A First Man landscape and wildlife photography vlog.
This is the first episode of my landscape photography vlogs coming from the Isle of Mull on the West coast of Scotland.
The day started extremely early. I had booked us onto a 2pm ferry so we could arrive whilst it's was still light and potentially capture a sunset photograph on the first day.
The Isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull is high up in the Northern hemisphere. The days are very short in January with only about 8 hours of daylight. This meant maximising the daylight, shooting all day and then enjoying the long evenings. On this occasion I was travelling with my good friend Lyle McCalmont. Evenings spent post processing the day's bounties with the odd glass of wine are something to relish. Especially whilst reliving old times with the spark from some great music.
After a smooth journey and a particularly smooth ferry crossing we arrived on the Isle of Mull. Our accommodation was called Suide Farm Cottages and was about a 45 minute drive from the ferry port. On arrival there we drove straight past and headed for the village of Fionnphort, the most westerly tip of Mull. The sunset Sky never arrived but I ended the day capturing a worthy time lapse.
Day 2 - Hunting Otters
Day 2 began with some unexpected but welcome black and white landscape photography shot from out the back of the house. The addition of a very long lens and some contrast really cut through the haze.
We then got back in the car and went in search of some wildlife photography featuring the Wild Otters, buzzards and Highland Cows (not strictly wildlife). We stopped on a number of occasions to absorb the sheer enormity of the island. It is both brutal and unforgiving and the picture of the lone tree seemed to sum that up.
It took time to get into position to capture the Otters. Thankfully Lyles experience with wildlife photography and the animals meant it was not too long before I started understand how to spot them and understand some of their behaviour. Wildlife photography requires patience, commitment and slight obsession. Lyle has this and drives him to get the shot. This includes crawling through the sea to get low enough to capture a killer image.
We decided to work together so he got the still shot and I filmed the video. Using the 400mm lens with the Canon 5D Mark IV, the 4K features meant I did not have to get a close because I knew I could crop in to 1080p. Sucess followed shortly after and included one of best Otter shots I have ever seen coming from Lyle. I was also chuffed with my footage.
The day ended around the other side of the Loch with the planned landscape photograph of the day. The beaches around Mull are rocky and full of seaweed and make finding good foreground interest challenging. I explored around and found the composition I was looking for as the sun started to light the mountains and create some beautiful colours in the sky. This was changing fast though. I shot a 4 minute long exposure to capture as much of it as possible and introduce some interesting movement to the scene.
The day was fantastic but challenging. The island provided so many photo opportunities that narrowing down and focusing on a few shots became difficult. Especially considering the limited hours of daylight.
Episode 2 and 3 of the Mull trip will follow this video. Please subscribe to the Youtube channel.