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Assynt Landscape Photography

Lochanan Dubh in Assynt, Scotland, with Sgurr An Fhidhleir in the background.

Lochanan Dubh in Assynt, Scotland, with Sgurr An Fhidhleir in the background.

 

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.

Loch Osgaig in Assynt, Scotland.

Loch Osgaig in Assynt, Scotland.

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.

Summer Isles, Scotland

Summer Isles, Scotland

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.

Tent with Ardvreck Castle in the background taken at night.

Tent with Ardvreck Castle in the background taken at night.

 

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.

Island on Loch Assynt with frost on the foreground rocks.

Island on Loch Assynt with frost on the foreground rocks.

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.

Loch Cul Dromannan in Assynt, Scotland.

Loch Cul Dromannan in Assynt, Scotland.

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.

 

 

 

Glencoe Scotland and Storm Gertrude

Image of the Black Mount at Glencoe, Scotland, a few hours prior to the arrival of Storm Gertrude.

Image of the Black Mount at Glencoe, Scotland, a few hours prior to the arrival of Storm Gertrude.

I recently travelled up to Glencoe in Scotland with fellow photographers Howard Kennedy and Doug Meldrum.  During this trip we stopped twice as we travelled through Glencoe before we arrived at the Kings House Hotel, where we were staying for two nights. The image above is looking across towards the Black Mount as the storm clouds of Storm Gertrude were beginning to become visible. This was the last photograph of the trip as the weather front persistently rained with sustained winds for the following few days.

Photographing landscapes in Scotland in winter is often challenging. Sunlight is limited and the weather is typically less than favourable. Despite patiently waiting for those fleeting moments when the weather abates and the landscape becomes a mosaic of lights and shade as rays of sunlight pierces the cloud none were forthcoming. Such is life sometimes. Our party had to make do with good conversation, banter, excellent food and the occasional dram. Overall not a bad weekend away in Scotland.            

 

Glencoe Landscape Photography

Glencoe is a classic location for photography in Scotland.  Iconic mountains, e.g. Buchaille Etive Mor dominate the landscape. I was recently fortunate enough to travel to Glencoe with friend and fellow photographer Howard Kennedy for a weekend during mid January. The area was covered in pristine snow and although temperatures were below freezing the weather was generally benign and conducive to photography.