Ardtornish Day 13

With the daytime temperatures well and truly dropped, the feeling of winter that eluded us last week is here. Waking up to a freezing, dull and wet pre-dawn, I decided to get some gear ready for the day and rather than go and shoot the obscured sunrise, I rustled up breakfast so we could get out for the day earlier than we usually do.

Having picked up my deliveries from the estate office, I purchased some more venison steaks and sorted the trip up to Crosben bothy for later this week. This is the remotest of the three bothies and we need some assistance from an Argocat (a six wheeled all terrain vehicle) to transport our gear up there. The heavy rain has washed away the track in a number of places so the Discovery won’t even be able to make it to the halfway point as I’d previously planned.

So, with this being put in place, we’re hoping that the snow that’s forecast for later this week, will make an appearance. For Crosben is situated in a wide, open glen that is hemmed by hills and high peaks. It would be fantastic to be able to shoot it in its winter coat.

So with the plans put in place with the estate team, we set off to scout around and see what came about. Sometimes this ‘off the cuff’ approach can pay dividends and today proved to be such an occasion. Starting over at the point looking from Loch Aline over to Mull, the grey skies started to break-up and we were treated to a morning travelling up and down the Sound of Mull coastline shooting ruined buildings and the loch at low tide. Then we headed across country where I went ‘off-piste’, leaving all tracks and trails, to clamber up to a high plateau that looked over to the snow covered mountains that hem Ardtornish estate to the south. Here I saw a distant glimpse of our elusive Sea Eagle once more, alongside spooking a herd of deer as I crested a ridge. The view was quite magnificent and standing there with just the wind rustling the grass was really what I came here for and I spent a happy half hour working the filters to accentuate the sky and maintain definition in the foreground.

From there we drove through the winding mountain passes to Kingairloch. Here we found a cut-off community of a handful of houses and small church nestled in the shadow of vast, dark mountains. Down on the beach, as the tide turned, I worked the camera trying to capture the wide palate of winter colours that were conjured by the approaching snow clouds and the setting sun.

You can see a few of the images from today in the Highland Winter gallery of the Portfolio section.