The Best Time for Landscape Photography in Scotland

As July comes to a close, I’m keenly aware that I haven’t been very creative lately. That’s ok. I’ve always found that high summer is the least inspiring time of year for me. It’s a combination of factors. The heat for one thing. The uniformity of the landscape during ‘peak green’. And also the factContinue reading “The Best Time for Landscape Photography in Scotland”

My Perfect Night Out – Cairngorm Solstice

A certain euphoria came over me as I dashed back and forth. This was living. My heart was bursting with the joy of the mountain. My lungs breathed the clarity of the air. My blood flowed with the purity of the water that flowed and pooled in the rocks. My eyes sparkled with richness of the morning light. My body felt the coldness of the wind and stone, but met it with its own life and warmth. A part of everything. Not apart from it.

Coire Mhic Fhearchair – A Perfect Torridon Night

For many years I’ve wanted to spend a night camped at the spectacular Coire Mhic Fhearchair in Torridon. This magnificent coire is one of the finest in Scotland, owing to its remote location and its incredible geology. The coire lies on the north side of Beinn Eighe, among some of the wildest terrain to beContinue reading “Coire Mhic Fhearchair – A Perfect Torridon Night”

Moments of Loch Maree

I have always thought the waters of Loch Maree are one of those few places in Scotland that can only be described by one word: elemental. As if they came fresh from the forging of the world. Pure. Tempestuous. Wild.

The long nose of the kayak rode up on a wave and slapped down hard, splashing water into the air. The wind snatched the spray and slapped me in the face with it, catching me in the eyes. Stung, I shook my head and blinked, but I couldn’t raise a hand to my eyes. I couldn’t stop paddling; not even for a moment. Instead I dug in again, keeping to the rhythm, keeping the boat moving forward. I was alone on the water in the storm, fighting through the headwind. As my eyes cleared once again I looked up through the spray. I could see I still had a long way to go before I reached the shore.

A Walk Among Elementals

“this journey (…) is not to be undertaken lightly. One walks among elementals, and elementals are not governable. There are awakened also in oneself by the contact elementals that are as unpredictable as wind or snow” Nan Shepherd, The living Mountain I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about this place. TheseContinue reading “A Walk Among Elementals”

Meditative Photography

Very often landscape photography feels like a chase; trying to read the signals of weather, light and landscape to put yourself in the right place and time to see something remarkable. Guessing, hoping, searching, trying, often failing. But it’s not always like that. Sometimes photography happens much more gently. Like sleep, it comes when youContinue reading “Meditative Photography”

My First Wild Camp of the Year

The recent spell of fine weather here in the Highlands was a great opportunity to enjoy a relatively easy night out in a tent. After several good hill days on Cairngorm and Creag Meagaidh, I was very keen and eager to spend some more time among the mountains with my camera. I chose a fairlyContinue reading “My First Wild Camp of the Year”

Sunset on Cairngorm

I needed a moment to pause as I took in the ridge that I was about to climb. ‘Oh boy. Here we go.’ Sometimes I think it would be nice if these mountains would just stay the same size for once. But they seem to grow and they shrink. Tonight the ridge seems long. ‘NoContinue reading “Sunset on Cairngorm”

Walking at the Forest’s Edge

Despite having spent over a decade exploring the Caledonian Forests of the Rothiemurchus estate, there are some areas of these woods where I have very rarely set foot. The higher reaches of the forest, where it fades and blends into the mountainsides of the northern Cairngorms, is an area of huge photographic and emotional potentialContinue reading “Walking at the Forest’s Edge”

Thoughts on The Darkest Day

I’ve been trying to get my head in gear to write a new post for weeks now. This is the 5th draft I’ve started in ten minutes, but this is the one that’s going to stick. When I sat down and started writing I thought I’d go with the prevalent mood that I see online today – the mood of fury and disaster. I even drafted something apologising for my tendency to always seek a positive note, to give myself permission to wallow in the collective misery.