Islands – Hebrides

You might think March is a bad time to visit the Hebrides in North West Scotland.  I did.  The over-wintering migrants have already headed north and not much in the way of Spring has kicked off yet apart from that the white-tailed eagles are tidying up their nests and about to lay. The forecast was gloomy.   To that end the shoot worked a treat. We time-lapsed the Iron Age standing stones at  Callanish on the Isle of Lewis with storm clouds brewing overhead; we filmed the World’s third biggest whirlpool at Corryveckan on the Isle of Mull beneath an equally turbulent sky; we filmed the ‘Eye of the Butt of Ness’ in the only sunset we got. We even tracked the camera over the shortest, most uninspiring patch of grass which we were assured by the Isla of Harris ranger was going to explode with rare flora by June and would include at least 8 species of orchid. This was the rarest of coastal habitats, the Machair and we will repeat our camera track in the summer and mix from dull short grass to a riot of colour. It was so hard to imagine this in the freezing drizzle. However, with our limited time on the islands we want to try to show them in all their dramatic moods and so the not unexpected grey cloud, chill wind and constant drizzle is going to be a very obvious contrast to the blue skies, azure waters,  wild flowers and spectacular nesting seabird colonies we hope we’ll find on the islands in June.  The almost constant drizzle had fringe benefits too and  allowed me a bit of time to experiment with HDR time-lapse. The effect definitely looks interesting and very surreal.  I’m using HDR later this year for a feature film about Colombia. The hyper reality will work well with the dream scenes we have planned but I’m thinking it would be hard to cut a shot that looked like this into a nature documentary. It’s work in progress and I’m not giving up on it yet.

HDR Fishing Boats Isle of Mull © Richard Kirby

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