So on Monday evening after work I finally got out to take photos and DO NOTHING ELSE for a few hours. I took myself off to Talisker Bay in Minginish.
A few words for the uninitiated [Sgitheanachs can move along: nothing to see here…]. Talisker Bay lies about five miles from the Distillery that shares it’s name – the distillery is in Carbost, on Loch Harport, although it was on the Talisker estate, hence the name. The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of two rare species of Burnet moth and the geology. And the geology gives us black and white sand, which opens interesting photographic possibilities. Also, as it faces due west into The Little Minch you get spectacular sunsets.
And so it proved. I was a little late arriving, not least because the road down Glen Oraid faces directly into the setting sun and I had to stop and clean the windscreen and drive slowly as I was completely dazzled despite sunglasses and a peaked hat pulled right down. It’s a twenty-odd minute walk to the beach and I got set up just as the sun was setting. The tide was receding as well, even faster than my hairline, so more sand was being uncovered which was what I wanted. That said, the extreme contrast between the sky and the beach, even after sunset needed a three-stop hard grad neutral density filter to hold detail in the sky [yes, there is post-processing as well, but best not to burn out the sky, or there’s nothing to process] in addition to various ND filters to add different effects to the sea.
Sometimes the most pleasing images are at your feet. A the sun sank lower below the horizon, I decided to concentrate on the beach and take the horizon out of shot. The lighting was also influenced by a very bright moon over my shoulder. And here you can clearly see the thin layer of white sand on the black sand base, picked up in the low light, like the trail of some ancient sea creature returning to the waves. They will both be available as prints i the gallery very soon.
*The Terminal Beach is a short story [and a short story collection] by the late JG Ballard. The terminal beach in that case is at Eniwetok [now Enewetak], which was used for nuclear bomb testing by the US, including Ivy Mike, the first hydrogen bomb detonation. I like the title for the image, although in my imagination the colours fit better with the mood of the shimmering land- and waterscapes of The Drowned World.
Currently listening to: Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear