Never leave home without it....

Anchored in Lochailort

So how many times have you headed out the door without your camera in your hand – and then regretted it later. For me - way too many times to count. Usually when I’m rushing to Glasgow to drop the kids off or heading in to town to help stock up on food.

I was driving home from Mallaig late the other evening after fish and chips with the family joined by numerous seagulls (when did the staple diet of a seagull suddenly become chips?). As we rounded the bend following the shores of Lochailort the lights of a large boat caught our eyes. The forecast for the following day’s weather was strong winds so it was possible the boat was taking shelter in the Loch or perhaps just stopping for the night – either way it was an unusual sight to see on the Loch.

Pulling the car over to the side of the road I hit the hazard light switch, said goodbye to my well-fed passengers and headed down the banks of Lochailort – camera and tripod in hand. Not the first time my family have been left stranded in the car by the side of the road and probably not the last. I always take the keys just in case...

It was late in the evening with not much light so a tripod was going to be essential to get the final photograph. I took a couple of quick snaps just in case the boat was about to make a move. Then I tripped and stumbled my way across the stones to try and position the light of the sky behind the boat to give a bit of back lighting to the final image. A few knocks and bruises later and I found a good location.

Next step was to find some foreground interest to give the finished picture some sense of scale. Whatever object I chose it was only going to be a shadow so detail wasn’t important. I found a nice line of rock jetting out the water that would do the job nicely. Exposure time was going to be around 30 seconds with a low ISO so a sturdy position for the tripod was essential. ANY movement would show in the final picture.

Remote timer in hand I clicked away.

I left the banks of Lochailort with a big smile on my face knowing I had got the photograph. If I hadn’t had the camera in the car with me, that would have been another image that would have got away.