If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure with incredible coastal walks, mountain views, turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and stunning wildlife, then I have the perfect location for you. That description would normally remind us of the Caribbean, but somewhere of that exotic nature doesn’t require quite the same clothing to keep you warm and dry. Over the last week I have been travelling with my team in the Outer Hebrides, around the Islands of Lewis and Harris, photographing landscape images of its stunning, dramatic scenery for various clients. It’s one of those places that gives you so much, even whilst it blows you away with it’s powerful wind, delivering snow, rain and hail all within several minutes.
I quickly discovered that taking photographs on this location would require a lot of endurance, not only because of the changeable weather, but because the best views only come to those who are willing to get their boots on and walk - often uphill! And this island was no exception! There was one occasion when we arrived at Cliof Beach, on the Island of Lewis, and it was raining hard. We parked in the empty car park and ate our lunch whilst we waited for the storm to pass - and over the next few minutes it was extraordinary. The passing storm gave way to a low, golden sun and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the beach, revealing the vibrant turquoise colour of the sea which looked stunning next to the white sandy beach - and we were the only people to see it! That afternoon we climbed high into the hills above the beach to photograph the views and the setting sun, and our reward for walking through hail, high winds, snow, rain and a temperate of -4 degrees was a stunning scene beneath us which you can see in the photos below.
One of the questions we all have before heading out into extreme weather locations is 'what to wear' - especially when you’re faced with a variety of weather all on the same walk! I decided to wear Rohan gear exclusively for this trip - which included my socks, gloves, hat, base layers, jackets, trousers, t-shirts and waterproofs. I opted for the Tundra Jacket as my main coat for its warmth - as it’s filled with duck down - and like all Rohan gear packs down really small, making it ideal for travel. I also wore the Elite Overtrousers and Jacket - and these are so impressive! When I'm in high winds and wet weather I need an extra layer on top as it genuinely keeps the biting wind out, and stops any rain getting through to my clothing. The nature of my work requires me to lay on the muddy ground to take certain shots, and this outer clothing makes it very easy for me to stay dry. It actually means I can keep shooting for longer. Some of my team chose to wear gear from other manufacturers and it was very noticeable how cold they were - often returning to the 4x4 to get warm and dry. So from now on, I’ll be wearing Rohan on all my shoots!