Having had a succession of great weather days, the Scottish summer finally set in on my third day in the Isle of Harris and Lewis. I was up well before 4am and had been walking around the beach looking for a good spot to shoot from, without disturbing the sand. This shot was taken at just after 5am, just as I was about to give in. The rain had been gradually falling since dawn broke and I was sure that there would not be a decent image to capture under such circumstance. I am glad I persevered. The light in this picture is quite eerie but I like it.
Clouds rolled in at the last minute to obscure the setting sun over the tiny village of Ardroil, on the Isle of Lewis. I had this huge expanse of sand all to myself with the exception of the occasional dog walker. I had decided to camp a few miles away in a place called Kneep, to capture the 4am sunrise the following morning, which turned out to be an error for two reasons. Firstly, the Kneep campsite was pretty awful, especially in comparison to the wild camping at Ardroil. Secondly, the rain started to fall after the sun dropped and the next day was a wash out.
Stormy weather ahead.
The last vestiges of light were visible in the opalescent sky. Shortly after this shot was taken, the heavens opened and the rain did not stop for the next two days.
Believe it or not, this was taken on a very popular beach in Devon, just at a very unpopular time (i.e. moments before a torrential rain storm). Definitely worth it!
A shot from the archives. This one was taken in Iceland when I cycle around the island. I had made my way around the peninsula and had to back track through the mountains. Ahead of me, the clouds loomed ominously above the range I had to cycle through. Needless to say, I was soaked in the mother of all storms.
Just over a week later, I was on the other side of the island. The omnipresent clouds parted momentarily as I passed an abandoned house. Soon afterwards, the rain fell and the clouds closed in. If you can overlook the bad weather (these were taken in the height of the Icelandic summer) and the relentless winds, cycling around this rock in the middle of the Atlantic was a fantastic expedition.
A few years ago, I was in the US to shoot a TV commercial for VW. I took a couple of days out after 5 days of filming and wondered over to Death Valley. I was incredibly lucky to be there as the weather turn from bone dry to stormy. This is a short while before the heavens open and flooded many of the roads in the National Park.
West Witterings – Shot 4
Last shot from West Witterings beach in December last year. This shot was taken using a Lee Filter 3 stop ND filter and polariser as the storm moved off towards the east, along the beach.
Yesterday, we took a family outing to an island off the north eastern coast of Singapore called Pilau Ubin. It feels more akin to neighbouring Malaysia than the ultra-modern Singapore and as such, has a certain charm that is lost in this country’s modernity.
Unfortunately for us, being in the midst of the rainy season, the heavens opened as we were en route to the island from Changi. The shot above was from the pier we were deposited on at Pilau Ubin. Our boat was reversing out into the emerald green bay as the rain lashed the landscape.
After a very wet cycle ride around the island, we caught a boat back to the mainland in the early evening The rain had finally stopped and we were afforded a dramatic view of Pilau Ubin to the north, as the heavy rain clouds circled the seascape, in preparation for another storm.
All shots were taken on my Nokia 1020, which did a pretty decent job. However, I will definitely return on a less inclement day and take my camera kit as the views on the island are very contrasting to mainland Singapore.
I miss the big country. The violence of the weather, the sheer size of the landscape. Most of all, I miss nature. Singapore is so many things but alas, not natural. Everything here is outlandish, larger than life. Perhaps the weather in this image I took in California a couple of years ago is also as prodigious in its own way as Singapore is.
Two hours after I took this image, the rain had washed the road out leaving all timorous motorists stranded. However, I was in the world’s best off road car; a rental Ford Mustang convertible, which ploughed through the rushing waters. Although it leaking into the footwells as the water level rose above the base door height, the car made it. I can still recall the sight of several scared drivers disappearing behind me in my rear view mirror, all huddled motionless in their pick up trucks.
Sometimes, squaring off against the elements for the shot can be worth the wait.
I sat on Exmouth beach as a storm front rolled in over the English Channel. The orange afternoon hues were soon extinguished by the choking, omnipresent clouds. Day was transformed to night as the wind suddenly picked up. Moments later, the heavens opened and I realised how exposed I was, sat alone on the stretch of sand.
A perfect afternoon as I recall.