Dawn at Loch Tay


Getting up early to catch the early light is something that all landscape photographers do.  Up here in Scotland getting up to catch the dawn light in winter is easy because of the very short days, however in the summer the opposite is true.  So yesterday morning a two hour car journey from Dunbar to catch the dawn light at Loch Tay at 5:17am meant a 2:30am alarm.

Now I have to admit my head was telling me to go back to bed but I fought the urge and got into the car, stopping off to pick up a fellow photographer before heading north.  

We arrived at the village of Killin and heading along the road on the south side of the loch.  All feelings of heading back to bed were extinguished on arrival at our chosen vantage point at 5am at Loch Tay when we saw the possibilities of the scene in front of us.

Loch Tay was like a mill pond, the water was calm and perfectly clear and as the sun came up over the mountains in the distance the colours shifted from blue to orange to red and were reflected in the waters of the loch.  It was truly magical watching these changes unfold in front of us and made all the effort of the getting up early and driving for two hours well worth it.

I put the Fujifilm X-T2 and the 10-24mm f4 lens on the Manfrotto tripod, fitting the lens with a Lee 0.9 ND soft grad and the 10x ND 'Big Stopper' to increase the exposure time to around 3-5 minutes.  This had the effect of 'smearing' the colours in the sky and the reflections in the loch.



While the X-T2 was taking the long exposure images, I used the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and 16-55mm f2.8 or Samyang 8mm f2.8 lenes to take some detail images of the scene. 

We stayed for an hour after dawn before moving onto the next stop on our itinerary but both of us were very happy with the start to our day of photography in the Highlands of Scotland.











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