Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Isle of Coll - IDA dark sky community film

I spent seven weeks on the isle of Coll this winter (2013-14) to capture the sky at night and put a short film together to use to promote astro-tourism on the isle after their new designation of an IDA dark sky community. 
The idea came through inspiration from professional filmmaker Cain Scrimgeours outstanding Northumberland by night film for their national park bid. I discovered about Coll's application through research for SLS trips and was fascinated by the idea to promote dark sky tourism and benefit the whole island during a time when visitor numbers naturally go flat. 

My first spell was throughout November and the weather was really poor overall with constant westerly storms coming in straight off the Atlantic and I felt like I was always working with small windows of clear skies before the next squall moved in. I did manage 6-7 locations that I was satisfied with in the four week spell that could make it into the sequence. A couple of highlights were early dawn views of comet ISON, lunar rainbows and minke whales off Gunna! 

My second spell was for 15 days at the back end of January leading into February and the conditions were a lot better with more opportunities to capture the open skies. I managed to capture over ten locations including a couple of sites further afield away from Arinagour. I managed to get a weak aurora borealis as well one morning before dawn broke which was a bonus. 

I learned a huge amount from time-lapsing out in the field and constantly discovered new ways to get better results. 

I would like to thank Andrew Jake (website) for all the help with editing and putting the film together.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and got great experience from it, if anyone enjoys watching the short film then that is a bonus. Cheers


  1. Nice video that lad ��

  2. lovely video ive sailed into Col harbour a couple of times, once to escape foul weather when many of us were sick. It is truly a wilderness place, nice to watch this from the comfort and warmth of a steady chair!