Top 10 Of 2019

2019 was a very busy year. It started with a winter of photography, before starting my new job as a support worker, which has taken over my life! Towards the end of the year I decided to convert a van into a camper, causing a resurgence in my photography and excitement about 2020's adventures! 

Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe.

I had this location on my radar for a while, and with the conditions looking good I planned a trip to Glencoe. I arrived in the dark and an hour later I had passed some icy rocks and found a way to a plateau almost at the summit. Turning off my head torch and looking back down the valley, I realised it was going to be special! There was a snowy look and icy feel to the valley. I stood there in amazement as the clouds turned a beautiful purple back in the valley. I had my panoramic image of Buachaille Etive Mor.

Clashnessie Falls, Assynt.

As the New Year bells rang for the beginning of 2019, I was already looking forward to a trip to Assynt, arranged for 6th Januay. On this trip I visited the small community of Clashnessie, which is situation on the peninsular to the North-West of Lochinver. The reason for the visit was the beautiful Clashnessie Waterfall, which I have often seen online. Clashnessie gets its name from the Gaelic name claus an easaidh which means glen of the waterfall, so I knew I  was in for a treat! As the water flows over the top, it hits different rocks, sending the water in different directions. The moving white water creates a fantastic visual pattern. I found my favourite composition slightly downstream, including more of the river. I used my 4 stop ND (neutral density) filter to create a milky water effect and put it together in photoshop with a different exposure I took for the sky. 

Loch Torren Reflections

Cystal Clear Reflections, Loch Torren, Glencoe.

Loch Torren is a small Lochan hidden near the youth hostels in Glencoe. It's a small lochan, surrounded by pine trees, with a couple of munros as a backdrop. The reflections in the water were crystal clear. It was so peaceful , I could have stayed here for the rest of the day.

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Liathach Sunrise, Torridon.

It was the end of February and with the temperatures rising and there being a spring-like feel in the air, I decided to take on the Liathach circuit. My alarm went off at 5am, I quickly packed the tent and the rest of my gear into the car. I made my way to the starting point and my day had begun. My route up the mountain began on the left side of a stream and it wasn't long before I had crossed it and the serious incline was underway. Most of the path was quite straight forward, with the odd short scramble. The steepness of the climb eased as I enter the coire of Toll a' Meitheach. At this point I really had to be on my game as the path wasn't easy to follow due to the rock types I was crossing in the coire. The incline soon increased again and I was struggling to power through the pain. I had to stop a few times for a moment to catch my breath. What didn't help, was the fact the path was now moving around the side of the mountain, cutting into the edge of a steep incline. The light the east was beginning to glow red and I knew the sunrise was going to be spectacular! I now had a sudden burst of energy and after a couple more tricky steps, I blasted the last 20 minutes and arrived onto the ridge line. The clouds were in full colour and I rushed to find my composition. I was lucky to even get this shot, as 15 minutes later, the special light was gone!

Magical Light, Three Lochans, The Cairngorms.

After battling the icy roads and scaling the small hill, my first experience of The Three Lochans was certainly a magical one. The glowing red light filled the clouds and was reflected onto the frozen Lochs below. One of the most memorial mornings in Scotland ever!   

Rannerdale Bluebells, Buttermere, The Lake District.

It was the end of May and I hadn't got any great shots of bluebells. I decided to head for The Lake District. Rannerdale Knotts is a Lake District fell situated between Buttermere and Crummock Water, very well known for it's bluebell collection! The National Trust look after the area and people visiting are encouraged to stick to the paths. The reason for this is bluebells are slow growing; if their leaves are crushed by trampling, they cannot photosynthesise the energy they need, and it can take plants years to recover.  I  Wasn't disappointed! The carpets of bluebells were a fantastic sight!! As I had expected, the flowers were starting to droop, so I decided to go for a composition on the hillside, Looking towards the Lake below. Against the advice of the National Trust, I decided to venture off the path, but no bluebells were harmed in the making of the image above!!

Hook Peninsula Sunset

Hook Head Lighthouse, County Wexford, Ireland.

During my holiday in Ireland I visited Hook Head. I had visited a couple of years previous and was keen to get some shots from different view points. The weather forecast looked promising and I made the hour and a half journey there, in good time for sunset. Hook Head is a lighthouse situated on Hook Head at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world and the second oldest operating lighthouse in the world, after the Tower of Hercules in Spain. The current structure has stood for 848 years. The red sunlight hitting the lighthouse, the crystal reflections and the leading line of flora on the rocks, created a beautiful composition.

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Taliskar Distillery, Isle Of Skye.

It was the beginning of June, whenever I have 3 days off and the weather is decent, I try and head to Skye. Since I discovered I had a taste for whiskey, I've always wanted to visit Talisker. It has always been my favourite tipple, and I was interested to see the local scenery and was keen to get some kind of shot of the distillery. The distillery was a pleasant 20 minute drive from the foot of the Cuillins. It was a strange feeling when I arrived, it felt like visiting your favourite sports teams stadium! In post-processing, I decided to make the image black and white and I'm really happy with the result. Talisker was founded in 1830, and the processing I've used adds an authentic old feel. 

The Arrival Of Autumn, The Hermitage, Dunkeld.

I've always wanted to visit The Hermitage in Autumn and on a return trip from London I got my wish. The sunlight had faded, but there was still enough light, to experience Dunkeld at it's golden best. 

Below Freezing, Glen Affric.

Life had definitely got in the way, with holidays, weddings and work. with the autumn nearly over, I knew I was running out of time to see the autumnal colours at Glen Affric. I decided to try to capture a sunrise from the viewpoint. The viewpoint is a short 10 minute walk, which starts over the road from the car park. Upon arriving at the viewpoint, I had a scout around and discovered in one direction the view towards Loch Affric and the other had a lone pine tree, with Loch Beinn a Mheadhoin in the distance. I decided to go with the pine tree as the clouds were glowing more in that direction. I left the path and found a nice spot nestled within the frozen heather, with the pine tree on my rule of thirds line. Now all I had to do was crouch and wait! 

My Favourite 10 Captures Of 2018

2018 was a great year in my photography journey! It started with a trip to the snow covered Cairngorms, the arrival of 'The Beast From The East', a trip to The Lake District and heading south to Cornwall before moving to Scotland. Here are my favourite 10, with a short description of each image.

Looking Back Down The Valley, Cairngorm National Park

2018 began with a New Years trip to The Cairngorms. After an early start from lower in the valley, i finally reached the opening of Lairig Ghru Pass, I turned around and saw the view back down the valley. I had overwhelming emotions at the beauty in front of me. It was a fantasic moment and i was over the moon to create this Panoramic image from that day. 

Mist Over Loch Morlich, Cairngorm National Park

I was lucky enough to witness a fantastic sunset over Loch Morlich in January 2018. The beautiful warm orange colours in the clouds and the mist rolling onto the loch from the left created the opportunity to capture this special image. 

Stanley Gill Force, The Lake District

One of my trips from 2018 was to The Lake District. One of the places i visited was boot. After a picturesque 30 minute walk through a dramatic and narrow gorge, as the sound of crashing water got louder and louder, i reached the magical 60ft high Stanley Gill Force. 

Sunrise At Loch Garten, Cairngorm National Park

Sunrises are always harder to see in the summer, i had to leave the house at 4.00am to catch this one at Loch Garten. I spotted this angle, using the tree branches as a frame and waited for the light to shine across the Loch. The light didn't disappoint!

The Wailing Widow Falls, Assynt

Wailing Widow, Assynt

Deep in Assynt is the rarely known Wailing Widow. It lies down a narrow gorge, a short 5 minute walk from the road. The water from the falls runs from the Loch Gainmhich above, the falls are seriously impressive especially when there is a good flow of water. As Assynt doesn't get the same levels of tourists as place such as Glencoe and Skye, you often find yourself here on your own.  

The Sanctuary, Skye

The Sanctuary, Isle Of Skye

It had been many years since i had visited Skye. It has very unique landscape, compared to the rest of Scotland. I knew going back to Skye I had to visit the Sanctuary, which included the iconic Old Man of Storr. The weather was very changeable, but after climbing up to the Storr and during a break of rain everything came together! 

Autumn At Hardraw Force, The Yorkshire Dales

After finishing my summer job contract, I heading down to The Yorkshire Dales to explore some of the fantastic scenery. This included Limestone rock formations, incredible waterfalls and of course the small quaint Yorkshire villages. Hardraw force is a single unbroken drop of 30m, as the water cascades over the limestone at the top it doesn't touch any rock until it hits the pool at the bottom. The autumn leaves added to this awesome creation of nature!  

Bow Fiddle Rock, Morayshire

After moving up to the coast in November, Bow Fiddle rock was high on my list of places to visit. I visited at sunrise. As i got first sight of the rock it was still dark and bow fiddle rock was a large silhouette being lit by the moon, it was awesome! As more light appeared I found some interesting compositions.                       

Loch Broom, Ullapool

What a dream start to any day. A crisp and colourful sunrise at Loch Broom certainly put a spring in my step that morning! I choose to photograph the Loch on the shores of Ullapool. It's special to me because it was the most beautiful sunrise I captured in 2018.

Glen Etive Waterfall, Glencoe

Buachaille Eite Mor is located at the head of Glencoe and it’s pyramid shape makes it one of the most well known and special mountains in Scotland. I arrived at the falls for sunrise in December 2018. I was hoping that I would be able to witness and photograph the red rising sunlight hitting the top of The Buachaille. I was delighted that everything came together and made the three hour drive worth while!

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