Travel Finalist - Smithsonian 14th Annual Photo Contest

Following success with being a category winner with the Smithsonian, Air & Space 2016 photography contest I entered an image from the Isle of Skye into the Travel category of the 14th Annual Smithsonian photo contest.  

Being a global competition, and not one restricted to just the UK, the depth and breadth of work is remarkable.  Apparently more than 48,000 submissions were made from photographers in 146 countries and territories.

The finalists received recognition around the world and were featured in many newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian here in the UK.

My image (below) was selected as one of 10 finalists in the Travel category. Click on the image to view it on the Smithsonian page.

Old Man of Storr

Old Man of Storr

The Story Behind the Photograph

I had completed some photographic tuition on the Isle of Skye a few days before the image was taken and decided to stay on to make some images of my own.  It's such a fabulous place for anyone visiting and a photographers dream.

The weather was awful for the tourist but ideal for photography.  Weather fronts rolled in off the Atlantic throughout the morning and when I climbed up beyond the Old Man just after 8am, it and the Trotternish ridge were shrouded in cloud.  

Forever the optimist I set my equipment up and waited. Although the sun was bursting though the clouds periodically it was always away from the Old Man.  At 1215 my luck changed.  The cloud had lifted from the ridge and for no more than a few seconds the sun raced across the landscape and lit up the pinnacles.   Although I had the image framed up and was ready with my cable release, of the 3 exposures I made only 1 saw the pinnacles in light.  Any later in the day and the sun would have lit the other side of the pinnacles (to the right as you look at the image) which wouldn't have been seen. 

1/40 sec @ f/11 ISO 100 | Lee 2 stop medium Grad | Manual Focus.

Canon 5DsR | Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L II USM @38mm | Gitzo 5541LS tripod | Arca Swiss D4 geared head