Our Scotland Adventure Part III: Isle of Skye, Scotland

I don't even know where to begin with this portion of our trip! Matt and I chose to spend 4 full days on Isle of Skye-two of which we spent with our amazing photography guide, Nick Hanson. We found Nick online through Marcus McAdam Photography in Scotland (Marcus takes groups out on photography workshops). When we booked through Marcus, he mentioned that we may be working with Nick, and MAN, we were glad we did! A little plug for Nick: He won Scottish Landscape Photographer of the year! MUCH deserved; This guy is inspiring, creative, and you can tell LOVES what he does. I will shout his name from the rooftops to people headed to Skye. Matt and I both agreed that if we ever venture that way again, exploring with Nick will be a big part of our trip.

We started our journey in Skye by crossing the Skye Bridge and heading up the east coast to our B&B called Beinn Edra House. Our host Rachel, was so welcoming and had AMAZING breakfasts. A highlight of our trip as well: Scottish Breakfasts. To be honest, I guess just a highlight of Matt's trip. I had such horrible morning sickness and nausea from the pregnancy, that breakfast for me was a piece of toast with butter. Haha! 

Portree, Isle of Skye

Portree, Isle of Skye

Our first full day in Skye, we headed to Portree to tour the town/build a plan and while there, we received a phone call from Nick to see if we wanted to get together and chat about our upcoming excursion. So we met up at Cafe Arribas and ended up chatting for quite a while. We told him what we wanted to see, got his opinions on places he thought we should see, and he put together a plan for us.  We were going to meet him the next morning at 3am so we could see sunrise over Old Man Storr. We hired him for sunrise and sunset for 2 days. Note to future planners: pick two nonconsecutive days... lol. 3hrs sleep then a massive hike wasn't as much fun as it sounds. Rookies.   **Click on the cell phone images below to see larger**

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

After meeting with Nick, Matt & I drove over to Fairy Glen to check it out. On our way back to the B&B, we popped over to Kilt Rock, which was literally five minutes down the road from where we were staying. Handy! We called it an early night, charged our camera gear and set the alarms for 2:30am!

The next morning came fast, but our excitement for getting some epic photos was more than enough to push us through our exhaustion. We met up with Nick at the bottom of The Storr in the pitch black. We all had flashlights, and he wore a headlamp... and away we went... up, up, and more up. This is where I found out that I'm not athletically inclined AT ALL anymore, and also that the morning sickness (which is really just ALL DAY sickness) didn't care that I was on vacation. I let the guys go ahead, and I'd wave my flashlight around so they could see where I was. The nice thing about Skye is there aren't really any predators. I was pretty safe!  When you're pregnant you're not supposed to work out anymore than you normally do. Which for me would mean any exercise at all. Hahahaha! Don't judge. I took breaks when I could feel my heart rate getting too fast and just took my time, the baby was a great excuse for my love of netflix and Doritos ;)      **Click on the cellphone images below to see larger**

We made it up to the top before sunrise, passing a few sheep along the way, and I was in awe. You felt like you were in a Peter Jackson film. It was other-worldly, and I couldn't stop my jaw from just hanging open. Nick had originally pointed out the spot that majority of photographers stop and shoot from, and then pointed up in the darkness and said, "if you want to push it, we should go all the way up, I guarentee it'll be worth it." And so we pressed on, and Nick was right. Here's what we saw in a little video format for you.

I have no more words for this...just photos. Here are a few Nick took of the two of us (well-three if you count little Soren in there).

Below are some images that Matt & I took on our main camera. The first two are from the other spot we stopped on the way down (you can see the ledge where we were standing on the right!). The last shot is from up top. 

I also got a little cell phone photo happy while I was up there...so here's a few of those too:

Nick & Matt shooting through the fpg.

Nick & Matt shooting through the fpg.

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Chasing Autumn Photography - Medicine Hat Photography, Old Man of Storr, Scotland Photography, Isle of Skye
Matt & Nick on the lower lookout.

Matt & Nick on the lower lookout.

Try to find Nick and Matt in this photo. It'll give you a little more scale. I was puking/eating a granola bar at this point. haha! 

Try to find Nick and Matt in this photo. It'll give you a little more scale. I was puking/eating a granola bar at this point. haha! 

The trip to The Storr was only the first half of our morning with Nick. Once we were finished there, we headed over to a gorgeous waterfall down the road a little ways.  They were doing a bit of construction around this area, so the entrance to the waterfall was MUDDY. And when I say muddy, I mean "lose your shoe, slip and slide" muddy. We climbed to the falls through the creek to avoid  it. Glad we did- soooo pretty. 

This is a photo Matt took. Special thanks to Nick for the advice, use of his tripod and lee lens filters. As wedding photographers, we were so blessed to learn so much from Nick about landscape photography, which is so vastly different from shooting moving people, and things. We were so honoured that he took the time with us to show us techniques, borrow equipment and really go above and beyond for us.

This is a photo Matt took. Special thanks to Nick for the advice, use of his tripod and lee lens filters. As wedding photographers, we were so blessed to learn so much from Nick about landscape photography, which is so vastly different from shooting moving people, and things. We were so honoured that he took the time with us to show us techniques, borrow equipment and really go above and beyond for us.

After the waterfall it was time to head back to the B&B and grab a quick nap before meeting up with Nick for our sunset session.

We headed off toward Talisker Bay for our first evening location, and Matt got pretty close with some cats who were QUITE curious as to what he was doing. Nick took it easy on us (more me), and kept us on a horizontal walking path. Talisker Bay was gorgeous....everything here is gorgeous. It was quite windy though, so the reflection off the water wasn't something we could get, and the tide had already come in on us. But we did get a few pretty ones regardless before heading off to the Fairy Pools.

I'm pretty sure Nick hears about people wanting to go to the Fairy Pools on so many of his trips, but he didn't let that get in the way at all. He was 100% in it for us to experience what we wanted, and that kind of attitude was awesome... AND we were actually able to capture one of my favourite shots there, so that was cool! 

As we were walking down to the pools, there was one random tree with green leaves in the middle of no where, and as we walked by it centered itself in the mountains. I pointed it out, but from where we were I couldn't shoot it as it was across a creek and we were headed along a different side of it. Nick headed off trail, grabbed some rocks and threw them in the creek so we could cross!  I'm soo happy with how it turned out! Thanks Nick! 

 Chasing Autumn Photography - Medicine Hat Photography

Once we got to the pools, I was quite ill, so I simply wandered and enjoyed the view while Matt & Nick dove head first into Landscape 101. Here's my favourite shot of the night from Matt's lens. I MEAN....REALLY?!?! <3 Thats gotta go on our wall. 

 Chasing Autumn Photography - Medicine Hat Photography

Days 1 & 2 in Skye needed their own blog. Now you can see why. We had quite the adventures! And day 3 is just as full as Nick takes us out again! This time we get to sleep in until 4am though. Lucky ducks!

On our way out of the Fairy Pools, the sheep along the side were just too much. Here's a little snippet of that to brighten your day. They take a few seconds for them to get back into what they were doing but the little jump over the creek is so cute! 

Stay tuned& Stay Joyful,

Amanda