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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 potential that I have barely begun to explore. For the last several months, though, I've known that this is where the …
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 …
Today Was a Gift
A few days ago the first snows of winter arrived on the mountains. There was a hard edged clarity of light in the forest that I only know from winter – white edges and black shadows running along every branch. The remains of autumn colours clung to the tips of wind stripped birch trees, like the final tiny glow of a candle flame before it dies.The day was beautiful, but it seemed to signal a …
Come Further Up, Come Further In
"Over the garden fence, behind the railway and the cherry trees, the Cairngorms are waiting. They should be more than a mere background to life."
Deer Eyes
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir A young deer was looking at me. I held the gaze of its dark and shiny eyes, its long eyelashes and dark snout. I was close enough to hear it breathing above the trickle of the burn, where it stood with both front legs …
The Oaks of Sunart
https://youtu.be/RMsgNfXdcYA As soon as the man on the phone stopped shouting at me and hung up, I made up my mind about going away. A few minutes later I had a self catering cottage booked in the village of Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. I reasoned that besides being a place I'd wanted to spend time for ages, it was also the furthest I could possibly get away. A place no-one could find me, where …
Land the Person
It occurred to me the other day, while I was walking up a hill through long grass beneath shady birch trees, that the most important and enduring relationship we have in our lives is the one we have with the land we live on. It then occurred to me that this should always have been much more obvious. As individuals, and as a society, the landscape is the one presence in our lives that will …
Glen Torridon and the Awe of Time
On a cloudy October morning in 2008, I quietly opened the door of Ling Hut, where we had arrived in darkness the night before, stepped out into the damp air and looked on the mountains of Torridon for the first time in my life. Since I was such a cartophile I was already familiar with the names of the hills surrounding; I might even have been pompous enough to correct the pronunciation of their Gaelic …
Looking Closely at Things
One of the great joys that photography can bring you is the ability to notice things that other people can't see. I mean this fairly literally – until you learn to draw your attention to a particular thing; until you've learned to recognise it, you really can't see it at all. Seeing takes place in the mind at least as much as it does in the eye.Consider this. If you're a driver, then you've probably …
A Portfolio of Water
A while ago I wrote about the wonderful way in which looking at the natural world will teach you to notice things that otherwise would simply pass through your sub-conscious mind. Without question one aspect of nature that is a constant joy to me is the infinite variety of form, light and colour taken by water. I might have believed, years ago, that one piece of water is much like another, but this is not …
‘The Woods’ Video – A Collaboration between David and Hamish
This is where it all began, the first collaboration between David and Hamish on Hamish's latest album – The Woods.
Wood and Water: A Passion Project from the Caledonian Forest
Over the course of a year I collected footage from the Caledonian Forest of the Cairngorms National Park to compile into a short film. I wanted to show the unbelievable diverse beauty of Scotland's ancient woodlands, in every season and type of weather.