Anyone who has any interest in photography has heard of Ansel Adams. He was undoubtedly one on the greatest landscape photographers of all time and was particularly well known for his association with Yosemite National Park in the USA and was a strong advocate for the conservation of wild land and landscape in general. For me, Adams was, and remains, a major influence and inspiration for my photography. Also, the area of Assynt and Coigach in the North West of Scotland is the main reason I became involved in the world of conservation.
Having been brought up in my early days in central Scotland our family visited Assynt most years on holiday, a tradition I kept up with my own young family. The area is truly spectacular and was immensely influential in inspiring me to want to live and work in the NW Highlands and particulalry to protect and promote our wonderful Highland landscapes, the people who live there and their way of life. I always try to get up there, only 100 miles form where we live, at least once a year for some photography, and this year I managed a weekend of camping at Altandhu, near Achilitibuie, at the end of June. The weather was scorchingly hot with very few clouds in the sky so not truly ideal for photography, with the light often being challenging in terms of getting the correct exposure. I did manage to take a huge number of shots, some good, many not so good, and over the next few days I will be processing them to reflect the way I visualised them at the time, by way of a record of that trip. This may take a little time so I will post them as I go and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did the trip.
These first two shots were taken as I arrived late in the evening. The day was still bright and sunny, being just after the longest day at this northerly latitude. At this time of dfay the iconic hills are often illuminated by the low sun in the west.
The following shot was taken as the sun was setting behind Achnahiard and desp[ite there being almost no clouds in the sky there was just enough colour and cloud off to the north-west to provide this lovely subtle glow. Looking at this shot I am drawn to the line of telegraph poles running away into the distance on the right of the shot. As a child I used to constantly doodle little landscapes in the margins of my jotters at school, and they always had lines of poles running off into the distance. Maybe this is where that habit came from?
The following morning I had a work meeting at 10:30 but woke up really early and after breakfast was out and about with my cameras just after 5am. The next few shots were captured during that early morning light and as you will see provided some fantastic opportunities.
This is one of my favourite shots from the trip, capturing the very bright but pale colours of early morning and the mist hanging around the base of Suilven. The distant hills are wonderfully subtle shades of grey and the wispy clouds in the top left add interest that would soon burn off as the day warmed up. The passing place in the foreground is one of my regular features as I am trying to capture a series of spectacular landscapes with passing places in them. These iconic things are gradually disappearing in our landscape as roads are widened or when they are damaged and not replaced.
The following couple of shots were taken in the boggy area in the foreground of the above shot where the bog cotton (Eriopherum) was if full flower producing a fantastic display of white.
The following shot was taken from just above the beach at Achnahaird looking north towards Quniaig. Again the early morning light produced beautiful suble shades of blue/grey
More to follow shortly..........
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer (GIS) with his own part-time consultancy business and I work as an estate manager for a national conservation charity in Scotland. I am based in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Scotland, just next to the Isle of Skye.
If you like my photos and are interested in purchasing prints, whether framed, mounted or otherwise please click here.