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© 2020 Andy Smith (andyintothewild.co.uk). All rights reserved.

The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomand: A Trip to Scotland

And Now Introducing….

First things first: I need to introduce you to my exploring partner – Sarah. She’s been by my side for 5 years now, and although I don’t think she is too keen on wild camping, we do go out and explore together so hopefully she will be along for more adventures! This is her, and the picture is relevant because it’s taken in the place that this blog is about; Scotland:

I’d never been to Scotland before, so when an old uni friend announced that he was getting married in Scarborough, we took the chance to plan an epic road trip around the country….and of course I packed my camera gear……..

The Photography

For the most part the weather wasn’t particularly great – it was overcast most days meaning there wasn’t really any colour in the sky, however it meant that there was a lot of atmosphere in the landscape. On the first morning I went out early by myself and managed to get this shot of the cloud gently rolling over the trees.

I love this image and the mood it portrays, but unfortunately it is a quite heavy crop of a 16 Megapixel image so the quality isn’t there to blow it up for printing. Oh well, it was a beautifully peaceful morning anyway!

The next day we went to find some wilderness to walk in. When we set off from the car it was completely sunny, but within an hour the weather started to roll in. The wind blew in some clouds and before long it was raining. We’d prepared for the weather so it wasn’t a problem, we just sat down and had our lunch…and then this happened!

The clouds parted and out came the sun again creating this low rainbow in the perfect position. I had about 20 seconds to capture this shot (which meant I had to shoot it handheld) because as you can see, the cloud was already killing the light on the tree and foreground….20 seconds later and this image was gone!

I also managed to capture this scene, also handheld, when we stopped to refuel the car on the way back to our rental cottage. I think this really captures what the weather was like and the mood of the place.

Unfortunately on the day we went to see Loch Lomand itself, the weather had dulled again and was just a grey blanket of cloud. I did what I usually do in that situation; set the camera to black and white and looked for abstract compositions.

This pair of images were taken minutes apart and use similar ideas in their composition. The first makes use of the meandering stream as a leading line, whereas the latter uses the pebbles and posts to lead your eye into the frame.

It’s a simple image but I think it works pretty well as a composition.

This is probably my pick of the two as the leading line is more powerful.

The last image I want to talk about is the one I’ve used for my home page – it is a photo of the William Wallace memorial taken from Stirling Castle. As the clouds were moving in the wind, I could see a patch of sunlight heading towards the memorial and I knew all I had to do was wait. When the light hit the memorial, I snapped off a few shots so I had plenty to choose from (the light in each example is completely different!) and this was the end result:

Again this was a handheld image (there was enough light to get a decent shutter speed) but I think everything in this image works. The light on the memorial in contrast with the darker areas of woodland, the rock breaking through to balance the memorial, and the epic light on the background hills. I have a 2ft version of this printed and mounted in my house, and it looks great!

Summary

Scotland is a beautiful country with amazing scenery and I captured some images that I really like! Coming back and spending some more time in the wilderness with my camera has been added to my mental list of future locations, and next time I will go further north to the Highlands or Glencoe. Incidentally the venue for the wedding; Scarborough was also beautiful so I will make sure I take another trip out there at some point too!

Thanks for reading, see you on the next one!

Andy

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