Having had a really busy couple of months in the gallery, I decided to have a few days off over Christmas and have a photographic trip up the north west side of Scotland. So plans made and accomodation booked, my partner Trudy and I eventually made it out of our village, and a snow covered Derbyshire and headed up the M6. I had been constantly checking webcams and weather reports for Glencoe, Skye and Wester Ross. The weather looked awful, I was banking on a clear spell for a few days whilst we were up there. The weather gods did not let us down, we had some fantastic light to shoot in. The one downside to our journey was that I forgot my tripod, and was cursing my rush to get away. So no slow shutter work for me.
So the gear in my shootsac was Fuji Xt1, X pro 1, 14mm 35mm 18-55mm and the trusty 55-200mm and of course a plethora of batteries and chargers. I also took along my often used Epson p300 for backing up my images on.
The Buachaille Etive Mor is possibly the Uk's finest looking mountain apart from maybe Tryfan, Its no soft looking hillside thats for sure, and the dusting of snow gave it even more presence. The light and timing of our arrival could not have been better. We spent an hour in and around Glencoe.
Then onward to our overnight stop at Onich on Loch Linnie. Dawn broke to the most fantastic view of the loch and the snow capped peaks of the highlands.
The drive to the Isle of Skye took us through a very quiet Fort William and a cloud covered Ben Nevis through Glen Shiel and on to the Kyle of Lochalsh.
On the way out of the Glen not 100 feet from the road was a rocky outcrop on which was a 12 pointed stag, had I missed the shot of the championship. We couldn't stop safely and nowhere nearby to park, but even today I am gutted in missing this a chance to capture an iconic iimage.
Once on Skye we turned off left at Broadford and went along the narrow but pretty road to the little village of Elgol, where by miracle of miracles the late afternoon light was epic, and only a couple of other photographers. The foreshore was full of image potential with fantastic rock formations, to detail shots of kelp and huge pebbles, I wish I could have had a whole day to explore the varoious viewpoints.
Having enjoyed a lovely nights rest and food at our hotel north of Portree, the following morning saw us once more on the road, going up to see the Old Man of Storr, however the light was awful, I had a terribel cold and felt quite miserable so we decided to head of up to Wester Ross for the final leg of our journey. As we journeyed northwards the weather started to change, became much cloudier and the forecast was for rain.
So our last stop was on Loch Maree, which I have wanted to photograph for awhile, the light whilst not perfect was interesting, trying to find the right composition via soggy and deep boggy moorland was a trial, but I think I satisfied myself with the images I shot.
Looking forward to spending a full day on and around the Loch, we enjoyed a lovely meal and an enjoyable stay at our B & B at Gairloch, alas the weather the following day was miserable with rain and low cloud hanging over the hills, we therefore decided to call it a day, and head home.
Looking back over the whistle stop tour, I was glad that I had got my planning and timings right, every stop we made was a photographic treat, yes the stops were short, but in a way it meant more focus on getting the best i could, rather than relying on a re shoot. However the key to this trip was the change in the weather, something a photographer has no control over. The only downside was leaving the tripod at home. We covered over 1200 miles in 4 days, and marvelled at some of the most iconic scenery imaginable.