Photographing Assynt in Scotland is always a pleasure. The area is designated the North West Highlands Geopark due to its complex geology which influences the landscape greatly. Thus I always look forward to an oppurtunity to travel to the area with my camera. On this occassion I travelled with fellow photographer Douglas Weir to spend a weekend camping in this remote and spectacular part of Scotland.
The plan was simple. On Friday evening leave Aberdeen and spend the night in Inverness. The following day drive to Assynt and camp for the night. On Sunday capture a sunrise before making our way home stopping for a late lunch in Beauly. There was even discussion of having a dram in Inverness on Friday night.
Driving north from Inverness the weather was excellent. Snow capped mountain peaks contrasted with sunlit lochs and islands in the foreground. Approaching Lochanan Dubh the mountains presented a dramatic skyline and we searched for a foreground to add appropriate interest to the scene. A rock outcrop with suitable striations made a leading line up towards the mountains.
As we drove north of Loch Osgaig we looked up towards Sgòrr Tuath, Sgòrr Deas and Beinn An Eòin and positioned ourselves at the northern edge of the loch.
With sunset approaching we drove north. Where we could look westwards across towards the Summer Isles. However with considerable haze in the atmosphere and an unforgiving sun the light was a little 'flat'. We made a mental note to revisit the location when weather conditons were more favourable. However the scene did present a view of Sail Bheag covered in snow.
As the sun faded we drove to Ardvreck castle on the banks of Loch Assynt. Ardvreck castle was orginally built in the 1590s with extensions and additions periodicly enlarging the castle.
The next morning we awoke to a frost which covered the area in a dusting of white. A short drive and we were on the banks of Loch Assynt for sunrise. I found a suitable rock outcrop and used it as a lead towards an island in the loch with snow covered hills in the background.
Snow showers brought snow and sleet and Dougie and I packed our kit and started driving south. The previous night had been cold and the more sheltered lochs and water bodies contained considerable quantities of ice. With no wind the water had a mirror finish reflecting the surrounding scenery. Naturally we photographed the scene.
In summary the weather was excellent for this time of year with plenty of drama present in the sky and sunlight adding depth to the landscape. Snow capped mountains added to the atmosphere. Assynt did not disappoint.