Scalpay is joined to Harris by a bridge, even so it’s perceptibly different to it’s larger neighbour. The jewel in the crown of Scalpay is the walk out across the peat to Eilean Glas Lighthouse. It’s a mile or so of easy walking on mostly a gravel peat cutter’s path* and it’s a great place to while away a few hours on a fine evening with some long exposure photography. When I’m setting-up to photograph the lighthouse, I have to confess to being a bit anal about lighthouse placement within the image. By this I mean I like to align the tower within the ‘notch’ of the Shiants in the distance. I hope no one ever asks me why, I can’t explain this rationally. I just do it! I’ve visited this place several times and it’s beautiful. I’ve also been able to share the time I have spent here with a couple of people who have mattered very much to me. The memories I am left with are priceless and I daresay I’ll visit Eilean Glas again with new friends and other photographers and return with more happy memories. I’ll hold those first memories for ever, though!
Photographing with film in the evening is a challenge. A three stop neutral density filter gave me the long enough exposure I needed with some added reciprocity compensation. The problem of a long exposure with rapidly dropping light levels made itself felt and I found myself in something of a guessing game with the exposure for this image. OK, I’ll stick my hand up and confess to being around three-quarters of a stop adrift with my combined calculations and guesswork. So much for all the years of rufty-tufty experience gained from traipsing the length and breadth of the UK honing my skills! The Fuji Velvia 50 frame was underexposed, but just within the capability of my Imacon scanner to retrieve detail from the gloop. I’m glad it was salvageable. The irnd filter combined with Velvia’s ability to plaster itself with a heavy colour cast produced an image of Eilean Glas that I quite like. There is movement in the clouds and the sea has been calmed, it’s the mood that matters and the gloopy Fuji colours sort of holds things together. Not forgetting, of course, the all-important requirement of the lighthouse tower bisecting the notch in the Shiants!
Great place, fun memories, want more!
Eilean Glas Lighthouse, Scalpay, October 2015. Hasselblad 503cw, Zeiss 80mm cfi planar, Fuji Velvia 50.
*Please park considerately near the gate entrance to the cutter’s track, it’s frequently in use!