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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 14th May 2015
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Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

Hi all

i do a lot of journeys to scotland during the last years but i've never been on the western isles. in September i will start with a very short look (only 3 days) to the isle of Lewis. i know, that isn't a lot of time to explore the island.

and yes, i will be in sco again in December. i'm planing to spend more than 3 days on Lewis (perhaps Monday until Friday). I know, it is a very windy place (uv-filters are useful!). but how may be the december weather in all (very, very cold? or only cold? a lot of rain? or a lot more rain?)??

Perhaps a few of you have been there (or around) and have some experiences you can tell me. It's not a question, what i will do there (watching nature and taking fotos) - but the question ist: how will i do that (three trousers and five pullovers with a raincoat and and and - or just shorts )

Many thanks
Michael
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Old 14th May 2015
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

The only comment I'd make is that the day length won't be very long as it's so far North and in December.

I've camped in late Autumn in the Cairngorms and spent a lot of time in a dark cold tent!

Jim
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Old 14th May 2015
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

The weather, particularly in December, is a complete lottery. You could strike lucky and find it surprisingly mild (it is influenced by the Gulf Stream) with blue skies and crisp sunshine, or you could get the same fair weather with a sharp frost and sub-zero temperatures. You might get 5 days of horizontal rain, driven by 60mph winds gusting 80. Or you may get uniform grey skies with a blanket of low cloud and persistent drizzle, with flat light that seems to suck all the colour out of the landscape. Whatever the weather, as Jim says the hours of daylight will be very, very short. However, if you are extremely optimistic, you can perhaps look forward to the Northern Lights after dark.

The best advice is to go prepared for the worst; anything else is a bonus! Don't be deterred, though - I'd jump at the chance of a trip like that.
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

Absolutely, as Zuiko says, you need to go prepared for literally anything. Layers of clothing, from t-shirts or base layers, through to waterproof top layers and everything in between. My Highland/Islands gear covers all that, plus sunglasses and wellington boots! You can get all 4 seasons in the same day. One big bonus is that at that time of year, you won't get the midges and of course it's all incredibly photogenic at any time of year. Enjoy!
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

Thanks for your comments. Indeed, it will be a game with the weather. I think i will try it.
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Old 15th May 2015
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

As they say weather is a lottery however what ever the weather & I have to visit Uist as part of my job any season you can always get great photography, you need to just think out of the box a bit more.
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
The only comment I'd make is that the day length won't be very long as it's so far North and in December.

Jim
That is very true. Even here in the northeast of England the days are very short around midwinter. But on the plus side the night skies can be amazing as there is no light pollution from nearby towns and cities.

You might also be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on the island of Iona a few years ago. It was mid-march, and it was so dark at night that you really couldn't see to walk without a torch, but the night skies were just awesome!
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

On the practical side I would suggest a good pair of waterproof walking boots. Waterproof gloves are also a good idea as wet and windy weather means cold hands. If the weather ends up being perpetually damp then you will want to minimise lens changes unless under cover so consider a second body - keep a long lens on one camera and a wideangle on the other. Take a small padded waterproof shoulder bag to keep a wet camera in - you do not want to put a wet camera in your main camera bag and get everything else wet.

The scenary is terrific in all weathers, take pictures of what you see rather than wishing for something different. Above all enjoy it.
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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

The beauty of the Western Isles is not the weather you are experiencing but the change in the light that can happen as clouds get blown away, a gap appears and shafts of light shine through.

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Re: Isle of Lewis (sco) a few questions

If you are interested in the night skies there are a couple of Facebook pages which may be useful. They will keep you up to date with what can be seen.

https://www.facebook.com/GlendaleSkyeAuroras
https://www.facebook.com/AuroraWatchWesternIsles

Each winter I go to the Outer Hebrides for a week and more often than not the weather has been excellent for photography due to the wind and ever changing skies. These are some of my photos:

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=17328
http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=24249

These are couple of photos taken in late November. This is the view north from the highest point on the island of Berneray. The island in the background is Lewis, which mostly seems to be under a blanket of cloud whenever I am there. Please note the sunshine, blue skies and a temperature somewhere around 0C due to the wind!


The is the view in the opposite direction looking over the island Berneray towards the Uists.



Enjoy yourself and I look forward to seeing your photos.
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