Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

The early and late hours of the day are usually the most interesting for landscape photography, and this is especially true on sunny days. Getting older makes it easier to get up early, and it also helps that sunrise isn’t as early in autumn as in summer. 

One morning on the Isle of Harris, I went to the east coast early. There was a seal curiously watching me from the water – you can spot the circles in the water where it dived and disappeared. In the twilight, the big kelp-covered rocks on the shore looked like water animals themselves.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, kelp was a source of income for tenants harvesting it. The seaweed was burned in kilns fired with peat, and the ash was used for manufacturing soap.

Outer Hebrides
The sun rises behind the Isle of Scalpay. Kendebig, Isle of Harris.

During the sunny week on Harris, we climbed Clisham (or An Cliseam in Gaelic), the highest mountain of the Outer Hebrides. The ascent is quite steep, but the view is worth it. At 799 metres altitude, Clisham is one of 221 Corbetts in Scotland – mountains that are between 2’500 and 3’000 feet high. I’ve learned that the classification list was compiled in the 1920s by John Rooke Corbett, similar to the Munro list of mountains in Scotland over 3’000 ft described by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891.

Outer Hebrides
The view from Clisham, highest point of the Outer Hebrides, towards the Sound of Taransay in the Southwest.

Observing the sunrise from Clisham’s summit must be phantastic – it would require to spend the night there.

Panoramic view from Clisham on the Isle of Harris, highest mountain of the Outer Hebrides. Clisham is one of 221 Corbetts in Scotland – mountains that are between 2'500 and 3'000 feet high.
Panoramic view from Clisham on the Isle of Harris, highest mountain of the Outer Hebrides.

The final three pictures are from the west coast again, taken at dusk with a long exposure time.

West coast, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides
West coast, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides
Outer Hebrides
Dusk at the west coast and the Sound of Taransay, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides.
Outer Hebrides
Sound of Taransay, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides.