I think I've said it more than a few times here on this blog and also my YouTube channel, but to experience conditions that make for dramatic images you need to put yourself on the edges of bad weather. Don't be fooled into thinking Golden hours only ... You will miss so much that mother nature has to offer. 

When I look at forecasts and see the icon of a dark cloud with a rain drop and sun rays I do my little happy photographer dance as I know this can make for some great conditions. Couple this with stronger winds, meaning the weather can pass over rapidly, gets me doing that dance even more excitedly. 

Over these past few days we have certainly had a lot of interesting weather thrown at the North Coast with high winds, heavy downpours, hail, sun, more rain and even stronger winds. Last night I think I even saw what looked like a Tornado building (it wasn't but man it sure looked like it) I waited for the cow to fly past my position. 

Time to get myself out there and chase pockets of light, some of which on Monday evening was as close to light I imagine would be on Harris and Lewis as it could be.  It was jaw dropping. I think I even executed my happy photographer dance right there on the beach. 

They say dance like no-ones watching, but in this case I had a small audience of confused locals as I jigged from side to side whooping like some kind of crazed idiot. 

The XE2 stayed in the bag as I think one more soaking and it will literally explode, especially after the last timeThe XT1 with the 18-135 bore the brunt of the weather and of course no tripod as in these conditions as even my Gitzo beast would have been blown to Scotland. 

My preferred handheld settings are auto-iso, aperture priority, centre spot focus (focus and re-compose), and then work with exposure compensation to get the image how I want it).  The image stabilization on the fuji lens lineup is stellar, allowing me to shoot at much lower shutter speeds than I would have on my Canon setup. This is fantastic as the light levels continue to drop. 

Of course it was a case of shoot, wipe lens, shoot, wipe lens, wipe lens, shoot, wipe lens, wipe face, dance a little, shoot (and repeat) and while this worked for a number of the images a few others clearly wore the effects of the weather. 

I was about to delete this one but I actually quite liked the effect Mother Nature has had on the image, almost giving it a tilt shift (ish) feeling (or in the olden days when vaseline was used) and that light .... Yup, more of that dancing was hand ... 

Fuji XT1 + 18-135mm (ISO 800, 23mm, f/9, 1/25second) 

Fuji XT1 + 18-135mm (ISO 800, 23mm, f/9, 1/25second) 

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Oh and one of my favourite photographers, Bruce Percy, spends a bit of time on Harris and Lewis and it's from his images that I get an appreciation of the special light that's possible. 

I can't wait to visit for myself ... I can already hear the XE2 quake in my camera bag :)