Earlier this month I took part in a photography course with Gordon Brown from Skyak Adventures and Angus Mackie from Scotland 360°. The three day course took place on Skye with one day in the classroom and two days on the water. For me this was a good chance the get back into kayaking as it had been almost a year since the last outing. From a photography point of view, I just wanted to get out and shoot, get the creative juices flowing and to shoot something different for a change.
The first day was in the classroom looking at the ‘theory’ side of things, discussing the likes of settings, composition and what to expect when out on the water. For the course I had the loan of an Olympus Tough TG-5, the most recent of Olympus’s waterproof camera’s, so this provided a good chance to get familiar with the camera.
The following day we were out on the water around the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. The weather was driech but we persevered and enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. The castle was a great subject to shoot, with different angles and perspectives to try, and to really get to know the new camera. There was even a few sightings of otters and at the end of the day a couple of Lockheed C-130 Hercules flew by. We finished the day playing in the tides under Dornie bridge which proved to be challenging for a few…
The final day was quite the contrast. With blue skies, sunshine, and almost no wind, Skye was showing us why its such a world class location for paddling. Ord was the location of choice and the sheltered bay provided a perfect place for honing our kayak skills with out the worry of any big tides or danger of getting injured. In conjunction with this it hosts some class photographic opportunities with view’s up Loch Slapin and the Cullin ridge including the classic Bla Bheinn. Much of the day was spent around coral island practicing techniques such as forward paddling and different braces, a particular skill I was quite keen to improve on after yesterday’s dip.
The past three days have been truly fantastic and have definitely reignited my passion for the outdoors and photography. Angus and Gordon were top class and its amazing how much I learnt from the two of them in such a short space of time. If you’re considering doing any of their courses, do it. Each of them are brilliant in their own field and with a location such as Skye at your fingertips its hard to beat.