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Now Is The Time To Learn During Lockdown.

Last Friday I headed off to the Isle of Skye to embark on what should have been a week of creating time-lapse of the aurora for an upcoming documentary on the BBC. There was no mad rush to get up as the best forecast is for this coming weekend and I always love taking my time when going to the highlands. You never know when a composition is going to open itself up. The point is totally proven in the image above, which was shot no more that 10 years from a lay-by on the A87 about 5 miles past Invergarry. Ok so you need to be in the right place at the right time with luck on your side. 2 minutes after taking this photo, the composition didn't work anymore as the wind got up and ruined the reflection.

It is worth mentioning, that during my drive up to Skye, I had no social contact what so ever, with the exception of checking into 2 Premier Inns where both I and the receptionist observed the 2 meters of separation and when I needed to put some diesel in the car, gloves were used and I paid at the pump. I had also been working for from for the previous week and had been in virtual isolation,

So I arrived on Skye and with a typical forecast of high winds and torrential rain forecast from Monday, I made the most of the conditions managed to create 24 seconds of time-lapse footage at Sligachan Waterfalls ( not a sole about) and went for a hike up near the Quiraing ( again totally deserted ) where I managed to shoot a panorama. I got out early on Monday just as the weather was starting to turn and headed to Brother Point where I took 1 image before the rain arrived........... and that was the end of it, Monday evening saw the PM deliver the lockdown speech and by 10pm I was packed up. 6am yesterday morning I set off back home in horrific conditions. 460 miles and 9.5 hours later I was back in Helmsley. I didn't have any hesitation in leaving and in the times that we are living in, there are far more important things in life than taking photos. The islands will be there when all of this is over. I have just released to workshops to Skye and Torridon next March and April and all being well will be spending 3 weeks up there with clients this coming Autumn.

However, I digress so back onto the main subject matter. As we are all in lockdown then there has never been a better opportunity to learn a new skill or technique which will improve us as photographers. I have been putting off learning luminosity masking in photoshop for sometime and now is my chance. Think about your photography or editing skills, what is it that you want to develop. Is it getting off automatic settings on your camera, do you want to learn macro photography, what about working on compositions, shooting in low light, creating a timelapse the list is endless, all of which can be done in your own home.

I am going to be posting a daily blog moving forward and will set some challenges for you. Yes its just a bit of fun but it will get the old grey matter thinking. I am also here to offer you any hints, tips or advise. We live in a connected world now, where we can all Skype, Facetime or Whats App so if you want to get in touch, then feel free to reach out. Please feel free to write any comments below on anything you would like help with and I will get back to you. Likewise feel free to share this with your friends and family and lets see if we can create a community over the coming weeks and months; together we will get through this.

Stay safe everyone.


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