A Northern Challenge

I spent a few days last week in the highlands region of Scotland – namely Glencoe, with a little time in the Trossachs area as well.

The lure of the epic mountain scenery got the better of me, despite the pessimistic weather forecasts.

I was hoping that the changeable conditions predicted would bring some sunshine, showers, and dramatic light. In reality it was mostly low cloud, fairly stormy, with a lot of rain, still quite dramatic, but  – typical Scotland!!

Nevertheless, I was there, and after an initial sulk for a couple of hours, I decided that making the best of the conditions would be good. I’m lucky that I’m able to travel pretty much when I feel inclined these days, so It’s good to be out there, whatever the weather.

Actually, it turned out to be a great trip – I was able to capture some images that I quite like after all, and really convey the mood of Scotland.

I also had the chance to shoot some more images at longer zooms, the peaks of the mountains in Glencoe, with the low cloud, really interest me – there is a foreboding menace, and mystery about the giants that you see along Glen Etive, and the Pass of Glencoe – the lighting, rain, and cloud enhanced that a fair bit.

I also took the chance to climb 2 peaks – Beinn Chrulaiste, and Beinn A’an – both fairly small climbs – 6-800m although quite steep. The views from both were spectacular. Unfortunately the weather over A’an meant that I didn’t capture much i’d want to publish, but the panorama that I shot from Beinn Chrulaiste made me happy 🙂

I found it really satisfying to come home with images that I was happy with after spending a fair bit of time getting pretty wet, and playing the waiting game

I’ll be publishing a few of the images captured over the next few days in the recent images section of this site.

Here’s that panorama that I mentioned , captured from the peak of Beinn Chrulaiste. It’s an 8 shot pano, which highlights the route along the A82 past the well known Stob Dearg and Glen Etive  to the centre of shot, and panning to the right, – Buchaille Etive Beag, with the 3 sisters down the Pass of Glencoe to the right of the image. This is a piece I’ve craved shooting for a while. The conditions weren’t the best, but great fun to get up there, sit and admire the magnificent view for a while, and shoot a few frames. Had the weather improved, I would have tried again for better light. Next time though – I’ll be back for another attempt at this without a doubt. I’m also intrigued to clim Stob Dearg now – I have a vision of standing on top of that pointy peak someday soon!!

Here’s the other frame for me to share today. In between the Three Sisters on the Pass of Glencoe, there are a couple of recessed breaks in the towering mountains. I was driving along towards Glen Etive before dawn, when I glanced up and caught the last moments of the moon above the peak. The peak also had quite a nice dawn glow about it, and there was some great low cloud passing quickly along the front of the scene. After a frantic set up to get a long telephoto rigged, and tripod up before the cloud beat me, I finally got a few frames of this nice scene. A moment to experience for sure.

More about my Scotland travels in the next few days …. Hope you enjoy the images !

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