If you're planning a visit here to the West Highland Peninsulas of Ardgour, Ardnamurchan, Moidart, Morvern and Sunart, then here are some tips on how best to enjoy some of the darkest night skies in Europe
After living for almost 30 years in and around Glasgow, I moved to Rockpool House located right on the shore of Loch Sunart and was immediately blown away by the number of stars I could see in the sky on a dark, clear night. Three years have passed and my interest in night photography has become a passion that produces some of my most popular images and the recent acquisition of a telescope now has me doing a bit of stargazing. So, in this blog, I thought I’d share a few tips for exploring the night sky if you visit here and find yourself a under a sky that is so dark that you can see the Milky Way and over 7000 stars.
Where to Go
While I can walk out of the front door and see these 7000 stars, I usually go a little further afield to photograph the landscape under the night sky. I usually look for places with a clear view south or south-west to photograph the Milky Way and places with a clear horizon to the north that overlook water to photograph the Northern Lights. If you are here, then I suggest that you go to one of the seven places that are listed on the Dark Skies page of the West Highland Peninsulas website.
When to Go
I find that the best time to photograph or look at the night sky is in the time window between 2 hours after sunset and 2 hours before sunrise. As we are pretty far North, this means that the best times of year to look are Autumn, Winter and Spring when the nights are long and dark enough. Also, the light from the moon can make it difficult to see the stars, so it is best to look when there is little or no moon in the sky. Given this, it is best to check our local sun and moon times to decide when best to go out. You should also check the weather for when clear nights are forecast.
How to Look
What to See
You will find the images featured in this blog, along with many more, in the “Our Night Sky” photo gallery. If you’d like a print of any one of them, please feel free to get in touch. Also get in touch if you’d like to arrange some night photography tuition.
Hi, I’m Steven Marshall, a Scottish landscape photographer based at Rockpool House in the heart of the beautiful West Highland Peninsulas of Sunart, Morvern, Moidart, Ardgour and Ardnamurchan. Get in touch for photography tuition, tours and print sales.