Well the summer is well and truly over and with only a few weeks until Christmas it came to my attention that I never finished the series of blogs about the Scotland trip back in May with Damien Taylor, Andrew Atkinson and Ian Burton, so I thought it time to finish them off with the final leg – the road up to Torridon and its surroundings.
With the months passing this write up will no doubt be shorter as I’ve forgotten details, place names and indeed what we did outside of the photographs I have in my Lightroom catalog to jog my memory.
Day one of the Torridon leg of the trip was spent mainly in the minibus as we left Skye and headed up the west coast towards our base of Gairloch.
We first stopped at Plockton, seemingly only for Damien and Ian to pose on the Plockton village webcam so that those back home could see that 1. They were still alive and 2. Not in the gambling joints of Vegas! Plockton is pretty enough but not really inspiring on a calm grey day, but served as an opportunity to replenish the food supplies (Mars bars and cans of Coke) and a leg stretch.
We then headed up over Bealach na Ba heading towards Applecross, stopping off halfway up to make a load of images of the view back down looking over Loch Kishorn. An excellent location where the shape of the mountain on the right really makes a distinctive feature!
I might have had a little snooze here as I waited for the other guys to finish with their compositions…
A photo posted by Andy Gray (@andrewsgray) on
— Andrew Atkinson (@AAPhoto1974) June 1, 2015
A few shots were taken from the top at the view point that looks back over to the Isle of Skye, great view, just not much you can do with it…
Down we went to Applecross and straight past it! Continuing around the little windy coast road. Beautiful, but doing 40 miles in 3 hours is ridiculous! …and we didn’t stop much either. A few stops in nondescript places that were pretty or had pretty views – too pretty for me to do anything successfully with.
It was getting on by the time we got to the caravan park and after some dinner, Ian, myself and Damien headed out onto the beach to shoot as the light diminished. I unsuccessfully battled a receding tide with long exposures, but was later rewarded by some of my favourite images in the coastal darkness with the lights of the distant cottages showed up in my ICM images as pen-like highlights!
The next day, our last full day was focused on those “burnt” trees at Torridon, River Torridon, the glen it cuts through and quick stop off for a shot of Slioch over Loch Maree before the midges ate us.
The weather was at its best again, wind, rain, sleet all preceded and followed by some stunning light, but by this stage my patience with the elements were thin to say the least. It was grab what you can then retreat to the van for cover, mostly while staying away from anything wet looking as I had no footwear left that weren’t ringing wet.
This stage of the trip was one I really wasn’t too fussed about before going and even when there I was far from excited or inspired but looking back at the images I made on this stage they are some of my favourites from all of 2015, not just the Scotland trip!
An end of tour celebratory feast followed and the next day we headed home only stopping for pies in Aviemore, not once did the cameras come out… except for phone pics of Damien when we ran out of fuel and we “rolled” into a town somewhere in Scotland hoping there was a garage!!
In summary the trip was great, the banter between us was great – just what I needed.
I did come away feeling like I’d undershot the whole trip, coming back with (only) 2500 frames from 6 days, but then the others came back with around 600/700 each and they felt they’d shot lots!
Skye and Glencoe are must returns, I’m not too fussed about the Torridon area but there’s lots more of the West coast to explore!
Just want to thank my fellow travelers Andrew, Ian and Damien for making the whole trip a pleasure and for putting up with me!
Next, North Wales in 2016!!