Naked Munros
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The approaching storm

(Written by Karla)

Stuart and I co-ordinated our actions. I was trying to think about what we needed. I knew that by the time we got there we'd only minutes to do what we needed and would have no time to change lenses. I knew that a weather front could stretch right across the sky and so easily be missed out if we zoomed in too much. On the other hand, you need to zoom in to really show the dark contrast. We decided on the wide angle for the Hasselblad and the zoom lense for the digital SLR. We realised that we'd also need the tripod so Stuart could prefocus the Hasselblad on a rock before concentrating on unpacking the digital.

We set off for the lochan, scrambling over peat bog and ditches worried that the weather front would come in too soon. As soon as we got there I started stripping off while Stuart put the Hasselblad on a tripod and took the digital SLR out of the bag. I had to take my glasses off carefully and put them among my clothes. We could see frequent lightning strikes in the distance and the wind started to pick up. The waves increased in the lochan. As I got undressed I told Stuart which rock to focus on so that we would be ready to take the photos as soon as I got there. As I was doing this I was calculating the required exposure in my head and figuring out how much we would need to bracket.

I first sat on the rock and waited for Stuart to shout to me that he had taken the pictures. We were having difficulty hearing each other above the wind. view. Then I stood up and embraced the strengthening wind. Stuart managed to get a few shots in with the digital just as the rain started. I then rushed back to get dressed. Unfortunately, not having my glasses meant that I had trouble finding them amongst my clothes. Stuart's eagle eyes spotted them and I was extremely relieved. We packed the equipment as quickly as possible, and as we started back the storm hit us. That is when I realised that running in barren countryside whilst holding a lightning conductor in the shape of a big metal tripod wasn't the smartest thing to be doing.

We got back the car and were quite wet. Although the interior of the car was already quite damp from running off Ben Klibreck a couple of days before when we got caught out in a storm up there. As we drove away I decided to send a text message to my parents who were in a campervan in Durness. I told them, a massive storm was on its way. It didn't stop my mother taking the dog for a walk and regretting her decision, but at least she got to see the sunbathers on the white sandy beach at Durness look up in terror as the sky darkened above them like a black cloud out of Mordor.