continues

Here's part three of David Clapp's Outer Hebrides report.

| Landscape and Travel
David Clapp's journey in the Outer Hebrides continues: Hunting Ground by David Clapp
1Ds Mk III, Contax 35-70mm f/3.4, f/11 for 3.2secs, ISO100 using a 6 stop ND.

Hunting Ground - A savage coastline indeed. One of the wonderful experiences I had on the Isle of Harris was exploring seascapes with a familiar Cornish feel. These are the mighty seastacks at Mangester, a set of landslips and rock escarpments, offset with a distant headland to match. The problem with this image was the complicated composition. Just out of the frame to the right is another feature that stopped me shooting any wider. If anyone would like to move the bottom right seastack about fifty metres to the left at some point, I would be very happy.

This shot took quite a bit of waiting for. With the sun completely out between clouds, the headland and stacks were sliced in half by the harsh light. It was simply a case of waiting for cloud to diffuse the light and then shooting multiple frames, catching the headland and stacks half lit. Still it was far from an arduous task. It was from here that I had a wonderful moment watching a Sea Eagle flushing out Fulmars from their cliff roosts as it soared far too close for their liking. Quite spectacular for both reasons.

David Clapp's journey in the Outer Hebrides continues: Amorphous by David Clapp
1Ds3, 17-40mm f/4L at 17mm, f/11 1/15th, ISO100, exposure blended from two images.

Amorphous - Just a bit further up the coast from the seastacks was a useful beach with some dunes and running fresh water, pouring from the hills behind. Continuing the rough coastal theme, this wonderful beach proved to be a great winter sunset location. The headland wasn't that striking, but the beach was extremely fun to shoot none the less thanks to patterns and lots of running water. The very nature of a waterfall running onto a beach causes the sand to collapse into itself, creating all these fabulous shapes alongside the usual sand drag, curving and arcing as it goes.

The clouds wouldn't break into any particularly nice shapes at this point, so I guess although inoffensive, it's all about the foreground, a somewhat soppy foreground to work on. The tripod had to be rammed into the sand to avoid soft shots. I tried shooting a longer 10stop exposure to smear their shape with cloud drag, but it didn't work out. None the less, I am happy with the result.

David Clapp's journey in the Outer Hebrides continues: Harris mangester beach
Canon 17-40mm f/4L, at 21mm f/11 for 1/5th sec, using a 0.9ND Grad, ISO100.

Pretzels - Into the centre of the beach was a great opportunity to shoot reflections, just after receding waves. As the sun sank into the sea, so the clouds broke up a little and created these wonderful abstract ring shapes and patterns. I have tried to be reserved with the processing, to keep tones and shadows correctly balanced along with realistic saturation.

David Clapp's journey in the Outer Hebrides continues: harris rodel saltmarsh
1Ds3, Contax 35-70mm f/3.4 at f/11 for 1/5th, ISO100.

Round-up - Finally, I just thought I would show you this particularly striking image, taken on the same morning but the other end of the coastline. The wonderful snaking shape of flats pulling the eye towards the gentle rise of Ceapabhal. It's a little after dawn, but the mountain has a wonderful red glow to it. Shot at around 40mm, it keeps the proportions of the scene correct. Shoot any wider and the mountain shrinks as the foreground expands, which doesn't do it any favours.

OK, the next instalment is from the wonderful Isle of Eigg.

Visit David Clapp's website.

Click on the links to read the previous posts:
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