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The photos from this day in 2008 still look great. Glen Etive – one of the best days I ever had.
I've been taking a deep dive into my image archive to a wonderful day in 2008, exploring Glen Etive for photography in the snow. This was one of those days that really stood out in life. Even now, fourteen years later, I think that the images from that day stand up remarkably well. Glen Etive, 2008 I was among a group of students from the St Andrews University Mountaineering Club heading to the fabled Black …
First Photography of 2022: Torridon and Loch Maree with a New Lens
Our first adventure of 2022 was a brief trip up to the Loch Maree/Torridon area in Wester Ross. Besides the Cairngorms this is probably my favourite area in the Highlands, and it is a place I am coming to know quite well. I've enjoyed some memorable times there over the last few years. That said, I feel I've barely scratched the surface photographically, and I am always looking forward to the next return. Liatach looming …
2021 was a bizarre year, but here are my twelve most meaningful images.
This is one of those posts that I've had to start and restart writing several times. There's just too much to tell. It's been a remarkable year in many ways. For better or worse, this has been the first full calendar year where I have put my creative passions squarely front and centre in my life. And I think it's for the better. At times it feels as if I've made little progress. But that's …
The Great Inversion, Part Four: The White Goddess
Day Four: Tuesday 21st December Every great day of photography begins with a plan, a rough prediction of what weather and light might look like, which gives rise to an idea for a photo. Frequently this idea goes out the window as soon as you get outside and compare your prediction to reality, but for me having the idea has always been an important part of the process. At the very least it gets me …
The Great Inversion, Part Three: The Edge of Beauty
Day Three: Monday 20th December Scout and I returned to Whitewell in the early morning, not long after sunrise. Once again we ran from the van to the birch trees at the crest of the hill. The thick mist in Aviemore had fooled me; I had assumed it would be much the same here – similar to the way I had left it the day before. But the air here was clear and bright. Sunrise …
The Great Inversion, Part Two: Shadow of the Mountain
Day Two: Sunday 19th December The second day of the Great Inversion was Saturday 18th, but since I had to drive south to get my booster shot I wasn't able to spend much time outdoors. Besides this, I also wanted to write Friday's account of the mountain. I felt absolutely filled up by that experience, as if I had made direct contact with the mountain in a rare and special way. I badly needed to …
The Great Inversion, Part One: The Scallywag and the Pilgrim
Day One: Friday 17th December I only happened to glance at my phone, on Thursday night, when I saw the synoptic chart that had just been published by the Mountain Weather Information Service. There were those magic words: fog in valleys. A temperature inversion was predicted. As soon as I knew that, not going to the mountain was never an option. I needed the mountain; needed it to flood all of my senses. To feel …
Winter – The Great Change
Autumn already seems like a distant memory. It's cold outside, the winds and snows are raging across the north of Scotland and it's dark at 4pm. Winter is here – the Great Change. It's an extraordinary time to look to the woods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaoPM9Kwzr4 Get More from Highland Wildscapes Join the mailing list for new posts, discounts, and workshops dates: Share this: More Blogs:
Sixty-Plus Landscapes from Autumn in the Highlands
Autumn is starting to come to a close here in the Cairngorms. Most of the trees have now been stripped of their leaves. The hills are dusted in snow every other day. I find my days are busy as I work on plans and projects for next year, but it's always nice to take a little while to look back on what has been another beautiful season. So, in reverse order of when they were …
Rime Ice (A Mountain Poem)
Heading home I saw the hillsFrom the North the Cairngorms display their true size. From other angles pretending at being small. Vast, precipitous, and they beckon. Lairigs draw breath The great spaces of The Interior, my heart with it.Golden birch trees flashed by.A streak of white across the high places.Shining silver layered on slopes of blue.Rest day for me. Restless compulsion returned. not old, but young neitherPhysically not there. Desire to go At least feel …
Woods, Rain and Water – A Perfect Waterfall Photography Workshop
A Plan Suitable for the Weather This last Saturday was my final scheduled photography workshop of the autumn. The original plan for the day was to head to Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve. There we would walk up to the beautiful loch overlooked by the impressive cliffs of Coire Ardair. However, a few days before the photography workshop it was obvious from the weather forecast that a change of plan was called for. Strong winds, …
Woods, Mountains and Rainbows – A Great Day Out for Photography
Last Saturday was the day of the long anticipated Torridon and Loch Maree workshop, which I had been especially looking forward to. Autumn is arguably the best time of year in the Highlands, and the hills, woods and lochs of Wester Ross look particularly superb at this time of year. I did feel a few pangs of worry at the weather forecast before the workshop, but by the Friday night I was happy to see …
Navigational Awareness – Don’t Get Lost on the Hills
The recent case of a man lost in the Cairngorms for two nights is just the latest incident for the busy Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. It won't be the last. Fortunately there was a happy outcome on this occasion. When these incidents happen, it really hammers home the importance of good navigation skills. Navigation is the topic of this post, but I want to approach it from a slightly different angle. There are hundreds of …
The Most Beautiful Loch in Scotland? – A Hike across Cairngorm to Stunning Loch Avon
https://youtu.be/jONYTJFBjMQ Starting Out A few days after my photography mission to Braeriach it seemed that the warm settled weather had no intention of leaving the Highlands. The Cairngorms were bathing in sunlight day after day. So, after letting my legs recover for a few days, I headed back to the hills to visit a very special place. Hidden in the heart of the Cairngorms lies what I think might be the most beautiful loch in …
Autumn Photography Workshops in the Scottish Highlands
Autumn Photography Workshops I'm pleased to announce that I will be running a series of one-day landscape photography workshops this Autumn. Each workshop will be taking place in a different location across the Highlands, visiting some of the very finest landscapes Scotland has to offer for us to enjoy while we learn. Who's It For? New to photography but keen to do something fun and creative? Had a decent camera for a while but have …
How to Read a Histogram and Why It’s Vital to Good Photography
In digital photography there are these things called histograms. They look a little bit like this: As you can see, it's a kind of graph with lots of peaks and troughs. Most cameras have an option to display these when you review the image. On some, you can see a live histogram that changes as you point the camera at different things. Unfortunately though, it is completely baffling as to what it actually means. So …
Why Is the Sky White In My Photos?
We've all experienced the disappointment of photographing a gorgeous scene, only for the photo to come out looking horrible. One of the most common problems encountered is the White Sky. Like in the image above, all the detail and colour is completely lost. So why does this happen? And how can we deal with the problem? Why The White Sky Happens The White Sky happens because the camera becomes 'overexposed' in the brightest parts of …
What are the best camera settings for landscape photography?
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with modern cameras, I'll admit. For one thing, they are far more complex than they need to be to shoot landscapes. It seems that there is no end of buttons, menus and controls that perform functions which vary from the gimmicky to the downright arcane. The reality is that most of these controls are completely unnecessary. Whenever I have a new camera to work with I usually …
Camera Exposure – A Primer in Photography’s Most Important Fundamental
Understanding exposure is the most fundamental knowledge in the world of photography. This short primer will explain all the terms and what they mean. By the end of this article, and with a little practice, you should be confident in understanding how and why to control the exposure on your camera and how it affects your image. Understanding Exposure In photography the word Exposure refers to how much light comes into the camera for any …
An Incredible Summit Camp on Scotland’s Third Highest Mountain: Braeriach
It was three little words that cemented my decision to attempt the hill I've been dreaming of for nearly a decade. Three little words in the weather forecast that carried a prospect of such beauty as needs to be seen to be believed. Summits above cloud. The moment I read that I knew I had to give it a shot. The mountain that has been looming over me for all these years, standing there as …