April 29, 2014

More from Isle of Skye

So the journey on Skye continues and now we were off to The Old Man of Storr which is 'simply' a steep wall of rock that has been formed by landslip. Perhaps most famous for its strange formations of the rocks and pinnacles. Few hours here spent here trying to take pictures but as I mentioned in the previous blog the light was just to harsh. Strong sunlight and blue sky are not good for photography. Well it 's better than rain anyway :)
Next stop on the journey was the famous Kilt Rock, a sea cliff in northeast Trotternish. It's said to resemble a kilt, with vertical basalt columns to form the pleats and intruded sills of dolerite forming the pattern. There is also the Mealth waterfall that free falls 60m into the sea. After that rather quick visit, the parking was just meter away from the waterfall, we were off to The Quirang that also is a landslip. The land there is still moving, thus constantly damaging the road. The surface of the Quirang varies from the flat valleys to the steep pinnacles and cliffs. The area is said to be supernatural. It indeed amazes one greatly, who stands above the Quirang, approaching its dramatic scenery. The site is 'a must see' once on the Isle of Skye.
Neist point was the evening destination with its Lighthouse located on the west coast and the scenery is pretty amazing here.
When it got dark we drived to Portnalong located on the west coast and there we stayed our last night. There was one more thing and that was to shoot Skye famous night sky. Skye is as far away from major cities as its possible in UK, but unfortunately both the half moon and the faint aurora appeared far away in the horizon which is not helpful when we tried to take pictures of Milky Way.
Odd to complain as many would pay a lot to see aurora, but being a swede that has lived in Northen Sweden for many years. This time I just wanted to see the Milky Way :))
Still it was fun that we saw the northern lights, which does not happen too often on these latitudes. Last day, on the way home, we stopped to take pictures of 'Eilean Donan Castle' that is just few miles south of Isle of Skye. It has actually featured on couple of big movies, such as 'Highlander', the Bond-movie 'The world is not enough' and Astrid Lindgrens 'Mio min Mio'.

Until next time, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Eilean Donan Castle
Highland Cattle
Views towards Cuillin mountains
Neist point
The old man of Storr
Mealth waterfall fall and Kilt rock in the distance
Aurora and milkyway

April 24, 2014

Wonderful Isle of Skye

During the Eastern weekend we were off to Isle of Skye, which is known for being windy and rainy.
Gladly, not photo wise, the weather was amazing. Two out of three days were pure blue sky's with occasional fluffy cloud. I know I shouldn't complain, but blue sky on pictures is rather 'boring'.
Arriving on Friday evening we were off to an fishing village southwest called Elgol to take sunset pictures. Why there? Well, it has stunning views towards Cuillen mountain range that is quite impressive with its gray / black stone. Highest peak is at 992meter and it is considered as difficult to climb as the Alps and the Rockies peaks due to its sharp and steep edges.
The day afterwards we went even closer to Cuillins by visiting the Fairy pools that attract visitors from all over the world to see, hike along and swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters. To be honest, I'm rather disappointed. There was not much water, and maybe for those who have not seen anything similar before its great but there are fancier places.
That night we camped at the foot of the Cuillins with the sea just few meters away. What an amazing place, I'm not surprising that it is considered the prettiest campsite in the UK. Off the grid with just sound of the rolling waves.

More pictures to come in the next blog

Elgol and cuillin mountains
Cool cliff at the sea
Elgol and cuillin
Fairy pool
Fairy pool
Fairy pool and cuillin mountain
Fairy pool
Glenbrittle camping
The Cuillins

April 17, 2014

Macro photography

For the last couple of days I have been using my macro lens. Its fun, but at the same time difficult given the slightest breeze or any other vibration result in blurry images. Ideally, always use a tripod but I find it a bit awkward. I get quickly tired of setting up the tripod and composing the picture, instead of just doing it freehand. It does result with many more blurred images, but usually I take series of pictures and just remove once that are bad.
Unfortunately I have not used the macro lens so much though I know how fun it is to get up close to the insects, the inside of the flowers and etc... But I'll try some more macro photo of this year.
Today we are off to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, an amazing place to visit. This will be our second trip there, but its too nice not to. And this time we know more what we want to see and explore those places, so hopefully I will be back with lots of great pictures from there :)

Happy Easter All!


Inside a Magnolia

2 Lady-bugs inside a magnolia

Inside a tulip


April 15, 2014

106 steps down to the underworld

106 steps down to the underworld. What do I mean by that :), that's how many steps take you down to the old canal and into the waiting boat.
The place is located near Castleton in the Peak district and just on the beginning of the cool Winnats pass. Speedwell Cavern is one of the four show caves located in Castleton and this is probably the scariest to visit. It is dark and crowded in the channel and only the boat's small lights lit up the sides when you glide slowly down the cavern.
The guide tells funny stories about the place and how they blew and chopped their way through the tunnel in search of lead. Already after about 10 minutes the end of that tunnel is reached and you enter a cave with a 'bottomless' pit on the other end. It had apparently been around 150m deep but the miners have long filled it with stone so now it is barely 20m. There are also some stalactites and stalagmites, and a sign showing how much more of the whole underground system there is still out there to explore. Actually it was not to long ago, 1999, that the largest natural shaft in the UK was found there. Reaching a depth of 141.5 meters (464 ft).

The whole tour was very interesting to see and wow what a job it must have been to work so far down and in those tight spaces.
Down the street there is another cavern called Blue John. That cavern has its name from the semi-precious mineral Blue John, which is still mined in small amounts outside the tourist season and made locally into jewellery. The deposit itself is about 250 million years old.
The soft pictures (not to say bad quality) below are a result of high ISO, as I didn't have the flash with me.
The beginning of the tour
Her we are in the tunnel, pretty dark ;)
The cave at the end of the tunnel
Info about the whole cave system
Our group

Some kind of moss groving in the shine of the light
The boat setting off into the darkness
The 106 stairs down and up to surface
And of course Winnats pass

April 11, 2014

Some mixed pics

This time I'm showing you just few randomly taken photos from my walks.
Couple of weeks ago while walking around the Redmires reservoars I had the good fortune to see buzzards and a carrion crow fighting just above my head! Otherwise it rarely happens that I come so close to birds of prey. While there I also took the opportunity to if any water voles were to be found and I managed to see two of them. It seems as they have declined in number over the past year. Its maybe just a feeling, as I've not been there so often lately to really see all the activity.
I have also been to the Rivelin Valley and there has finally dippern come back after last year's fiasco when they just suddenly disappeared and never came back. They are busy building their nest, and I hope to later in the year get some more pictures of them.
One more thing, I found a frog that had climbed up a tree and was looked out over the water. Agree, it sound strange but it was for sure funny. Its those small things that can make the day a little extra special. 
Last picture is showing a wood pigeon just sitting in a tree feasting on the fresh leaves just outside the flat. Never seen that before :)

Have a great weekend!


April 7, 2014

Brimham Rocks

When we were on our way home from the Yorkshire dales so we took the opportunity to visit Brimham Rocks, which is famous for its rock formations on a hill. Interesting place and a fun playground for kids and adults :) There's more to read about this place on the first picture in the blog.


Dancing Bear

Not much holding this stone up