David Russell's picture

Loch Assynt Storm

For years I dreamed of exploring the shores of Loch Assynt in greater detail to get a great shot of one of the small islands that are strung along the shore, home to tiny fragments of Caledonian Forest. On the hills and glens beyond, the forest is long gone - eaten by sheep and deer.

All I needed was the occasion, and I finally got my chance one day on my way home from Assynt. The conditions were fairly plain, in mid afternoon late summer. Nothing special.

As I wandered along the shore I felt the light darkening and the wind picking up. I was heading back to the car when a rainstorm more furious than I could have imagined engulfed the whole area. I'm from Scotland. I'm familiar with rain. But this was something special. The loch was whipped into a frenzy as gusts battered it. The trees creaked in the storm wind and rain lashed me so hard I was drenched in minutes and the loch was pounded into dancing turmoil.

I saw something special in the sight of the island disappearing into the smirry rain. I knew only had time for a few shots at best. The angle was almost straight into the rain. I did my best to shield the lens with my hand and shot as many frames as I could. Only the first two were even worth considering. The rest might as well have been taken under water. But I knew I had it.

Five minutes later it was all over. The clouds broke apart again allowing a weak sun through, and the loch relaxed into an exhausted grey slumber. Total magic.

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