Building a Picture of Light

Marcus McAdam Skye Light

In 2016 we started keeping a diary of the quality of light here on Skye. The purpose is to build up a picture over a few years to see what time of year typically has the best conditions for photography. 

It’s not difficult to know when the best weather of the year is, but good weather and good light for photography are rarely the same same thing. Clear blue skies and sunshine is great to be outdoors in, but pretty useless for photography, so the two are completely different. As far as we are aware, a diary of light hasn’t been done before on Skye, so this project will hopefully shed some light (see what we did there?!) on any patterns which emerge.

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Chasing Rainbows

By Marcus McAdam

Rainbow Photography 2

As a photographer, I usually spend most of my time avoiding having the Sun behind me. If it is, then the camera ends up looking at the subject from the same angle as it’s being illuminated from, and this results in a very flat light with few or no shadows. If you ever want to capture a really bland and emotionless image, then just position the Sun behind you and voila!

There is however one exception to this rule - rainbows. Rainbows only ever appear directly opposite the Sun. In fact, the centre of any rainbow is exactly 180 degrees to the Sun. This does however make them easy to predict, as we know exactly where they are going to appear (given the right conditions of course), so we can position ourselves suitably and simply wait. Although the light on our subject is now going to be flat, hopefully the rainbow will be vibrant enough to steal the show, and become the main focal point of the image.

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Holiday Photography - 10 top tips

Holiday photography

Photography is not all about taking amazing images which are good enough to be hung on a wall or entered into competitions. I’m often asked what my favourite photo I have ever taken is, but this is as difficult as someone asking for your favourite song - there are likely to be many answers depending on the mood and situation at the time. If the question was “If you had to delete every photo you had ever taken except for one, which one would you keep?”, then the answer would be simple - I would keep one of my kids.

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Mastering Depth of Field - Part 2 of 3

Depth of field Isle of skye

Welcome to Part 2 of my depth of field tutorial. In Part 1 we looked at circles of confusion and how the size of the aperture influences these. We also learnt that essentially there really isn’t such a thing as depth of field, as only objects on a single plane can ever be truly sharp. Depth of field is really just an individual perception which changes depending on the enlargement of the image and the distance it is viewed from - something no depth of field chart or app will ever take into account.

Read more: Mastering Depth of Field - Part 2 of 3

Our Skye workshops are the best way to photograph the island whilst improving your skills along the way.
We are the only company with permission to work on St. Kilda - the UK’s only double World Heritage site.
We also host overseas photo holidays to the world’s most amazing places.
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