Making of 40 Photographs #6

This is #6 in my series 'Making of 40 photographs'. This is Elgol, one of the most over-photographed regions of Skye, an island in the north west of Scotland.

It's over-photographed because it seems to feature quite heavily in a lot of the Amateur photography press.

I've seen countless images of this place all taken in exactly the same spot where Joe Cornish made his landmark image. I guess if you love reproducing an image that someone else has done, that's fine. But for me, I'd like to come home with something a little bit different. So i'm keen to get 'my' view on a location, particularly a famous place, if possible.

This leads to some issues, as some places are simply too distinctive to do any other way (take the Taj Mahal for example).

Anyway I digress a little here. We're after all discussing the making of this image.

I shot this on an Ebony 45SU large format camera. Large format is, without question, a beautiful format. I however had difficulty with it and afte 2 years, I decided to part with it. This image is one of my 'hits' as opposed to the many 'misses' I had with the system.

What I love about LF is that you can alter perspective. I used a little bit of fall to keep the perspective (no converging lines) straight - literally pointing the camera exactly at 90 degrees to the horizontal,  while still being able to look down. That's how I got the foreground perspective of the rocks.

I think that with most wide angle shots, the key to success is to fill the foreground. There's not a lot going on in the sky, so the majority of the composition is around the coast line. But I did keep a fair amount of the sky in the shot too, because I liked the smooth tones that were happening, and I needed a bit of colour in the shot too. It's almost mono-chromatic. As is often the case with a nice image, it's a really simple shot. There is interest in the foregound, mid ground and then the horizon has some really interesting mountains.

So I shot this with a 90mm lens (equiv to 30mm in 35mm land), Fuji Veliva, an ND grad on to control the sky, and exposed for the foregound.