A rare week of peace and relaxation in this wonderful glen on the Culligran Estate. Niall Henderson was, once again, my partner for this photographic escapade. He is very tolerant and this time had to put up with a few expletives as I managed to lose and break various bits of equipment. Many thanks to Frank and Juliette Spencer-Nairn for putting us up in one of the cottages. Being on the right side of the gated entrance to the glen made all the difference. Frank made time to welcome us despite having a significant family medical issue to deal with which was lovely of him. He even provided the peanut butter to attract in the badgers and pine martins.
The weather was a mixed bag. Some lovely misty morning with flat light. Lots of rain and then a couple of sunny days. What more could a photographer want?
Once the mist cleared the view up the glen is awe inspiring. Miles of beech, aspen and Caledonian pine. Bracken banked rivers with rapids and waterfalls. Wildlife at every turn. Deer, wild goats, badgers, pine martins, eagles, owls and too much else to list.
When the sun did break through the glen shone like a jeweller’s window. Astonishing.
Without a doubt, I would love to re-visit Glen Strathfarrar in the future to capture the atmosphere of this special place in a different light and a different season. I think there is much more magic and photographic gold to be discovered in those hills.
After just a few short days the leaves have taken on a much more autumnal hue. The days are colder and near to freezing at sunrise. Lots of empty acorn cupules lying on the forest floor but no acorns so let’s hope they are all squirrelled away (literally) for the winter. The erosion of the rocks has carved out some beautiful forms and today we noticed some long strata of quartz stretching across the river.
Another lovely day out in the company of Niall and Joe.
Camera work: Canon 5D3 with a 17-40L at 17mm, 0.4″@f/16, ISO 100.
Conditions: Moderate breeze. Heavy rain.
Out at Loch Chon in the Trossachs area near Aberfoyle for sun up today. Thanks Manoj for the company and your patience in the face of being soaked to the skin to get a photograph.
It rained heavily and incessantly for hours and hours. I love these conditions. It’s challenging but pays off with the beautifully muted colours and the separation the rain creates between the Island in the middle of the loch and the forest behind.
At this point I dropped my camera into the loch and my morning’s work came to an abrupt end. Had to happen someday. This is the danger of working with a tripod in the rain while up to your knees in water. I must buy one of those fancy camera bags that allow access to camera without having to juggle on open sack on your knees. My apologies to everyone I previously told that such bags were a gimmick. Consider me bitten in the bum.
Technical: Canon 5DMk3, 17-40 lens at 22mm, 25 seconds at f/16, ISO 100. Polarising filter and a 2 stop NG soft grad.
Conditions: Mid afternoon. Slight breeze with hazy cloud cover.
If you are looking for some clear advice on landscape technique I would recommend the ebooks of Darwin Wiggett. He has one in particular called “Trophy Hunting” in which he discusses the pros and cons of making images at well known and sometimes over-used locations. This is a day when I must confess to setting out to “bag” a certain shot. My 10 year old son and I had a budget of 4 hours to make the 2 hour round trip and make the shot. Darwin talks about finding a new angle, a new way to imagine the scene. I didn’t do that. I did what every one else does because there was such a pull on my preconception neurons that I was dragged into a creativity black hole. I could not imagine it any other way. So I took the shot just as my son fell into a large pool of water and hence did not notice I had stuffed up the focus. Oops. Guess we will be coming back here some day for some more trophy hunting.