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Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?

London, United...
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Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Hi

Very excited to (hopefully) be on Skye soon’ish as long as nothing changes.

Sunrise is my favourite time of the day and, as a keen photographer, I’d appreciate some advice on the best places to go on the island to capture it on my camera.

Ideally, a place where I can drive and park up, walk a bit and then get set up.

And just to be specific I’m looking for spots where the sunrise will be behind me so I’m capturing the landscape, shadows and contrast in the opposite direction, rather than looking into the sun directly. (Well, hoping it’s a sunny morning, fingers crossed).

I know I can google but I’m looking for some knowledge from people who’ve been or live on Skye. Thanks in advance for your help.

13 replies to this topic
Scotland
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1. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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LT67, when are you thinking of coming up to Skye as that will give us an idea of where to go. Can I suggest Eigol, it has great views over the sea to the Cuillins and in summer the sun will hit them very nicely.

London, United...
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2. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Thanks...I know it’s a wishy-washy answer but “as soon as it’s safe” to do so. So probably late May or early June if it’s allowed then.

Aberdeen, United...
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3. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Skye is more famous and better placed for its sunsets TBH.

However, along the east of the island, there are quite a few spots where you will get excellent early morning shots - notably the Red Cullin and the Quirang/Trottenish Ridge, which is at its very best when the morning light hits it - the whole ridge goes into deep shadow not long after the sun is past its zenith but visitor numbers are at their lowest in the early mornings too.

If you are in a position to do any climbing, the mountain tops offer great potential but the Black Cullin in the dark/early dawn is not something I’d relish.

Have you also had a look at Assynt? IMO it offers at least as much photo potential as Skye but with far fewer visitors- most stick slavishly to the NC500 route through its magnificent landscape, so if you get even a little off-route, you get it virtually to yourself.

Edited: 18 April 2021, 10:27
The Stunning...
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4. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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If you don't mind getting up early then take a walk up to the Old Man Of Storr. You will be surrounded by the most stunning scenery, no people and fingers-crossed a great sunrise.

Glasgow, United...
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5. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Yes as DHbrians says, the Trotternish coast(east side of Skye) will be lit up first by sunrise so getting yourself positioned to make the most of that is the thing - the Quiraing, Old Man of Storr or other pull in viewpoint areas;walking too, if you want to actually get along the ridge itself.

You might also get some good very early light on the Torridon mountains on the mainland from that eastern side,with low backlight behind the fantastic tops, before the sun rises too high/too strong.

If you were down in Sleat, you might get some amazing early light on the Black Cuillin skyline from the low lying Ord area.

Aberdeen, United...
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6. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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I've always got my best shots of Torridon later in the day and into sunset - when the falling light hits the mountains square-on, esp if there is still some snow on the tops, which picks-up the colours beautifully.

There is also that brief period, earlier in the day when the sun shines straight down Glen Docherty and lights the view to Loch Maree - In the right conditions, you can get a full circular rainbow happening in that glen, which is something quite special! I've seen it twice and infuriatingly, both times I've not been in a position to stop or had a camera at hand!

Edited: 20 April 2021, 10:19
Aberdeen, United...
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7. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Elgol/Loch Coruisk would indeed be an excellent place but do the boats run early enough to get you over there to take advantage of the morning light? Last time I was there they didn't.

Otherwise you would need to go over the night before and camp/bivvy to await the sunrise but in June, the hours of actual darkness won't be very long.

Edited: 20 April 2021, 10:31
Glasgow, United...
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8. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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I honestly don't think you'll get good light at sunrise over the Black Cuillin from Elgol. The sun has to be relatively high in the sky after sunrise to hit the mountains there.That's my memory from a couple of wild camps above Camasunary where we pitched for exactly that reason - to get some good shots in one of the most magnificent areas of Skye (and Scotland IMO).

Sunset is out of this world there, even better than I imagined, but the morning light wasn't anything special because there is such high ground/mountains blocking the early sun before it hits the Cuillin. When it does light up the mountains, it's already lost a lot of that great early colour and is quite stark.

Liverpool, UK
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9. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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You might already be aware of this, but a useful tool to see exactly where sunrise will be is "time and date": https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/portree?month=5&year=2021. You can see towards June the sun rise will be about 45° from north, so for uninterrupted light onto a hillside, the Quiraing from Flodigarry area and The Storr from the Rigg picnic site will be good. For the Cuillin hills, it is true that the best light will hit Glamaig and so on first at that time of year.

Aberdeen, United...
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10. Re: Best places to photograph sunrise on Skye?
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Yes, it is more the early-ish morning light falling on Coruisk and that side of the Cuillins that is good but I don't remember the boats running early enough to make best use of it?

Edited: 21 April 2021, 12:56
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