Photographs by James Collett

Landscape Photography from Scotland

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

So after my day out doing Carradale Forest and Cnoc nan Gabhar Walk I headed for The Gauldrons in Storm Malik.

I had got the desire back to get out with the camera and whilst the storm was still active I decided to make the most of it and headed for The Gauldrons.

I have shot here many a time so I knew roughly where I was going to position myself.

As I arrived I could see a large marine layer of cloud that was going to cover any sunset colour that may have had a chance of getting through so headed for a crop of rocks so I could get an image in the bag with some light.

You can get to the Gauldrons from Machrihanish via this route.

Sticky Filter / Rusty Photographer

I quickly find a half decent composition and get set up, I took a few test shots but decided I needed my polarising filter on, but could I get my filter adapter off, nope!

I started to get annoyed as the light was fading and after about 2 minutes of cursing and threatening the adapter it finally gave in and came off, not having handled my equipment in such a long time was showing.

Once I got my filters on I repositioned myself and shot away.

Canon RP, 24 – 105mm f4 RF Lens @ f11, ISO 100, 24mm, 0.4 sec

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik
The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

I was glad I did, the sunrays that I was capturing only lasted about a minute before they disappeared, time to move.

Canon RP, 24 – 105mm f4 RF Lens @ f11, ISO 100, 24mm, 0.4 sec

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

I headed to the rocks that I had in my mind and quickly found another composition.

Slippery When Wet

Jeezo those rocks were slippery when wet. I actually thought I was on ice at one point and had to get down on my knees.

I had moved closer to the bigger crashing waves but I was a bit nervous to be honest, again my rustiness kicking in.

I stood, rather cautiously, for a minute just watching the waves come in. I was getting hit by the spray but I was more concerned about a rogue wave wiping me off the rocks.

After a few moments I was happy, so I get set up and get shooting and wiping my lens after each shot as the spray was pretty intense whilst using my body to protect the camera from the wind and looking over my shoulder just in case a wave decides to wipe me out.

Canon RP, 24 – 105mm f4 RF Lens @ f11, ISO 100, 24mm, 0.4 sec

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

From this position I moved about 2 meters in front of me to get a slightly different angle and composition just to where the little rock pools were.

Canon RP, 24 – 105mm f4 RF Lens @ f11, ISO 200, 24mm, 1.0 sec

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

And just the same image but a tighter crop in post editing.

The Gauldrons in Storm Malik

Photography Geek Talk

First of all my rustiness was bad, fumbling with my filters, when shooting forgetting where to change my ISO and footering with my tripod…I need a new tripod by the way wifey…if your reading!

Well actually, I probably don’t and as the saying goes a good tradesman never blames his tools! It was just me.

But all that said, I enjoyed it which is most important.

Framing the images down here is never easy for me, I always struggle in the chaos of the rocks, added to that the pressure of the fading light and my incompetence with my gear did distract me a little from spending a bit more time in selecting my foreground.

My standard setting for landscape photography are f11, ISO 100 and 0.5 seconds for catching waves and these didn’t change an awful lot, I think one of the images I ended up editing was ISO 200 at 1 second, this was deliberate as I wanted to capture the water fall off the rocks.

I wish I has filmed myself on the rocks as I must have looked a sight on my knees, but it did highlight to me that on the rocks with crashing waves you need to be very very careful, if you drop a bit of gear then leave it, don’t risk yourself for a filter or a lens cap etc.

Keeping the lens clean was a challenge. My lens cloth ended up very damp, luckily I had two. By the end I was just spreading the salt water over the filter so a good tip, take multiple lens cloths with you when you hit the coast.

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  1. Eric E. Photo February 11, 2022

    Sweet light and motion!

  2. Don February 23, 2022

    Nice post James. Great images for sure. Admire your honesty about working those situations. Must get to Scotland in the near future.

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